Stephen's Web

[Chat] [Discuss] [Search] [Mobile] [About] [Archives] [Options]


by Stephen Downes
October 20, 2008

Fast Talking, Racism and the Faux Moon
I don't have the same preoccupation with the 'identity' issues at debate that Joanne Jacobs does (I put them under the heading of 'distractions' and 'the politics of hate') but I noted the same phenomenon in the recent foo-faw at a recent debating meet: "Oratory has been replaced by a fast-talking, point-scoring debate style." An article in the Chronicle explains, "In the 1960s, debate began moving to a format in which participants talked fast and tried to lob as many arguments as they could at opponents, and in the 1990s, the pace got even faster, according to some longtime debate coaches." I really wondered about that (I listened to the entire debate online). Certainly such a speaking style would not convince anyone, much less clearly communicate an argument or line of reasoning. It was as though argumentation had been reduced to a set of one-liners a la Jerry Springer audience questions. And the grounds of debate have shifted in the same way. The Chronicle again: "It can be frustrating for people from a traditional world," he says. But traditional teams have developed strategies to diffuse the "identity stuff" during competition, he says. Joanne Jacobs, Weblog, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Linden Labs Launches New Educators Pilot Program in Partnership with ISTE, Easing Entry Into SL
According to this article, "educators coming inworld (to Second Life) for the first time have a streamlined, educationally-focused starting point to guide them along the way." The author describes the "The New Educators Pilot Program (sometimes referred to in ISTE circles as the Educator's Experience Pathway)" which "begins with a dedicated sign-up form that guides a new user through the registration process." Kevin Jarrett, Second Life and Education, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

More On Groups Versus Networks and Collectives
Terry Anderson posts a clarification of his position regarding my four-part distinction between groups and networks. The post will require some thought and discussion, but for now I'll say I appreciate the work that has been undertaken here. Terry Anderson, Virtual Canuck, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

What Business Are We In?
Interesting thought. Clarence Fishe wonders if we are in the 'information business'. I don't think so. And I'm not in the 'school' business. I'm not in the 'education' business. I'm not even in the 'learning' business. I'm in the 'how to make the most of your life' business. Which is why I have as much to say about empowerment as I do about remembering things and learning new skills. Because, really, people learn because they want to do things with that learning to make their lives better and happier - and I want them to be able to do those things. Clarence Fisher, Remote Access, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Deliberation As Network Ungrouping
Here's a word for you: groupiness. "Groups anthropomorphise and act to preserve themselves. They foster elitism and privilege by reproducing their own discourse about ethical and political norms. Groups distinguish themselves through contested discourse that may be uncaring of the common good." Ron Lubensky, eLearning & Deliberative Moments, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Building in the Cloud
I'm wondering whether the George Reese cited in this article is the man formerly known as Descartes of Borg. Probably, given his resume. Nice to know what he's up to now. I spent a lot of time in his Nightmare Mudlib, using it to build my own. If George Reese speaks, listen. Andy Powell, eFoundations, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Dueling Slide Presentations: SlideRocket and 280 Slides
I'm a bit concerned about SlideRocket, which has been reported to have a plan to charge users in the future. But maybe with free competition from 280 Slides, it might not. Mark Oehlert, e-Clippings, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The Wild Web
The AUCC University Affairs has taken a "Web 2.0: threat or menace" approach to new technologies, depicting them as the cause of deaths (well, two of them, anyways), harassment, misrepresentation and more. None of this distinguishes new media from anything that existed prior to new media, but that doesn't prevent the article from citing repeated calls for "codes of conduct" to regulate student behaviour on the net. This notwithstanding the fact that Canada has perfectly good anti-hate laws that apply to everyone, not just students. I think the real question here is why an academic publication - one presumably based on reason and sober assessment - should take such an unthinking and panic-stricken stance regarding the web. Via Bryan Alexander. Tim Johnson, University Affairs, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , , , , ] [Comment]

The Old Man and the Sea Animated
While for the old order, it's the politics of hate, as usual, I can't help but think that with the coming election we will see something new in the United States, something represented not by distracting character assassinations but rather by mobile twitter video storytelling, animated poetry readings and the old man and the sea, animated. For the first time in a generation, there is hope. Dan Colman, Open Culture, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The Death of TV As I Knew It
Alan Levine reflects on the way TV shaped his life and what things are like now that 'TV as I knew it' has left his life. For those who are interested I describe my own relation to TV in a comment. This is all part and parcel with the end of mass marketing. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, October 20, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter? Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.