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by Stephen Downes
May 4, 2009

Egos, Authority, and Fallacious Reasoning: A Pissing Contest in 140 Characters or Less
Christopher D. Sessums is plugged into the internet, an edublogger. Don Tapscott is a writer of business books about the internet. Until Twitter, these two worlds never met. Now Tapscott has discovered the university. He tweets: "I'm writing a major article on the coming crisis of The University. Among other things the model of pedagogy is all wrong. Other sources?" Sessums, who (like the rest of us) has been involved up to his ears in this sort of issue for the last few years, wonders who Don Tapscott is and where he has learned about The University. Hilarity ensues. Tapscott will be recognized (in the publishing world) as The Authority who Uncovered the (coming) crisis in The University. Because that's how the system works. Christopher D. Sessums, Weblog, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Symposium On Advanced Learning Technologies 15-17 April 2009
You may be interested in the presentations from this symposium, which was held at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown. Presentations included numerous separate sessions on serious games, a few presentations on courseware, and my own talk about social media. Various Authors, Department of National Defence, Canada, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Signs of Epistemic Disruption: Transformations in the Knowledge System of the Academic Journal
I am in broad agreement with this article, which argued (in painstaking detail) that: "The first breaking point is in business models - the unsustainable costs and inefficiencies of traditional commercial publishing... The second potential breaking point is the credibility of the peer review system: its accountability, its textual practices, the validity of its measures and its exclusionary network effects. The third breaking point is post–publication evaluation, centered primarily around citation or impact analysis. We argue that the prevailing system of impact analysis is deeply flawed. Its validity as a measure of knowledge is questionable." Reform is needed along all three breaking points, and reshaping our understanding of peer review and impact evaluation may prove to be more deeply disruptive than open access journals. But for the better. Via P2P Foundation and Sean FitzGerald. Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, First Monday, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

When Big Pharma Pays a Publisher to Publish a Fake Journals...
We cover the relative trustworthiness of open access journals here from time to time, and the presumption is always that traditional publishers are reliable, authoritative. I have always railed against that suggestion, because I don't believe they are more trustworthy at all. Here is evidence showing that big publishers are, in some ways, manifestly untrustworthy: "on Thursday, it was revealed that pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp & Dohme paid Elsevier to produce a fake medical journal that, to any superficial examination, looked like a real medical journal but was in reality nothing more than advertising for Merck." Commercial publishers don't care about science, they care about profit. See also Crooked Timber on astroturf journals, along with Bioethics on the phony journal scandal and TechDirt on Elsevier Exposed.
Respectful Insolence, Orac, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Conversations: Local Realtime Versus Global Asynchronous - As Applied to FriendFeed
The twitter-like interface of FriendFeed focuses on the now, on the immediate. But this results in a frenzy of unfiltered content. Contrast this to the usefulness of the asynch mode. "In the morning, what I see is not the latest ideas, what I see is the most important ideas, based on the filtering of a community I trust." Maybe, but this depends on friends actively filtering, in Friendfeed. Some will, but in general, it's not going to happen. Richard Ackerman, Science Library Pad, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Mainstream Gen Y Isn't Buying Into Web 2.0
Bruce Sterling attracted the cream of the SXSW interactive crowd, but when he asked for people under the age of 18 in his audience, not one hand went up. This is typical of phenomenon that is attracting mostly people in their late 20s and up, rather than the youth of today. Web 2.0 is trending toward practical rather than cool, "or, does Gen Y have an innate sense that too much connectivity and too much time online is unproductive and does nothing more than allow you to run in circles and chase something that you can never actually attain?" Ryan Healy, Social Computing Journal, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

NIN App Gets Rejected by Apple, Reznor Threatens to Go Jailbreak
Again, this highlights the risk of depending on mobile devices, where the service provider has unusual control over the platform. The most recent case of Apple versus the applications involves the band Nine Inch Nails (NIN). Their application, cased on the song "Downward Spiral", was rejected for profanity. NIN's Trent Reznor says, "If Apple doesn't get it together, we will most certainly make it available to the jailbreak community." What's important here is not the reason for the banning of the app but rather the who it was who made the call. The owner doesn't decide, Apple does. Related: setting up your own content filter for free. Stan Schroeder, Mashable, May 4, 2009 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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