My first column for Huffington Post. We are the people who have been rebuilding learning technology from the ground up as free and open source software, not simply to lower technology costs for schools and universities, but to help any organization, institution or individual offer their own online learning.
I think it's interesting to think of the prohibition against sharing as a form of social control. ""Sharing is the threat," writes Mark Pesce, in a sentence oft-requoted this week. "Not just a threat. It is the whole of the thing...This act of sharing voids 'any pretensions to control, or limitation, or the exercise of power'." It's interesting to think about the attitudes carried forward into the workplace and society as a result of an education system that has, as its cardinal rule, "you are on your own; it's you against everyone else."
This review offers an excellent summary of recent work in philosophy on the problem of consciousness. It is written for philosophers current in the field, so you sort of have to insert yourself into the debate. To me, we can frame the key question as follows: can there be consciousness without conceptualization? " Christopher Hill argues, according to the review, "that a posteriori materialism fails to answer KA and other arguments because it holds, as he says, 'awareness of qualia always involves conceptualization'." This is one of those horrible knots philosophers tie themselevs into when they ask, "what must be the case prior to i for i?" If the answer is "nothing," then they say, "well, then, why i?" And if you can't answer that (which would entail answering the first question," then they say, "thus, i isn't the basis of knowledge; something else must be." Arraugh!
It looks like the lights may be dimming on the academic quarter of Second Life. The angst comes as Second Life has removed education discounts, thus posing a steep increase in costs for academic users. "Scott Diener, associate director for information-technology services at the University of Auckland, said his institution was 'very likely to move out of Second Life.' He said many longtime Second Life users are angry at the recent decisions by the company that runs the service, Linden Lab." Is it too soon for me to say "I told you so?" Via Richard Nantel.
I tried out a couple of interesting tools today - Join.Me will open your desktop to visitors, who can view whatever you are doing. The Flash tool is a bit laggy but would work wekk for a presentation. If you want voice, you'll have to set up a separate conference call. Also, logmein.com provides an even more flexible remote desktop management system, allowing you to control your desktops remotely. The tool works really well, there's virtually no lag. This tool requires installation and set up, while join.me will work instantly - you don't even need to log in. So if you're in a remote meeting and want to share something right away, join.me is your ticket. But for personal computer sharing, use logmein.
This is the greatest little game to come along in quite a while. The application produces 20 images in a collage; you guess the Google search term that produced them. The game not only sharpens your recognition skills, it also improves your typing as you try to get your guess in under the 20 second time limit. That has to be version one - imagine how much fun the multiplayer one would be to play with, say, your Facebook friends. Via Doug Peterson.
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