January 14, 2013
Why Aaron Swartz's Ideas Matter
MIT technology Review, January 14, 2013.
I don't want to write a long post about Aaron Swartz, because that's been done already by a bunch of people who actually knew him, but his career and mine intersected one or twice and I always recognized him as a brilliant and generous contributor to our field. His suicide is a tragedy and a loss and touches close to home to many of us. Here's the coverage, for the record:
- Why Aaron Swartz's Ideas Matter - MIT technology Review
- MIT is Target of Hacker Group After Suicide of Internet Activist - Chronicle of Higher Education
- Aaron Swartz, Who Helped Free Information, Is Dead - Tidbits
- Remembering Aaron Swartz (and Infogami) - Language Log
- Tragedy when loss of data leads to loss of life - ITBusiness.ca
- RIP Aaron Swartz - Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
- Aaron Swartz's Politics - Naked Capitalism
- A Data Crusader, a Defendant and Now, a Cause - Noan Cohen, New York Times
- Aaron Swartz's "Crime" and the Business of Breaking the Law - James Allworth, HBR Blogs
- Aaron Swartz Plea Deal Reportedly Rejected Days Before His Death, Mashable
- Internet prodigy, activist Aaron Swartz commits suicide, CNN
- Aaron Swartz investigation ordered by MIT, BBC
- Reacting to Aaron Swartz's Suicide - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
- Between Micropolitics and Martyrdom - Mike Caulfield
- A tribute to Aaron Swartz - BigThink
- Reddit co-founder commits suicide - MarketWatch
- Technology's Greatest Minds Say Goodbye to Aaron Swartz - Mashable
- Aaron Swartz was not a hacker. He was a builder. - David Wrinberger
- Online Grieving - Dave Winer
- A Tribute to Aaron Swartz: Lets Make #pdftribute Trend - Brian Kelly
- Aaron Swartz was on 'guerrilla crusade' for freedom - BBC Audio
- The Truth About Aaron Swartz's "Crime" - Unhandled
- Aaron Swartz, Hero of the Open World, Dies - Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive
- Processing the loss of Aaron Swartz - dana boyd
- Rest in peace, Aaron Swartz - David Weinberger
- Farewell to Aaron Swartz, an Extraordinary Hacker and Activist, Peter Eckersley, EFF
- Prosecutor as Bully - Lawrence Lessig
- My Aaron Swartz, whom I loved - Quinn Norton
- Aaron Swartz RIP - Links - Seb Schmoller
- Aaron Swartz - Audrey Watters
- Official Statement from the family and partner of Aaron Swartz (part of a Remember Aaron Swartz web site, from which you can donate to GiveWell).
And... that's it. Nothing but silence to follow, in what should have been ongoing coverage of an extraordinary life.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]
The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck
Mother Jones, January 14, 2013.
We'll use the word 'science' a little loosely here, but meanwhile there's an interesting survey on the consequences of comment trolls: "it appeared that pushing people's emotional buttons, through derogatory comments, made them double down on their preexisting beliefs." The author offers an explanation, "the psychological theory of motivated reasoning," akin to Hume's dictum, but I think the interplay between thoughts and feelings (if they are even distinct things) is a lot more complex than that. That said, I can attest first-hand to the way comment trolls can drain the life out of a discussion, out of a website, out of living itself. Which, of course, if their intent.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: none]
Poop2013: Imagine How Many Pastures We Could Fertilize
CogDogBlog, January 14, 2013.
Alan Levine quite rightly criticizes Udemy's latest initiative, which is to release a tool promiting the idea that famous people should replace professors and teach online. Here's the
blatant marketing article describing the program: "Once experts express interest in teaching online, Udemy will provide an array of tools and resources to help them build and deliver courses that meet Udemy’s standards for course quality." The purpose? "They’re hoping a crowd of people will encourage people like Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, and Biz Stone to answer the call." Levine comments, "Experts don’t need a 'proprietary' system from Udemy to do this. They don’t need their Studio. They don’t need their platform. They don't need a course (in order) to be open and sharing with their knowledge. We have the greatest and most capable invention to do this. It’s free... It’s called the open internet." Well - they need a bit more than that - even Levine uses WordPress. But I get the point.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Microsoft, Marketing, Teaching Online]
A Bad Start to Lifelong Learning?
Mission to Learn, January 14, 2013.
The diagram, above, of engagement in school through the years is a depiction of failure - not failure of students, but failure of the system. Jeff Cobb comments, "As the writer of the Gallup blog post on the poll argues, you would hope these numbers would be exactly the opposite – that students would become more engaged as they go through school." I wonder what a similar diagram would look like, one documenting social engagement with society at large through online means. I suspect that it would bust the myth that in-person is more engaging and online is less. My own experience, at least, has been the opposite.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Web Logs, Experience]
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