by Stephen Downes
Oct 13, 2014
Facebook’s Identity Authentication Is Broken
Centralized systems eventually break down. In the current case, it's Facebook's identity service. As Alec Couross has described in the past (here’s the original post which outlines the problem and here is the followup) he has been beset with an endless series of people faking his account. "These profiles have shown up on sites such as Twitter, VK.com, Match.com, Christian Mingle, and most prominently, Facebook." And now, to add insult to injury, he writes, "while I have successfully had Facebook take down hundreds of profiles, apparently they no longer believe that I am Alec Couros."
Is It Ever Okay to Make Teachers Read Scripted Lessons?
Terrance F. Ross,
I guess that if the teachers were completely unqualified, and the students unable to read, then there might be a benefit to reading scripted lessons. But I think the benefits would be pretty minimal, and as critic Kate Redman says, “Such an education is unlikely to spur the imaginations of the students or encourage critical thinking or social mobility. It is more likely to lead to rote-learning, and would likely leave little flexibility. There is no evidence it can serve as a permanent approach.” Nonetheless, such an approach has been taken by Bridge International Academies, a for-profit company that has has more than 350 locations and 100,000 students in Kenya. And if it's true that "at the only schools available to these families there was very little education being delivered," then this is better than nothing. But I still think (from a very distant first-world perspective) that they money they take from the system could be better spent. Via Doug Belshaw / Audrey Watters.
The Battle for Beauty
I don't agree with all of this, but I do agree with the core sentiment, especially as it regards my work and my reserach. "It was about architecture that had been taken over by businessmen, and artists not being allowed to carry out their rich hunger for beauty. A bit like Evgeny Morosov’s fight against “solutionism”, where the world is taken over by VCs and commerce in stead of asking the real big questions related to ethos and quality of life." Sadly, however, beauty has already been acquired by businesses and VCs. Books like Lovemarks make it clear how they draw on human emotion to connect people to brands. So to me this article has the flaavour of wanting from humans what VCs and commerce already (promise to) deliver. There is a space, though, beyond even this, perhaps captured most evocatively by the phrase in Moulin rouge and reflected in my Moulin Ching.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaks out on data ownership
According to this article, "The inventor of the web says data must be owned by its subject, rather than corporations, advertisers, and analysts." I agree with him, but I think the approach here will have to be technological, rather than legal, if only because I have no faith that corporations, advertisers and analysts will obey the law. After all, look at their track record.
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