by Stephen Downes
Nov 18, 2015
The Badge and the Blockchain
Another illustration from Bryan Mathers, authored a number of weeks ago. The subject of badges came up yet again (this time at OIF meetings in Tunisia) and I thought back to Doug Belshaw's proposal to use the blockchain to validate badges. But the blockchain - used to create digital currencies - is an obscure concept. This illustration helps a lot.
Reconciling two worlds
As you may recall, Jane Hart posted an article positing a growing divide in the world of training and development. Since then, Will Thalheimer posted a blistering response, and Clark Quinn tried to find a middle ground. Thalheimer challenges 'Modern Workplace Learning': " Haven't you heard more than one or two horror stories -- or failed efforts? Wiki's that weren't populated. Blogs that fizzled. SharePoint sites that were isolated from users who could use the information. Forums where less than 1% of folks are involved." Quinn offers, " I think Jane was trying to point in new directions, and I think the evidence is clear that L&D needs to change. I think healthy debate helps, we need to have opinions, even strong ones, hopefully without rancor or aspersions." Maybe. But in point of fact, Hart was right, and we see the backlash because a lot of consultants and policy people have made their name formalizing learning, and what she said strikes at the heart of that.
What Happens If Hyperlinks Get Copyright Protection In Europe?
I would like to think that the European Commission wouldn't be so short-sighted as to attempt to impose copyright restrictions on linking, but there have been precedents under the heading of 'ancillary copyright' and restrictions imposed on Google News based on this very principle. "Ancillary copyright includes the right of copyright owners to charge a fee for hyperlinking to and excerpting from their works. From a practical standpoint, this law would affect any news aggregator linking to and excerpting works from European content sources, not just EU based aggregators." See also this petition site, as well as a proposal for a new link tax. On the other hand, see this article asserting that the EU is not considering link blocking, along with more background.
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