Leigh Blackall criticizes "a whitewashed illusion of objectivity through 'stakeholder consultation' to create 'user stories' and 'personas' that inform 'requirements' in a 'data-driven, evidence -based' process that hides the reality of a political process of managed dissent and controlled opposition" in the selection of a new LMS for RMIT. I think that the criticism is fair enough, but I would observe that institutions themselves are structured to optimize "managed dissent and controlled opposition". That's what makes it so difficult for them to select - or even consider - decentralised, distributed and networked technologies. Institutions required consensus, and consensus requires that opposition remain localized. In short: the process comes with the territory.
On the one hand, we have this very laudable initiative: "Featuring tens of thousands of standards-aligned and searchable videos, images, primary source documents, podcasts, audio books, articles and more, Discovery Education Streaming has long been a “must have” cross-curricular K-12 digital content resource for educators across the country." On the other hand, at this very moment, Dscovery Channel is playing the utterly ridiculous (and very fake) 'Expedition Mungo' on our TV. I love the Discovery Channel but sometimes it's not possible to take it seriously as an education channel.
No, this is not a place where robots are trained, but.... well, OK, it is a place where robots are trained, but that's not the point of it, it's to train the robot trainers, who ar themselves not robots. Or as they say: "University-level, short video lessons and full online courses to help you understand and prepare for this technology of the future."
You go to a museum - there are no photos allowed "because of copyright" even though most of the images are hundreds of years old. What's going on? It is a literal enclosure of public domain content, protected and monetized through the museum gift show. And protected with some very dubious legislation. "In Germany, for instance, the Reiss-Engelhorn museums have sued the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland over the use of images of cultural artefacts and paintings. Recently, the court has decided that even a photographer’s own images of these works will infringe on the museums’ property."
It's not really a big list, yet, but it is a list. "This list is intended to be exhaustive, but this is only an early version.... For the most part, these are not companies. Companies will play a crucial role in the future of the decentralized software, but in our current funding ecosystem, the temptation for any individual company to abandon its principles and monitize its users' attention is too great for us to trust." Indeed, I have yet to see a company that has failed to do this eventually.
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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.