Are PLEs Low Maintenance?

Tom Haskins, growing changing learning creating, Sept 05, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Tom Haskins has posted a number of items over the last few weeks on PLEs. I haven't been linking to most of them because they're mostly just fragments of an idea. But taken collectively they amount to a good discussion. This post links to a number of them (not all of them - he misses this one for some reason). I will have more on all this in the future, but for now, just one comment: 'the middle' of a debate isn't always where you want to be. Because what counts as 'the middle' is too easily manipulated. It's an old political trick - if you want people to adopt, say, a left-wing position, adopt a radical left wing position. This shifts the 'middle' to the left, normalizing the position you want people to adopt. Online discussions (can) work in the same way. You want your PLE to put you in a position where you have various points of view to consider - but you don't want it to dumbly normalize positions based on the input of spammers and trolls.
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