By Stephen Downes
December 10, 2003

Plagiarism and Cheating Revisited
The author summarizes (accurately): "I have gathered together some old posts [to the WWWDEV mailing list] that I have done in the past and uncovered some additional websites that focus on plagiarism, cheating and copyright violation in academic circles as the end of semesters and term paper grading time is upon the world of education in many places." The result is a very nice listing of links on the subject. By David P. Dillard, WWWDEV, Devember 5, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Themes and Metaphors in the Semantic Web Discussion
Interesting presentation of the thoughts and images we use to think about the semantic web. I like the use of pictures to denote speakers throughout the article (think 'reification'). If anything, what emerges in this discussion is the lack of understanding about just what the semantic web is and could be. Clay Shirkey's misunderstanding of the role of the syllogism, for example, suggests that the semantic web could only be used for deductive inference, but this of course is false; in my paper Resource Profiles I describes systems of inductiove (or projective) inference using metadata. The hard part about the semantic web, I think, will be to crystallize a vision of what it could be, to find that metaphor that fits exactly right. My own preference is to use language as the metaphor, with resources as the 'words', but even that doesn't fit perfectly. Nothing will, because the semantic web is unlike anything previously attempted. By Peter Van Dijck, November 22, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Syndication Is The Thing
Greg Ritter pulls together some columns by Doc Searles and gets to the heart of the matter: it's not RSS that's key, it's syndication, "the willingness of something to be known." This is what is the key to the next generation internet; RSS (and metadata in general) are simply the wheels that make syndication happen. Why syndication? Because syndication is about information flow, about communication, ad communication is what lies at the heart of the internet's revolutionary genius. Ritter: "shifting the focus onto the process of syndication and aggregation is the right direction. Focusing on the value of and removing technical impediments to that process (as opposed to making the process all about the data format that makes up its guts) is what will take the tech mainstream." By Greg Ritter, Ten Reasons Why, December 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
Just launched, the goal of this website "is to provide guidance to parents, educators, librarians, policy-makers, and others regarding effective, empowerment strategies to assist young people in gaining the knowledge, skills, motivation, and self-control to use the Internet." A background paper (MS Word document) outlines major issues associated with internet use by children and suggests some strategies. By Nancy Willard, December, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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