By Stephen Downes
January 4, 2005

Capture the Map
Some delicious time-wasting fun - sure, this game could be educational, associating geography with vocabulary, especially if less random results than Google search terms are used. By Ralf Chille, January 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The authors introduce this wiki: "This is a directory of researchers interested in social computing topics. Feel free to add yourself or colleagues who you think belong here. We've seeded the list with LSC faculty and attendees from the 2004 Microsoft Social Computing Symposium." By Various Authors, Rochester Institute of Technology, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

David Wiley created a nifty little tool over the holidays, a script that grabs popular links in del.icio.us and wraps them in an RSS feed. Written in Python, which (thanks to my holiday project) I can now read. A couple of things: first, from what I can see, del.icio.us (and therefore oishii, even more so) are what might be called 'echos' - they don't capture a resource when it first comes out, but rather, later in life, when it has become popular. Second, aggregator spamming has clearly hit del.icio.us (and therefore oishii). Blogdex has been rendered almost useless by Lycos pollution, and oishii (right now) is displaying some spam links. This is why I say, selective harvesting has a brighter future than global harvesting. By David Wiley, January 4, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ever Higher Society, Ever Harder to Ascend
While the bulk of this article discusses inequality and social mobility in general, some comments are reserved for higher education specifically. "America's engines of upward mobility are no longer working as effectively as they once were. The most obvious example lies in the education system... The education system is increasingly stratified by social class, and poor children have a double disadvantage. They attend schools with fewer resources than those of their richer contemporaries..." This problem is not restricted to the United States; as public support for education erodes across the western democracies, social inequalities become entrenched, and society stagnates. By Unattributed, The Economist, Swcember 29, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Stand and Deliver
Short article on a neat idea - using podiums in wired school classrooms, instead of teachers' desks. And podiums are so cheap, I'm thinking of getting one for my home. Via elearningpost, which catches this older link from The Guardian. The Guardian's e-learning page is useful, but it's updated so seldom - why doesn't it have an RSS feed? By Unattributed, The Guardian, November 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mired in a Blog
I have long maintained that a society is not democratic if its institutions are not democratic. It follows, therefore, that society is not very democratic, as most of our institutions employ a much older form of governance. "The first amendment prevents the government, not your employer, from abridging your freedom of speech." And so the trend of employers firing bloggers continues, this time with Starbucks invoking the droit du seigneur. By Alisha Berger and Sam Smith, New York Post, January 2, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

HICSS-38: Persistent Conversations Workshop
Lilia Efimova is blogging the HICSS conference in Hawaii, offering as a preliminary some observations on why people blog conferences (to continue the conversation, to share with people who aren't there, to preserve a record for the future). One session is posted as of this writing, and Efimova focuses on the idea of visibility in persistent conversations, offering some remarks and links. By Lilia Efimova, Mathemagenic, January 4, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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