December 21, 2005


Scott McLemee: Aiming the Can(n)on, Inside Higher Ed December 21, 2005
From time to time I wonder whether anything I write will ever be read beyond next week, and so items like this - a look at the renaissance of the works of Lu Xun - interest me. The author ponders "the simplest model of how a literary canon is formed: An author gives voice to the ideology of the powers-that-be." But "it's not that simple," he says. Isn't it? [Tags: ] [Comment]

Jeff Jarvis: New News: The Fear Factor, BuzzMachine December 21, 2005
Funny: "The first job is to instill fear in the newsroom. Oh, there's fear there now. But it is fear of the unknown. What we need is fear of the known." And the author continues on to list a few good reasons for fear, adding, "the first thing I think a newspaper should do is report about the future of news. Assign your best reporters and editors - the Bejesus Task Force - to get all the prognostications." Good advice, not just for journalists, but for everyone in the content business. I try to do it for education and learning, here. But the vast majority of teachers and educators get their news elsewhere, from, shall we say, less radical sources. What education needs as much as jorunalism, though, is fear of the known. Via Robert Paterson. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment]

Dave Munger: High IQ: Not As Good For You As You Thought, Cognitive Daily December 21, 2005
According to this study, "Both IQ and self-discipline are correlated with GPA, but self-discipline is a much more important contributor: those with low self-discipline have substantially lower grades than those with low IQs, and high-discipline students have much better grades than high-IQ students." But what is self-discipline? The examples are not compelling - "Students were given an envelope containing $1, and were told they could spend it immediately or bring it back in a week for a $2 reward." But what if that amount of money isn't important enough to spend a week sitting on? Discipline is related to value, which makes measurements dubious. Maybe there's something to this study, but my cynical self leans toward believing that people who have internalized their teachers' values do better, and people who have higher IQs express their values in other ways. [Tags: Assessment] [Comment]

Justin Podur: Free Software as a Social Movement, December 21, 2005
Longish interview with Richard M. Stallman on the nature of open source software and GNU-Linux. Good background for people who are not familiar with the history, along with his takes on globalism (very similar to my own) and trusted computing (also very similar to my own). Via EDUCAUSE. [Tags: Web Logs, Open Source, EDUCAUSE] [Comment]

Elinor Mills: Reuters Video to Get Mass Distribution, CNet News.Com December 21, 2005
This is much bigger news than may at first be anticipated. "International news agency Reuters is launching a pilot program on Tuesday that will allow blogs, news organizations and other online publishers to show Reuters news video on their Web sites." So far as I can judge, the content will be free, though an advertisement will show prior to the newsclip. What we have here is the thin edge of the wedge - a huge shift from the locked-down approach to content access that has characterized previous online journalism efforts. I've applied for the pilot (on one of my other sites; this isn't an appropriate venue) and will keep an eye on the program as it evolves. [Tags: Books and eBooks, Web Logs, Academic Journals, Academic Publications, Marketing] [Comment]

Donald Clark: Elliot Masie's Learning 2005, EPIC December 21, 2005
It's a bit after the fact, but this summary of Elliott Masie's Learning 2005 conference, held November in (where else?) Orlando, is too delicious to pass by. Told from an outsider's perspective, with observations on the "cult of celebrity" and "preaching", but still capturing the things Masie did right and recommending the conference for next year, the author brought a point of view that can't perhaps be seen from the inside. Oh, and I learned Malcom Gladwell is a Canadian. I should have known. Via jblawg. [Tags: Canada] [Comment]

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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes