January 25, 2006


Paul Graham[Edit][Delete]: How To Do What You Love, January 25, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] John Stuart Mill talked about this a little more than a century ago - "pursuing our own good in our own way." It is a philosophy that has become one of two great pillars of my own morality ever since (the other: each person is an end in themselves, and hence has inherent value). I still remember exactly where and when I first read On Liberty: in the Devonian Gardens in downtown Calgary in 1983. But, what is our own good? How do we define it, and pursue it in such a way as to not deprive others of the ability to pursue their own good. Harder questions, and in the end I think it comes down to a passion, a sensation or strong emotional feeling, or as this item describes, doing what you love. I have learned since then that none of this comes easily, that it is inordinately difficult to sift through our emotions to find what we love, and harder still to be steadfast in the pursuit of it. But, I think, not doing this is harder still, in the long run. Via Rob Wall, who adds his own worthwhile comments. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Mark Hemphill[Edit][Delete]: Network Bias, markhemphill.com [Edit][Delete] January 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Audio recording of a talk that sounds interesting. It is a "look at the way broadcasting holds critical sway in the virtual world (in spite of the amazing opportunities of internetworking)." There is a summary in PDF. It's dense reading, but the author draws us through a definition of broadcasting and distinguishes it from what may be called mesh networking. He then examines what he calls 'social conditioning' in these two types of communications of network. "Internetworking presents a convincing case by addressing many of these issues [of social control in broadcasting] specifically âx" by empowering direct forms of expression, two way communication, diversity, localized decision-making, resource sharing and so on." But we should take note, that neither social control nor bias are inherently absent from the network; we are given opportunities, not guarantees. [Tags: Networks, Academics and Academia] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

David Wiley[Edit][Delete]: My Commission Testimony, Iterating Toward Openness [Edit][Delete]Iterating toward openness [Edit][Delete] January 25, 2006
[link: Hits] David Wiley prepares his testimony to the US Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education. And, happily, makes it availble to us first. It's a good account overall; I have only one major suggestion for him. I would add another line to the table describing the ways in which the world is changing, somingthing like: managed - autonomous. Or: directed - self-directed. Because I think the new technology empowers in important ways. But I certainly agree with the rest of the items in the table, and especially with this: "openness is the gateway to connectedness, personalization, and participation." David Wiley are of one mind, I think, when it comes to openness. But - and this is an open question - is he willing to demonstrate the same degree of belief that people can manage their own destiny, if only given the chance, as I am? Because this, I think, is what will shape the next great debate in learning. [Tags: Personalization] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Albert Boswijk , Thomas Thijssen and Ed Peelen[Edit][Delete]: A New Perspective on the Experience Economy, European Centre for the Experience Economy [Edit][Delete] January 25, 2006
[link: Hits] "The experience economy is more than just 'excite me', 'feed me' and 'entertain me'," write the authors. A meaningful experience needs to be rooted in the individual experience, "his or her everyday world and societal context." But what does that mean? The authors do a good job of drawing this out, characterizing both the sensation, emotional impact and context of meaningful experience. "They have a high emotional impact, they have to do with letting go of old patterns, and discovering new frontiers." The having of a meaningful experience is itself an experience; the engagement of one's emotions and beliefs brings about (and this is my interpretation) what might be thought of as a secondary, reflective experience. As the authors write, "Reflection on the cumulative experiences leads to personal insight and possibly the means to personal change or transformation." The article discusses the design of such experiences for (if you will) customers; I think that while the characterization of meaningful experience, the art of creating one might be a bit more hit-or-miss than implied. Still, it is probably the case that there isn't really a chance of fostering such an experience without the satisfaction of some or all of these conditions. Good article, food for thought. [Tags: Experience] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Brian Lamb[Edit][Delete]: The Network Delivers the Goods, Abject learning [Edit][Delete]Abject Learning [Edit][Delete] January 25, 2006
[link: Hits] Brian Lamb is still sorting through the results he received from the community after asking for help for an unusually important presentation tomorrow night (which means, yes, you can still flood him with your responses) on blogs and wikis. Naturally, he offers links to it all, including a trackback from Germany, a "groovy wiki-based presentation" and a "Sessums-like tour de force post." Why is this relevant to anything? See the next link. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jeffrey Boase, et.al.[Edit][Delete]: The Strength of Internet Ties, Pew [Edit][Delete] January 25, 2006
[link: Hits] A Pew study is released which casts doubt on the idea that online communication weakens local and family ties. Instead, the internet has assumed a role in supplementing those ties (the report even notes that people with more local ties also use the internet more frequently) while at the same time providing people with access to multiple communities worldwide from which they can draw help and support. PDF. Via Joho. [Tags: Academic Publications] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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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


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