August 24, 2006


Weird Al Yankovic[Edit][Delete]: Don't Download This Song, August 24, 2006
[link: 1 Hits] I rode on a pirate ship today, on my short trip to Halifax, and if I were in Sweden I would be voting for the Pirate Party. So in the spirit of Weird Al, today's newsletter is dedicated to all you pirates out there, swapping software and burning CDs, keeping the information commons strong and keeping the engine of the knowledge economy running. And, my friends - don't download that song. check your hard drive first to see if it's already there. Let's keep those tubes unclogged for the U.S. senators. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Andrew Rens, Achal Prabhala and Dick Kawooya[Edit][Delete]: Intellectual Property, Education and Access to Knowledge in Southern Africa, tralac [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: Hits] The argument behind copyright has always been that, by protecting authors' rights, it promotes the creation of knowledge and learning. The principle of copyright, however, has have the opposite effect on African nations, making knowledge and learning difficult to obtain. "Ironically, it is precisely in this disabling legal environment that the SACU countries are being asked - by domestic and international publishing industry lobbies - to strengthen the enforcement of criminal sanctions for certain copyright violations, even as they constitute an access mechanism in a context that offers few alternatives." PDF. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Jay Cross[Edit][Delete]: How About an Order of Slimehead?, Internet Time [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: 6 Hits] Jay Cross argues, "It's time for us to come up with a vocabulary that's not an obstacle to installing learning technology. Take the word blog. For some people, the word sets off alarm bells.... So let's not speak of blogs or slimeheads. Let's talk about Project Logs. Or Collaborative Project Documentation. Or Knowledge Logs. Or professional journals."

In a word: No. In a sentence: Web 2.0 is not marketing. In a conditional sentence: if you have to fool people into accepting Web 2.0, they'll break it eventually anyways.

Because blogging is "amateurs, threatening hackers, neo-nazis, the Drudge Report, people obsessed with kittens, semi-literates, unverifiable nonsense, spammers, porno freaks, political extremists, teen age confessionals, MySpace flirts, people who are out of control and lawsuits waiting to happen." It is all of these things, and so much more, and if you abstract them out of existence, you haven't merely sanitized blogging, you've destroyed it.

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Robert Roy Britt[Edit][Delete]: Scientists Decide Pluto's No Longer a Planet, Msnbc [Edit][Delete]MSNBC [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: Hits] Some atronomers may have voted to demote Pluto, but I, for one, do not recognize this decision. Pluto is a planet. Why? Because history does count. That is why, as well, Xena (its proper name, not 2003 UB313) and Sedna are planets. And Charon is a moon. In my books. Via Ewan McIntosh. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Barbara Ganley[Edit][Delete]: The Tightrope of Blogging: A Week's Adventure into the Public Nature of Social Software, bgblogging [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: Hits] "Blogs are being judged as though they are supposed to be printed media--finished, the end, the last word on a subject by an expert," writes Barbara Ganley. "But for me as a teacher, the absolute beauty of blogging is that it's not that at all--it's about developing thought, about pushing out tendrils to myself and the world in hopes that through collective intelligence and my own writing them down, the thoughts might both increase my own understanding of the subject at hand and even add something to the greater conversation..." Quite true, but let me say this, that I will hold blogs to comparison even with traditional media. Because everybody has this belief in the truth and objectivity of traditional media - but have you read any lately? [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Bascha Harris[Edit][Delete]: Belly up to the BarCamp, RedHat [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: Hits] When O'Reilly created the 'Foo Camp', inviting a group of experts to an invitation-only conference, they didn't know what they started. What they started was 'Bar camp', the response to 'Foo Camp' created by those who didn't get invitations. "A BarCamp is the equivalent of an intellectual swap meet. Everybody brings something to the table, whether it's the web server trouble they diagnosed and defeated last week... or the ability to juggle five pins while holding an instructional conversation." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tim Stahmer[Edit][Delete]: Skipping The SAT, Assorted Stuff [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: 3 Hits] High school seniors with a high enough grade can skip the SAT. I never did an SAT (Canadians can take it, but there's no reason to). I did a practice version of it and was doing OK until I hit a question equating freedom and capitalism. "This isn't for me," I thought, and put it away. [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

: Teacher as Learner in Web 2.0, heyjude [Edit][Delete] August 24, 2006
[link: Hits] "You can add a bit on about Web 2.0 if you like, but do not make it the main thrust of your paper. You must demonstrate that you understand our philosophy." I guess we must be on to something if education doctoral programs are advising that students should not focus on Web 2.0. Be sure to read the comments. [Tags: ] [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