December 7, 2006


Michael Robertson[Edit][Delete]: The Biggest Gamble of Your Life (Is College Worth it?), REEF [Edit][Delete] December 7, 2006
[link: 2 Hits] From a purely economic point of view, university is becoming a less and less attractive investment, according to this article. "Universities are increasingly like casinos selling hope with no mention of the underlying economic realities... The expensive traditional 4 year liberal arts education approach is now failing the majority from an economic perspective." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Aaron Swartz[Edit][Delete]: The City with No Heart, Raw Thought [Edit][Delete] December 7, 2006
[link: Hits] I remember back several years ago when Aaron Swartz, along with some other people, made RSS what it is today. He was 13 years old or something at the time and spoke as eloquently in software as anyone I've read. He is a few years older now and beginning to explore the world, giving us here his impressions of Los Angeles (with a drive-by glimpse of Cory Doctorow and Danah Boyd while he's at it). Best line: "I [Swartz] should become an academic, she [Boyd] says. Shake up the system just like her. But why join the system in the first place?, I say." I've always liked Swartz. The world need more people like him, the real deal, not a poseur. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Ian Delaney[Edit][Delete]: Blogging Asia, twopointouch [Edit][Delete] December 7, 2006
[link: Hits] Fascinating. "46% of the online population in Asia have a blog (compared to just 8% of US web users)." [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Pete Johnston[Edit][Delete]: It's All In The Context, eFoundations [Edit][Delete] December 7, 2006
[link: Hits] Good discussion about context in the context of learning object metadata (this topic is finally getting some airtime) including a useful list of types of context about half way through. Interesting not: the author writes, "There seemed to be an acceptance that contexts may be intended / projected / designed for." My take would be that while it is true that you can design for context, it is much less true that you can do so successfully. [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Beth Kanter[Edit][Delete]: Tools for Gathering Data for Blog and Web Page Metrics, December 7, 2006
[link: Hits] Is traffic the metric for weblog success? I am not willing to believe it is - for otherwise, I should be aiming for BoingBoing or Instapundit style numbers, which means doing what they do. But I am not interested in doing what they do - I find their interests a bit lightweight for my tastes (and let me be clear - this strictly about tastes, not some sort of pretension). If I had to measure, I would want to track something like 'impact' - ah, but that is a much harder thing to track. You don't get it without readership, to be sure. But what you really want - can I coin a term? - is thinkership. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tom Haskins[Edit][Delete]: Democratizing elearning, growing changing learning creating [Edit][Delete] December 7, 2006
[link: Hits] Interesting discussion of democracy in the workplace. I am unconvinced that democracy inevitable leads to aristocracy, as suggested here. "Democratization is part of a natural cycle of governance... Democracies become bureaucracies. Protecting the rights of the citizens then calls for layers of management, mountains of paperwork, countless committees and oodles of budget overruns. The staggering costs, inefficiencies and stagnation provokes a privatization phase. An aristocracy takes control, consolidates power, imposes standards, and adds short-sighted incentives." Privatization isn't "provoked" in a democracy. It is pushed and prodded by an impatient aristocracy waiting to take power, an aristocracy that should be resisted, not coddled. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Graeme Daniel[Edit][Delete]: Climate Change Learning Resources, WWWTools [Edit][Delete] December 7, 2006
[link: Hits] 'I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun's energy.... If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago.' - Sir George Porter, quoted in The Observer, August 26, 1973 (via Quotations about the Environment, Thus begins this compendium of useful resources on global warming. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

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Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Stephen Downes

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Copyright 2006 Stephen Downes
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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