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by Stephen Downes
January 26, 2007

Re: Never Discussed
Hmmm... the list of things that currently are never discussed because they don't fit the current orthodoxy is very long, and I doubt that Schank and Downes would be keen to see them *all* discussed (Does no really mean no? etc.). So how do we distinguish between those non-discussed things which should be discussed, and those non-discussed things which should remain undiscussed? To make matters worse, there simply isn't time to discuss all the currently-undiscussed things. *Of course* those things currently chosen for discussion are chosen because they fit well within some orthodoxy which picks out certain things as appropriate topics for discussing in schools. Isn't the Schank/Downes perspective here just wishing that their alternative viewpoint become orthodoxy? Maybe it should, but that transition would have to be argued for in detail, not merely asserted as if obviously true from some supposedly neutral moral higher ground. To his credit, Downes does often get "down and dirty" on the substantive issues, attempting to move "orthodoxy" in his preferred direction. , January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Re: Ruby on Rails (2)
Anymouse, January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

As you know my server move hasn't been without its challenges. One of the benefits, though, is that I have been working through the code and eliminating many of the bugs that have been plaguing readers. Key among those is the system that lets you change your email address or your newsletter subscription, or to unsubscribe. To do any of this, click on the Options link. It will ask you to sign in; if you have forgotten your password, it will be emailed to you. The Options pages are (I hope) simple and intuitive. They should be rock solid by now, but if you have any problems with them, please let me know. Also - many of you have been getting the wrong newsletter. This is the result of me mixing up the numbers '2' and '3'. Yeah, that's what I said. This also should be resolved as of today. Thank you for your patience; today is a bit better than yesterday, and that was a bit better than the day before. And so it goes. (p.s. fixing the text edition links is my next priority.) Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Patent Office Orders Re-Examination of Blackboard Patent
This is the big news for today and all the usual pundits are linking to it. Here's the Press Release from the Software Freedom Foundation. Unattributed, Groklaw January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Paolo's View of the Future of School
The link is broken right now - it's Java code, so I'm not surprised, it probably couldn't handle the traffic - so I'll link to Christian Long's links to this video conversation between Paolo Friere and Seymour Papert. One for the ages, I would say. Posted by Barbara Dieu from Brazil to the TALO Google Group. Vhristian Long, think:lab January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Never Discussed
This is exactly right: "I am simply pointing out that school is a place of indoctrination and that points of view that support the standard orthodoxy are never discussed. We readily accept that these points of view, and many others, should never be mentioned in school because no one really sees school as a place where children learn to think for themselves." I agree with Schank's examples, would add that there are numerous additional things that are never discussed, and find myself in wonderment that people who question them are considered radicals. Roger Schank, Journal January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Do You Want to Remember EVERYTHING? (Memex)
For Daniel Lemire, who has been talking about this: "Memex is a device that records everything to do... literally EVERYTHNG. Video, audio, temperature, weather, what programs you are using on your computer... EVERYTHING." Yeah, I want one of those. Jeff VanDrimmelen, EDUCAUSE Connect January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Conference
Nice coverage of the ELI conference: Day One, Day Two, . I liked reading the fresh perspective of a Masters Student (her regular blog, Immerse Yourself, was started in September). "The speakers touched on topics such as distributed cognition, scaffolding in teaching, communities of practice, cognitive dissonance, situated learning, and other concepts that I thought while learning about them 'Hm, I wonder if I will ever really use these concepts in practice.'" Allison Czapracki, EDUCAUSE Connect January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Truthiness in Publishing
You just have to wonder what sort of ethical standard governs the publishing industry, if any. As reported in Nature, and carried elsewhere, Brian Crawford, of the American Chemical Society, following the advice of a "pit bull public relations specialist", said that "he believes that when a government agency insists the results of its publicly funded research be made public, it's engaging in censorship." Huh? The publishers were also advised to "attempt to equate traditional publishing models with peer review." What about the fact that these claims are transparently false? Explains the public relations specialist, Eric Dezenhall, "if the other side is on the defensive, it doesn't matter if they can discredit your statements... Media massaging is not the same as intellectual debate." Yes, a pox on the intellectuals and their fact-based agenda! More, from peter Suber, and here's the link to the Nature article. Barbara Fister, ACRLog January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

Vista Copy Protection Is Defended
A response to ther report carried here yesterday arguing, in detail, that Vista would lower the quality of or block digital media. "Microsoft said only the quality of 'premium content' would be lowered, and only if requested by copyright holders." Unattributed, BBC January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]

DSpace: the Next Generation
Some changes are coming in the world of DSpace. Based on the original Open Archives Initiative, DSpace was developed at MIT and open sourced in 2002. After four years, the code needs a trim - "code is mushrooming, preservation needs growing, ad-hoc development is tough." But there are also changes coming to DSpace governance. Claiming that there's "no coordination, no direction, no leader" the proposal is to "break out responsibilities, create specialized work groups, streamline process, add new people" to develop a "more formal decision-making process for feature roadmap, technology standoffs." John Mark Ockerbloom, Caveat Lector January 26, 2007 [Link] [Comment]


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Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

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