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by Stephen Downes
April 25, 2008

Casual Fridays: What Does It Take to Be Rich -- and Can We Change Your Opinion?
So many people use surveys to establish that such-and-such is true. Which, to my mind, is folly, given how easily our responses to surveys are manipulated.

Just being free of this miserable cold some time this week would by itself make me feel rich today (I might have a different answer next week). Just having enough pasta for the week (the local Costco was "out") might make me feel rich. And... there are days I wish I just couldn't see the way people who think they are getting away with it lie and cheat and manipulate. I'd be happier, and my life would be easier, if I could just 'let it go'. Or be more diplomatic. But I don't think I'd be very rich then, no matter how much money I had, no matter how well I got along with people. Dave Munger, Cognitive Daily, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Marshall McLuhan
As George Siemens says, "CBC has an archive of 18 clips (9 audio, 9 video) of McLuhan expressing commentary on media, books, the "tribal drum" of humanity, and learning." Good weekend listening. George Siemens, elearnspace, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Using Assessments to Evaluate Action, Not Knowledge
I agree: we should evaluate actions, rather than 'knowledge' (where 'knowledge' here means 'remembered instances of data'). The reason, I think, we should evaluate actions is that we are able to get at more finely-grained sub-symbolic mental development, and not simply a small set of memorized facts. But can assessments, as suggested here, evaluate actions? I'd have to think about that. (note: be sure to look at the lower right hand side of the page where Aldrich presents his blog's content in a linear format, for those who need that). Clark Aldrich, Style Guide for Serious Games and Simulations, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Recommendations to JISC On Access
This report seems to make sense to me. "Availability does not equal accessibility." Even where resources are available for free, people need to know how and where to access them. Also, e-journals are extremely popular - or would be extremely popular, if people could access them without having to mortgage the house. And there's more from Alma Swan's Key Concerns Within the Scholarly Communication Process, Key Perspectives, dated March 2008 but just released this week. Peter Suber, Open Access News, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

If This Were a Normal Day On Twitter...
Oh, hey, do you know of anyone who criticized Twitter when it came out? Here's Dave Winer: "Yes, it serves me right, and I, of all people, know better, than to build a network on a single point of failure, depending on one company, that is known for producing unreliable systems in an industry with incredibly thin skin..." We know that we shouldn't be building centralized social networks, and we know we shouldn't be depending on them, and yet, somehow, we just keep doing it... Dave Winer, Scripting News, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Why the Internet Is Making Me Stupid
It seems odd to say that it's the internet that is making one stipud when the cause of said stupidity - homophily - is so easily addressed using that self-same internet. Michele Martin, The Bamboo Project, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

JavaScript 2 in the Works
Again... this may replace XML. Watch for it. "It's slated to be much more supportive of object-oriented programming, with classes, iterators and generators, built-in JSON handling, optional static typing, and other improvements aimed at increasing performance. Also, bug fixes!" Paul Adams, Compiler, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

On Being Prescriptive, Even Disruptive to the Status Quo
Walter Bender: "I think it's pretty obvious and was obvious from the very beginning that it's a lot easier to cater to people's comfort than to be disruptive. Nicholas had that wonderful quote in BusinessWeek about a month ago - that OLPC is going to stop acting like a terrorist and start emulating Microsoft. If you read between the lines, the idea is to stop trying to be disruptive and to start trying to make things comfortable for decision-makers." Wayan Vota, One Laptop Per Child News, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Txt Spk In Schools Not A Big Deal
Again - the best evidence, from my perspective, is that the internet is a godsend, transforming society in a generation from one that passively watches TV to one that reads and writes interactively. As this article points out, "Despite long term worries about txt speak destroying the language, there's no evidence to support that" and "In 2003, there was a study that showed that all this writing online was actually making kids more comfortable with writing in general." personally, I think that the people complaining about internet usew are those very same broadcasters who are losing their passive and uncritical audience. Michael Masnick, TechDirt, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Live Mesh - The Version You Can Understand
You've probably been reading about Microsoft's LiveMesh. This is the best short description I've seen. Me, I see this as Microsoft adhering to the document-specific paradigm in an era of ubiquitous computing. Not the most stable mix. But business processes are still largely document-based, so it may gain some traction. Stan Schroeder, Mashable, April 25, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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