by Stephen Downes
Apr 10, 2015
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Now let me put this in context: Dennett (author of Consciousness Explained and The Intentional Stance) is one of the world's most respected philosophers today. He, probably more than anyone else in the world, knows how a good argument works. Here is his method (and, I might add, my method):"
- You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, 'Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.'
- You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
- You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
- Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism."
What do you think the point of OLDaily is? Oh sure, I'm known for my razor-sharp witticisms in these pages, and for occasionally offering my own opinion. But the primary effort here is to embrace the first three points. Without reading and summarizing thousands of conflicting and contrasting views, I would not have the credibility to offer criticisms and objections. This is the method Dennett knows well.
Innovation and the Novelty Factory
Heart | Soul | Machine,
À propos of my recent talk on innovation, "Horace Dediu posits a taxonomy which I think is extremely useful to help discern innovation and reduces some confusion:
Novelty: Something new
Creation: Something new and valuable
Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful
Why is this useful? It helps distinguish actual innovation from mere novelty. T"he pursuit of innovation often means that quality, sustainability and longevity are put at risk," writes Tim Klapdor. "Innovation is a lot harder and more difficult to achieve because it is essentially change. And the reality is that most people don’t want to do that."
Integrating Social Learning in the Workplace
ID & Other Reflections,
Important advice: "The catch is that “social learning” cannot just be implemented or enforced. One cannot inset social learning in the training calendar and feel happy about it." It's not the sort of thing that can be imposed from the top down, writes Sahana Chattopadhyay. "Social learning is much more a cultural outcome than a process or a program to be followed." This is what results in a lot of the negative experiences with social learn. A platform is built and opened, and then remains empty, because the organization has no culture of sharing or exchanging information. Examples have to be set: "Senior management must walk the talk; if they don’t have time to engage on the collaboration platform, the rest of the organization will not have the time either."
GNU social: Federation against the social model of Twitter
Las Indias in English,
I haven't seen GNU Social but it might be worth looking it, as it offers a networking model more akin to the one I favour. "The Facebook and Twitter socialization model, the FbT model, is like a large plaza where everyone can shout their slogans, while barely listening to each other," says this article, which can be contrasted to (what it called) the federation model, in which "the intimate relationship between the value of a conversation and the trust that has already been established within the nodes. It is a consequence of the distributed structure of GNU social. Thanks to it, GNU social is free of any recentralizing tendencies." This is the approach we're taking in LPSS (and why your experience in LPSS.me doesn't being with 'friending' a whole bunch of people). Via Dante-Gabryell Monson.
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