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by Stephen Downes
Mar 13, 2017

Neural Networks and Deep Learning
Michael Nielsen, 2017/03/13


Between meetings with notaries today I was wondering to myself whether work had been done on using one neural network to train another neural network. I didn't find the answer (if you know, send me a note!) but I did find this nice guide to neural networks and deep learning. Michael Nielsen explains these a bit differently than I've seen before, but in such a way as to make some things clearer to me, so I felt it was certainly worth passing along. There are also examples you can work though.

[Link] [Comment]

The Coded Language of For-Profit Colleges
Tressie McMillan Cottom, The Atlantic, 2017/03/13


"For-profit colleges," writes Tressie McMillan Cottom, "target and thrive off of inequality." She calls these examples of "lower ed" - in contrast with higher ed, which is where the more economically successful go. "Flexible solutions, on-demand education, open-access career retraining, reskilling, and upskilling—these are terms that talk about inequality without taking inequality seriously."

[Link] [Comment]

An Animated Introduction to Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and How the Media Creates the Illusion of Democracy
Josh Jones, Open Culture, 2017/03/13

I read Manufacturing Consent many years ago. Its core claims are lavishly documented (indeed, most of the book consists of the documentation; the argument itself begins and ends in the first chapter). Here is an excerpt of the 'five filters' portion of the video:

I try to make OLDaily the opposite of all that. OLDaily is non-profit. The audience is not for sale to anyone. It functions as a check on power. It acts against the flack machine and restores the conversation. And it rejects the dialogue of demonization.

[Link] [Comment]

Collision Course — Why Are Funders Straying from Their Lane?
Kent Anderson, The Scholarly Kitchen, 2017/03/13


The pro-publisher website The Scholarly Kitchen is noting with alarm the shift in funding away from publishers and toward initiatives that compete with publishers. "What has led to this lane-changing behavior from funders and philanthropies with regard to researchers, technology, and publishers?" asks Kent Anderson. "Why are they moving into the publishing world with competitive attitudes? Why are they seeking to define publication choices for their funded researchers?" The responses range from antagonism to opportunism, he writes, with a dose of short-sightedness: "funders may not realize that there may be one or two Jenga blocks that, if pulled out, could bring major functions of the industry down in a tumble." Actually, I think they do realize this, which is why they're scouting for a replacement.

[Link] [Comment]

Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor
Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web Foundation, 2017/03/13

Tim Berners-Lee champions a vision of the web as "an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries." But this vision, he writes, is challenged on three major fronts (quoted):

These are significant issues, and as Berners-Lee says, they are complex issues. And they are the result of people and companies working directly against the idea of the web as an open and decentralized medium build by, and for the benefit, of everyone.

[Link] [Comment]

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Copyright 2017 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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