The Daily Nous (which despite appearances employs no fewer than 13 separate CSS stylesheets) discusses an essay from psychologist Lee Ross describing "the illusion of personal objectivity." This is the belief we tend to have that our own beliefs were formed objectively, and that therefore other people would believe what we do if we explained it to them, and that if they persist in not believing they are being irrational and unreasonable. And it's not easy to see the matter from the other person's perspective, as illustrated by the difficulty people feel when in an exercise that "obliges those on the two sides to try to present the other side’s position—and to keep trying until those on the other side agree that they are getting it right."
Firebox announces anouther step closer to the immersive web (which isn't what we will all use all the time, but which will make for a really interesting experience some of the time). And they're beginning to comprehend some of the finer points of the new medium. For example, "the ability to search the web using your voice. Text input is still a chore for virtual reality, and this is a great first step towards solving that. With Firefox Reality you can choose to search using the microphone in your headset." In addition to clients announced here there are dev resources and a call for feedback.
The next act in the Blackboard versus Moodle saga is finally playing out as the former has announced that 'Moodlerooms' is now 'Blackboard Open LMS'. No expense was spared picking the new name. Here's the new website. According to this Campus Technology article, quoting Blackboard, "The decision to exit the partner program allows Blackboard to focus its resources on continued development of the Blackboard Open LMS platform." The focus will be on "improved IMS Global standard support, new features offering improved in-app help [and] a focus on universal access."
When professional sports leagues like Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League want to promote attendance, they invest in youth leagues. This isn't merely to develop players but to give potential viewers a point of contact with the sport. I love baseball because it's what I played as a kid; when I watch a major league pitcher on the mound, I can see myself. Fortnight is proving that it's the same with video games, drawing the connection for the first time between playing and watching. Of course, it's that way with anything - watching the professionals influences our own game, and practice at our own game helps us appreciate the professionals. And it's not just games. I spent a half hour watching this video about the Ikarus electric "rocket" - thrust-vectored flying ducted fan. The world is watching these (this one has 585,000 views). Think about it.
The dichotomy here is dramatically overstated, and yet there are these two tensions, characterized by these two technologies, that illustrate a tension between competing technological approaches. On the one hand we have AI, characterized by big data and machine learning, which conjures up the sceptre of the surveillance state. On the other hand we have crypto technologies, including Bitcoin and anonymity and secret messages, that conjures up the sceptre of the libertarian ideal. Obviously neither end state is desirable, but these are both presented to us as though there could be no compromise, no dilution. I don't believe that's true, of course, and I think there are other technologies at work as well. This is a short article and long (2 hour) video of the Peter Thiel interview.
The headline is a bit silly. But the subject of whether we should write daily resonates with me because that's what I tell people I do. Writing this newsletter every day is core to my professional development. The story covers the preliminary results of a our survey (that's still open) of academics on the subject. "First off," writes Chris Smith, "the study indicates that daily writing – if you can do it – does work." But not for everyone, which of course could have been predicted. "When you see daily writing as the Holy Grail of academic writing practice, it’s understandable that failing can cause negative emotions, stress and low productivity as procrastination takes hold." The most important question for any activity, in my view, is, "Does it work for you?"
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Copyright 2018 Stephen Downes Contact: email@example.comThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.