The New York Times today came out with a list of "the 25 works of art made after 1970 that define the contemporary age, by anyone, anywhere." What struck me as most significant was how little any of the works meant to me. But it begs the question - what would I include in such a list. The last 50 years comprises, for me, my lifespan from ages 10 through 60 - it is, in other words, the art of my life (so far). How does my experience of art compare with that of the NY Times curators?
This is a work of art, of course (I am a devotee of Colossal, which routinely gives me stuff like this) but it's also an interesting example of how data can lead to interesting insights. In this case, as the title suggests, a baby's sleep patterns were recorded in a blanket. When we look at it, we see "the frenetic lines at the top of the blanket indicate the baby’s unpredictable sleep schedule right after birth." I look at this and it seems to me that the infant had to learn to sleep at an early age. Or at the very least, to learn when to sleep. We think of things like sleep as natural and innate. But it might not be so.
This paper (5 page PDF) is one of the most fascinating thing I've read this year. Researchers have trained a neural network made out of glass to recognize numbers. What's interesting is that the glass neural network requires no power to run. "There is an intricate connection between differential equations that governs many physical phenomena and neural computing which could be further explored." No kidding. Via Hackaday.
I wonder what sort of lesson these student journalists learned from their activism, especially after the industrial waste company flexed their political muscles and ran roughshod over their protests (and earlier City Council victory). But it's Gary, Indiana, so yeah, the waste facility will be built next to the school. But no matter. The lessons they learn from podcasting will last a lifetime, while the cynicism might be tempered over time. After all, that's (sort of) how I got my start, and look how I turned out.
Last week, we were told, "Last week Amazon announced its intention to invest $700 million to upskill 100,000 of its own employees." This article is an oooo gee whiz compilation of responses. But I like the take on it that was offered on this week's TWiT. Amazon actually has more than 600,000 employees in the U.S., and if you do the math, that's a training budget of about $1200 per employee. Or, if you limit it to the 100,000 employees over five years cited by Amazon, that's $1,077 per person annually. That's right around average for U.S. companies (or way below average if we calculate using Amazon's total workforce). So why is everyone so excited? Because oooo gee whiz $700 million.
I found this report (47 page PDF) on the Online Learning Consortium website, but it demanded personal information (tsk) before it would give me a download link. It's available without a spamwall from the ICDE website. The document itself is undated, but appears to be from July, 2019. The contents are as advertised in the title. The report is based on interviews with senior leaders in ICDE member institutions. Three themes emerged: first, "there is still an issue with consistent standards being used by governing bodies for quality through the accreditation process"; second, "appropriate training is not always available to build the expertise and skills of faculty and staff"; and third, "distance learning can be as effective as traditional learning; however, this is not the case in all regions."
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Copyright 2019 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.