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Feature Article
From a Philosophical Point of View
Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, 2023/10/16

I was asked today whether I ever considered approaching the topic of online learning from a philosophical perspective.

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The Techno-Optimist Manifesto
Andreesen-Horowitz, 2023/10/16


This manifesto arrived in my email today direct from a16z. I'm sitting in a room surrounded by techniology, working with technology, immersed in technology. I feel empowered by it, it's the way I make my living, and I feel pretty certain I could be called a 'techno-optimist'. Not a 'tech-solutionist' - there are some things technology can't fix, and some thing technology even makes worse. But on balance, I feel pretty good about technology.

So I felt at first glance I could be supportive of this Andreesen-Horowitz manifesto, even if was overstated. But that was only until I hit the stuff on markets and capitalism. And here's where I part ways. Because while I do believe that decentralized governnance is the best governance, I don't believe this governance is best managed through the single-minded pursuit of wealth and money. And so I see this manifesto as embodying everything that has gone wrong with our society, and making it sound as though techno-optimism entails exploitative capitalism. It does not. This manifesto has nothing to do with technology.

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GitHub - microsoft/prompts-for-edu
GitHub, 2023/10/16


It makes sense to compile prompts for educators in GitHub, because prompts are almost the new programming language of today. And it makes even more sense for Microsoft to do it for its on AI and because Microsoft owns GitHub. Now they're calling for contributions. Prompts for students include writing mentor, tutor and team reflection, among others. Prompts for educators include things like a lesson planner, interactive lecture, and explainer. Via Miguel Guhlin.

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Adobe created a symbol to encourage tagging AI-generated content
Emilia David, The Verge, 2023/10/16


Adding AI will be a bit like adding sugar: it's going to be in everything. So I think it will be easier to tag the content that is 100% human created. I've proposed in a past a logo similar to the one here (I can't find the link, which tells you how much traction my proposal had). My logo has the advantage of not looking like an old Adobe logo, and isn't owned by some corporate consortium. Via Mags Amond.

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About Published But Inaccessible Test Scales
Wouter Groeneveld, Brain Baking, 2023/10/16


I've run into these sorts of issues myself, which is why I fully support this rant from Wouter Groeneveld. "very single time one of my digs encounters an APA paper, I curse. What's the purpose of you developing a scale when you put it behind closed doors? This is even dumber when the scale consists of just a few items that's easily repeatable in another paper." Also, "It seems that very few scientists think beyond papers when it comes to promoting and publishing their work. The Short Scale of Creative Self could easily be converted into a simple single .html webpage for anyone to access." Groeneveld finally notes, "Most scales are not even that useful. They're a quick quantitative way to help identify the first layer of the problem." I would say that while the paywalls are obviously about money, they are also the best mechanism we have for representing trivial research as serious and deep, well beyond the ken of the average reader.

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We publish six to eight or so short posts every weekday linking to the best, most interesting and most important pieces of content in the field. Read more about what we cover. We also list papers and articles by Stephen Downes and his presentations from around the world.

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