Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Michael Feldstein wasn't too happy with my post from yesterday. He writes, "I think language like 'ridiculous' and 'absurd' is unnecessarily hyperbolic... It's also not terribly collegial or respectful. And finally, it doesn't reflect a grasp of the problems we are trying to solve." The problem they are trying to solve is this: "SUNY has 64 campuses with 414,000 students... Somebody has to provision all of those courses from a server, make sure it all scales, and support all of those applications." But if you try to build one system that will automate everything for that many people, you get (in my view) an unsustainable (and very expensive) mess. I would never try to serve so many people from a great big server with a predefined architecture; indeed, I have argued at length over the years that this is exactly what shouldn't be done. Or as David Jones comments, "My main belief around why the Java/complex architecture approach will not work that well is that organisations, and especially Universities and e-learning, are non-deterministic... Technical artifacts can only ever hope to support non-deterministic activities effectively if they are able to be changed really fast... That's why I think the ateleological approach will work better." I suppose I could have been more diplomatic in expressing my view - but you know, I've been expressing the view pretty consistently for several years now, so it's not like I have't been engaged in constructive (and mostly ignored) discussion. And when I'm tired and grumpy and it's the end of a long day, well then instead of repeating what I've said before I simply say that something is absurd. (p.s. put your name on your posts, or at least somewhere in your RSS feed.)

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Aug 12, 2022 1:54 p.m.