Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Cracking smart paper - easily the best I've read thus far this year - on the subject of rationality and information overload. You'll find more ideas in this one paper than an entire issue of most journals. As I read the introduction I was feeling the author definitively explain why educational theory should not be the domain of economists ("much in the same way that economic models dependent on rationality for their explanations or projections fail (often spectacularly, as recent history attests), models that rely too heavily upon the same rational behavior, and not heavily enough upon the interplay of actual social dynamics - power, reputation, norms, and others - in their attempts to explain, project, or address information overload prove bankrupt as well"). Toward the middle I was wondering whether I should describe networks as 'rational'. "Economic rationality (the term), then, is as much a construct as economic man; human rationality in itself is as dependent on mood as any other behavioral trait." Yet by the end, the author and I seem to be on the same wavelength. More from the current issue of First Monday.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Sept 26, 2020 11:54 p.m.