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Stephen Downes

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Myths are models

Clark, Learnlets, Jan 09, 2024

OK, I'm going to give Clark Quin his argument here, stated in the title. Myths are models. It's interesting to me because my Master's thesis can be summarized in one simple sentence: the model isn't the reality. Now everyone knows that, of course. But they still make inferences from the model to the reality, legitimate or not. But Quinn says, "Myths are models that aren't appropriate for any situation." That's just not true. Like any model, some parts of a myth are relevant, and other parts aren't. For example, "images are processed 60K faster than prose" is, says Quinn, a myth. But what even does "images are processed" even mean? The point here, and everyone know it, is that we look at an image and grasp what it's saying immediately, while looking at text takes a little more time. The number (which presumably Quinn is focusing on) doesn't even matter. Working with models takes a subtle touch. Labling one a 'myth' and saying it isn't appropriate in any situation isn't that. Image: Menzies.

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