Archive for November, 2006

Update on Blackboard Patent

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Stephen Downes links to
this article by John Cox

What Is Jamming?

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

I got to this via a posting by Zac at SquareCircleZ. At IBM, Jamming is apparently a way of stimulating and sharing the creativity of a large group of individuals.

I don’t know what the participants’ experience is really like nor the software used to mediate it, but from the description I can think of some things I would put into the mix – and can imagine that it would have real potential in many contexts.

Gary Wolf on The Church of the Non-Believers

Monday, November 13th, 2006

This article by Gary Wolf in Wired.com considers various current opponents of religion and in the end decides to “refuse the call” to join in their crusade. But this raises the question of what he would say himself when asked the question that he posed quite “innocently” at the dinner table (in an anecdote in the article), but which often arises less benignly in courtrooms and political meetings. To stand up when asked “Who here is an atheist?” is not the same as declaring war on the beliefs of others, and to suggest that merely acknowledging that position amounts to offensive proselytizing (in a way that acknowledging other positions somehow does not) is itself offensive.

In a society that professes tolerance for all religious beliefs (at least for those that are relatively benign in their consequences) it is important also to challenge the intolerance of non-belief which is manifest throughout North American society – and to which the article contributed by implicitly identifying all who declare non-belief with something that many people find offensive.

In a subsequent blog posting (which, in 2012, appears to be no longer available) Wolf went some way towards correcting that, at least to the extent of clarifying his own position, but that cannot come close to undoing the damage done by the article.

Moving at the Speed of Creativity � Blog Archive � Elephants and YouTube

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Moving at the Speed of Creativity � Blog Archive � Elephants and YouTube

Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Stephen’s Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~

David Cox on Saddam

Monday, November 6th, 2006

In Comment is free: Saddam: a tribute David Cox says “Saddam offered his people a harsh deal. Yet, their lives were at risk only if they chose to challenge his authority. Now, they die because of the sect to which they happen to belong.”

Blackburn on Frankfurt’s On Truth

Monday, November 6th, 2006

Simon Blackburn reviews Harry G. Frankfurt’s ‘OnTruth’ (in Powell’s Books in the The New Republic Online) and in the end finds it ‘Bullshit’
“And when I think of Frankfurt’s resolute silence about the philosophical tradition from, say, Protagoras onward, I confess to scenting a whiff of something like — well, negligence with the truth, an affectation of amateur carelessness adopted to mislead or manipulate the audience, and which therefore, by Frankfurt’s own account, characterizes the bullshitter.”

Neo Culpa indeed!

Monday, November 6th, 2006

WOW!