Archive for June, 2010

Categories, Links, and Tags

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Both Heli Nurmi and MCMorgan have commented on the CritLit2010 week 4 reading from Clay Shirky Shirky: Ontology is Overrated -- Categories, Links, and Tags. I can't help feeling that the idea that search based on content and tags will replace heirarchical categories is in one sense overstated, but in another sense doesn't go far […]

Selfish Altruism

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

'Psychological Altruism' is just a special case of 'Biological Altruism' and the "gene" for either is the most selfish of all. Of course the concept of genes for actual characteristics all being in one-to-one correspondence with discrete sequences of DNA is simplistic, and the "gene" for something as complicated as a behaviour pattern may involve […]

Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I was led to this by a #CritLit2010 Tweet from Ruth Howard. In it Clay Shirky responds to Nick Carr and others who worry that "the internet is making us dumber". But I think to some extent Shirky misidentifies the concerns of the "dumber" camp (and certainly says nothing about making us smarter) although he […]

Collateral Murder

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Arrest over leaked video of US gunship attack - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The video really is shocking - especially since nothing I could see (except the camera) looked remotely like a weapon to me.  But the former soldier who has spoken out against attacking the rescue truck actually defends the original shooting. He […]

A Mindful Beauty - Math and Poetry

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

I have nothing to add to this, just want to keep the link.

Brain Scans as Lie Detectors

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

BBC News - Brain scans being misused as lie detectors, experts say. And of course those who claim to interpret the scans will also call themselves experts. (Which leads us off to another conversation entirely) I am troubled by the confounding of privacy and accuracy concerns here. Frankly if lie detection were actually possible I'd […]

Patterns of Change - Calculus as a Critical Literacy

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Stephen Downes' introductory blog posting for the second week of the Critical Literacies Online Course ( CritLit2010 ) deals mainly with how we describe change, and in fact it would (with some minor edits) be the basis of a good motivational piece for the introduction to a calculus course. This prompts me to make a […]

50 (Not Exactly Honest) Ways to Be Persuasive

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

This "review" by Alex Moskalyuk of Goldstein,  Martinand and Cialdini’s Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive is rather more of a summary athan a review - and by being so it demonstrates both why reading books isn't necessarily all it's cut out to be, and why including links in web pages is not […]

Critical Literacies Online Course

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Stephen Downes and Rita Kop are running an online course on  Critical Literacies ( CritLit2010 ). This appears to be partly an experiment in the open-format self-defining student-driven connectivist type of course pioneered over the past couple of years by Downes and George Siemens. The main focus of the curent course apears to be identifying […]

Why People Hate Mathematics and Atheists

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Jason Green's response to the readings for Week 1 of the Downes&Kop Critical Literacies course concludes with the question  “how does one think critically without it coming across as a baseline of distrust?” I actually think that a “baseline of distrust” is appropriate, but that social harmony often demands that the level of distrust not […]

Delinkification causes Frustration

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Nicholas Carr's  'Experiments in delinkification' includes (and depends for its rationale on) the following statement: "People who read hypertext comprehend and learn less, studies show, than those who read the same material in printed form". But this deserves (needs!) at least a footnote (and a hyperlink would have been much better!). The phrase "studies show" […]