Monthly Archives: December 2010

What is Wrong with Web-based Networking

Yahoo Shutting Down, Ning’s recent abandonment of its free service, and the end of Bloglines are just the most recent examples of why it seems dangerous to rely on proprietary solutions to the problem of data storage for web-based networking … Continue reading

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Apparently, religion is no more likely than any other kind of group affiliation to be associated with either charity or emotional well-being. So the argument that religion provides a positive contribution in these areas may like saying that baseball is … Continue reading

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Superman or Supermoms?

Davis Guggenheim, director of ‘Waiting for Superman’ has asked for and received some feedback from teachers. When I saw the film, what struck me as the most invidious distortion (among many) was the failure to acknowledge that the children on … Continue reading

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Bishop Explains Christmas as Myth

In his annual Christmas message the Rt Rev John Davies, Bishop of the Church in Wales diocese of Swansea and Brecon, complained about atheists timing their contrary message so as to “coincide with two of the church’s greatest festivals, Christmas … Continue reading

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The Chinese Room

Stephen Downes links to this notice about three free Philosophy courses from John Searle who is famous for his Chinese Room thought experiment.  Now Searle may be a great teacher, and the ‘Chinese Room’ may be a useful paedagogical device, … Continue reading

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Hitchens on Assange

According to Christopher Hitchens, the WikiLeaks founder is an unscrupulous megalomaniac with a political agenda, and should “turn himself in” in order to accept the consequences of his “civil disobedience”. The character assessment may or may not be true, but … Continue reading

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Al Sharpton vs Christopher Hitchens

This old debate (which came up when I looked up Al Sharpton in response to Obama’s use of his name in contrast with James Dobson) is quite good, but Hitchens’ failure to take up Sharpton’s (repeated) invitation to raise things … Continue reading

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Obama Speech on Religion

This comes from before he was president. But note that (at 2:30 on the tape) he says “politics involves compromise” and perhaps that is being applied also to the very principles advocated in this speech.

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Over the last three months I spent a considerable amount of time following the #PLENK2010 Massive Open OnLine Course organized by Dave Cormier, Stephen Downes, Rita Kop, and George Siemens.

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Before I Forget

This must be everything or else it will be nothing.

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