Instead of Big Data Try Basic Data [...]

While vendors talk about big data, the data districts and colleges actually need is often ridiculously simple: >For example, the state collects student attendance data, but right now that data only shows how many kids are going to school every day on average. "You might have 99 percent of students attending," Miller said, "but in fact there are six kids who are chr...

 

From Precinct to Voter [...]

Early political processes focused on precincts and wards as the unit of allocating campaign effort. You would get out the vote in the areas where you had broad support, and sometimes, less honorably, suppress the vote in those places where you didn't. As canvassing became supplemented with phone calls, direct mail, and other pieces, the unit increasingly became the in...

 

Fear-Selling Methodology [...]

Computer consultants want to help you do better and they may be sincere in what they promise but they might be fooling you and themselves when fear seals the deal. Ward Cunningham describes where he has seen this in the industry: I'm reminded of the time as a child when my father came home and told of an ex-convict dropping by his business selling check embosse...

 

Hate-Selling You Domain Names [...]

We've previously discussed the phenomenon of "hate-selling", whereby instead of offering you an attractive process at a good price, companies (driven by the logic of the marketing conversion funnel) create processes that generate the appropriate clicks, profits, and retention rates but destroy the experience. Jim Groom finds another instance that looks like hate-selli...

 

Hate-Selling [...]

A post on Skift introduces a new term: "hate-selling". You see it in travel where "conversion managers have run amok" and you are charged absurd combinations of little charges at the precise amounts analytics says you will tolerate. [link][skift] Some examples of hate-selling in the travel industry from the article: * Car rental sites with crazy surcharges (a 17.25% ...

 

Problems with the Fee Model [...]

Offering insufficient basic service for a flat price with fees for upgrades seems like a smart move in a number of ways. For one, it shifts the burden of certain amenities onto the people who actually use them. Why should you subsidize a companies "backup" feature, for example, when you aren't using backups? However, as experience in the airline indstry has shown, it ...

 

Blue-Eyed Shuffle [...]

[caption id="attachment_187" align="alignright" width="300"] Flickr photo (source)[/caption] A genetic mutation which took place 6,000-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye color of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today, and can be traced to a single ancestor. There appears to be no evolutionary advantage to the mutation; it is instead a good example o...

 

Templated Self [...]

Coined by Amber Case, the term "templated self"  describes how the affordances and defaults of systems affect online expressions of identity. > A self or identity that is produced through various participation architectures, the act of producing a virtual or digital representation of self by filling out a user interface with personal information For example, the desi...

 

Horse_ebooks [...]

Horse_ebooks was a Twitter account initially thought to be generated by a spam bot slipping under the radar. It became famous for seemingly randomly generated yet poetic tweets. ![Source][horse_ebooks image] It was revealed in 2013 that the account had been, at least since 2011, the work of two media artists who had written each tweet in an attempt to impersonate a bo...

 

Mullet Strategy [...]

Simon Owens describes the "mullet strategy" of sites like Medium in a recent article: business in front, party in the back. The front pages are high quality, professional content to draw in users. The back is the social media platform of unknowns speaking to unknowns. [link][owens] The strategy was pioneered by early political blogging sites, most notably Daily Kos, w...

 

Labor Illusion [...]

While we say that we only care about results, in reality we tend to value results based on the effort we perceive people put into a task. Artists get asked "How long did this take you to paint?" and workers that accomplish little but leave late are seen to be exemplary workers. Some psychologists refer this to the "labor illusion". And the ubiquity of complaining abou...

 

Peter Elbow [...]

Peter Elbow is a teacher and theorist of composition. His work focuses on the writing process, and the ways in which teachers can help their students become better writers through embracing the messiness of the writing process. - Techniques advocated by Elbow include Minimal Grading and The Believing Game....

 

Lysenkoism in Poland (Test Page) [...]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oDQSmVtSzI This should be a YouTube video This a paragraph with a note, a note in the middle. [caption id="attachment_1414" align="alignright" width="300"] Lysenko with Stalin[/caption] First Header Second Header - - Content Cell Content Cell Content Cell Content Cell This is a link. [°][1]   [1]: http://cnn.com/  ...

 

Hierarchy and Cooperation [...]

> We have shown that achieving cooperation among humans is more difficult when there is an underlying hierarchical structure producing different ranks between people and therefore unequal payoffs for the participants. This result is driven by insufficient contributions from lower ranked individuals who cannot be confident that they will benefit from cooperating. Remar...

 

Streams Don’t Merge [...]

Emma Pierson writing about tweets and Ferguson notes that red and blue tweeters live in discourse environments that are nearly fully separated. The graphic produced by her demonstrates the severity of this division. So we have two groups of people who rarely communicate, have very different backgrounds, think drastically different things, and often spray vitriol at ea...

 

Wow So Portland! [...]

Wow So Portland! is a bot-run twitter account by @tinysubversions that selects random images from portions of the Google Street View of Portland and pairs them with common sayings about Portland's unique and quirky hipsterness. The images selected generally come from the office parks and factory shipping docks of Portland. The effect of the bot, which runs four times ...

 

Sensory Adaptation and Inattentional Blindness [...]

Although our perceptions are built from sensations, not all sensations result in perception. In fact, we often don’t perceive stimuli that remain relatively constant over prolonged periods of time. This is known as sensory adaptation. Imagine entering a classroom with an old analog clock. Upon first entering the room, you can hear the ticking of the clock; as you be...

 

Lysenkoism [...]

Lysenkoism, named for Russian botanist Trofim Lysenko, was a political doctrine in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union that mandated that all biological research conducted in the USSR conform to a modified Lamarckian evolutionary theory. It was imposed for largely ideological reasons. Lysekoism is today used as a term applied to centralized attempts to determine the directio...

 

Reputation Traps [...]

A reputation trap is protective device set around issues of sensitivity in a given profession. Reputation traps enforce epistemic closure: to express a certain view or engage in a certain type of work renders one untrustworthy, which in turn further invalidates the view. The term was coined by Hew Price in an article on cold fusion research: > Again, there’s a so...

 

Circadian Typology [...]

Circadian rhythmic expression differs among individuals. Some individuals are night people and some are morning people. Mechanisms and evolutionary rationale for such differences are unknown, as is the reason behind related disorders. Studies have shown that "eveningness" may be associated with mood disorders, ADHD, and eating disorders. (pdf) - Circadian Typology cou...

 

Cohen’s Law [...]

Quoting Clay Shirky, from [[Own Worst Enemy]]: Geoff Cohen has a great observation about this. He said "The likelihood that any unmoderated group will eventually get into a flame-war about whether or not to have a moderator approaches one as time increases." As a group commits to its existence as a group, and begins to think that the group is good or important, the ch...

 

Typewriter Art [...]

Typewriter art predates ASCII Art, and anticipates many of its techniques. See Basics of ASCII Art. [caption id="attachment_169" align="alignnone" width="315"] October 1898 typewriter art, by Flora Stacy in Phonetic Journal. (source)[/caption] Flora Stacy is the first well-known typewriter artist, although people were playing with the possibilities of typewriter art f...

 

Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope [...]

Nineteen years after the formation of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, who has lived for years in seclusion on the desert planet of Tatooine. Obi-Wan begins Luke's Jedi training as Luke joins him on a daring mission to rescue the beautiful Rebel leader Princess Leia from the clutches of the evil...

 

Defeat Device [...]

A defeat device is an embedded system or mechanism that attempts to dupe regulators or potential buyers. The most recent example is Volkswagen's on-board emissions module, which detected whether a car was undergoing emissions tests and changed the functioning of the car to pass the tests. Samsung Smart TVs have also been accused of using a defeat device: Independent l...

 

Glitch Art [...]

[caption id="attachment_220" align="alignright" width="212"] An example of glitch aesthetic applied to furniture. The photo here is not glitching, the cabinet is carved to look exactly like this. (source)[/caption] Glitch art intentionally reproduces the glitches associated with analog and digital media for artistic effect. Examples of glitch art abound in the audiov...

 

Washington’s First Open Textbook Law [...]

It's well known that Washington State adopted one of the first open textbook laws in the nation. But what does it say? Here we excerpt the pertinent bits of H. B. 1025 of 2009. (1) The boards of regents of the state universities, the boards of trustees of the regional universities and The Evergreen State College, and the boards of trustees of each community and techni...

 

RebeccaPurple [...]

Eric Meyer talks about the death of his daughter and the beauty and the cruelty of the web. The same process that memorialized his daughter so sweetly in the CSS tag for #663399 is the same process that created GamerGate. Many say that these processes are neutral, and what can be used for good can be used for evil. But the truth is that most online interactions can be...

 

Sea-Lioning [...]

Sea-lioning is the act of jumping into discourse communities you are not a part of with demands for evidence. Sea-lioning usually maintains a pretense of civility, but ignores incessant requests to desist. The term comes from a well-known Wondermark comic strip where a sea lion overhears a passing remark about sea lions and persistently demands support for the comment...

 

ALEKS Is Public Software [...]

ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) is an adaptive learning platform. It provides material in mathematics, chemistry, introductory statistics, and business. It is also an example of software developed with public, not private, funding. ALEKS was initially developed at UC Irvine starting in 1994 with support from a large National Science Foundation ...

 

Castle Bravo Miscalculation [...]

The famous detonation of a 15-megaton nuclear weapon off of the Bikini Atoll in the 1950s has an under-reported aspect: the size of the detonation was miscalculated, exposing many people to unanticipated levels of radiation: The designers of Castle Bravo seriously miscalculated the yield of the device, resulting in critical radiation contamination. They predicted that...

 

Australian Buggles Chart Position [...]

The sleeve notes to the reissue of The Buggles' Age of Plastic claim it was the biggest record in Australia for 27 years.[http://www.trevorhorn.com/horniculture/from_the_art_of_plastic_to_the.html cite] Yet very little other evidence of this claim can be found. Here we log possible interpretations of the claim and evidence supporting or refuting them. Along the way we...

 

Origin of the “Social Web” [...]

The origin of the social web is various, but the origin of the *term* is attributed to Howard Rheingold. From Wikipedia: The term "social Web" was coined by Howard Rheingold for this network in 1996; Rheingold was quoted in an article for Time on his website "Electric Minds", described as a "virtual community center" that listed online communities for users intereste...

 

Video Killed the Radio Star – Why History is Narrative (& Messy) [...]

On August 1, 1981, The Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star became a staple of popular culture history when it was the first music video to be played on the MTV cable network.  The song had been a hit when released in 1979, but its status as the maiden voyage has elevated the song beyond the ebb and flow of popular music, allowing a narrative to be built around the ...

 

Earliest Web Annotation Proposal [...]

People talked a decent bit about annotation on the www-talk list in the early 90s. The first lengthy treatment I can find of it is in a post by Dave Raggett in November 1992 (although he references earlier conversations). Raggett outlines a number of types of annotation, some structured around newsgroup-type functionality and others more focused on document markup aff...

 

Harnessing the Potential of Memory in Writing [...]

A common problem for writers who want to write but are not sure on what specific topic:  how do those long-term memories [[bubble-up]], those we do not have pulled up in the short-term?  The answer is a trigger.  Some triggers are easy (pictures of events, artifacts of celebrations or accomplishments, places and people), but those are the ones people interact with...

 

Limerence [...]

Limerence is a form of obsessive love (to some romantic love) commonly experienced by people in some relationships but not in others, and often at the beginning of relationships. Psychologist Dorothy Tennov coined the term in her 1979 book Love and Limerence. It is also not necessarily unhealthy, although a craving for limerence above other forms of love can be. Whet...

 

Not Every Axis Should Be At Zero [...]

One of the more common forms of chart abuse is messing with the axis, starting from a non-zero point to make a trend look more substantial. But people often become dogmatic about this point, not realizing the point of the rule is to make meaningful differences meaningful (and *only* make meaningful differences meaningful). But first, let's show a somewhat egregious ex...

 

The Believing Game [...]

The Believing Game is a thought exercise developed by [[Peter Elbow]]. He sees it as a necessary balance to the Doubting Game practiced in western culture under the name critical thinking. Critical thinking asks one find flaws in thinking that looks right. The Believing Game asks for virtues in thinking that looks wrong. Elbow believed these two modes to be compliment...

 

Civility’s Curse? [...]

We're told that civility is what we need to bring people back into politics. Diana Mutz, a leading researcher on the psychology of "in-your-face" politics disagrees. Too much incivility has deleterious effects, but too *much* civility leads to apathy and inattention: For those concerned about widespread political apathy, Mutz concludes, more civility on television is ...

 

Declining Young Adult Suicide Rates in the 1990s [...]

Suicide rates among young adults declined markedly in the late 1990s. While there are many explanations as to why this pattern emerged, much evidence points to the introduction of newer antidepressants and an increased awareness among medical practitioners of the issue. Others suggested that the fall might have been due to an improving economy. [caption id="attachment...

 

Town Equals 4,663 [...]

Machine Learning algorithms can only be as good as the structure of the data they use, and the scripts they have to inform them of data context. This sign from New Cuyama is a decent demonstration of what a world of unstructured data can look like to a machine. Roger Schank and Robert Abelson proposed Script Theory to deal with issues of cultural knowledge in machin...

 

Cocteau’s Bataclan Play [...]

Jean Cocteau's play Ox on the Roof (in French, Le bœuf sur le toit) played to appreciative audiences at the Bataclan in 1921, after being roundly mocked a few years earlier. From NYT 30 October 1921: Another event of great interest to all who are closely watching the modern manifestation of Paris is included In the new program at the Bataclan vaudeville house. This I...

 

Tenures [...]

Thomas Littleton’s Tenures (often New Tenures) was the first textbook written specifically on English land law. It was printed as a Textus Inclusus text, with wide margins for annotations. The language was a dialect of French called "law French". The earliest copies emerged in the 1480s, but the text was popular throughout the 16th century and in use through the 2...

 

College Suicides Down Slightly [...]

Contrary to public perception, suicides at colleges may be down slightly. That's probably because Schwartz's account of what's going on is rather nuanced. While anecdotal accounts of ever-more-mentally-ill students abound, he said that “If you look at things that are a bit more carefully, rigorously tracked, like rates of suicide, actually, when rates of suicide wer...

 

False Frame [...]

Interesting picture from the Baltimore protests of 2015. It looks like a purse is being snatched from an innocent victim, as the victim's friends try to assist and fend off the attacker. But the truth is more complex. According to the women in the glasses, Caitlin Goldblatt, the rehead, was a stranger to all of the others in the picture. She came out of a bar drunk ...

 

First Hours, Best Hours [...]

Cognitive psychologist Dan Ariely notes on Reddit that the time of day we are most ready to cognitively engage hard tasks (the first two hours) is wasted with trivialities. > Ariely: One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don't require high cognitive capacity (like ...

 

Haiku by a Robot [...]

Digital literature scholar Zach Whalen discovers the most amazing poem in Highlights magazine: "Haiku by a Robot". While many people saw his tweeting of the poem as ironic, Whalen digs deep into the true brilliance of the poem. The poem: Haiku by a Robot Seven hundred ten Seven hundred eleven Seven hundred twelve. Nathan Beifuss, Age 9 California [caption id="attach...

 

Number Poem for Two Voices [...]

British Poet Neil Mills wrote a series of "number poems" in the early 1970s. "Number Poem for Two Voices" was one such work. It was recorded by Mills and his wife as part of the album Koncrete Canticle: Experiments in Disintegrating Language. Mills and his wife reading the poem: [embed]http://wikity.net/audio/4844484.mp3[/embed] Said Mills: "I believed that the meanin...

 

Gated Openness [...]

[caption id="attachment_273" align="alignright" width="300"] Gated openness appears to encourage free interaction of diverse viewpoints but in reality prevents exposure to differences of opinion. (source)[/caption] In Heterotopic Communication, Leah A. Lievrouw asserts one of the paradoxes of virtual communication is it presents the appearance of openness while provid...

 

Rockefeller Drug Laws [...]

[caption id="attachment_243" align="alignright" width="207"] The Jan. 4, 1973 edition of the New York Daily News (via fair use)[/caption] The Rockefeller Drug Laws of 1973 radically changed how the American justice system worked. Under these New York State laws, the penalty for selling small amounts of heroin, opium, or marijuana became a minimum of 15 years to life i...

 

Birth of the Emoticon [...]

Kevin MacKenzie suggested emoticons in the very first internet community, MsgGroup. In 1979, Kevin MacKenzie, a member of the MsgGroup e-mail list, complained about the "loss of meaning," the lack of facial expressions, vocal inflection and gestures in e-mail correspondence. He suggested the use of a new form of punctuation in e-mails and used the example -). This was...

 

Heider and Simmel (1944) [...]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTNmLt7QX8E Take a minute to watch the video above. It's 90 seconds long. Try to summarize what happened in the video. We'll assume that you interpret the shapes as people (almost everyone does). Given that, how would you summarize the story the video depicts? Try to answer the following questions (watch the video again if you want). ...

 

The Hewlett Wave [...]

From 2002 to 2007 the Hewlett Foundation poured $68 million into initiatives around open educational resources. The bulk of the money went to the creation and subsidization of resources: $43 million went to the creation and dissemination of open content $25 million into reducing barriers, understanding, and/or stimulating use. [http://www.hewlett.org/uploads/files/...

 

Odor Network [...]

An interesting but mysterious site which claims to show the perceived relationships between smells. [http://odornetwork.com/network/index.html#pineapple site]...

 

Philippa Foot [...]

[caption id="attachment_59" align="alignright" width="200"] (credit)[/caption] Best known for her famous Trolley Problem, Philippa Foot is one of the most important 20th century philosophers in the field of ethics. She is known for her critique of consequentialism, and for work that led to a new virtue ethics, even though Foot herself did not embrace the movement.[htt...

 

Sensation [...]

What does it mean to sense something? Sensory receptors are specialized neurons that respond to specific types of stimuli. When sensory information is detected by a sensory receptor, sensation has occurred. For example, light that enters the eye causes chemical changes in cells that line the back of the eye. These cells relay messages, in the form of action potentials...

 

Up To £53,000  [...]

Good Cause, Bad Stats The sign reads "The poorest 40% of students will graduate with debts of up to 53,000 pounds. What are some questions we could ask of this statistic? In what ways is it deceptive?...

 

Sensitivity vs. Specificity [...]

People often want alarms, medical tests, and assessments to be as "sensitive" as possible: that is, in looking for condition X, we'd like to catch 100% of the occurrences of condition X. But increases in sensitivity almost always involve decreases in specificity and this can cause problems. To understand the difference between sensitivity and specificity, consider the...

 

False Alarms [...]

Sending out global text messages to students may reduce their reaction to emergency alerts. > Sands, 20, of Oakland, said several different accounts of the shooting are funneling across campus through text messages and social media, and it took several minutes for campus community to realize the seriousness of the situation. > > “We get a lot of Bruin Alerts for s...

 

Black Silent Majority [...]

The Rockefeller drug laws of the early 1970s are often seen as a conservative white reaction to perceived black lawlessness. A new work argues black residents of the inner city were a substantial force in pushing for these policies of mass incarceration. > Often seen as a political sop to the racial fears of white voters, aggressive policing and draconian sentencing f...

 

Rockefeller Drug Laws [...]

[caption id="attachment_56" align="alignright" width="207"] The Jan. 4, 1973 edition of the New York Daily News (via fair use)[/caption] The Rockefeller Drug Laws of 1973 radically changed how the American justice system worked. Under these New York State laws, the penalty for selling small amounts of heroin, opium, or marijuana became a minimum of 15 years to life in...

 

Penalty Compression [...]

Making all offenses capital offenses can have unintended effects. From Slate Star Codex: Chen Sheng was an officer serving the Qin Dynasty, famous for their draconian punishments. He was supposed to lead his army to a rendezvous point, but he got delayed by heavy rains and it became clear he was going to arrive late. The way I always hear the story told is this: Chen ...

 

Broken Windows Theory Broken [...]

The broken windows theory is a sociological explanation of how "good" areas go "bad" and how bad areas go good. In the theory, tolerance of small offenses (such vandalism) leads to increases in larger offenses (such as murder). Application of policies informed by the theory were credited for New York City's decline in crime in the 1990's. However, there are many reaso...

 

Broken Windows Theory Broken [...]

The broken windows theory is a sociological explanation of how "good" areas go "bad" and how bad areas go good. In the theory, tolerance of small offenses (such vandalism) leads to increases in larger offenses (such as murder). Application of policies informed by the theory were credited for New York City's decline in crime in the 1990's. However, there are many reaso...

 

Four Junto Questions [...]

The four questions that one had to answer to join Benjiman Franklin's [[Junto]]: 1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? Answer. I have not. 2. Do you sincerely declare that you love mankind in general; of what profession or religion soever? Answ. I do. 3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name or goods, for mere specul...

 

Junto [...]

"Juntos" were events organized by Ben Franklin in his youth that served to help spread academic and community knowledge among its participants. Pronounced "hoonto", and derived from the Spanish for "to join", the structure of these events has some lessons for those putting together informal learning today. Franklin described the event in his Autobiography: I should h...

 

Techno-Pastoralism [...]

Brautigan's Machines of Loving Grace imagines a world made more pastoral, quiet, and contemplative by computers: > The text was printed over an image of electric schematics and it set out a utopian vision of a techno-pastoralism, where new digital machines could return us to a prelapsarian state, at one with nature in an electric Eden. The poem, in part: ") I like to...

 

Tea Kettle Tech [...]

Example of [[Calm Tech]] from Amber Case. A tea kettle does not consume your attention until you need it to. It uses a single sound that you can hear from wherever in the house you might be to indicate your action is required. It does not have extraneous features or provide non-actionable information. - Tea Kettle Tech could save us from [[Alarm Fatigue]] Tea Kettle T...

 

Alarm Fatigue [...]

Hospitals are overwhelmed with alarms, and it's a problem with severe consequences: "Current clinical alarm technology is generally based on Data Threshold Science, which detects when a specific data threshold has been crossed and activates an alerting mechanism (usually an audible alarm). Unfortunately, this creates a concept known as “alarm fatigue,” which has t...

 

Wikipedia Backstage Pass [...]

Super fan David Spargo got access to the green room of his favorite Australian act Peking Duk last night in Melbourne by editing their Wikipedia page on the fly and listing himself as “Family”. The security guard, who was obviously sceptical first, was convinced by Spargo when he presented him with the edited Wikipedia page on his phone. Reportedly, the band was ...

 

Francis Galton [...]

A Victorian polymath, he is best remembered in educational history for founding the field of psychometrics, a subfield of Galton's larger interest in anthropometrics. He invented the use of percentile grades for showing distribution of phenomenon. The height charts that you saw as a kid (at age three 25% of children are above x inches, 50% of children are above y inch...

 

Suicide Clusters [...]

Suicides are not purely stochastic events one suicide can (and does) often influence others.  Influence can extend not only to probability but also method of execution. A recent example has occurred in Palo Alto, where a cluster  has taken the lives of four students in the Palo Alto Suicide School District. All four died by suicide along the Caltrain corridor. A p...

 

Genesis of the OER Term [...]

The idea of open educational materials goes far back, and in fact predates most of the technology we associate with the movement today. The use of the particular term "open educational resources" however, has a more recent provenance, and can be traced to a 2002 UNESCO resolution. But what about the initialism "OER"? Where does that come from? The initial UNESCO repor...

 

First Women-Directed Theaters in Paris [...]

By the early 1920s it became common for women to act as directors of theaters in France. Sarah Bernhardt and the comic actor Gabrielle Rejane were two of the first, but others soon followed. The following note is from a Charlotte News article from 1921, titled "Parisian Women in Business Do Well": [cite l=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_R%C3%A9jane t="comic ...

 

The Hirschsprung Family [...]

Numerous people have tweeted and blogged this 1881 family portrait as "People Ignoring People Before Cell Phones". It was rather difficult to track down details on it, so we capture them here. It was painted by Peder Severin Kroyer, a famous Dane known for painting scenes of 19th century Danish life. It was commissioned by Heinrich Hirschsprung, a tobacco manufacture...

 

Analytics of Empathy [...]

Can data science be used to encourage better user behavior? A number of experiments with League of Legends show perhaps it can: But Beck and Merrill decided that simply banning toxic players wasn’t an acceptable solution for their game. Riot Games began experimenting with more constructive modes of player management through a formal player behavior initiative that a...

 

Opioids, Alcohol, Suicide [...]

In contrast to every other major demographic, death rates for middle aged whites are rising, and rising fast. While part of this is attributable to increasing suicide rates, stunning new research indicates much of the increase is due to drug and alcohol abuse. The effect is centered in the poorest populations, and seems to be related to increased use of various legal ...

 

Digital Camera Decline [...]

Digital cameras lived as a complement to cameraphones for a couple years, then not so much. They are an example of how technology moves from "used-with" to "used-instead-of". Digital camera growth exploded as the first smartphones wave hit (2007-2010), but declined under broader adoption (2011-present). From Digital Camera Decline is an example of [[Gradually, the...

 

Disruption is Real but Rare [...]

Conclusion of new study on innovation: disruptive innovation is real but rare, and does not inform the progress of most industries. (chronicle) - Many world-changing devices start out as toys. See From Toys Cameraphones may be a legitimate example of disruption. See [[Digital Camera Decline]] Source: Disruption is Real but Rare...

 

From Toys [...]

From Jane Jacobs, on the way transformations come out of weird sectors. Even the most startling cultural and economic developments do not arise out of thin air. They are always built upon prior developments and upon a certain amount of serendipity and chance. And their consequences are unpredictable, even to their originators and the pioneers who believed in them and ...

 

From Status to Conversation [...]

Early on Twitter was seen as a status sharing service by lots of users. But if early employee Noah Glass is to be believed, it was, from the very beginning, also meant to be about conversation. "All is Fair in Love and Twitter" narrates the early conversation between Glass and Jack Dorsey that would lead to the creation of Twitter: As he listened to Dorsey talk, Glass...

 

The Policeman’s Beard Is Half-Constructed [...]

[caption id="attachment_5001" align="alignright" width="130"] Book cover[/caption] Book of prose and poetry completely written by a computer, using the Racter program. It was an early example of computer generated poetry and prose and claims to be the first computer-generated book. It appears to have used more of a "mad libs" approach to text production than other app...

 

Stravinsky’s Player Piano [...]

Stravinsky, like many artists of his time, saw in mechanical reproduction of performance a way to ensure fidelity to the original artistic vision. Hedy's Folly records his initial reaction to the player piano (and later, the gramaphone): Pleyel had contacted Stravinsky in 1921 to propose that he transcribe his works for the Pleyela reproducing piano. The company offer...

 

Basics of ASCII Art [...]

ASCII art is a form of art which uses characters as its basic unit of construction. It is an extension of [[Typewriter Art]], which appeared shortly after the invention of the typewriter. ASCII art generators take text and create ASCII art algorithmically. (html) In the 1970s and 80s, large banners were often produced as ASCII art. ASCII art remains a staple of certai...

 

Creative Nights [...]

Fatigue may boost creativity. From the WSJ: Surprisingly, fatigue may boost creative powers. For most adults, problems that require open-ended thinking are often best tackled in the evening when they are tired, according to a 2011 study in the journal Thinking & Reasoning. When 428 students were asked to solve a series of two types of problems, requiring either an...

 

On Its Side [...]

Wasilly Kandinsky is seen as the first purely abstract artist in the modern meaning of the term. But as the the realization of the power of the pure abstract came about through accident. [caption id="attachment_4996" align="alignnone" width="364"] A later Kandinsky: Circles in a Circle (1923). (source)[/caption] Art by 1910 had been in an abstract mode for some time, ...

 

Objet Trouvé [...]

In the 1960s and 1970s art philosopher Arthur Danto wrote a series of articles examining the claim of found objects presented as art to be art rather than simply objects. [caption id="attachment_4989" align="alignnone" width="234"] © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp[/caption] From his 1974 article "The Transfigurat...

 

Tuition Cost of Cornell [...]

Add this to the theory that most of what we are seeing in college cost is price discrimination. For most income brackets, tuition of Cornell is stable or lower than ten years ago. One question here is whether the income brackets have been inflation adjusted as well (one assumes they have been). Another might be in the not-aided segment. Also, is Cornell need blind? S...

 

Preference for Female Voices [...]

The preference for female voices in our machines (Siri, Cortana, Echo) comes as much (or more) from women as men. > MacDorman should know. He and fellow researchers played clips of male and female voices to people of both genders, then asked them to identify which they preferred. The researchers also measured the way participants actually responded to the voices. I...

 

Our Warming Land and Ocean (1880-2015) [...]

A look at our warming land and ocean through NOAA compiled data. Global warming has some statistical noise but is very real. You can create your own graph at the NOAA site. Download a csv. (csv)...

 

Script Theory [...]

The Script Theory of Schank and Abelson was an attempt, in large part, to explain why computers were so bad at basic comprehension of text. While some cognitive theorists hypothesized that computers needed a more subtle understanding of language, Schank and Abelson went the opposite direction: machines were lousy at language because they lacked an understanding of the...

 

The User Is the Group [...]

Many decisions in social software production and administration degrade the experience of the individual in the interest of producing healthy group dynamics. Clay Shirky explains why this is a good thing in Own Worst Enemy: Now, this pulls against the cardinal virtue of ease of use. But ease of use is wrong. Ease of use is the wrong way to look at the situation, becau...

 

Own Worst Enemy [...]

A "group is its own worst enemy". Clay Shirky. Justly famous post by Clay Shirky on the way groups work to defeat themselves. > So these are human patterns that have shown up on the Internet, not because of the software, but because it's being used by humans. Bion has identified this possibility of groups sandbagging their sophisticated goals with these basic urges...

 

Minimal Grading [...]

Minimal grading is an approach by Peter Elbow to grading which does away with many increments....

 

OER Criticism [...]

Elitism and OER...

 

Peter Elbow [...]

From Wikipedia: Peter Elbow is a Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also directed the Writing Program from 1996 until 2000. He writes about theory, practice, and pedagogy, and has authored several books and a number of papers. His practices in regard to editing and revising are now widely accepted and taught as the writi...

 

Design Teams at Pearson [...]

Design teams at Pearson live over many releases, with a focus on [[Evergreen Content]]. They are always looking for new streams of research, events that give a lens onto the subject....