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chapter 2 of James Burke’s
The Day the Universe Changed, “In the Light of the Above”,
You can download the chapter here.
Watch Tom Wujec’s 10 minute demonstration of the astrolabe. Here is a link
This is the video introduces the idea of networks as a way of distributing information (about 55 minutes) :
What does it mean to learn something? And has it changed over time? Some people say that technology changes the way we learn. Is this true? Just as importantly, does it change what we learn and why we learn? Burke outlines historic changes in learning and how these impacted the world in very big ways. Are the changes we see today, if any, just as big? Pay special attention to Wujec’s comments on what context is required to tell the time with the astrolabe. What about networks as a way of teaching? We will see this issue of Context come up over and over again in the course when it comes to how we perceive information.
All assignments are due at 11:59 in the morning.
Disruption – Video – Films On Demand (mnpals.net)– here’s the 55mins video
Instructions on writing discussion post
How to write a good initial discussion post:
1. The purpose of writing a discussion post is to reflect on what you have learned from the assigned material. How does it support what you already thought? How does it challenge conventional wisdom? Where it conflicts with your understanding of the world, does it convince you? Where it agrees, what further understandings does it imply?
2. Your initial discussion post must include at least 300 words of your own material. Repeating the question, titles, quotations, paraphrases and other additions are not counted as your own material. Any discussion that does not meet the 300 word minimum will receive a grade of 0.
3. Refer to at least two of the assigned resources. You need to give some thought to what’s presented in the assigned material. For example, you might write: The Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy explains Locke’s understanding of the relationship between simple and complex ideas this way: “Once the mind has a store of simple ideas, it can combine them into complex ideas of a variety of kinds” (
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke/). Don’t make the class guess at the reference. We have to be able to find it. So it needs to be relevant and specific. People get busy and time is sometimes short, so it may be tempting at times to excerpt something from readings you haven’t considered carefully and stick it in your post to meet this requirement. Try not to do this. See point 5 on why. There is no need to use an MLA style citation to the end of a post. We need to read the quotation, and we need to know what in the material helped you arrive at the conclusions you arrived at and where we can find it. That means you need to include an author and a page number if it’s a printed resource, or a title reference for audio and video resources. Points will be deducted if the location of the reference isn’t obvious. To earn full points for your discussion, you need to refer to more than one of the assigned resources in the module if more are available. The resources work together.
4. Any discussion that includes sufficiently poor grammar or spelling to suggest that the posting was not proof-read and spell checked will receive a grade of 0.
5. The best way to meet the requirement to reference the readings is to quote them directly. But please do not quote lengthy sections of the readings. I am looking for your ideas concerning the readings and classes. See point 3. for a good example. Quotations are not considered part of the 300 word minimum.
6. Remember that you are reflecting on the material presented in the module and taking an informed position on the topic. It doesn’t help to simply repeat facts from the module. What do they mean? Use your existing opinion wisely. The distinction between research and opinion is an artificial distinction we don’t want to make in this class. Criticism is useful but only if it’s thoughtful and reasonable. If, at the end of every unit, you think exactly the same way you did when you started the unit, something has gone wrong.
8. You will need to post your own initial post before you can read the responses from others. It makes for a much more diverse conversation. After you have posted your initial post, I hope you will consider other ideas as well and comment on them. There is no grade-sensitive requirement to comment on other posts but, needless to say, your ideas on others’ thinking is the best way for all of us to learn. And feel free to respond to my comments on your post.
Then Internet Archive.html
Tom Wujec’s 10 minute demonstration of the astrolabe illustrates an important point. Know “something,” like what time it is, even if that something is hugely useful, isn’t itself, education. Putting other things together that help us arrive and understand the “something” we have come to know is where real education, and innovation, happen. Libraries try to store all these things and education tries to use them productively.
Collecting all the information in the world for everyone to access is a tall order. But the Internet Archive says it can be done. It’s not Google and it’s not the NSA and it’s not Facebook. What makes it unique is that it’s a non-profit that has as its mission, “universal access to all knowledge.” It argues that every culture has made an effort to record, in one form or another, its own cultural artifacts. Some cultures pass down stories from memory. Some collect artifacts in libraries. Some establish formal institutions like religions and schools. But everyone wants to know where they came from. Since more and more of our culture is express in digital form, then a new way of archiving it has to be established. There is a terrible irony in all this and we’ll talk about it in future modules. But it seems that the easier it is to collect and store our cultural archives, the less people seem to want to do it. People can easily access and read an enormous amount of material, much more than ever before. But people read less and less.
|The internet archive is partly about making it possible to access all this. But it’s also about storing it. In addition to archiving books, videos and images, it took on the task of archiving the entire internet and making it available through the
Wayback Machine. Try it. Pick a website such as cnn.com. Enter it into the Wayback Machine. Pick a date like 2001 and a date like September 11. It will return the webpage as it looked on that day, archived forever, or so the Internet Archive hopes.
|This is a little like the re-discovery of the Library of Toledo only much, much, much bigger. Can you imagine the implications of, not just the collection of everything that’s been said, but the cataloging of it all in such a way that it’s easy to find, copy and use. Some of it is small potatoes. You can find my old resumes at daeuber.com. I can’t get rid of them and, if I had a more interesting past, I’d be worried. But the point is, nothing that’s said can ever be forgotten ever again. And that’s been the way we have always filtered our histories, sanitized our past and written our myths. What will the future look like if we can retrieve our past so easily?|