Social Media And The Loss Of Uncorrelated Wisdom It’s now a well-established fact that a group of people with diverse opinions can often make uncannily accurate decisions--smarter in many cases than any single individual could possibly manage. Open markets are the epitome of this, because they weigh individual opinions with real money, and as a result they sometimes produce decisions that seem truly prescient. Orange-crop futures markets, for instance, do a better job predicting Florida weather than meteorologists. And just a few minutes after the 1986 explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, the stock market correctly zeroed in on Morton-Thiokol, maker of the frozen O-rings, even though it was several weeks before a team of engineers investigating the disaster figured it out. (If you find this phenomenon as fascinating as I do, then in addition to James Surowiecki’s benchmark book The Wisdom of Crowds, you might want to peruse Scott Page’s excellent academic treatment of it in The Difference.) You want to avoid this fate?
Why Are We So Afraid of Creativity? Creativity: now there’s a word I thought I wouldn’t see under attack. Don’t we live in a society that thrives on the idea of innovation and creative thought? The age of the entrepreneur, of the man of ideas, of Steve Jobs and the think different motto? Well, yes and no. Colombian Devil's Breath When VICE initially asked me to go down to Colombia to dig into this scopolamine story, I was pretty excited. I had only a vague understanding of the drug, but the idea of a substance that renders a person incapable of exercising free will seemed liked a recipe for hilarity and the YouTube hall of fame. I even spent a little time brainstorming the various ways I could transport some of it back to the states and had a pretty good list going of different ways to utilize it on my buddies. The original plan was for me to sample the drug myself to really get an idea of the effect it had on folks. The producer and camera man had flown down to Bogota ahead of me to confirm some meetings and start laying down the groundwork.
Emile, or On Education Emile, or On Education or Émile, Or Treatise on Education (French: Émile, ou De l’éducation) is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the “best and most important of all my writings”. Due to a section of the book entitled “Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar,” Emile was banned in Paris and Geneva and was publicly burned in 1762, the year of its first publication. During the French Revolution, Emile served as the inspiration for what became a new national system of education. Politics and philosophy The work tackles fundamental political and philosophical questions about the relationship between the individual and society— how, in particular, the individual might retain what Rousseau saw as innate human goodness while remaining part of a corrupting collectivity. Book divisions Book I
The End of Solitude - The Chronicle Review What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity. As the two technologies converge — broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider — the two cultures betray a common impulse. Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. Stieg Larsson: Big-Name Sci-Fi Fan *A reminiscence by Swedish science fiction devotee Ahrvid Engholm. “A couple of days ago a visited a seminar in Stockholm about the bestselling writer Stieg Larsson. It is held yearly around his death day (Nov 9, 2004; the seminar was Nov 8) but I have somehow managed to miss it until now. :The thing is that I knew Stieg Larsson who was active in science fiction for 10+ years (approx 1969-1980), eg as a prominent fanzine editor (Fijagh, Långfredagsnatt, SFären, Fanac, often together with one Rune Forsgren and of course Eva Gabrielsson), board member of the Scandinavian SF Association (“SFSF”, he was later chairman), even con organiser (eg the disastrous Minicon 5). ” There are plenty of Swedish fans around who also knew Stieg, especially John-Henri Holmberg who was one of the few from skiffy circles Stieg kept contact with after he left to become more involved in political journalism.
The Digital Education Revolution, Cont'd: Meet TED-Ed's New Online Learning Platform - Megan Garber - Technology TED's new tool lets teachers create customized lessons that revolve around web video. The iconic image of high school education, forged for most of us through personal experience and viewings of Dead Poets Society, is this: a teacher, standing in front of his or her class, lecturing. There are exceptions, definitely: the class discussion, the interactive lab experiment, the game, the field trip. For the most part, though, despite years of education reform, we tend of think of education as a highly vertical experience, one of active teachers and passive students, one in which knowledge radiates out from a single speaker to a roomful of silent listeners. That model is changing, though, and quickly.
Could You Be Addicted To The Internet? [POLL] Unlike drugs and alcohol, excess Internet usage could help your career, make you more informed and keep you up-to-date with the latest hilarious memes. But a recent (small) study by researchers in China showed that too much Internet usage — to the point that it's an addiction — can cause structural damage to your brain. The researchers studied 17 adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) and found structural and functional interference in the part of the brain that regulates organization, possibly causing cognitive impairment similar to that caused by gambling and alcoholism.
That's All, Folks: Kevin Smith On Leaving Filmmaking When 21-year-old Kevin Smith decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, his sister gave him some advice: "Don't say you want to be a filmmaker; just be one." So he did. He made his first film, Clerks, on a shoestring, shooting at the convenience store where he worked. Smith has gone on to have a long and quirky career; his films, including Chasing Amy and Dogma, bear his unmistakable imprimatur — the black humor, the verbose slacker genius characters. Escalation. This week in Developmental Psychology class I presented a paper on dating violence in teenage relationships. I'm not going to rehash the paper here, because it's boring and Google-vulnerable, but I wanted to share the most interesting conclusion I found. How much conflict there is in a relationship, or the seriousness of the conflict issues, are not predictors of whether there will be violence. The biggest predictor is the degree to which conflicts in the relationship escalate. The studies I read looked at dating violence, which is not the same thing as dating abuse, although obviously there's lots of overlap. Dating violence simply means that there's hitting/shoving/slapping; emotional abuse and controlling behavior aren't factored in.
Colleges Should Teach Intellectual Virtues - Commentary By Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe Look at what colleges state as their aims, and you'll find a predictable list: Teach students how to think critically and analytically; teach them how to write and calculate; teach them the skills of their discipline. As important as such goals are, another fundamental goal is largely being neglected—developing the intellectual virtues they need to be good students, and good citizens. Social Media-Connected Teens Seek Time Offline [STUDY] Today's American teenagers are digital natives — connected to the Internet since youth. About 75% of 13 to 17-year-olds have personal social networking accounts. Since 2008, there has been a huge spike in teenage connectivity; only 59% of teens were on social media four years ago. Despite seeing "racist, sexist and homophobic content" online, teenagers view social media networks positively.
How To Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | More… Here’s what a few folks have said about it: Stop Telling Students to Study for Exams - Commentary By David Jaffee Among the problems on college campuses today are that students study for exams and faculty encourage them to do so. I expect that many faculty members will be appalled by this assertion and regard it as a form of academic heresy. If anything, they would argue, students don't study enough for exams; if they did, the educational system would produce better results.