robertogreco + comments   181

Pookleblinky on Twitter: "This is what an average page of the Talmud looks like."
"This is what an average page of the Talmud looks like.
There's a lot going on here, and all of it is interesting.
That text in the center is the mishnah. The mishnah is a transcription of much older oral Torah.
The mishnah was an oral tradition for centuries before it was finally written down.
The text surrounding it is the gemara. The gemara is commentary, centuries later, on that mishna. Which is itself commentary.
The gemara is, importantly, an argumentative commentary. It's a transcript of arguments over centuries.
The gemara is 6,000 pages of history, arguments, excruciatingly nitpicky discussions, and anecdotes.
Each nugget of mishna is surrounded by centuries of arguments over what it means.
Those arguments range wildly. For instance, in one tractate the mishna discusses a unit of measurement.
Over the following centuries, that unit transformed from about a tablespoon into a wheelbarrow worth of stuff.
That transformation is recorded, as people got confused and argued over what on earth it meant at various times.
Each argument presented in the surrounding gemara, comes from a lineage of thought. You can trace that lineage through centuriese
You can follow Rabbi Akiva's thought over the course of his life, and see how many times he was quoted later on, for instance.
You can watch two schools of thought, butt heads in ever more smartass arguments, over centuries.
Sometimes there's reconciliation, one school of thought accepts that another was right. Other times, the arguments continue.
The arguments build on each other. You can watch an argument get settled. Centuries later, that agreement is argued.
The ensuing argument ends nitpicking the original in excruciating detail until it makes sense to enough people.
Layers of commentary upon commentary upon commentary. A millennium later, Rashi added his own.
The Talmud was, essentially, the Internet before people had electricity.
There were correspondences written, indexes where you could locate every mention of Rab Johanan etc.
Subjects ranged from torturous arguments over etymology, to hilarious anecdotes, to daily images of life.3
The Talmud was Usenet before people knew about electricity.
There's even a tractate, Pirke Avot, that's so eclectic there's a thousand-year old joke about citing it if unsure of a source.
In other words, the Talmud is a good example of user interface. It accreted organically, organized itself organically.
Its rough edges were worn away with centuries, it became as intuitive a way of representing discussion as one could get.
The Talmud was, until Usenet, the world's best interface for representing vast discussions. Version controlled, too.
It's been around for so long that its influence permeated western culture.
It helped make "commentary upon commentary" seem intuitive. It would have used hyperlinks if it could have.
And, thousands of years later, we reinvent that wheel, badly. [ ]
We have tried to scale the user interface of the Talmud a few orders of magnitude.
The result: infinite chains of quote RT's with the word "THREAD" and "this."
Tumblr discussions that zoom in microscopically until the first several layers of commentary are invisible.
Any sufficiently advanced commentary model contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of the Talmud
Usenet came closest, followed by irc .txt logs.
Another interesting thing is that the Talmud is 6,000 pages. You can read all of it, a page a day, in 7 years.
If you look at oral traditions around the world, this was about average.
There's probably something like Dunbar's Number, concerning the max size of an oral tradition.
The Mahabharata is about 1.8 million words. 200,000 verses.
The Iliad alone was about 200,000 words. It was an oral tradition for centuries after Homer.
The Talmud is estimated at about 2 million words, of which the mishna alone are about the same range as any other oral tradition.
Assuming there is a limit to how large an oral tradition can be, even after transcription, let's call it 2 million words worth.
2 million words of argument and commentary before things get too confusingly vast for normal humans to keep up.
I'm sure that there's a relationship between dunbar's number and max size of oral tradition.
And that this relationship affects how internet communities fracture and insulate themselves as they scale relentlessly upwards"
oraltradition  talmud  comments  tumblr  annotation  marginalia  conversation  gemara  iliad  mahabharata  internet  web  online  dunbar  commentary  comment  commenting  discussion  history  2017 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Borrow a kid
"This weekend we visited the Umlauf Sculpture Garden here in Austin. Towards the end of our visit, I spent at least half an hour at the very edge of the garden with my back to the beautiful art and scenery, watching the cars whiz by on Robert E. Lee Road.

Going to an art museum with a two-year-old will make you rethink what’s interesting and what’s art. (After all, what are cars but fast, colorful, kinetic sculptures?) This, of course, should be the point of museums: to make us look closer at our everyday life as a source of art and wonder."

"Borrow a kid. Spend some time trying to see through their eyes. You will discover new things."
austinkleon  children  kids  2015  noticing  looking  seeing  art  museums  comments  discovery  exploration  everyday  perspective  sistercorita  coritakent 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Grand Rounds: The Beast of the Block (H/T to Audrey Watters)
[This URL links to the comment by Audrey Watters:

"I have a bunch of thoughts here:

1) I support people's decision to block, even if it means they're avoiding disagreements. Like I said in my post, social media is intellectual and emotional work, work we do for free. People should not feel compelled to engage with people, whether they agree or disagree. I think it's unfair to demand others pay attention to us by hopping, un-beckoned, into their feeds. I think it's unfair to demand that people respond to us online. I think it's unfair to @-mention people to bring them into an argument or discussion they weren't in. To do this often involves power and privilege in ways that is unexamined. You say you poke. I get it. I poke. But we need to recognize that constantly being poked is exhausting. Emotionally exhausting.

2) I definitely support Diane Ravitch's decision to block you or me or anyone she chooses to. She has over 100K followers on Twitter, on an unverified account. Verified accounts give users tools to handle the incredible amount of messages that one receives when one has a high number of followers. (I have less than a third of the number, and I tell you, it is overwhelming.) If she needs to take measures to make her feed tolerable, so be it. I have also tussled with her online; she hasn't blocked me, but we don't follow each other and I try not to @-mention her. (I subtweet or use her name, not her handle.) It's not that I don't want to engage with her. It's that I don't really see the point of doing so on Twitter.

3) I don't think you're a troll. I've told you that before. But I do think you can be a sea lion. ( ) "If I see a comment wander by the I disagree with, agree with, wonder about, want to poke at, I'll poke. If someone doesn't want to get poked at for something they said on Twitter, I'm continue to wonder why they said it on Twitter." -- that's pretty classic sea lioning. And I think we all need to be aware of these sorts of interjections and interactions. (You write that you don't know why you were blocked. Maybe it was something other than what you said. Maybe it was how you said it? How often you said it? I don't know, but it seems like it's worth a little introspection.) We presume a lot when we jump into people's mentions unannounced. We can still preach and advocate online without @-mentioning people we disagree when we do so."

[Below are some related tweets that I made prior to seeing Audrey's replies, which are much better than what I said. I had never hear the term ‘sea lion’ before and that's specifically what I was getting at:

“From 2012: “unleashing a temporary tweetmob on people to discourage dissent… gums up the conversational works”

"That post is about retweets, but I think the same applies for .@ replies.
[image of person with bat in hand, gang of buddies just behind]"

"To be more clear, I’m referring especially to the bit that includes the phrase “reasonable disagreement.” "

"and especially with RTs + .@ replies that *initiate* an interaction instead of an individual reply in good faith of beginning a conversation" ]

[Also for comparison (via: and ):

“On gentle pushback.”

and “I don’t know what to do, you guys” or “I’m fed up with political correctness, and the idea that everyone should already be perfect” ]

[These two also relate:
“Ask Not For Whom The Bell Trolls; It Trolls for Thee.” (Lindy West and her troll)

“Win of the Day: Woman Defeats Twitter Troll With Words, Kindness on MLK Day”

“The Newsroom: Santorum on Gay Rights” (Clip from Season 1 Episode 6 via ) ]
audreywatters  comments  twitter  replies  socialmedia  blocking  2015  sealions  interjection  interaction  dianravitch  discussion  argument  dissent  harassment  civility  tone  subtweets  disagreement  privilege  engagement  freddiedeboer  trolls  thenewsroom  lindywest  ijeomaoluo  ryanbrazell 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Fidget Tools: Anti-Anxiety Technology and Magic — In Real Life
"I was playing Twitter with @rogre the other night, and we made a conceptual leap that led me to recognize one of my favorite forms of technology. I was asking around for opinions on the best Qur’an translation (I ended up going with this one), and @rogre suggested some apps I could use for text search and audio while I read. He then added this, which I found inscrutable for only half a second:

@ablaze No substitute for beads, though. + Maybe in a jam, I suppose.

— Roberto Greco (@rogre) November 2, 2014
His post showed this beautiful contrast between the car key remote he’d used for 11 years and the other key, which had never been used. The amount of wear on the object in 11 years was amazing, and @rogre reported missing the comforting texture of the old one after it was replaced with the immaculate copy. It “served not only as the key to the car,” @rogre said, “but also as my fidget tool or Kombolói-like Anti-Anxiety Device.”

If his point was that reading scripture is no substitute for fidgeting with a sacred object, I agreed wholeheartedly. I love tumbling sacred verses in my mind as much as the next religious person, but I need my fidget tools.


I did not have to look up what “kombolói” meant, because I was already intimately familiar with the idea. Since I was a kid, I’ve kept rocks and crystals I use as my “fidget tools.” I certainly think of them as anti-anxiety devices, although their significance to me is really on the level of magic or spiritual power. My latest one is a tektite, a rock-like glass formed from terrestrial debris by the impact of a meteorite. It means a great deal to me — it’s even implicated in the completion of In Real Life — and I roll it in my hands constantly to absorb its good vibes and release my bad ones.

As I told @rogre, I think I learned the practice from my mother’s father, who had a set of Baoding balls that mystified me. He gave me his tefillin, another kind of fidgety sacred object that I get plenty of use out of, but I think he took the Baoding balls with him to Heaven.

Sure enough, kombolói are a long-standing technology for passing time and defraying anxiety. They look like prayer beads, but they need not have explicitly religious meanings. Such objects can definitely serve as powerful totems — and mine do, as I said — but I’m particularly interested right now in just that more basic, immediate way of using them as “anti-anxiety devices.”

@rogre opened a vast wormhole of links to read here (his ongoing catalog of sacred objects and theories thereof can be found on Pinboard), but I think the treasure at the bottom is this post from Julian at Near Future Laboratory. He designed a high-tech, light-emitting kombolói with lots of craft and care.

There’s a category of technology here that I care deeply about. I’m still seeking a name for it that will suffice for me. “Totem” only covers the magic part, “worry bead” only the anxiety part. Neither name conveys the critical role of the tactile sensations by which this technology works. I could just go with “kombolói” precisely because of its enchanting lack of precise meaning for me. For the purposes of coming up with a tag for this blog, though, I’ll call them fidget tools like @rogre did.

I hope it’s clear that fidget tools are a technology, and that their technology-ness does not reside in components or engineering. Whether they’re painstakingly wired and programmed or fused in the blast of a meteorite impact, all fidget tools operate in the exact same way: by fitting reassuringly in a human hand."

[Referenced here: ]
worrybeads  jonmitchell  2014  comments  fidgeting  fidgettools  tefillin  baodingballs  kombolói  religion  anxiety  ritual  technology  tektite  anti-anxietydevices  rituals 
january 2015 by robertogreco
think locally, act globally - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"I was drafting this post before Freddie deBoer’s recent post [ ] on the subject, so this isn’t really a response to Freddie. But what the heck, call it a response to Freddie.

I want to respond by changing the terms of the conversation: Instead of asking “What is the university for?” I’d like for us to ask, “What is this university for?” — “this” university being whatever university I happen to be associated with or to care about.

For instance, I teach in the Honors Program at Baylor University, an intentionally Christian research university — one of the few in the world — that happens to sit in the middle of an exceptionally poor city. So I and my colleagues need to ask:

• What is the role of the Honors Program within the framework of the university as a whole, whose students are not, by and large, as academically accomplished?

• What should Baylor be doing to become, more and more fully and truly, a *Christian* university — to be deeply serious about its faith commitments and its academic ambitions?

• What can Baylor do to be a good institutional citizen within its local community — to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless and train the jobless — since, after all, these would seem to be mandatory concerns for Christians of all descriptions?

I really believe that this is how we should be thinking about our universities: not deductively, by reasoning from what “the university” should be to how we might instantiate that ideal locally, but rather inductively: from what this particular institution is called to be, and is capable of being, to larger generalizations. I truly believe that if we could suspend the general conversation about “the university” for a decade, a decade during which every American institution of higher learning focused on understanding and realizing its own particular mission, and then reconvened with one another to compare notes — then we just might get somewhere.

And I further believe that by attending to its own home turf — its own students, its own faculty, its own surrounding community — any given university will be better able to serve the larger world of academia and society. The old slogan “Think globally, act locally” gets it precisely backwards, I believe: it is only by thinking and acting locally that we can make the right kind of difference globally."

[From one of the comments:

"The way we best show our love to the whole world is… to love with a particular passion some little part of it." —William C. Placher ]
alanjacobs  2014  local  purpose  education  highered  highereducation  freddiedeboer  thewhy  why  community  surroundings  servicelearning  baylor  citizenship  glocal  lcproject  openstudioproject  slow  small  hereandnow  comments  wendellberry  williamplacher 
september 2014 by robertogreco
What Does (and Doesn’t) Progressive Education Plus Technology Look Like? Thoughts on AltSchool
"What Does (and Doesn’t) Progressive Education Plus Technology Look Like? Thoughts on AltSchool
By Audrey Watters

What does it look like when a Silicon Valley engineer decides to reinvent primary school education? Former Google exec Max Ventilla has just raised $33 million to build AltSchool, which he says will be an updated version of Montessori, but a version that relies more heavily on technology R&D. The funding — and the philosophy — prompted EML editor Audrey Watters to ask what does progressive education plus Silicon Valley engineering look like? Does it look like progressive education at all?

In his keynote at the 2012 OpenEd conference, Gardner Campbell, an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, talked about the “Ecologies of Yearning.” (Seriously: watch the video. [ ]) Campbell offered a powerful and poetic vision about the future of open learning, but noted too that there are competing visions for that future, particularly from the business and technology sectors. There are competing definitions of “open” as well, and pointing to the way in which “open” is used (and arguably misused) by education technology companies, Campbell’s keynote had a refrain, borrowed from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: “That is not it at all. That is not what I meant, at all.”

“That is not it at all.” I’ve thought of that line again recently when reading about a new school that recently opened in San Francisco. AltSchool, according to headlines in the technology press, seeks to “reinvent” [ ] and “reimagine“ [ ] primary education. “Silicon Valley startup model meets progressive education,” KQED Mindshift describes the startup. [ ]

Progressive education plus progressive technology — that is, technology in the service of inquiry, computing in the hands of the learner, the Web and the world readily available to the student, and the reformulation of school that could come as a result — is something we want to explore here at Educating Modern Learners. But looking at AltSchool, all I hear is T.S. Eliot: ”That is not it at all. That is not what I meant, at all.”

Silicon Valley Startup Model Meets Progressive Education

AltSchool [ ] was founded in 2013 by Max Ventilla, a former Google executive (his Q&A company Aardvark was acquired by Google in 2010, but he’d worked at the tech giant previously too). When he departed Google last year, Techcrunch speculated [ ] that his next project would be education-related, based on a tweet from his wife — a photograph of a pile of education-related books. Embracing the Silicon Valley mantra of “fail fast and pivot,” Ventilla has taken that reading list and jumped headfirst into education, hiring engineers and teachers (as well as Richard Ludlow, the founder of the education video site Academic Earth) and starting a new, for-profit school. (The startup has started the process of becoming a “B corp,” [ ] meaning that profit isn’t its only goal).

It hasn’t officially opened its doors yet, but AltSchool is running a pilot program now with 20 students from age 5 to 12. Tuition currently runs $19,100 per year, but might be lower as the school plans to expand into multiple locations in the fall.

The students at AltSchool are not separated by grade; they’re in one large room that has various activity centers and space for solitary and group work. Mindshift writer Katrina Schwartz, who visited the school, writes [ ] that “There are times in the day when students are working on independent projects and skills tailored to their skill level, interests, and needs. ‘We expose them to a lot of different things and then sit back and observe, listen to what they say, watch what really excites them, and then build on that and ask questions that go deeper,’ [teacher Carolyn] Wilson said.”

“Personalization” and Playlists

There are elements of AltSchool that draw on progressive education, to be sure, and the startup says that it’s focused on helping students “drive their own education through their real-world motivations and interests.”

But the startup draws on a mishmash of educational theories and technologies, many of which undercut the claims of AltSchool being “progressive.” Although it touts the “personalization” of the program, it’s worth questioning here (as is often the case when that buzzword is used in education circles) what that actually means.

Ventilla describes [ ] the school’s “Personalized Learning Plan” as something “developed collaboratively with insights from teachers, family, and students. It prioritizes a set of learning objectives and milestones that are informed by a standards-based curriculum. It also includes goals for academic, social, and emotional development. The PLP maps from AltSchool’s global notion of what children should learn and how students generally learn best, as represented by their Learner Profile.”

And again, from the Mindshift description of the school:
Another borrowed idea applied to AltSchool is the School of One model in New York. Students at AltSchool work from an individual playlist the teacher puts together that’s keyed to his or her interests. The teacher can keep track of student progress on a dashboard, ensure the tasks have been completed, and adjust activities depending on how students are progressing. For example, recently, AltSchool teacher Carolyn Wilson assigned a video about California’s delta to one student, paired with questions about how water moves through the system.
“He moved it to the ‘done’ column, but it wasn’t done, so I told him he was turning me into a screaming monster,” Wilson said. When she checked his work and saw he hadn’t finished, Wilson tagged that assignment with a screaming monster icon and a note to the student telling him to go back and answer the questions and complete a reflection.

As a video filmed during a visit to the school by Techcrunch’s Leena Rao [ ] also highlights, the talk about “personalization” is translated into a “choice” about which assignments to do next, a “choice” of whether to watch a video or complete a digital worksheet.

Although students have access to tablets, their usage of technology hardly seems transformational. The tools are used to deliver content and quizzes and to track students. Indeed, that seems to be the major point of using technology: for data collection and analysis to be used by adults (parents, teachers, school engineers). The tracking doesn’t just happen through the tablets either; the schoolroom is equipped with video cameras [ ]
so that teachers can just press a button to document a moment. Ventilla says that teachers, parents and students who have been able to actually watch a breakthrough moment or a moment of breakdown have been able to help their children learn better. AltSchool has built audio hardware to better record in noisy settings, and video is uploaded to an online CMS that both parents and teachers can access.

Can we reconcile education as surveillance and education as a practice of freedom? I’m not so sure.

A New Model? An Old Model?

AltSchool recently raised [ ] $33 million from Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, John Doerr, Jonathan Sackler, Learn Capital, and Omidyar Network. (It had previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding. [ ]) As San Francisco Chronicle writer Jill Tucker remarked [ ] about the $33 million, “In the public school world, that much money would be enough to support a small school district for a year or pay the annual salaries of more than 400 experienced teachers. Ventilla plans to mostly spend it on engineers. The AltSchool computer whizzes will design software and applications that make payroll, hiring, admissions, facilities services, purchasing and other services — typically done by a school district’s central office staff — electronically seamless, Ventilla said.”

“We’re not trying to make existing schools work better. We are trying to actually advance a new model of a school.” – Max Ventilla
“We’re not trying to make existing schools work better,” Ventilla has said in several interviews. [ ] “We are trying to actually advance a new model of a school.”

AltSchool raises so many questions about what progressive education plus technology should or could look like; it certainly shows what I’d argue is the sort of superficial approach to “fixing education” that’s all too common from Silicon Valley technologists. Read a book or two; then start an education company. How hard can it be?

One of the things that I find particularly fascinating (and frightening) about this approach is how little it knows about the history of … [more]
audreywatters  2014  progressive  education  progressiveeducation  altschool  johndewey  gardnercampbell  freedom  surveillance  coercion  control  maxventilla  pedagogy  technology  google  montessori  learning  leadership  californianideology  comments  jalfredprufrock  tseliot 
may 2014 by robertogreco
LUNARES: seré arquitecta
[Related: "Hay algo intenso en el espacio público, está oculto, pero es evidente, se siente en el cuerpo, los pasos hablan por nuestra mente."

and ]
comments  2014  waltwhitman  urban  urbanism  chile  edfolsom  urbanaffection  publicspace  sharedspace  intensity 
may 2014 by robertogreco
The Little Mystical - Some Obvious Things About Drawing Maps
"As single-user tools (since we’re talking about personal construction of knowledge), I wonder at the gap between the activity beneath the surface and what a visitor sees – a canonical-looking map or article.

Criticism of Wikipedia’s factual accuracy is often (1) It can change anytime! and (2) Any random person can change it! – which, well, are also the reasons why it works. But the disconnect happens because a unstable work, that’s under constant negotiation, looks stable. How many people look at Wikipedia history frequently? How many people understand – explicitly understand – that this is knowledge construction?

There are some obvious ideas that fall out of making that level of change clearer to people – you could highlight areas that have changed since you last looked at it, you could fade out areas under heavy negotiation and only show the stable parts by default.

Or with personal map-making / map-reading, when you have these layers of structured data, you can do a little paint-by-layers – say you’re drawing a map of your neighborhood, you drag out lines following the path of the main streets you walk on, and Sim-City-style, they get drawn-in using live data. You get both the explicitness of someone’s “drawing out” their map’s contours and the benefit of the latest satellite mapping data."

[Full conversation here: ]
allentan  2013  maps  mapping  wikipedia  osm  openstreetmap  charlieloyd  comments  history  information  knowledge  undertsanding  change  accuracy  time  memory  legibility  infospace  infospaces 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Beginner's Mind for Rethinking Schools (with tweets) · willrich45 · Storify
"A brief yet thought-provoking exchange on Twitter about starting from a place of "emptiness" when it comes to thinking about what schools might become."

[See also: ]
beginner'smind  comments  willrichardson  josieholford  storify  grantlichtman  billivey  schools  education  schooldesign  2013 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Will · Educon 2.5-ish Random-ish Reflections
"But the one thing we kind of danced around that I wish we’d had more time for was the “ok, so what do we do about it.” Two snippets spoke to that. First, at one point we began talking about the inroads that companies had made into education via the Apple Distinguished Educator or Google Certified Teacher brands, and whether or not there was a downside to helping to market companies that at the end of the day may not have the best intentions or visions for the type of progressive reforms that many of us are calling for."


"We don’t need textbooks anymore. We can make our own with our kids. But textbook companies need us to need textbooks. Other companies need us to need LMSs even though we don’t really need them. Etc. What, at the end of the day, are the products that really serve the vision of teaching and learning that we’re now talking about?"


"I. Self-organized learning

This is something I've been thinking about lately. If we are not given true control (when, how, what, etc.) of our own education then we can always blame others for our education. We become victims. This is the problem with compulsory schooling and predetermined curriculum.

On the other hand, if we are given complete control of our education then we can only blame ourselves for its shortcomings. We are allowed self-determination. That is empowering.

II. The tools at our disposal

"What, at the end of the day, are the products that really serve the vision of teaching and learning that we’re now talking about?"

Same as they've always been (though not really products): the people and places in our communities. That includes libraries and museums, of course.

And from recent years: broadband connections (connecting to people, ideas and resources from around the world) and maker spaces (in many ways, those are not really new)."
willrichardson  educon  educon2.5  2013  self-organizedlearning  education  learning  tools  empowerment  blame  victimization  teaching  schools  schooling  textbooks  lms  audreywatters  comments 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Will · Interesting Disclaimer by Common Core Assessors
"Since these non-academic factors are so important, PARCC College- and Career-Ready Determinations can only provide an estimate of the likelihood that students who earn them have the academic preparation necessary to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing courses."

[This is the small print. Too bad we don't lead with "There are no guarantees." That's what I've tried to do. Then we could stop pretending that curriculum is important and get on with letting kids learn. We need to step aside and focus on being examples of good humans. That's all that matters.]
comments  whatmatters  2012  standardization  standardizedtesting  testing  parcc  standards  curriculum  schools  learning  education  disclaimers  commoncore  smallprint  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
A whole magazine of this, please « Snarkmarket
"Seriously, imagine this magazine. (And when I say “magazine” I obviously mean “website.”) It would be so different from anything that’s out there today. It wouldn’t be people trying to convince you of things. (This is the usual mode of, say, The New York Review of Books—although props to them for publishing Nagel on Plantinga.) Nor would it be people ironically infiltrating different belief systems. (This is the mode of a lot of narrative journalism today, and it’s super entertaining! You know: “I spent six weeks hanging out with these crazy people and here’s what I saw.”) It would be… brains at work. Call it The Grappler. An engine of empathy. I don’t know. It would probably have a readership of 300 people but maybe that’s okay."

[Alexis Madrigal comment: "All hail that which does not scale! All hail that which does not scale!"]
saulwurman  intimacy  small  scale  externalization  debate  belief  thomasnagel  longnow  alanjacobs  ianbogost  www.www  wwwconference  intellectualexcercises  understanding  writing  ideas  magazines  comments  snarkmarket  2012  thegrappler  perspective  empathy  robinsloan 
september 2012 by robertogreco
House of Cards | Contents Magazine
Robin resuscitates HyperCard-like stacks.

"We will start to make stacks in earnest again. We will develop a new grammar for this old format. We will talk about rhythm and reveals and tweetable cards. We will know how many cards an average person can tap through in one sitting. We will know when to use stacks…and when to just scroll on. Twenty-five years later, we will prove the hypertext researchers wrong: cards are pretty cool after all."

Later, we discuss:

Full conversation now here:
comments  design  text  writing  stacks  robinsloan  2012  contentsmagazine  hypercard  scrolling  pagination  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Games in the street « Snarkmarket
"We didn’t play stickball out in the second-ring suburbs of Detroit, but we did play with sticks. We ran in the street until dark and we built forts in the mud down by the creek. Most importantly, we made up new games on the spot.

That’s just about my favorite thing about kids: their willingness to transform anything, instantly, at any time, into a game. And I do mean a game: a system with rules. It can be as simple as I slap your knee, you slap mine but it’s a game.

I was lucky to fall in with a neotenous crew in college, and we spent long afternoons inventing games at Michigan State, too: coming up with new configurations of ground and body and frisbee out on the big quad around the clock tower.

Anyway, Spike Lee shouldn’t lament cocolevio (?!) because it’s in the nature of kids’ culture to change, eventually beyond recognition, but I’m with him when it comes to games in the street. I’m sure there are still some kids playing this way in Cobble Hill, but definitely not as many as before. I mean, there’s just no way, right? There are so many other games already invented for them now—all these other games waiting indoors on bright screens big and small.

Stickball never looked like much fun to me, but you can carry a stick into a sword battle, too. Those were more our style. And at a certain time of day, with the sun low in the sky, a neat lawn could truly become a battlefield. You got tired after just a few tussles, really desperately tired, and maybe your knuckles got a little bloody too, but you had to keep going, had to keep fighting—at least until your mom called you home for dinner.

Snarkmatrix, you know me: I am not a Luddite (no way) and not a techno-triumphalist, either. So I hope you’ll take it not as a nostalgic yawlp but rather a considered statement about the nature of the mind and the body when I say: Raw unselfconscious imagination is the best graphics engine that has ever existed, and the street will forever be the arena in which all the best games are played."
snarkmarket  play  games  neoteny  comments  edg  srg  minecraft  sticks  children  creativity  spikelee  imagination  cocolevio  stickball  rules  robinsloan  2012  brooklyn  interviews  timcarmody 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Making smart on Env
"Smart people can take something complex and express it faithfully in different, especially simpler, terms. They can interpret and reinterpret. If you want to make something smart, it’s tempting to do smartness to your topic until you’ve condensed it into some admirably lucid interpretation, then hand that to the audience and wait for the applause. Sometimes this is what’s needed. But it isn’t how to make smart things. A smart thing is something for a smart person. However many interpretations you put in it, however fertile they are, you leave room for more.

You do this because you respect what you are interpreting and you do it because you respect your audience. It’s a lot like being considerate. And that’s how you make smart things."
making  writing  subjectivities  balance  interpretation  dryness  comments  audience  clever  cleverness  criticism  superiority  disdain  milankundera  kitsch  storytelling  airs  malcolmgladwell  ted  smartness  authenticity  entertainment  art  nervio  thomaskincade  beauty  humor  neilgaiman  2012  consideration  smarts  smart  charlieloyd 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Max Tabackman Fenton
[The delightful copy from May 15, 2012.]

"Hello, I'm Max Fenton.

Knowingly or not, I've enlisted friends, peers, and strangers to unpack a puzzle that involves reading and writing on networks and screens.

You can follow along or participate by reading, clipping, grokking, assembling, questioning, and sharing—while making a path. You'll need electrons, a wish to explore, and an eye for how these pieces might fit together in novel shapes and forms.

My trails are charted through twitter, tumblr, pinboard, readmill, reading, and 2nd hand []."

[As shared on Twitter:

"Made my site a little more accurate [] then read @pieratt's "Transparency" — Yes." ]

[See also: ]
stockandflow  flow  commonplacebooks  friends  peers  talktostrangers  strangers  networkedlearning  benpieratt  transparency  comments  peoplelikeme  howwethink  howwecreate  socialmedia  participation  pinboard  readmill  tumblr  twitter  2012  sensemaking  meaningmaking  clipping  assembling  sharing  questioning  crumbtrails  conversation  howwelearn  howwework  cv  online  web  trails  wayfinding  pathfinding  maxfenton  from delicious
may 2012 by robertogreco
April 27 #followreader conversation between @kissane and @katmeyer · maxfenton · Storify
"Every Friday, Kat Meyer hosts an hour-long conversation on twitter about the future of publishing. It's open to anyone following the hashtag. This one with Erin Kissane took place on April 27."
onlinetoolkit  utilitybelt  bookfuturism  howweread  reading  comments  maxfenton  2012  future  publishing  katmeyer  erinkissane  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Will · Getting Bold With Parents
“Teachers need to know that you or parents aren’t going to come after them with pick axes if scores go down."

"Parents are the most important constituency to engage in conversations around the shifts we are experiencing. We have to be willing to provoke and engage in those conversations on an ongoing basis."

"We have to trust that creating inquiry based, technology rich, connected spaces for learning will help students accomplish traditional outcomes (such as passing the test) as well."

"We have to admit that we don’t have all the answers, but that we need parents to be a part of the solution. “Parents can get comfortable with the idea that we’re figuring this out together.”"

"Teachers can feel very empowered when they know parents have their backs."

"We can’t wait for policy or politics to change. We have to be the impetus for change."
change  partnerships  learning  parenteducation  parenting  parents  comments  2012  problemsolving  boldschools  schools  tcsnmy  administration  leadership  teaching  schools  education  willrichardson  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
A search engine for unknown future queries · rogre · Storify
Bookmarking myself:

"Among many other topics, we discussed collections, loose tools (like Pinboard and Sagashitemiyo (something related to that, I think), or a simple tin box like the one that is featured in Amélie), pristineness (for lack of a better term), and clutter.

Dieter Rams' house came up (we only liked his workshop*), as did Scandinavian design, the desks of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Mark Twain (with a semblance of a system with what appears to be a mess), and Path (as mentioned here and by Frank Chimero).

Eventually, we made the connection to a scene in Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter, in which Ray's office is discussed. She essentially uses it as storage. No one else dares enter because it is overflowing with stuff. But, then, whenever something seems to be missing from a project that the office is working on, Ray mentions that she has just the right thing, disappears into her office, and returns with exactly the perfect object."
georgedyson  scandinavia  cv  onlinetoolkit  tools  play  containers  tinboxes  sagashitemiyo  amélie  frankchimero  path  alberteinstein  marktwain  stevejobs  dieterrams  googlereader  duckduckgo  learning  teaching  2837university  2011  2012  pinboard  bookmarks  bookmarking  search  audiencesofone  stephendavis  allentan  eames  rayeames  storify  comments  from delicious
april 2012 by robertogreco
Hi. My name is Anne. I make stuff with words. | Design Culture Lab
"I’m interested in words as materials for making, and in the written word as an artefact or thing that has been made. I’m also interested in why words (or the written word as distinguished from books) are generally not considered part of “Maker culture.”

Barry’s point was that Maker culture is specifically concerned with hardware, and since I think this definition is generally accepted then words-as-materials have no place there. If Making is about problem-solving, then creative writing has no place there either."

"So, does this mean that if the primary goal of (creative) writing is expression, the only way it can be incorporated into Maker culture is to use words explicitly for problem-solving, or the production of (cultural) solutions? How, exactly, does that differ from aesthetic goals–and especially if we do not distinguish between aesthetics and ethics?"

[Follow-up post here: ]
2012  peterrichardson  knowledge  discourse  glenfuller  kiostark  erinkissane  giovannitiso  tomhenderson  sallyapplin  design  materials  makerculture  makers  making  expression  comments  wordsmithing  writing  annegalloway  ethics  aesthetics  digitalsertão  expandingtext  stackingwords  telescopictext 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Why Tweet? (And How To Do It) | A.T. | Cleveland
"Effective tweeting requires effective writing. The short form—each tweet is 140 characters or less—requires discipline. Tweets reward clarity, wit and concision. You could train yourself to be a better writer by using twitter effectively. It hones your focus on the sentence level, and the sentence is the most important unit of composition.

Once, I asked a group of students to take an essay they had written for class and tweet it, sentence by sentence. By forcing them to fit each sentence into that white box, I was asking them to analyze every word they used and to consider how they constructed the clauses in the sentence. They were furious with me: they hated the exercise. But they all agreed they thought about their sentences more than they had when they first wrote the paper…

I have broken down effective tweets into four categories: headline, questions, self-contained quips and comments…"
tutorials  howto  questions  comments  quips  headlines  2011  communication  howwewrite  practice  efficiency  brevity  sentences  classideas  writing  twitter  annetrubek  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Science teacher: Doyle's School of Educharlantry
"If you want to be professional, act like one. Silence is unacceptable.

I don't need your support after the meeting. Telling me I said what everyone else is thinking after I get my ass handed to me on a platter does no good.

Join the fray, that's how democracy works. And shame the charlatans back to the ooze they came from.

Snake oil poster from Oregon state--I need to find the website..."
beenthere  education  democracy  sheeple  selfpromotion  outsiders  professionaldevelopment  experts  charlatans  speakingout  cv  teaching  comments  professionalism  michaeldoyle  outsider 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Will · How Can You Not Be Angry?
"But here’s the thing: If you’re a public school educator in the U.S. right now, how can you not be angry? How can you not be doing something, even if it is just a profanity laced Tweet? The profession is being trampled. Politicians and businessmen with no background in education are driving reform. And our students are stuck in a system that still thinks it’s the 19th Century. By any standard, including the tests, our kids are not being well served, especially those who live in poverty. As a community, we’re in a fight, whether we like it or not, yet we seem more inclined to figure out Google+ than to make our voices heard to the policy makers who seem to have no desire to figure out what’s best for our children and care more about their re-election campaigns. <br />
<br />
I mean really…what’s it going to take?"
willrichardson  activism  apathy  politics  education  reform  policy  language  profanity  comments  teachers  teaching  anger  2011  edreform  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The art of working in public « Snarkmarket ["Work in public. Reveal nothing."]
"…two very different dudes…different positions…different objectives…both written in essentially the same style, with common characteristics both superficial—a smart but very informal voice that reads like a long email from your smartest coolest friend ever—& structural:

…both conjure a sense that the piece is almost being written as you read it…slightly chaotic & totally thrilling…both let you inside their heads…But!—they don’t let you all the way inside. There’s plenty withheld…here’s the genius of the style: they don’t tell you much at all…

I tend to zero in on this kind of writing because I aspire to do more of it myself, & to do it better. Working in public like this can be a lot of fun, for writer & reader alike, but more than that: it can be a powerful public good…When you work in public, you create an emissary (media cyborg style) that then walks the earth, teaching others to do your kind of work as well. And that is transcendently cool."

[See the great comments too.]

[See also Clive Thompson's post, which references this one: ]
writing  business  public  robinsloan  publicthinking  mattwebb  berg  berglondon  alexismadrigal  classideas  transparency  surprise  revelation  style  newliberalarts  chaos  publicgood  learning  teaching  mediacyborgs  sharing  web  internet  informality  balance  spontaneity  immediacy  thinkinginpublic  thinkingoutloud  2011  comments  questions  possibility  pondering  emptiness  workinginpublic  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
daniel sinker • Open Data Product Idea: "Civic Navigator"
"Imagine: You’re looking at moving to a new part of town, you have a kid, and want to know where the hell you are, in terms of wards, schools, cops, services… So you enter an address, or you smack a button on your phone and you’re served up a whole bunch of information:

• What’s the neighborhood?
• What ward are you in—who’s the alderman, how do you get in touch?
• What about state districts—who represents this place? Or who’s the US congressperson?
• What’s the police district, and where’s the office?
• What schools does that location feed into, and how are they doing?
• What kind of transportation options are around you (trains, busses, bike routes & racks, etc)
• Where is something green close by (a park, a playlot, a forest preserve, etc)?
• Closest hospital?

There are plenty of other possibilities, but you get the idea: Give a heads-up display for a place, the vital information for engaging in a location."
networkedcities  networkedurbanism  urban  urbanism  comments  adamgreenfield  danielsinker  2011  everyblock  data  chicago  cities  urbanflow  bighere  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Real-World Math -
"Hey, kids! Ever wonder how math is done in the real world? This is the way math is done in the real world."

Storify that I put together to document a conversation on Twitter about a specific math problems that Diana Kimball asked for help with.
math  mathematics  realworld  cv  storytelling  storify  collaboration  twitter  2011  timcarmody  robinsloan  dianakimball  games  boardgames  problemsolving  statistics  probability  conversation  comments  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Between the By-Road and the Main Road: Being in the Middle: Learning Walks
"So imagine a commitment to learning that involved making regular learning walks with high school students as a normal part of the "school" day. Now, these learning walks should not be confused with walking tours, which are designed based on planned outcomes. One walks to point X in order to see object or artifact Y. The points are predetermined, hierarchical in design.

Instead, learning walks are rhizomatic. They are inherently about being in the middle of things and coming to learn what could not been predetermined. Learning walks are part of the "curriculum" for instructional seminar (which I described here)."

[My comments cross-posted here: ]
maryannreilly  comments  walking  walkshops  adamgreenfield  flaneur  psychogeography  derive  dérive  education  learning  schools  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  noticing  observation  seeing  2011  rhizomaticlearning  johnseelybrown  douglasthomas  unguided  self-directedlearning  serendipity  johnberger  willself  rebeccasolnit  sistercorita  maps  mapping  photography  alanfletcher  lawrenceweschler  kerismith  exploration  exploring  johnstilgoe  noticings  rjdj  ios  situationist  situatedlearning  situated  hototoki  serendipitor  flow  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  experience  control  ego  cv  coritakent  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Jay Parkinson + MD + MPH = a doctor in NYC (I just finished reading Bonk by Mary Roach.  The...)
"I spent 4 years in medical school and 5 years in residency. I went to Penn State for medical school and St. Vincents in the West Village for Pediatrics and Hopkins for Preventive Medicine. I never once received lectures on sex and sexuality. It’s sad to think that doctors must teach themselves something so important to us all. Speaking of that, here are the other topics that were either skipped over entirely or given a blurb in a lecture throughout my nine years of medical training:

• Behavior change
• Diet and nutrition
• Exercise
• Death and dying
• Communication skills
• The business of healthcare in America (aka, how to run a practice)

These are just off the top of my head. What are the others?"
jayparkinson  medicine  education  medicalschool  lifeskills  behavior  diet  nutrition  exercise  death  dying  communication  business  health  healthcare  comments  preventitivemedicine  prevention  sex  sexuality  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
For Dewey, Bellow, and Sweetness: The Story of the Chicago Comma -
"The University of Oxford no longer uses the "Oxford" or serial Comma in its own publications. Even though the serial comma is still recommended by Oxford University Press, we feel that the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new city on a new continent. We say: let the so-called Oxford Comma become hereafter known as the Chicago Comma."
timcarmody  danielsinker  oxford  oxfordcomma  punctuation  chicago  2011  manualofstyle  writing  style  ego  humor  appropriation  renaming  classideas  storify  commas  howwewrite  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  serialcomma  language  communication  comments  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Children of Troy « Snarkmarket
"This little correspondence cracked like lightning in my head. I mean, it’s no big deal; it’s a small thing, it’s a letter, they were both in Michigan, it makes perfect sense. And yet, and yet: Clifton Wharton, president of Michigan State University, and Marguerite Hart, librarian of Troy—a tangible thread connected them. And as soon as you realize that, you can’t help but imagine the other threads, the other connections, that all together make a net, woven before you were born, before you were even dreamed of—a net to catch you, support you, lift you up. Libraries and universities, books and free spaces—all for us, all of us, the children of Troy everywhere.

What fortune. Born at the right time."


"And it’s not the librarian laughing and crying at the same time here; it’s me. Every time I’ve read these letters, it’s me."
snarkmarket  robinsloan  libraries  troy  cityoftroy  books  memories  memory  childhood  reading  librarians  connections  knowledge  freespaces  letters  universities  michigan  michiganstate  ebwhite  isaacasimov  cliftonwharton  margueritehart  johnburns  1971  2011  publiclibraries  education  learning  experience  comments  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: Our epistemology, and entrepreneurial learning
"The sway that the subject of technology has over discussions about education and learning, is giving me increasing cause for concern. Absent from the explanations of new understandings of knowledge and learning, and their arguments for change, is some balance to the largely utopian ideals. The sub headings in the 'entrepreneurial learning' article for example, read like evangelical slogans, without a single word for caution or circumspect (that I could see by scanning). What would one include to strike a balance? Most obvious would be Postman, in particular his warnings in Technonopoly, but their could and should be many others. Surely we agree that technology gives potential to all traits of humanity, not just the bits we'd like to pick out."
leighblackall  comments  technology  howardrheingold  johnseelybrown  maxsengles  technolopoly  google  goldmansachs  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  adamcurtis  florianschneider  gatekeepers  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  darkmatter  gregorysholette  institutions  education  learning  power  neo-colonialism  networkedlearning  networkculture  internet  connectivism  society  socialmedia  2011  2008  informallearning  informal  mentoring  mentorship  pedagogy  self-organization  self-directedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  fachidioten  humanism  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: Situated art, situated learning - En Route by One Step At A Time Like This
"I think the artistic intent of these concepts could be enhanced with study of Joseph Beuys' work, particularly the Free International University, as well as Situationist International and their desire to create environments for discovering and appreciating the true value of things rather than their staged value.

All of this makes for excellent examples to add to my essay in progress on Ubiquitous Learning - a critique, where I'm trying to argue that the words ubiquity and learning have nothing inherently to do with technology, and are instead words of ethical dimension, so the phrase ubiquitous learning should become one more to do with an ethical approach or framework to learning, and not one suggesting a technological determination of it."
context  situated  situationist  leighblackall  comments  josephbeuys  newpublicthinkers  technology  art  situatedlearning  ubiquitouslearning  2837university  agitpropproject  agitprop  williamhanks  randallszott  colinward  learning  unschooling  deschooling  education  messiness  ethics  georgesiemens  curation  curating  curatorialteaching  connectivism  space  place  explodingschool  adamgreenfield  guydebord  enroute  street  urban  urbanism  cities  cityasclassroom  thecityishereforyoutouse  cv  lcproject  psychogeography  urbanscale  salrandolph  situatedart  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
A 5-minute framework for fostering better conversations in comments sections | Poynter.
Five key principles of online conversations: Don’t blame (or credit) “The Internet.”; For better outcomes, use better filters; The very best filter is an empowered, engaged adult; The difference between conversation and graffiti; The output of a great community is great content.

Five key aspects of online commenting environments: Authentication; Reputation and scoring; Moderation; Policies; Threading

Five tips for fostering great conversations: Learn the ladder of escalation; Practice aikido; You don’t have to prove anything; Assume good faith; Be accountable."
mattthompson  comments  community  conversation  journalism  web  blogs  interaction  moderation  threading  escalation  communitymanagement  management  relationships  goodfaith  accountability  respect  2011  metafilter  content  reputation  scoring  policies  online  internet  commenting  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Harry Potter and the Farmer’s Market « Snarkmarket
"So what if you set up a stand next to the radish-monger & sold books at the farmer’s market? …an inventory specifically concocted to tickle the brains & tug the heart-strings of farmer’s market true believers?

Then, what about selling books at fancy food stores, wineries, & (yes) mysterious cheese shops? Don’t people have enough cook books already? Couldn’t those stores stock a little rack of cheap Food Cart Boys thrillers & sell them as impulse buys?

Maybe there’s another format that would work even better. Maybe it’s actually a rack of audio books, & you can play one in the kitchen while you make something great out of that dino kale & mysterious cheese.

I think the market is ripe. Everybody’s wondering: okay, first vampires, then zombies…what’s next?…I think it’s food: tales of weird sci-fi food, tales of illicit criminal food, tales of food & love.

I want the next wave to be food, because I think those could be amazing stories, & because I think they’re worth telling."
robinsloan  comments  snarkmarket  food  books  publishing  booksellers  farmersmarkets  cooking  literature  fiction  2011  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Innovative Educator: 20 Characteristics I’ve Discovered about Unschoolers and Why Innovative Educators Should Care
"They are driven by passion…have a love of learning…want you to know school isn’t best place to learn lessons on socialization…are happy…have interesting careers they enjoy…are artistic…creative…have a concern for environment…consider learning in the world far more authentic & valuable then learning in school world…deeply consider whether college is right choice for them rather than it being a given…have no problem getting in to college…appreciate some aspects of formalized schooling in college if they’ve decided to attend…advocate for themselves & their right to meaningful curriculum in college…don’t believe they are an exception because they are especially self motivated, driven, or smart…shrug off the criticism that they won’t be able to function in the real world…don’t expect learning to come just from a parent, adult, authority or teacher…are often defending the fact that they were unschooled…are adventurous…are grateful they were unschooled"
unschooling  education  schooling  learning  homeschool  glvo  via:rushtheiceberg  teaching  tcsnmy  lcproject  srg  edg  adults  colleges  universities  creativity  adventure  exploration  lifelonglearning  comments  anseladams  dorislessing  dropouts  richardbranson  deschooling  lisanielsen  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Liz Danzico - Adding By Leaving Out: The Power of the Pause on Vimeo
"We tend to think of the pause as awkward. In speech, pauses connote uncomfortable silence, an issue at hand, and as communicators, we smooth over silence with fillers. We’re trained to deliver smooth speech, censoring “um” and “ah” out. As designers, as much as we value whitespace, we tend to fill it. This distaste for the pause — and the inverse seeking an always-on state — is a daily battle we face. We’re impatient with the pause, and as a result, we’re missing out on a great deal. What would happen if we become more comfortable with the pause? As it turns out, we can add by leaving out. From Edison to Underhill to web-based software, learn where the pause has power."

[Something very brief that I wrote about pause a few months before: ]
lizdanzico  pause  slow  slowness  design  webdesign  words  comments  collections  whitespace  impatience  patience  behavior  smoothness  wabi-sabi  fluency  speech  speaking  communication  understanding  thomasedison  toshare  classdieas  jonathansafranfoer  awkwardness  webdev  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Finding Time | Rebecca Solnit | Orion Magazine
"conundrum is that language to describe ineffable splendors & possibilities of our lives takes time to master, takes a certain unhurried engagement w/ tasks of description, assessment, critique, & conversation; that to speak this slow language you must slow down, & to slow down you must have some inkling of what you will gain by doing so. It’s not an elite language; nomadic & remote tribal peoples are now quite good at picking & choosing from development’s cascade of new toys, & so are some of cash-poor, culture-rich people in places like Louisiana. Poetry is good training in speaking it, & skepticism is helpful in rejecting the four horsemen of this apocalypse [Efficiency, Convenience, Profitability, & Security], but both require a mind that likes to roam around & the time in which to do it.

Ultimately…slowness is an act of resistance, not because slowness is a good in itself but because of all that it makes room for, the things that don’t get measured and can’t be bought."

[My take: ]
culture  productivity  technology  music  efficiency  convenience  profitability  pleasure  poetry  sociability  security  slow  slowness  cash-poor  culture-rich  inspiration  nomads  skepticism  language  conversation  time  resistance  neo-nomads  distraction  well-being  2010  rebeccasolnit  comments  cv  canon  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
On Ireland, Briefly |
"Why weren't plans drawn up for controlled shrinkage during impending contraction or for how to utilize the massively overbuilt housing? Alas, the answer is simple: such thoughts didn't fit with the mantra that the boom would never end. Ireland was different, I was told time and time again, and unlike the tired old United States, it had discovered the secret for perpetual growth."

[Reminds me of a another promise that came out of Ireland in 2006. Remember Steorn? ]
comments  steorn  kazysvarnelis  economics  growth  bubbles  policy  2010  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Innovative Educator: Educating Innovatively WITHOUT School
"Even now (I’m twenty-four), people ask me what my days were like, as an unschooler. What did I do? How did I learn? And the truth is—I’m not exactly sure. Because they were almost never the same. There were some textbooks along the way. Maybe two. I was supposed to complete a certain amount of lessons a week from them. I did a lot of them on Fridays, when I remembered. I remember reading all the time. And writing all the time. And painting. And playing music. I did these things because I loved them. I loved them in a way that I sometimes think people have forgotten they can be loved by children and young adults. Because these activities weren’t school, or work, or homework, or a requirement. They were me. And when you love something enough to do it constantly, it will always lead to other things, and you will always get better at it. It sounds so simple. People want more of an answer…"
education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  glvo  srg  edg  tcsnmy  comments  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Roberto Greco September 2010 | A Teacher's Desk [My contribution to a group blog. I'll be sending in an image and caption each month.]
"In transit to the next desk, a vacant seat in the classroom* of the moment (not pictured), with mate and thermos (the caffeine keeps me awake**, the process slows me down); laptop and charger (to research, record, communicate, and share***); and clipboard and miscellaneous papers (fewer and fewer each year)

*With desks like these, we call them studios.
**But maybe it doesn’t.
***Just a few of those places."

[On the post, several of these words link for context.]
teaching  schools  cv  glvo  desks  comments  tcsnmy  education  ego  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Everything Is a Remix
"This site is a companion blog to the four-part video series, Everything is a Remix. The first episode of the series has been published and part two should be complete around the end of this year."

[via: via ]

[Related: A line that didn't make the cut for my Back to School Morning talk this year: There is nothing new under the sun. We build on the work of others. The NMY program is just our remix (blend) of what we consider to be the best ideas in learning and education from throughout history—Socrates, Dewey, Illich, Freire, Montessori, Postman, Ward, Holt, Meier, Kohn, Darling-Hammond, et al.]
tcsnmy  lcproject  remix  remixing  creativity  copyright  art  culture  mashup  music  video  documentary  cv  unschooling  deschooling  publicdomain  comments  remixculture  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
lauren's library blog - Goodbye RSS; It was nice while it lasted.
"I went through all of my old reader subscriptions and ruthlessly unsubscribed. If I had any indication I might be interested in continuing on with the content, I added it to Twitter/Facebook if possible. I went from 167 blogs to 74. Just to clarify this change over time, before my maternity leave I subscribed to closer to 450 blogs. I’ve been whittling away for some time.

I subscribed freely to things in Twitter. In the past I’ve added with caution and returned a follow only if it was clear from the bio that we had something in common. Now I’m not going to focus too much on maintaining a lean list. I went from following 735 to 789 folks/organizations. And I suspect I’ll add many more over the next day or two."

[via: ]
comments  twitter  rss  googlereader  flow  search  subscriptions  internet  web  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
The Ruleless Road « Snarkmarket
"In the long list of books I’ll never write, there’s one that’s about a the­ory of risk. The the­ory is that there’s a thresh­old of risk aver­sion beyond which our attempts to extin­guish risk actu­ally exac­er­bate it. It would be filled with the case stud­ies you might expect — things like the overuse of antibi­otics and how a finan­cial insur­ance prod­uct short-circuited the econ­omy. But the open­ing anec­dote would be about roads. And I’d basi­cally copy and paste it from from this Decem­ber ’04 Wired story: …"
comments  mattthompson  snarkmarket  risk  behavior  roads  driving  antibiotics  insurance  finance  riskaversion  helicopterparents  handmoderman  complexity  simplicity  helicopterparenting  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
jeweled platypus · text · Augmented reality for non-programmers
"When people care about the place where they live, they often end up helping make it a better place. But how do people get interested? It might help if the history of that place is brought to the surface, making its compelling stories more noticeable. A good local newspaper or blog can do this, but only if you find one and read it regularly. An augmented-reality mobile app might be able to do this instantly for anyone curious about their surroundings, but only if they have that device. What about for everyone? These are some stories about a place I like." …

"So I’d like to install some sidewalk plaques in IV! Traditional bronze markers would be very expensive (and require who knows what kind of permission and work to install), but there’s an alternative made with linoleum: messages in the style of Toynbee tiles, which are crackpot graffiti anonymously glued to asphalt roads in a few cities:"
comments  islavista  santabarbara  ucsb  brittagustafson  annotation  annotatedspeces  space  place  meaning  classideas  tcsnmy  cities  history  neighborhoods  stories  storytelling  augmentedreality  toynbeetiles  graffiti  streetart  intelligentgraffiti  noticings  local  yellowarrow  blueplaques  spaceinvader  analog  waymwaymarking  ar  arnoldtoynbee  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
New iPod Touch rumors, and why to buy it instead of iPhone 4 | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home
"It would really be nice if iPod Touch took a page from iPad’s book & came in model w/ 3G Internet access available on a month-by-month, contract-free basis. I could buy it when I especially wanted it, such as when I was going on a trip or something, & forego it the rest of the time. (Yes, I know I could get an iPad with that feature, but I can’t put an iPad in my pocket so the usefulness of being able to whip it out wherever I am is kind of limited.) Of course, phone companies know people would just take to using Skype or other VOIP w/ it, given that it’s a lot easier to carry around than iPad, so it’s probably not ever going to happen. [Almost exactly my thoughts, but GPS too please.]

If you’re looking for a pocket-sized e-book, net-surfing, messaging, & video-calling solution, you might want to ask yourself if you honestly make or take that many phone calls. If not, you might do well to consider upcoming iPod Touch & separate pay-as-you-go handset rather than iPhone 4."

[ ]
ipodtouch  iphone  ipad  mobile  phones  2010  comments  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Of Cognition and Memory, Technology and Cities, Learning and Schools. Part I
"what would it look like if we're enabling next instead of present?…What happens to cognition & collective memory, when every student at every age has phone in hand linking them universally & able to connect intimately & via projection?…augmented reality. To ask any question of anyone? These are present, not yet ubiquitous, technologies. As they appear & cognition changes…what do we educators do? What happens to teaching? spaces? curriculum?…Forget "no teaching wall," is there even "teaching floor"—& what does that mean?…age-based grades vanish…subjects…very notions of "student" & "teacher" altered. As info becomes more free, expertise becomes more distributed & controls of grade-level-expectations, standardized tests & textbooks become irrelevant. Does fixed time schedule survive? Is it possible to imagine school which prepares students for their future? Which operates w/, & builds skills for flexibility which humans require if they are to succeed when world changes?"
irasocol  ubicomp  education  future  futures  learning  explodingschool  adamgreenfield  cityofsound  urbancomputing  urban  urbanism  connectivity  handhelds  connectivism  cognition  collectivememory  cities  memory  technology  comments  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  distributed  everyware 
july 2010 by robertogreco - Comments
"We already have a widespread many-to-one feedback medium that avoids this: email. So that’s the feedback system that I allow on my site. Anyone can email me, & I will read it.

Those who truly want to start a discussion usually have their own blogs, so they can write their commentary to their audience. If it’s a Tumblr reblog, I’ll see it & read it. If it’s an external link & they email me w/ the link, or they make a corresponding Twitter post mentioning “marcoarment” or “Marco Arment” or a URL containing “” or any short URL resolving to something that contains “”, I’ll see it and read it.

I don’t make it difficult to give me feedback.

What’s not possible is reaching my audience, on my site, without my permission.
Given that this site represents me, and I’ve earned an audience over a very long time of people who generously allow me to take tiny slices of their attention on a regular basis, I don’t think that tightly controlling its content is unfair."
marcoarment  blogging  2010  tumblr  commenting  comments  communication  community  email 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero — Holiday
"I always come back...either because I love this thing, or because it’s the only thing I know how to do, only thing I’ve ever done. I haven’t decided yet. Maybe this is like any kind of young-love relationship: euphoric highs & cratering lows. Maybe normalization comes w/ experience & age, or finding right kind of cocktail. Maybe it is getting correct mix that’s just right for you: a bit of client work, dash of self-indulgent creative activity, hint of collaboration, healthy bit of self-loathing, & maybe tiny bit of off-time. Or maybe all this turmoil just comes from being a fussy, navel-gazing, difficult creative person...

All I know is that I’m weary once more, & I’ll need some time to convince myself that I love this gig again...So far, my tumultuous, revolving-door relationship w/ design has taught me this: only way I know how to fall in love again is to shut everything off & spend some time alone w/ design, trying to re-experience what made me love it in the first place."

[My response here: ]
process  sympathy  design  clients  hope  work  learning  sabbaticals  yearoff  cv  teaching  frankchimero  comments 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Evolution or Revolution... or something else - Practical Theory
"perhaps we don't have word we need. Because even "evolution" suggests natural progression, & that's not what I'm calling for. I want to see us change, grow, evolve, so that all kids can have schools they need. But I also want adults to be smart & wise & kind in desire & quest for that change. I want them to be respectful & understanding of how difficult that change is. I want them to celebrate the incremental changes those around them make while never stopping to work for greater change. & I want the (r)evolution to be done in a way so that it doesn't require proverbial bloodshed, & I want it done in a way that does take the best of what we have been, the best of what we are... & marries to the the potential of what we can be.

I don't know that "revolution" gets us there...I think we we're trying to do might be harder than that. But...if we strive for this kind of purposeful evolutionary change, we might get there in a way that is healthiest & sustaining for all involved."
chrislehmann  change  revolution  evolution  schools  policy  education  us  words  definitions  respect  tcsnmy  2010  comments 
july 2010 by robertogreco
TeachPaperless: Post-ISTE Thoughts
"It's not enough to be a teacher of math or a teacher of history; we need to liberate ourselves from 1,500 years of disciplinarian categorization and move into a view of education as the preparation of the self in the matters of living.

Science, technology, engineering, math, and yes even art -- though wonderful and necessary in and of themselves -- are only tools, lenses really through which to measure, process, and evaluate the world.

We need to go beyond that."
shellyblake-pock  tcsnmy  purpose  schools  education  2010  iste2010  whatmatters  learning  lcproject  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  messiness  schooliness  categorizations  specialization  generalists  life  living  death  love  empathy  compassion  truth  creativity  toshare  comments  specialists 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Universal acid « Snarkmarket
"The philoso­pher Dan Den­nett, in his ter­rific book Darwin’s Dan­ger­ous Idea, coined a phrase that’s echoed in my head ever since I first read it years ago. The phrase is uni­ver­sal acid, and Den­nett used it to char­ac­ter­ize nat­ural selection—an idea so potent that it eats right through other estab­lished ideas and (maybe more impor­tantly) institutions—things like reli­gion. It also resists con­tain­ment; try to say “well yes, but, that’s just over there” and nat­ural selec­tion burns right through your “yes, but.”"
robinsloan  snarkmarket  danieldennett  evolution  religion  capitalism  globish  english  computing  cloudcomputing  cloud  comments  naturalselection  universalacid  understanding  creativity  whoah  gamechanging  conciousness 
june 2010 by robertogreco
For the Love of Learning: Rubrics - the predetermined space
"When school becomes more about following instructions and less about intellectual discovery, kids feel like this little girl on the bike. Rubrics do this too. We may like how rubrics provide students with such a clear and concise vision for what we expect, but it is rather ironic that their strength is also their weakness. The dangerous thing about taping a square on the floor, providing students with a detailed rubric or giving explicit instructions is the kids might actually only do what they are told and simply follow what we ask them to do. Do you create or remove predetermined spaces?"
joebower  rubric  assessment  grading  grades  alfiekohn  schools  teaching  motivation  tcsnmy  comments 
june 2010 by robertogreco
From space to time « Snarkmarket
"Bri­dle says read­ers don’t value what pub­lish­ers do because all of the time involved in edit­ing, for­mat­ting, mar­ket­ing, etc., is invis­i­ble to reader when they encounter final prod­uct. Maybe. But mak­ing that time/labor vis­i­ble CAN’T just mean brusquely insist­ing that pub­lish­ers really are impor­tant & that they really do do valu­able work. It needs to mean some­thing like find­ing new ways for read­ers to engage with that work, & mak­ing that time mean­ing­ful as THEIR time.

In short, it means that writ­ers & pro­duc­ers of read­ing mate­r­ial prob­a­bly ought to con­sider tak­ing them­selves a lit­tle less seri­ously & read­ers & read­ing a lit­tle more seri­ously. Let’s actu­ally BUILD that body of knowl­edge about read­ers and their prac­tices — let’s even start by look­ing at TIME as a key deter­mi­nant, espe­cially as we move from print to dig­i­tal read­ing — & try to offer a bet­ter, more tai­lored yet more vari­able range of expe­ri­ences accordingly."
reading  writing  snarkmarket  comments  thebookworks  books  publishing  annotation  quotations  interactivity  experience  time  space  data  amazon  penguin  jamesbridle  robinsloan  respect  ebooks  kindle  ipad  bookfuturism  attention  timcarmody  edting  formatting  value  understanding  commonplacebooks  transparency  visibility  patterns  patternrecognition  friends  lisastefanacci  bookselling  npr  practice 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » An Open Mind (In Higher Ed at Least)
"Right now, that is “radical” thinking, but it’s provocative nonetheless. That “signals” piece is exactly where a lot of my own thinking and reading has been centered of late. And while this is about higher ed, a shift like that obviously has big implications for K-12. Not only is it about how we prepare our kids to learn more effectively in informal environments around the things they are passionate about, but also how we help them begin to build those portfolios of work that have real world applications, that can be used to highlight their learning and their ability to learn throughout their lives. I mean how, right now, are schools helping students be self-directed participants in their own learning who are able to share openly the learning they do and connect with others to pursue that learning even further?" Response here:
comments  willrichardson  education  informallearning  accreditation  pln  schools  teaching  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  portfolios  evidenceoflearning 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Last Beautiful feedback and the new process > Robin Sloan
"But my emerg­ing process hinges on this notion: a piece of fic­tion is like a lump of clay, & my pref­er­ence is to put it out in pub­lic before it fin­ishes dry­ing. It does dry even­tu­ally: it would feel really strange to go back & make edits to, say, The Writer & the Witch at this point. Even Last Beau­ti­ful feels mostly baked. But did I open it up & smooth out a sen­tence just now? I sure did.

My friend A Fitzger­ald accused me recently of being “addicted to real-​​time feed­back.” I had to admit that I was; I find this process just totally, irre­sistibly fun & use­ful. And rather than wring my hands over whether it’s the best path to pro­duc­ing great work—longer sto­ries, bet­ter sto­ries, deeper stories—I’m going to just keep devel­op­ing it, improv­ing it, until it gets me there. As I said up top, & as I’m sure you’ve sensed: this isn’t slav­ish crowd-​​fiction. There is a pur­pose to all this, & the pur­pose is to make some­thing great.

Wel­come to the new process."
robinsloan  writing  process  real-timefeedback  editing  selectivecrowdsourcing  twitter  googledocs  howwework  ficition  iteration  gamechanging  comments  fiction 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The very foundations « Snarkmarket
"I think these three domains are all espe­cially impor­tant and inter­est­ing because they’re all meta–domains. That is to say, they deter­mine the play­ing field for other domains, so changes here cause chain-reactions. There’s lever­age. Change any of these domains in a deep way and you change the econ­omy. You change tech­nol­ogy. You change fam­ily struc­tures and land-use patterns. But it’s true for energy most of all. Hop­ing for a mir­a­cle is not a real strat­egy, I know; but don’t for­get that the early days of steam power, oil and elec­tric­ity all had a bit of the mirac­u­lous to them. Some new energy-harvesting process, or some rad­i­cally more pow­er­ful kind of bat­tery: either could trans­form society—absolutely up-end it. And changes in energy end up chang­ing every­thing else—law and edu­ca­tion included. How excit­ing is that?"
energy  law  education  local  tcsnmy  comments  robinsloan  ted  snarkmarket  gamechanging  lcproject  future  problemsolving  meta  unschooling  deschooling  learning  distributed  simplicity  complexity 
february 2010 by robertogreco
tcsnmy7 - An open letter to those in attendance at The Children’s School Board of Trustees pre-board forum on Monday, January 25
Follow-up to a presentation about the NMY program and Q&A with students including reference to articles mentioned and an introduction to others not mentioned during the talk. Topics include progressive education, one-to-one laptop programs, transparency, high scool and college admissions, and the purpose or 'big meaning' of education. Also posted at:
cv  comments  tcsnmy  school  schooling  putpose  1to1  laptops  technology  philosophy  meaning  why  bookmarks  transparency  hollandchristian  ap  future  appreciation  admissions  highereducation  highschool  colleges  universities  reflection  1:1 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Wandering above a sea of media « Snarkmarket
"This is prob­a­bly not going to push my stock/flow ratio in the right direc­tion, but I’m start­ing a tum­blr. It’s so odd! I am com­pletely mys­ti­fied by the plat­form and its dynam­ics. I have no idea how to do any­thing. (And I sorta like the feeling?)
tumblr  comments  robinsloan  snarkmarket  flow  stockandflow  wonderdeficit  deficitofwonder  wonder 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Barbarians with Laptops - robertogreco {tumblr}
Hi Katie. Thank you for the mention over at Clay Burell's blog and thanks for all the thought provoking quotes and links. I’ve got a few thoughts directed to you in a comment that doesn't appear to have made it through Clay's comment filter (not surprising given the length). So, I put it together with my previous comment and posted it to my not-quite-a-blog on Tumblr.

[commenting on: ]
comments  tcsnmy  laptops  1to1  learning  education  cv  clayburell  teaching  technology  content  skills  students  time  1:1 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Barbarians with Laptops: An Unreasonable Fear? at Beyond School
"I’ll start with saying I’m still uncomfortable with the opportunity cost notion. As a history teacher — which to me means “preparation for informed citizenship” teacher — I’m not sure I want to sacrifice time that could be used learning and drawing conclusions from human history on the altar of failed web 2.0 experimentation. ... Whatever your subject matter, I’d love to see specific examples of digital tools and practices that, either through research-based evidence or your own direct observation, you think enhance the learning of content or the development of skills in the classroom."

[my comments here too: ]
comments  teaching  technology  1to1  laptops  education  clayburell  content  skills  learning  students  time  tcsnmy  1:1 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Undercapitalized « Snarkmarket
"But if you use Haque’s new-economy and Scheiber’s old-economy cri­tiques of cur­rent prac­tices, you get some­thing very pow­er­ful. The pre-managerial, heroic-age-of-capitalism indus­tri­al­ists of the 19th and early 20th cen­turies didn’t always build things that were good, from our per­spec­tive — but they BUILT things, cre­at­ing real cap­i­tal and value along the way, coalsmoke aside. It’s this fifty-year-blip of late uncre­ative cap­i­tal­ism, milk­ing old prop­erty for its dregs, reshuf­fling money to cre­ate some­thing from noth­ing, that has cul­tur­ally really screwed us up."
us  economics  gamechanging  leadership  management  organizations  administration  timcarmody  snarkmarket  umairhaque  manufacturing  middlemanagement  comments  healthcare  2009  finance  compensation  noamscheiber  malcolmgladwell  billsimmons 
december 2009 by robertogreco
On Laxatives and GPA’s | Beyond School
"It takes social intelligence to know how to button-down in spirit, & not just in form. Losing the tie is not the same thing as losing the constipation, as anyone literate in body & facial language knows. How we move, sit, stand, arrange our faces, choose what to say & how to say it, are all forms of writing by which others read us; we’re walking texts, in this sense. And our whiz-kids need to be taught this, since so many of them clearly need it. I could go on forever about this, & probably need to, because I can hear the rumblings before the comments are even formed (so let me say, again, that I’m not saying academics don’t matter, but that so much else matters as well — especially in a landscape of diminishing opportunities). I’ll just close this sermon by saying that what I’m saying is nothing new to adults, but it is to kids. We’ve conditioned them to think that all work, no play, & 4.0 gpa makes Johnny a success, when they really, as the old saw goes, make him a “very dull boy.”"
clayburell  academics  schools  schooling  unschooling  sociality  teaching  education  comments  tcsnmy  grades  grading  play  learning  success  lcproject  deschooling 
december 2009 by robertogreco
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