git courses import/export instructions? - Google Groups
Pierre asks a question about import/export and git and only Carson responds. MIT stuff.
edx  openedx  forums 
8 hours ago
A Winning Strategy for the Left | Jacobin
Not sure I buy it - but an argument that to drive social change its best to target institutions directly through direct actions like boycotts and sit-ins, etc. Institutions like corporations, but also those like the police and the military. This is preferable to targeting politicians - or asking them to change things.

But what does this mean for politics???
generalinterest  politics 
17 hours ago
John Seely Brown: ASU Commencement Speech 2015
Confluence of learning and platformization.
Seely Brown's talk is an example.
Always - the world is characterized as uncertain and you have to be alert all the time. And that fits into the culture of MOOCs as well.

You are in the living in a white water world.

You must be more like a white water kayaker who skillfully reads the currents and disruptions of the context around you.

You interpret the surface ripples for what it reveals about what lies beneath the water. You operate with both body and head, living totally in the moment using all your senses – sight, sound, touch and force feedback from the paddles – sensing all the time how the environment is responding to you.

You might even say you are having a conversation with the flow. Not like other conversations, it is a conversation that feels for the flow of information passing all around you.

Yes, this is a different world – a world with powerful tools galore and immense opportunities IF you are willing to unleash your imagination and invoke your skills.

Indeed, the whitewater kayaking metaphor calls forth for me a set of quotes, quotes that help orient me in these whitewater times.
moocs  public_discourse 
17 hours ago
Fusion Media Aims at Millennials, but Struggles to Find Its Identity - NYTimes.com
Fusion is, in many ways, the archetype for broader movements in media. As traditional news organizations have struggled to adapt to the rhythms of the web, a new generation of media companies, like Buzzfeed and Vox, have moved from bright ideas to full-fledged businesses at breakneck speed. They are often backed by big corporations — Disney is also behind the websites Grantland and FiveThirtyEight — or venture capital firms making big bets that all the people browsing the web on their phones will demand fresh content.

Many covet millennials — a group loosely defined as those born after 1980, or about one-third of the current American work force, according to the Pew Research Center. Nobody has quite figured out what they want or if it is possible to tell stories that appeal universally to a huge number of Americans who sometimes seem united only in the dreams of marketers.


Continue reading the main story
Disney and Univision supplied Fusion with an additional $30 million in financing recently, according to a person involved with the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity. But the cultures of the companies and Fusion have already clashed. For instance, according to two senior Fusion staff members, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Disney put the organization on notice that it would not take kindly to coverage that might dent its standing with consumers. The warning came after Fusion published several stories based on documents that hackers stole from Sony.

Fusion is not alone: In negotiations to create a Vice cable channel, Disney and Hearst insisted on a clause protecting the companies in the event that Vice content “embarrasses Hearst or Disney in any way,” according to people with knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations.
journalism  internet  platformization 
17 hours ago
Who's the Watchdog? In Europe, the Answer Is Complicated - NYTimes.com
“This is just the beginning of our investigation,” said Mathias Moulin, deputy director of enforcement at the French data protection regulator, who is overseeing the review of the company’s activities. “This is a global issue with a global company.”

The social network, however, says it complies with Europe’s strict data protection rules. Facebook says it has been in contact with Ireland’s privacy regulator about the policy, because the company’s non-American activities are regulated from Dublin, the site of its international headquarters. The company contends that Europe’s other regulators do not have the jurisdiction to demand changes to how it uses people’s data.

“The primary regulation should come from where a company’s headquarters is located,” said Richard Allan, who runs Facebook’s policy team in Europe. “It doesn’t make sense that 28 regulators should make different interpretations of the same law.”

Ireland’s data protection authority says it has been in contact with its European counterparts about their investigations.

The standoff over how Europe’s complex privacy rules should be interpreted highlights the growing headache for American tech companies operating across the 28-member bloc.
facebook  privacy 
18 hours ago
Why Technology Will Never Fix Education - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education
MOOCs offer a convenient example. Proponents cite the potential for MOOCs to lower the costs of education, based on the assumption that low-cost content is what is needed. Of course, the Internet offers dirt-cheap replicability, and it undeniably amplifies content producers’ ability to reach a mass audience. But if free content were all that was needed for an education, everyone with broadband connectivity would be an Ivy League Ph.D.

The real obstacle in education remains student motivation. Especially in an age of informational abundance, getting access to knowledge isn’t the bottleneck, mustering the will to master it is. And there, for good or ill, the main carrot of a college education is the certified degree and transcript, and the main stick is social pressure. Most students are seeking credentials that graduate schools and employers will take seriously and an environment in which they’re prodded to do the work. But neither of these things is cheaply available online.

Arizona State University’s recent partnership with edX to offer MOOCs is an attempt to do this, but if its student assessments fall short (or aren’t tied to verified identities), other universities and employers won’t accept them. And if the program doesn’t establish genuine rapport with students, then it won’t have the standing to issue credible nudges. (Automated text-message reminders to study will quickly become so much spam.) For technological amplification to lower the costs of higher education, it has to build on student motivation, and that motivation is tied not to content availability but to credentialing and social encouragement.
moocs  public_discourse  platformization 
6 days ago
American TechGnosis - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
Thomas Pynchon as a theorist of Silicon Valley -- the relationship between Sixties ideology and Silicon valley ideology.
platformization  public_discourse 
6 days ago
Ed-Tech and the Californian Ideology
Audrey Watters makes a counter-ideological argument (a la Morozov) against the dominant Californian ideology
moocs  public_discourse  higher_ed 
6 days ago
Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park - The Awl
Or maybe this is all just a short detour for Facebook. The history of software and web platforms is instructive here: Platforms grow by incorporating the labor of users and partners; they tend, over time, to regard the presence of the partners as an inefficiency. Twitter asks developers to make a bunch of apps using its data, so people make a bunch of mobile apps, then Twitter notices that these apps are actually very important to Twitter, and so Twitter buys one of the apps and takes steps to expel all the other apps, rendering the job of “Twitter app developer” more or less obsolete. In this formulation, publishers are app developers: They are working not only for their own benefit but, in addition, to find ways to increase Facebook’s share of user attention and satisfaction. If they find ways to succeed, through the practice of journalism or some other sort of content production, Facebook will take note. Perhaps Facebook will then devise a way to compensate reporters, or content creators, directly, rather than through the publications they work for. Maybe they’ll just buy a publication! Or many publications. If Instant is a success then, like everything at a functioning technology company that wants to make money, it will be iterated.
facebook  journalism  platformization  publishing  public_discourse 
8 days ago
Thoughts on Facebook-Götterdämmerung - Vox
Klein's thoughts can be applied to moocs as well. The standardization of content when software/content distinction is enforced; as well as who is the competitor?

6) The news media keeps seeing Facebook's move in terms of Facebook's plans vis-a-vis the news media, but maybe the real target here is Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and basically everywhere else that people go to waste time on the internet. Maybe the ever-escalating war for attention has made the media, with its specialization in producing content people want to read/watch, the belle of the ball.

7) A more sinister version of the previous thought: perhaps this is a cheap way to lobby the media (and, through the media, the political system) on Facebook’s behalf.

8) My biggest worry about Instant Articles is the potential for a chilling effect on media innovation. How does a card stack work as an Instant Article? How about a data interactive? The initial articles are thick with bells and whistles, but as Facebook opens its publishing tool to more partners, it will probably need to standardize the features. Instant Articles will look more like each other than articles on different publishers' websites do right now.
platformization  public_discourse  journalism 
8 days ago
Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions - NYTimes.com
One of the most surreal stories I've read. Interestingly - it is the existence of online learning that makes this possible.
moocs  public_discourse  scam 
8 days ago
Carrie's waitchatter site - new site.
moocs  learning_research 
14 days ago
Facebook's study of news revealed its plans to be the next top search engine - Vox
Interesting but premature. First of all, building an SVM is cheap so just building one shows nothing. Secondly the Techcrunch article shows that Facebook is creating an index of its own articles, the ones that get posted -- that's not an index that's competing with Google, I don't think. Still, worth reading

"Facebook is building a search engine to rival Google. The bot is a preview of how that search will rank stories. This week, John Constine and Kyle Russell at TechCrunch shared screenshots of a newly discovered way to use Facebook search. The "Add a Link" function lets you post search results to your page that originally come from outside of Facebook."
platformization  facebook  public_discourse  publishing  google 
14 days ago
Facebook Begins Testing Instant Articles From News Publishers - NYTimes.com
The Atlantic is going into the Facebook deal with its eyes open, Mr. Bennet said, referring to the prospect that Facebook might be in a position to dictate less favorable terms if its importance to publishers increases.

Five American organizations are initially participating in the instant articles project and will publish one item each on Wednesday in the new format: BuzzFeed, National Geographic, The Atlantic, NBC News and The Times.

Four European outlets are also joining: The Guardian, BBC News, Bild and Spiegel Online. Over time, Facebook expects to add other publishers to the project, which is officially a test, and expand it beyond the iPhone version.

For The Times, Facebook represents from 14 to 16 percent of its web traffic — a figure that has doubled in recent months, according to Mark Thompson, chief executive of The New York Times Company.
platformization  publishing  public_discourse 
14 days ago
Plethora of data helps Lytics Lab to analyze MOOCs | Stanford Graduate School of Education
Why do so many students start a Massive Open Online Course only to drop out? Why, and when, do they bypass certain elements of online classes? Why are they taking the classes to begin with?

The article is about Deconstructing Disengagement.
Those and other questions prompted Emily Schneider (link is external), a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Education, to team up with two other Stanford graduate students to research student behavior in MOOCs. While the recent surge in these online courses has provided millions of students with access to lectures, online forums and other educational materials previously unavailable, it’s been difficult so far to gauge the learning that is occurring via the Internet.

Schneider and her colleagues — René Kizilcec in the Department of Communication and Chris Piech in the Department of Computer Science — looked at three MOOCs offered by Stanford faculty, and presented a paper on their research at a conference in Belgium in April. They identified the different types of students taking these classes, how they have different approaches to the courses and how the classes might better serve them.
stanford  moocs  public_discourse  learning_research 
15 days ago
Kicking in Groups - The Atlantic
With respect to the United States, the opposite of Putnam's theory would be this: There has been relatively little general decline in civic virtue. To the extent that the overall civic health of the nation did deteriorate, the dip was confined mainly to the decade 1965 to 1975--when, for example, crime and divorce rates rose rapidly--and things have been pretty stable since then. The overwhelming social and moral problem in American life is instead the disastrous condition of poor neighborhoods, almost all of which are in cities.
The model of a healthy country and needy ghettos would suggest a program much closer to the "liberal social policy" from which Putnam wants us to depart. Rather than assume, with Putnam, that such essential public goods as safety, decent housing, and good education can be generated only from within a community, we could assume that they might be provided from without--by government. If quite near the ghettos are working-class neighborhoods (and not insuperably distant are suburbs) of varying ethnic character and strong civic virtue, then the individual-opportunity model might be precisely the answer for ghetto residents--opportunity, that is, to move to a place that is part of the healthy American mainstream.

The difficulty with such a program is that it is politically inconvenient. It would involve, by contemporary standards, far too much action on the part of the government, with the benefits far too skewed toward blacks. The model of an entire United States severely distressed in a way that is beyond the power of government to correct is more comforting.
generalinterest  politics  america 
16 days ago
Unhappy Days for America by Nicholas Lemann | The New York Review of Books
Putnam were more focused on absolute mobility, which was the real engine of the American Dream for his generation, then he might have spent more time exploring economic policy generally or ways of recreating the widely distributed economic growth that so much helped Americans his age. Though he does acknowledge its importance, he largely ignores most of the specific ideas that come up in discussions of how to remedy inequality—like making tax rates more progressive (think of Piketty), or aggressively using monetary policy to tighten labor markets (think of Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve), or raising the minimum wage, or more tightly regulating financial companies. Instead he is most intensely focused on increasing opportunity for individuals, and he believes the primary way to do that is by increasing their locally available store of social capital—through improved ways of rearing children, and encouraging activities and associations that will increase their chances in life.

In proposing remedies, Putnam makes the appropriate bow to the importance of economic policy, but he devotes most of his attention to ideas that he sees as having the potential to increase social capital, like parental leave and mentoring programs. His voice comes alive when he’s discussing these ideas; it becomes flat and dutiful when he discusses the economy. The specific injustice that moves Putnam to the greatest height of outrage is “pay-to-play,” the policy of charging fees to student athletes, which effectively denies poorer kids access to school sports teams and therefore, in Putnam’s view, to a crucial source of social capital. He calls extracurricular activities “as close to a magic bullet as we are ever like to find in the real world of social, and educational, and economic policy,” and then adds:
higher_ed  moocs  public_discourse 
17 days ago
Terry Burnham: A Trick For Higher SAT scores? Unfortunately no.
Daniel Kahneman's result that making problem slightly harder improves test results was shown to be not quite true when the study was replicated. Interesting to think about while thinking about the rise of social psychology.
research  socialpsychology 
17 days ago
Cable news is in trouble, and it’s more about the news than the cable - Vox
But year to year, a lot of the ups and downs might just be the appeal of what's actually in the news. If President Scott Walker goes to war with Iran, MSNBC's ratings are going to go up. If President Hillary Clinton takes away everyone's guns, Fox is going to boom. But for now, relative peace and stability are bad news for cable news.
generalinterest  politics 
17 days ago
The solution to lobbying is more lobbying - The Washington Post
Interest groups are inevitable and frankly, healthy, in politics. Any large political community will contain diverse people who want different things from government. For this reason, there will always be a need for intermediary institutions to organize competing interests.  In other words, politics actually requires what we call “special interests.” Wishing away interest groups is basically asking for politics without any actual politics, as I argued in this post two weeks ago.

If we accept this, the question becomes how best to organize interests so that public policy at least approximates the general interest of “the people.” The Founders did this by setting up a government with checks and balances and multiple centers of power. While it may often be inefficient and there are plenty of reasons to grumble about it, it’s the system we have. So we need to work with it.
generalinterest  sciencevspolitics 
17 days ago
Xserver in Edx - Google Groups
You probably will want to take a look at ªªhttps://github.com/edx/xqueue-watcher. ºº It is an updated version of xserver that runs by polling the xqueue instead of handling pushes from it.  It also contains an open source version of the grader.py at ªªhttps://github.com/edx/xqueue-watcher/blob/master/xqueue_watcher/grader.py. ºº Even if you decide xserver is the way to go, that grader.py should be very helpful in writing one for your own course.

edx  openedx  forums 
18 days ago
Caste and class in popular Tamil cinema
In Tamil Nadu, there is a price cap on tickets, which makes it unviable to make niche movies that cater solely to the A centres, movies such as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara or Wake Up Sid, so producers largely insist on making films that can sell in all markets. The audience, too, has changed over the years. O Kadhal Kanmani might not have stood out so much in the K. Balachander era, when films routinely addressed an upper-middleclass audience, which has largely shrunk. Given the very different audience that frequents cinema halls today, choosing to make a film where the I-want-to-be-rich hero talks of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg rather Tata or Birla (names more readily recognised by the masses) is interesting. It means the film is not afraid to be niche. This would be a problem if Tamil cinema always focused only on the upper classes but given the healthy representation of the underprivileged in Tamil films, it is just an interesting choice.
generalinterest  movies 
18 days ago
These men found an innovative approach to work/life balance — trick the boss - Vox
That so many employees were able to pass as devoted workers shows that it is possible to be more efficient and to do high-quality work in less time. But the company's response to Reid's findings was not to shift its expectations; it was to ask her if she could help them teach women how to pass, as well. The ideal of worker devotion was so entrenched at this company that it did not seem to occur to management that altering the requirements to meet that ideal could be one possible approach.
gender  workplace  research 
20 days ago
How Not to Drown in Numbers - NYTimes.com
So what can big data do to help us make big decisions? One of us, Alex, is a data scientist at Facebook. The other, Seth, is a former data scientist at Google. There is a special sauce necessary to making big data work: surveys and the judgment of humans — two seemingly old-fashioned approaches that we will call small data.

Facebook has tons of data on how people use its site. It’s easy to see whether a particular news feed story was liked, clicked, commented on or shared. But not one of these is a perfect proxy for more important questions: What was the experience like? Did the story connect you with your friends? Did it inform you about the world? Did it make you laugh?


To get to these measures, Facebook has to take an old-fashioned approach: asking. Every day, hundreds of individuals load their news feed and answer questions about the stories they see there. Big data (likes, clicks, comments) is supplemented by small data (“Do you want to see this post in your News Feed?”) and contextualized (“Why?”).

Big data in the form of behaviors and small data in the form of surveys complement each other and produce insights rather than simple metrics. For example, it’s fairly obvious that clicks aren’t always the same — sometimes people click through to an article because they really want to see the content, but sometimes people are tricked by seductive headlines. Knowing this is useful only once we can go beyond just measuring clicks to actually differentiating one kind of click from another. With this enriched measure of high quality clicks in mind, Facebook can do a much better job of delivering the content that actually leads to a better experience and not just empty clicks.

Continue reading the main story
Because of this need for small data, Facebook’s data teams look different than you would guess. Facebook employs social psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists precisely to find what simple measures miss.
bigdata  facebook  data_science  public_discourse 
24 days ago
How Humans Can Keep Superintelligent Robots From Murdering Us All
The discourse is so much around super-cognition - not around its deployment.
artificial_intelligence  public_discourse 
24 days ago
The Invented History of ‘The Factory Model of Education’ — The History of the Future of Education — Medium
We tend to not see automation today as mechanization as much as algorithmization — the promise and potential in artificial intelligence and virtualization, as if this magically makes these new systems of standardization and control lighter and liberatory.

And so too we’ve invented a history of “the factory model of education” in order to justify an “upgrade” — to new software and hardware that will do much of the same thing schools have done for generations now, just (supposedly) more efficiently, with control moved out of the hands of labor (teachers) and into the hands of a new class of engineers, out of the realm of
moocs  public_discourse  higher_ed 
25 days ago
IIT Madras Director explains Global University Rankings from an Indian perspective | The IITian
Starting from about 17.00, IIT director talks about MOOCs and online education and the NPTEL program, and what people do. Expresses optimism that we'll know how to do online learning better in the next few years
moocs  india  public_discourse 
25 days ago
5304300022 Nicki Johnson from the IRS stating itis time sensitive. Need to call , Tax Scam. Who called from this phone number? Comments & Reviews.
Mary Reported: 4122265765 Nikki Johnson Claims to be calling from IRS, Threatens that I need to respond immediately or the IRS will take legal action. Don't fall for this one. They are timing this call around April 15th so watch out!
26 days ago
Twitter is not dying. It’s on the cusp of getting much bigger.
Twitter Is Not Dying
It’s on the cusp of getting much bigger. Here’s why.

By Will Oremus


Well, that’s it folks: Twitter is dead. It had a good flight. A short flight, but a noisy one. Sadly, it is now headed the way of Flappy Bird.

So claims the Atlantic in a 1,800-word “eulogy for Twitter” that packs in about 140 characters’ worth of actual evidence. No need to read the whole piece—the fourth paragraph sums it up:

The publishing platform that carried us into the mobile Internet age is receding. Its influence on publishing will remain, but the platform's place in Internet culture is changing in a way that feels irreversible and echoes the tradition of AIM and pre-2005 blogging. A lot of this argument comes down to what we feel.
At least the Atlantic admits that its case against Twitter amounts to an unsubstantiated hunch. On Wall Street, meanwhile, investors are flocking to downgrade the company’s stock on the basis of selective evidence. Two numbers in particular—the amount of users who log into Twitter each month, and the number of timelines they viewed—have been widely interpreted as indictments of the company’s growth trajectory. Both figures are growing, but their rate of growth has slowed slightly. Twitter will probably never have as many users as Facebook, Wall Street is belatedly realizing. Wall Street hates that.

But Wall Street—along with everyone else who’s down on Twitter because it has “a growth problem”—is making a mistake by comparing it to Facebook. Twitter is not a social network. Not primarily, anyway. It’s better described as a social media platform, with the emphasis on “media platform.” And media platforms should not be judged by the same metrics as social networks.

Will Oremus
Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer. Email him at will.oremus@slate.com or follow him on Twitter.

Social networks connect people with one another. Those connections tend to be reciprocal. Facebook even checks in on you now and then to make sure you’ve actually met the folks who are sending you friend requests. As a social network, its chief function is to help friends, family, and acquaintances keep in touch.

Media platforms, by contrast, connect publishers with their public. Those connections tend not to be reciprocal. One Twitter user may be followed by millions of strangers whom she feels no obligation to follow back, any more than an evening news anchor feels the need to check in with each of her viewers every night at 6. As a media platform, Twitter’s chief function is to help people keep up with what’s going on in the world, and what influential people are thinking and doing at any given time. In that regard, it’s closer to a news service than a social network.
twitter  platformization  facebook  public_discourse 
28 days ago
Twitter earnings and acquisitions: The company’s in trouble, and its options are bleak.
Twitter is acquiring users more slowly, particularly on mobile. It is failing to monetize these users as well as expected. And it is tapping other companies like Google, with whom it will partner to take advantage of its DoubleClick ad-serving platform, for lifelines. As a consequence, the ultimate value of the social network’s nearly 300 million users is looking significantly lower than previously thought. Twitter is well aware of these factors. Its recent actions signal that it is trying to redefine its business, not as a service that monetizes its users, but as a crowdsourced media platform and advertising agency—a dangerous bet that is unlikely to pay off.
platformization  twitter  public_discourse 
28 days ago
Obama says we need the TPP to compete with China. That argument has a big flaw.
And that's the problem. Having America write the rules for trade in Asia sounds great until you realize that the people representing "America" aren't necessarily focused on the interests of the American public at large. Too often, they're focused on the interests of narrow US interest groups like drug companies and movie studios.
generalinterest  politics  copyright 
28 days ago
Digital Learning Research Network Conference 2015
Making Sense of Higher Education: Networks and Change

Learning introduces students to practices of sensemaking, wayfinding, and managing uncertainty. Higher education institutions confront the same experiences as they navigate changing contexts for the delivery of services. Digital technologies and networks have created a new sense of scale and opportunity within global higher education, while fostering new partnerships focused on digital innovation as a source of sustainability in volatile circumstances. At the same time, these opportunities have introduced risks in relation to the ethics of experimentation and exploitation, emphasizing disruption and novelty and failing to recognise universities’ long-standing investment in educational research and development.
learning_research  moocs  public_discourse 
28 days ago
The Cybersyn Revolution | Jacobin
Little dissapointed with this piece - it feels too by-the-books, as if the Jacobin editors had edited it all out of its marvelous stuff. Morozov's article on Cybersyn, even if it cited Medina far too less, criminally less, even, managed to be far more entertaining than this.
cybernetics  research  platformization  public_discourse 
4 weeks ago
What Are We Doing When We Teach Computing in Schools? | May 2015 | Communications of the ACM
In complement to efforts in mathematical and natural language education we need to undertake cognitive research to discover how children acquire computational concepts asking questions (for example) as to whether there is a "best order" for the presentation of concepts, or whether pedagogically focused "initial programming environments" are a more productive way to learn than "real language" teaching. And, if so, under what conditions? This is not virgin territory, but the majority of previous work has been on learning in cognitively mature undergraduates, and that is unlikely to transfer directly.

In parallel, we need a program of educational research to support teachers, to ensure ideas work in real classrooms and with real teachers—and so we do not repeat cycles of error. At the moment, teachers are faced with a plethora of plausible approaches and no way to choose between them but the conviction (and charisma) of their inventors. A recent Computing at School magazine (Autumn 2014) is not short of ideas: A four step scaffolding exemplar using Scratch ... A simple project utilizing the python turtle library ... Functional programming: an example in VB. Each of these is a response to the need for teachers to have something to teach, to be able to fill their lessons with engaging and useful material. But, at the same time, the evidence these are based on is solely "Do it like this! It works for me!"

Finally, we need policy research so we may effectively coordinate and disseminate practices at scale. It is not only individuals who can learn from research—districts, countries, and governments can, too.
moocs  public_discourse  computer_science  education 
4 weeks ago
FFIEC Census Reports
Allows a way to get at census and demographic data
4 weeks ago
College for the Masses - NYTimes.com
As it happens, two separate — and ambitious — recent academic studies have looked at precisely this issue. The economists and education researchers tracked thousands of people over the last two decades in Florida, Georgia and elsewhere who had fallen on either side of hard admissions cutoffs. Less selective colleges often set such benchmarks: Students who score 840 on the SAT, for example, or maintain a C+ average in high school are admitted. Those who don’t clear the bar are generally rejected, and many don’t attend any four-year college.

Such stark cutoffs provide researchers with a kind of natural experiment. Students who score an 830 on the SAT are nearly identical to those who score an 840. Yet if one group goes to college and the other doesn’t, researchers can make meaningful estimates of the true effects of college.

And the two studies have come to remarkably similar conclusions: Enrolling in a four-year college brings large benefits to marginal students.
college  higher_ed  public_discourse  moocs 
4 weeks ago
Simple Rules for Healthy Eating - NYTimes.com
Nicely done

1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods. These include fruits and vegetables. But they also include meat, fish, poultry and eggs that haven’t been processed. In other words, when buying food at the market, focus on things that have not been been cooked, prepared or altered in any way. Brown rice over white rice. Whole grains over refined grains. You’re far better off eating two apples than drinking the same 27 grams of sugar in an eight-ounce glass of apple juice.


1b. Eat lightly processed foods less often. You’re not going to make everything yourself. Pasta, for instance, is going to be bought already prepared. You’re not going to grind your own flour or extract your own oil. These are meant to be eaten along with unprocessed foods, but try to eat less of them.

1c. Eat heavily processed foods even less often. There’s little high-quality evidence that even the most processed foods are dangerous. But keep your consumption of them to a minimum, because they can make it too easy to stuff in calories. Such foods include bread, chips, cookies and cereals. In epidemiologic studies, heavily processed meats are often associated with worse health outcomes, but that evidence should be taken with a grain of salt (not literally), as I’ve written about before.

2. Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to Rule 1. Eating at home allows you to avoid processed ingredients more easily. It allows you full control over what you eat, and allows you to choose the flavors you prefer. You’re much less likely to stuff yourself silly if you eat home-cooked food. I’m not saying this is easy. Behavioral change takes repetition and practice. It also, unfortunately, takes time.


Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
3. Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation. Things like salt and fat aren’t the enemy. They are often necessary in the preparation of tasty, satisfying food. The key here is moderation. Use what you need. Seasoning is often what makes vegetables taste good. Don’t be afraid of them, but don’t go crazy with them either.

4. When you do eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules. Ideally, you should eat at restaurants that are creating all of their items from completely unprocessed foods. Lots and lots of restaurants do. Follow Rule 1 even while out to dinner. Some processing is going to be fine, but try to keep it to a minimum.

5. Drink mostly water, but some alcohol, coffee and other beverages are fine. As I’ve pointed out before, you can find a study to show that everything either prevents or causes cancer — alcohol and coffee included. But my take is that the preponderance of evidence supports the inclusion of a moderate consumption of most beverages.

6. Treat all beverages with calories in them as you would alcohol. This includes every drink with calories, including milk. They’re fine in moderation, but keep them to a minimum. You can have them because you like them, but you shouldn’t consume them as if you need them.

Continue reading the main story

Arletta 10 hours ago
Thank you for this lovely article. It annoyed me a little bit, but, only because I had been writing something similar, last night, for my...
Liz 18 hours ago
I appreciate this approach. I would argue you really only have 2 rules: eat whole foods and moderation in everything. While I agree that no...
Dan 22 hours ago
I have one more rule for myself: eat in quiet places. I try to eat at home as much as I can. When we eat out, we do so to enjoy ourselves,...
7. Eat with other people, especially people you care about, as often as possible. This has benefits even outside those of nutrition. It will make you more likely to cook. It will most likely make you eat more slowly. It will also make you happy.
4 weeks ago
Philosophy from the Zettabyte » 3:AM Magazine
LF: If I restrain myself to five philosophical books, and I force myself to avoid the most obvious classics that readers are likely to know already, then I would recommend:
1. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, What is Philosophy?
2. Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge
3. Herbert Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd ed.
4. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, corrected ed.
5. Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society, 2nd ed.
And if I may add six recommendations about reading, they would be:
1. Read only classics. There is no time to confront any lesser foes.
2. Choose your classics. Do not enter into other people’s fights, it is your life, you are at least entitled to choose your foes.
3. Never read a classic defenceless. A classic will deeply and irreversibly conquer your mind, so entrench yourself carefully, by digging deeply into your own thoughts, and make these strong enough to withstand the assault that will be almost irresistible.
4. Never study a classic, interpret it. After resisting its assault, counterattack as violently as you can: misinterpret a classic, steal from it, use it for your own purposes, be unfair, force it to confesses what you need to know, reduce it to something else, never show any hermeneutical mercy.
5. Never underestimate your reading list. Choose your foes judiciously. The order in which you will engage with classics will forever determine who you are. Two minds will be very different, depending on whether they wrestled with The Tempest before or after Faust, with Anna Karenina before or after Madame Bovary, with Life A User’s Manual before or after Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, with Waiting for the Barbarians before or after Waiting for Godot.
6. Reread the classics. The Leopard is not the same classic at fifteen, thirty-five, or sixty-five. The more you read your classics the more you can make peace with them. What were once foes become loyal allies, who will join you in your new battles against other unknown classics
information  philosophy  research  tips 
4 weeks ago
The Tangled History of Soviet Computer Science
The irony of the situation was not lost on Soviet humor. As one joke tells it, Brezhnev is gifted with the latest in artificial intelligence, so he asks it “When will we have built communism?” The computer responds, “In 17 miles.” Brezhnev thinks, “There must be something wrong,” and repeats the question. The computer again replies, “In 17 miles.” Angered by the incomprehensible reply, Brezhnev orders a technician to investigate the machine. “Everything is correct,” replies the technician after some time. “You said it yourself: Every five-year plan is one step toward communism.”
history  research  cybernetics 
4 weeks ago
10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings
I love #6. One way to appear cool at meetings is to ask: "will it scale?"
platformization  public_discourse 
4 weeks ago
What Problem Are ASU and EdX Solving? | Confessions of a Community College Dean | InsideHigherEd
To the extent that MOOCs were going to disrupt higher education, I thought the argument was that they’d undercut incumbent providers on cost. But with over 1,100 community colleges in America routinely undercutting the MOOC on cost, I don’t see it.
I guess there’s a presumption about prestige, but at this point, community college credits are far more widely recognized than MOOC credits are. ASU is offering to launder the currency, in a sense, but if you’re going to jump through extra hoops anyway, why not work with a real professor?
Maybe in a few places, the local community colleges are oversubscribed. But online, you aren’t necessarily tied to a local college.
Scheduling might be the issue, to the extent that MOOCs start whenever you want. (I couldn’t tell from the article if that applies here.)
Wise and worldly readers, am I missing something? Does the ASU/edX solve a problem I’m not seeing?
moocs  public_discourse  asu  edx 
4 weeks ago
Arizona State, edX team to offer freshman year online through MOOCs | InsideHigherEd
I wonder if this will actually work...

Generally speaking, Regier said, each course will last seven and a half weeks and will be led by a “master teacher” working with a team of university teaching assistants, who will be responsible for answering student questions. 
“What we aren’t going to do is put a course online that is an automaton -- in other words, when the student engages with the course, there’s no interaction, no chance to have a question answered by a human,” Regier said. “Technology has made us more efficient at delivering courses, but there’s still a need for human interaction, and that won’t go away because we’re offering an open online course.”
moocs  edx  public_discourse 
5 weeks ago
What we get wrong about lobbying and corruption - The Washington Post
Great piece taking on why simplistic corrupt/good distinctions are not conducive to understanding the relationship between money and politics.
sciencevspolitics  generalinterest  sciencestudies 
5 weeks ago
EDX grading (automated) - Google Groups
Dhananjay has questions on edx auto grading
edx  openedx  forums 
5 weeks ago
De-mass'd: Why PBS moved from 'owned & operated' media to YouTube
The trade-off here is this: sacrificing the owned and operated PBS platform for access to YouTube’s 1 billion+ monthly users. The costs? Well, for starters, YouTube takes 45% of the ad revenue, but they’re the elephant in the room, and as such they can take (close to) the lion’s share of the revenue. And apologies for the mixing of animal metaphors but I couldn’t resist. 

The other beast in the room is Facebook, where YouTube video is commonly shared. It's responsible for about 25% of all traffic referred online.

And finally we have Twitter, where, from a marketing perspective, we find distribution done by the public at large, as seen here during a momentary glance at a column on Tweetdeck. This kind of circulation of comments, links, images, and videos goes on, of course, 24/7, and is driven by fans and enthusiasts, not the content creators themselves.

This is a very different supply chain. 

Distribution is essentially free. Plus you’re not buying media for promotional placement, as was the case in the past. Instead, you’re contributing content to a platform that generally doesn’t create its own. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are not like the BBC or the New York Times in this way; they are the pipe, and others fill the pipe. 

And why do we fill it? Because the pipe has a global reach, and because the content that flows through it can achieve exponential, not just linear growth, thanks to its circulation in networks with many, many outward reaching nodes and hubs.
platformization  media  pbs  youtube 
5 weeks ago
Is Slack Really Worth $2.8 Billion? A Conversation With Stewart Butterfield - NYTimes.com
This CEO is pretty straightforward, and shooting from the hip type.

It’s pretty straightforward. I’ve been in this industry for 20 years. This is the best time to raise money ever. It might be the best time for any kind of business in any industry to raise money for all of history, like since the time of the ancient Egyptians. It’s certainly the best time for late-stage start-ups to raise money from venture capitalists since this dynamic has been around.

And as a board member and a C.E.O., I have a responsibility to our employees, to our customers. And as a fiduciary, I think it would be almost imprudent for me not to accept $160 million bucks for 5-ish percent of the company when it’s offered on favorable terms.

We don’t have an immediate use for that money. But it increases the value of our stock and can allow potential employees to take our offers, and it reinforces the perception for our larger customers that we’ll be around for the long haul. All of that stuff.
siliconvalley  public_discourse 
5 weeks ago
Slack's CEO: This is the best time in world history to raise money for a startup - Vox
Why do investors have a seemingly insatiable appetite for technology companies like Slack? In trying to answer this question, I think a lot of people focus too much on characteristics of the technology sector itself. Silicon Valley companies are pioneering a lot of important innovations right now, but the same thing was true 10, 20, 30, and 40 years ago.

Rather, I think the increasingly favorable environment for fundraising in Silicon Valley is a reflection of broader macroeconomic trends. Inflation-adjusted interest rates have been declining for decades, a sign that businesses are finding it more and more difficult to invest available capital in things like factories or research and development in ways that will produce high returns.

Silicon Valley is one of the few remaining bright spots. The worse the returns on other investments get, the more willing investors become to take big risks in pursuit of higher returns.
siliconvalley  public_discourse 
5 weeks ago
The full-stack employee — Medium
Silicon Valley ideology -- I couldn't quite make what this employee actually does.
siliconvalley  platformization  public_discourse 
5 weeks ago
Airplane Seat Swapping Turns Rough-and-Tumble - NYTimes.com
This article could be an interesting addition to my post on the KneeDefender as a pedagogical device.
generalinterest  research  pedagogy  latour  ANT 
6 weeks ago
How Vox aggregates - Vox
Vox's aggregation policies by Ezra Klein. Could be useful in thinking about new media landscape that is emerging
platformization  journalism  media 
6 weeks ago
LinkedIn To Buy Online Education Site Lynda.com For $1.5 Billion | TechCrunch
Professional network LinkedIn is getting into the professional skills education market in a big way: The social company purchased Lynda.com, the online learning company founded in 1995 by technical skill instructional book author Lynda Weinman and co-founder Bruce Heavin. Lynda.com has long been the go-to resource for online learning on subjects like Photoshop, basic HTML, CSS, management practices and many more, offering instructional videos and tutorials from industry experts and vets long before e-learning was at anywhere near the level of interest it enjoys today.
platformization  public_discourse  linkedin 
6 weeks ago
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