Yishay Mor  
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Clive Thompson on Radical Transparency
[education, learning, open source, philosophy, technology]

Clive Thompson is researching for a Wired article on Radical transparency,  and what better way to do it than post a note on his blog asking for input, or, as he puts it tapping the hivemind:

Normally, I don't post about magazine assignments I'm working on -- because the editors want to keep it secret. But now I'm researching a piece for Wired magazine, and the editors have actually asked me to talk about it openly. That's because the subject of the piece is "Radical Transparency". And, in fact, I'd like your input in writing it.

The piece was originally triggered by a few postings on the blog of Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, and the thesis is simple: In today's ultranetworked online world, you can accomplish more by being insanely open about everything you're doing. Indeed, in many cases it's a superbad idea to operate in highly secret mode -- because secrets get leaked anyway, looking like a paranoid freak is a bad thing, and most importantly, you're missing out on opportunities to harness the deeply creative power of an open world.

Interestingly, much of the discussion refers to scientific process, which seems to tie in nicely with Kaleidoscope's notion of an open research community.

The thing about openness, is to know where it works, where it doesn't and how to tell the two apart. Its just like its absolutely great to be radically transparent with your spouse, but not always a great idea with your mother in law. But then, Clive means radical. Open to all. Again, sometimes, for some things, its great. As the LA times realized, it doesn't work so well for writing editorials. Then again, maybe it could - if you carefully designed the right technology and the right social practices to use it. 

posted by Yishay Mor on Wednesday 17th, January 2007 (12:12) - comments (0) - permanent link

[OLPC, open source, technology]

In case you still don't understand why a kid who wants for clean water needs a laptop, you can hear Negraponte ask that question:


And if you're converted but just need your technical fix:

I have seen it, touched it, and played with it. The final industrial design prototype for the XO, the device that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Initiative is going to start shipping to countries across the world this summer. AMD hosted a luncheon on Monday to give the press an update on the project, and to unveil the completed design.

Although the exterior form factor is now pretty much set ("Unless," said OLPC official Michalis Bletsas half-jokingly, "Nicholas has another late-night inspiration.")

posted by Yishay Mor on Saturday 13th, January 2007 (00:31) - comments (0) - permanent link

Do avatars deam of human rights?
[games, learning, philosophy, technology]

The Milgram experiment always sends a shiver down my spine. I say it should be a part of any national curriculum. A reminder of what we're all capable of. Luckily, you can't do that kind of thing any more. Well, at least not to humans.

A new study replicated the Milgram experiment with Avatars. The results are.. creepy. Sorry, I can't find any better word. Just look at the videos. (I shouldn't say that, you should read the paper). What gives me the creeps is not the fact that people relate to Avatars in much the same way they react to humans, although I'll get back to that soon. It's just watching a human administer the electric shock, even if he's sending it to an avatar. The Horror. The Horror.

This sheds a new light on the potential of interactive narrative environments (such as 'Façade') for learning. If we react to avatars as if they were humans, then their influence on us - for good and for bad - could be similar. We would pay attention more to an avatar we trust and respect, be offended by their insults, and reflect on moral dilemmas they present us.

But this also puts ideas such as human rights for robots in a new perspective. No, I haven't gone bonkers. I'm not anthropomorphizing Aibo and Sonic the hedgehog. Its us humans I'm worried about. Our experiences have a conditioning effect. If you get used to being cruel to avatars, and, at some subliminal level, you do not differentiate emotionally between avatars and humans, do you risk loosing your sensitivity to human suffering?



(hat tip to Rough Type)

posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 4th, January 2007 (12:57) - comments (3) - permanent link

Google has a new OS. It's called the web.
[google, technology, web2.0]

Remember the rumors about Google getting into the OS business? Well, here's another way to look at is.

Google's just launched Docs. Add that to Calendar and Gmail (which has embedded contacts and Talk) and what do you get? Just about all you need, for most users, most of the time. So why would they ever bother with your machine? Who needs the headache of updating drivers and warding off spyware.

posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 12th, October 2006 (02:10) - comments (0) - permanent link

two new papers
[learning, publications, technology]

Designing to see and share structure in number sequences. the International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education, (13)2:65-78, 2006.  PDF

Design approaches in technology enhanced learning. Interactive Learning Environments, Taylor & Francis, in press.  PDF

posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 5th, October 2006 (22:13) - comments (0) - permanent link

Good or bad?
[education, learning, technology]

Google has launched its Literacy Project. Is this a noble contribution to human welfare, or a corporate attempt to dominate learning?
My 5 minute test suggests that it is niether, and not much in general. It is simply a new front end on existing services. In fact, its quite pathetic - somthing like an exersice in highschool HTML 101: create a web page which looks like an education portal using standard education services.

Try it out, put some 'uneducational' keywords in the search boxes and see what you get: the same 'ol internet, served by google.
posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 5th, October 2006 (10:28) - comments (0) - permanent link

DIY GroupScribbles
[cscl, technology, web2.0]

SRI are making a bit of a fuss about their new groupscribbles. I finaly had a spare minute to have a look.

Not a bad start. The concept is nice, but the functionality is still vey limited. I would like to see more graphical tools and some possibilites to create composite objects.

But then, I thought - surely this could be done web-too-oh, without the need to install or launch a hungry Java web start. Then I remembered webnotes. Google web+paint or web2.0+paint,  a couple of iframes and bob's your auntie.

posted by Yishay Mor on Thursday 28th, September 2006 (16:01) - comments (0) - permanent link