Weekly Web Harvest (weekly)

  • “These values are enshrined not, in fact, by the actors in the education system but by observers of it – namely politicians, policy-makers and journalists.  And, the increasingly techno-deterministic educational discourse, bringing with it a focus on quantitative measures and whispers of “artificial intelligence (in reality, a simple set of algorithms and a great paint job) means that increasingly the first two groups are relying on a summary provided by the third.

    tags: weekly mooc he highered

  • “Let’s face it, both science and the humanities would be better off with fewer old dudes arguing about disciplinary boundaries.

    tags: humanities science weekly

    • By contrast, the young and dynamic humanists are mostly fascinated by science and looking for ways to incorporate science into their work. Some of the hottest scholarly areas in the humanities represent intersections of technology or science with human societies. Universities are hiring faculty whose scholarship focuses on transhumanism, on human-animal interactions, on genetic engineering, on ethnicity and genetics, and on the growth and interactions of online, or “virtual” communities. Those kinds of topics cut across academic departments in the humanities, from literature to philosophy to anthropology.
  • “According to an agreed statement of facts, the police had reasonable grounds to arrest Nobody. Charges of obstruction of justice and assaulting a peace officer were later dropped.
    Nobody testified that he was chased by police, tackled from behind and landed face down on the ground. Police officers pinned him to the ground, he said.”

    tags: assault nobody weekly

  • It’s not paranoia.

    tags: new york ezpass surveillance privacy rights weekly

  • tags: education society class weekly

    • In the two working-class schools, work is following the steps of a procedure. The procedure is usually mechanical, involving rote behavior and very little decision making or choice. The teachers rarely explain why the work is being assigned, how it might connect to other assignments, or what the idea is that lies behind the procedure or gives it coherence and perhaps meaning or significance. Available textbooks are not always used, and the teachers often prepare their own dittos or put work examples on the board. Most of the rules regarding work are designations of what the children are to do; the rules are steps to follow. These steps are told to the children by the teachers and are often written on the board. The children are usually told to copy the steps as notes. These notes are to be studied. Work is often evaluated not according to whether it is right or wrong but according to whether the children followed the right steps.
    • Rote behavior was often called for in classroom work. When going over 15 math and language art skills sheets, for example, as the teacher asked for the answer to each problem, he fired the questions rapidly, staccato, and the scene reminded the observer of a sergeant drilling recruits: above all, the questions demanded that you stay at attention: “The next one? What do I put here?. . . Here? Give us the next.” Or “How many commas in this sentence? Where do I put them . . . The next one?” 


    • Most lessons are based on the textbook. This does not involve a critical perspective on what is given there. For example, a critical perspective in social studies is perceived as dangerous by these teachers because it may lead to controversial topics; the parents might complain. T
    • Social studies also involves almost daily presentation by the children of some event from the news. The teacher’s questions ask the children to expand what they say, to give more details, and to be more specific. Occasionally she adds some remarks to help them see connections between events. 


    • While right answers are important in math, they are not “given” by the book or by the teacher but may be challenged by the children. Going over some problems in late September the teacher says, “Raise your hand if you do not agree.” A child says, “I don’t agree with sixty-four.” The teacher responds, “OK, there’s a question about sixty-four. [to class] Please check it. Owen, they’re disagreeing with you. Kristen, they’re checking yours.” The teacher emphasized this repeatedly during September and October with statements like “Don’t be afraid to say you disagree. In the last [math] class, somebody disagreed, and they were right. Before you disagree, check yours, and if you still think we’re wrong, then we’ll check it out.” By Thanksgiving, the children did not often speak in terms of right and wrong math problems but of whether they agreed with the answer that had been given. 


    • “These children’s opinions are important – it’s important that they learn to reason things through.”
    • The executive elite school is the only school where bells do not demarcate the periods of time.
  • His “interlude” called “Modernity Conceives the Future” is full of the insight of a man with both remarkable technological prowess and a sensitive appreciation of a great deal of philosophy and literature. Who can’t love an unapologetic techno-capitalist (and a hater of socialism/communism) who understands that Marx’s description of the creative/destructive power of capitalism has an uncanny relevance today—even or especially because the industrial age has morphed into the informational age? Lanier must be right (or we’re stuck with hoping he’s right) that “the problem is not with technology, but the way we think about technology.”

    tags: weekly future technology

  • This string from Duncan’s garbage onward is a good example of just how poorly things will continue to go in education.

    tags: doe arne twitter hyperbole weekly

  • “Earlier this year Mr Gove set out plans for new GCSEs which will feature more British history, a range of classic literature and an increased focus on spelling and grammar to restore public confidence.
    Qualifications in the core subjects will be overhauled to place renewed emphasis on traditional subject knowledge and prepare pupils for the demands of A–levels and university.”

    tags: dystopia england education weekly

  • “This distorting influence of memory on our judgements lies behind a good chunk of my feelings of victimisation. In some situations there is a real bias. You really do spend more time being overtaken in traffic than you do overtaking, for example, because the overtaking happens faster. And the smoke really does tend follow you around the campfire, because wherever you sit creates a warm up-draught that the smoke fills. But on top of all of these is a mind that over-exaggerates our own importance, giving each of us the false impression that we are more important in how events work out than we really are.”

    tags: mind memory victim weekly psychology

  • —This would be an interesting way to start off a history class . . .

    It’s a fun conversation starter: Why are you not dead yet? It turns out almost everybody has a story, but we rarely hear them; life-saving treatments have become routine. I asked around, and here is a small sample of what would have killed my friends and acquaintances:

    • Adrian’s lung spontaneously collapsed when he was 18.
    • Becky had an ectopic pregnancy that caused massive internal bleeding.
    • Carl had St. Anthony’s Fire, a strep infection of the skin that killed John Stewart Mill.
    • Dahlia would have died delivering a child (twice) or later of a ruptured gall bladder.
    • David had an aortic valve replaced.

    tags: history health medicine death weekly

  • Humiliation as punishment? Parallel to dunce caps in schools? Where is the line? Does being an adult make it ok?

    tags: punish idiot judge humiliation weekly

  • Boring lectures and attempts to escape them are not new.

    tags: boredom history weekly

  • ” “Take your brush and come,” became a call on social media websites, while thousands used the #resiststeps hashtag on Twitter and Facebook, “

    tags: weekly art steps socialmedia

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.