I’m often taken in by restoration and conservation stories. Recently, the thoughtful machine learning algorithms at YouTube suggested to me a set of videos related to Alec Steele and company’s efforts to install an industrial power hammer in their steelwork shop.
This is industrial equipment at a scale with which I have no experience. Yet, the sheer joy and curiosity exhibited by this crew as they work to address practical, physical, and design issues with making this equipment functional is glorious.
The Machine Stops, a story ahead of its time being published in 1909, foretells of a society in which individuals are almost completely physically isolated from one another in an underground enclave where communication is achieved only with technology and all life’s necessities are attended to by a vast, unseen network of tubes.
What happens when, as always must happen, the machine stops?
I like this recent GOTO conference talk about the role of linguistics in understanding the language of coding. It touches upon many issues I’ve noted over the years as well as newer-to-me issues in non-English programming.
Here, Charlie speaks to an issue that’s near to my heart and that too many people have forever gotten far too wrong: sex & consent. He speaks well and he speaks honestly. I commend you, lend an ear.
In this age of people doing awful things to one another and yet somehow justifying it to themselves, consent is fundamental. As humans, we should be able to discuss it and manifest it in meaningful ways.
Despite the reality that we use tools and techniques every moment of every day that have been devised and revised through the constant questioning and reflecting process we call science, far too many people don’t believe they understand what science is, don’t consider themselves scientists, and don’t trust the expert opinions of the scientific community. How can that possibly be?
“We’re not really listening, unless we’re willing to be changed by the other person.” ~ Alan Alda
Science and Communication—Alan Alda and Neil deGrasse Tyson at the 92nd Street Y in New York City
Mike offers some blunt and intense advice about maintaining absolute integrity in one’s work. While he’s addressing his concerns to designers, I take his advice to apply equally well to computer programmers, UX, UI, teachers… any profession where you’re creating… and really, shouldn’t that be all professions?
I’m supporting a friend with a great idea that’s a little less than 12 hours old….
My friend and fellow computer science education researcher, Brian Danielak, has worked hard today to create what we hope will be the first of many video podcasts to promote high quality visualizations in science.
He and his team would like feedback ASAP on their initial effort.
If you have ~25 minutes tonight (or as soon as you can) watch his ‘cast and provide feedback via the form underneath the video…
When a close friend sent me a copy of this book, his inscription read, in part
it has always been about the students
In this short video, Dr. Steven Strogatz– a Cornell Mathematician– reminds us that the student-teacher relationship is complex, dynamic, enduring, and often unpredictable; far from the Brave New World-style cold, isolationism espoused by the so-called professionalization of education that the United States has experienced over the past 100 years.
When I’m commenting on electronic documents, I find it useful to be able to quickly generate a PDF of the marked-up version of the document to return to authors for review. I annotate the document using track changes and adding comments (using the INSERT > COMMENT feature… not by adding text to the body of the document!!!), then
Save as PDF…
to keep a copy for myself and to email (or post to a course management system) for the author to review.
Unfortunately, OSX doesn’t have a built-in keyboard shortcut for Save to PDF…, but it’s easy to add one.
[Note: you can’t Save to PDF… from an Adobe Acrobat print dialog box… it would bruise their ego]
This 70-minute lecture by Charlie Kaufman— Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich— on screenwriting applies equally well, I think, to being an educator. Consider the following excerpt, but replace screenplay with learning– for the student perspective– or even teaching!
A screenplay is an exploration. It’s about the thing you don’t know. To step into the abyss. It necessarily starts somewhere, anywhere, there is a starting point, but the rest is undetermined, it is a secret, even from you. There’s no template for a screenplay, or there shouldn’t be. There are at least as many screenplay possibilities as there are people who write them. We’ve been conned into thinking there is a pre-established form.
While I sometimes found it difficult to distinguish quotations from his original thoughts, I found both to be engaging and inspiring.