Technique: Discussion and Debate

In discussions and debates, I learned a strategy from a friend that is productive to furthering conversations. I have found that, in some conversations, people talk past each other and don’t fully address the other person’s point. This strategy promotes understanding of both sides of an argument.

It is fairly simple, all it takes is listening to a person’s point all the way through. This means waiting until it is obvious that they are done speaking, like when a long pause occurs. When it is clear that it is your turn to speak, begin by repeating what the person said with your own words to make sure you understand their point as best as possible–clarifying anything that you might misunderstand. For example, you could say, “so what I hear you are saying is…” Only after the other person has accepted that you understand them well enough can you proceed to rebuttal.

This might be a little bit difficult. I know I have trouble following when someone talks for a really long time, especially when they introduce multiple new points. In these cases, it might be vital to interrupt them to clarify and say, “what I hear you are saying is…” to indicate that you are following along and to help you make sure that you understand. Then allow them to continue talking. During an interruption is not the time to begin a rebuttal. Only when the other person is ready for you to speak should a rebuttal occur. In cases where disrupting the other person will force them to lose their thoughts, a pencil and paper might be necessary. These accommodations should be discussed before the debate becomes really deep.

I am working on this. This has been a real challenge as I am one who really likes to speak and be heard. Turning off the impulse to interrupt others has taken a lot of effort. Hopefully this will become second nature soon because I believe this will lead to more productive discussions.



Dedicated to J.J. Stinson

Comments Off on Technique: Discussion and Debate

Filed under In Passing, PGS

To Propose a Smart Chip

Education is the most important tool needed to succeed in life. When possible, parents wish to send their children to college to receive a career driven education.  College is when specialization begins so each student can become a productive member of society, each doing their own specific part.  Doctors are needed in the medical field to treat the sick and save the dying.  Scientific researchers are key to developing those medicines and remedies doctors use to save lives.  Agricultural specialists work to keep our bodies sustained and to develop efficient ways to grow food.  Craftsmen and businessmen keep our standard of living high and nourish our happiness in material things.  It is at school that people learn how to be a productive member of community and where they learn to improve aspects of society.

As a student at Virginia Tech, I would like to propose yet another way to improve productivity in society and, hopefully, improve efficiency, as well.  My plan is to use all of the tuition money of the Virginia Tech’s freshman class for the research of a “Smart Chip”.  The Smart Chip would contain all of the information needed for a particular career or major and would be implanted into a student’s brain at graduation.  Research is needed in order to discover a way in which the brain can actively use the information from the Smart Chip; while, all non-research professors at Virginia Tech would compile all of the information needed for a specific career.

At the end of the freshman class’ four years at Virginia Tech, the Smart Chip should be finished with development for their use.  Non-freshman Virginia Tech students may choose to donate their tuition as well and stay another four years.  While the Smart Chip is being developed, students will spend four years of fun interaction with other students.  Clubs, intramurals, the athletic department and delicious dining would all be available for student use while they wait for their degree.  Students will be allowed to choose their career path at graduation.  However, each career choice will be limited in number because the balance of the work force would be skewed if all students chose the same path.  Career choosing would be determined through a random name generator to be fair.

Four years of fun, we will call it FYF, is very beneficial for students.  FYF will allow students to live in a stress free environment, which is a positive change from their high school years, especially when trying to apply for colleges.  FYF is also a reasonable exchange for their tuition money, especially because there is a small risk that the Smart Chip might not be invented in time.  However, the chances of delay in the Smart Chip’s development is low since more than a sufficient sum of money will be dedicated to it and the entire academic staff will be working on it.

Although it is an expensive and timely project, in the end the Smart Chip will be the most convenient and most efficient way towards a career.  Students who have obtained their specialized Smart Chip will have a clear advantage over all those before them who had to learn the information needed over a course of four years.  The Smart Chip will cease the risk of forgetting vital information in their field.  Students who had to learn their major might have skipped class or missed classes due to illness.  A student might also not have fully understood the information they learned.  The Smart Chip could easily replace the information and experiences missed in those classes and the information in the Chip would be complete, leaving no room for confusion.  A student would not have to spend time practicing and reviewing the skills and information they needed in their career either, once the Smart Chip is installed.  The Smart Chip acts like a computer hard drive, where information can be stored permanently.  Therefore, a student would merely have to retrieve information from the Chip instead of try to memorize information. It is much more efficient and less time consuming than trying to obtain all of the information needed in merely four years.

Although no physical experience is attained in this process, the Smart Chip project is far superior to physical experience. The brain interprets the experiences we go through and strengthens connections and associations, which allows us to learn.  However, physical experiences are not necessarily needed. Physical experience is easily replaced by mental experience.  Some psychologists suggest that a person who mentally practices in their head is more likely to do well than someone who does not.  However, if we could implant experiences into the brain just enough so that certain connections and associations are strengthened, practice would become pointless.  Examples of implanted experiences would be the experience of failing and the consequences of doing so.  Through this experience, a student would develop a drive to work hard in order to not fail.  The Smart Chip will undoubtedly be the most consistent way to obtain the knowledge needed to become a successful and active member of society.

However, there is a small problem with this early stage of the Smart Chip.  Although the Smart Chip will have experiences needed in the particular field of expertise, students receiving the Smart Chip will have already had experiences of their own before entering college.  Because of this, results will vary and some of the built in experiences will be distorted since the student will interpret the information of the Chip according to their own previous experiences.  This problem cannot be avoided however for these particular set of students.  However, we can benefit other children once this Smart Chip has been developed.  The Smart Chip will be available for purchase for younger children so the implanted experiences will have a better impact upon their brains because children have had less time to have experiences.  The best results would be achieved by implanting the Smart Chip into children as early as the age of two.  We cannot let these children choose their career path, however.  How could a two year old know what path is best for them?

The ability to specialize society this early will also help in balancing the work force.  By doing this, society will have an efficient number of people in each field instead of an excess.  Such a balance will greatly improve the society and most likely achieve a greater and safer community to live in.  Crime should decrease because crime experiences would not be strengthened in the Smart Chip.  Conflicts, in general, would decrease because the Smart Chip can implant shared experiences, which would make attitudes towards subjects common for everyone.  Because of these shared experiences, everyone would be truly equal.

The Smart Chip would also cut government spending in education once the Smart Chip is developed.  This money could be spent towards other things such as recovering from the national debt.

The professors at Virginia Tech would also benefit heavily because they could spend time to do research and to write scholarly papers, which was previously time used to teach.  Advancements in knowledge and discovery would significantly increase in speed because professors no longer have to waste their time teaching classes. University professors and researchers will also get credit for their work, of course.  Every time a Chip is purchased, professors who put information on that particular Chip will receive a small sum of money, and so will the developers of the chip.

It is imperative that we begin the development of the Smart Chip because it will allow us to develop our society into a greater entity.  Advancements in science and ways of living will accelerate.  Children with the smart chip early will have more time to specialize and more time to improve and better society.  The Smart Chip is the most convenient, simple, and efficient way for our society to grow and become better for everyone.  It would be senseless not to begin this project now.


Comments Off on To Propose a Smart Chip

Filed under In Passing, PGS, Science is the Best

Io parlo Italiano un po’

More fun.  It is more fun to try things.  It is more fun to explore.  It is more fun to think about things you wouldn’t normally think about.  Theme here: it is more fun to do what seems uncomfortable.  This may be shocking but, I am shy.  I am shy to the extent that I get timid in situations that are new, like meeting new people in new environments.  I am so timid sometimes that I try to avoid the situation all together.  However, since traveling Europe, I have found that the people I meet are the most interesting part: more interesting than all of the statues and history…even the food.  The best part is attempting to converse with the locals.

In Italy, it has been the most rewarding.  Italians laugh and tease me as I struggle to communicate with the few phrases and words that I know.  Most of my communication is done through extensive body language.  “I’m looking for the beach. You know? Ocean? Water–l’acqua? Swimming? You know?”  During all of this I’m making motions to indicate waves with my arms and pretending to swim in the air. The nice thing is, they will often repeat what I am trying to say in Italian so that I can repeat and learn.  I’ve never known a language better than Italian (besides English and Vietnamese, of course), which I’ve only been around for a little less than 3 months.  Sometimes I would ask Italians to spell the words that they are trying to say because they speak so quickly.  When they spell things it makes it a little easier to guess.  “S-T-A-Z-I-O-N-E” hey! that looks like station–train station! Grazie! Naples and Genoa, Italy, are the best examples of this.  Most people there only speak a little bit of English and are a bit used to tourists.  They love it when you try.  However, Rome is much different.  Rome is probably one of the biggest tourist traps in the world.  When I try to speak Italian here they often get annoyed.  “Ciao, quanti costa questo?” “understand english?” “si” “speak english.” “oh…how much is that?” “three euro.” “Grazie…I mean, thanks.”

Comments Off on Io parlo Italiano un po’

Filed under PGS

Shared Leadership

In shared leadership, there is no assigned leader.  The leadership role is filled by not one but all members of a team.  In this style of leadership, everyone is on even ground.  There is no one person who has authority over the other.  However, in shared leadership there is a designated coach.  This coach facilitates shared leadership.  This is especially important for teams that are less supportive of each other.

This research suggests that, no particular person leads; rather, the group leads together, mutually, at the same time.  However, is this truly accurate?  This research does not take into account emergent leaders.  In this style of leadership, one member of the group might step up and become the single leader, despite the absence of an assigned leader.  Would this still count as shared leadership?  I don’t think so.  Shared leadership emphasizes all members of the group participating as leaders.  Unless the development of an emergent leader is the benefit to shared leadership. Where, a leader exists because he is best suited for the job instead of an assigned leader, who is not necessarily a good leader.  In this regard, team members might be more willing to respect emergent leaders because they are more likely to have proven that they belong in the position.  However, when leaders are assigned, team members might not respect the leader as much because the leader had not proven his leadership abilities, yet.

Although shared leadership is an attempt to avoid a single leader, there still exists the coach.  How does is this coach not like a leader of the group?  True, the coach does not influence the group as much when the group is working well together.  However, the coach still has an effect with the direction of the group by influencing members’ behaviors.  In this way, they are guiding the team, like a leader might.

Comments Off on Shared Leadership

Filed under PGS

Philopappou Hill

“It’s darker over there.  Lets go this way,” was my motto for traversing Athens, Greece, at night.  It began with getting lost on the way from the restaurant to the hotel.  After walking in circles for forty minutes, I finally managed to stumble upon the hotel.  It seemed as though I was intentionally trying to avoid it.  The number of times I passed and circled the street I was looking for is suspect.  I don’t think I was done being lost.  The longer I walked the more likely my goal was not to get to the hotel but to remain lost–to explore.

It became apparent when I rushed right back out of the hotel to truly walk without a goal in mind.  Looking up, the first thing I saw was the gloriously lit Parthenon on top of the giant Acropolis hill.  Naturally, I was drawn toward it.  Magically, I met with the foot of the hill.  Time did not pass but distance did.  Then time sped up.  To the left was a darker hill, almost menacing.  At its top, a quieter stone figure sat, lit like the Parthenon, but smaller.  Its mystery inspired me.  Immediately I changed direction and took a sharp left.  There was a better adventure to be had.

Approaching the foot of this darker hill (which, as I found out later, is called the Philopappou) was like moving in slow motion.  The only reason I looked away from the top of the hill was to watch my step.  Again, I was surprised to find myself at the base of the hill where I found a pleasant park.  Lampposts shined under the thick canopy of trees, highlighting stone pathways and marble benches.

Not far from the last row of lampposts, the ones closest to the hill, was a path that went up, half lit and half in the dark–obviously, the only path worth taking.  The farther uphill I went, the darker it became. Lamps no longer accompanied me.  However, my eyes adjusted and, soon, the night was glowing.  I noticed that the path I was traveling was hardly the darkest path to take.  Without question, I followed my motto.  Indeed, it was darker over there and I went that way.

What a promising motto it was!  Taking the darkest path can only lead to the most fantastic of places.  There it was, at the top of the hill, the gleaming monument.  It was not as grand as the Parthenon, but far more mysterious.  It was made of marble and conversing people were carved into its side.  (Looking it up later, I found that this was the grave of Philopapos, a great benefactor to ancient Athens).

Once again, the more glorious part of my adventure was the darkest part.  Behind the monument where the light got dim was half of a lonely column close to the edge of the hill’s rocky cliff.  It stood about four feet high from the rocks it rested on.  I climbed onto it and sat.

The view.

To my left was the powerful and bright Parthenon.  This time I’m even with it, staring at the same level instead of it being unreachable from the bottom–which seems so far away now.  Sitting on that column, I was comparable to it.  Swinging my head forward was Athens.  Clusters of pinkish-yellow lights littered the city.  They spread as far as they could until they couldn’t compete with the dark mountain anymore.   To my right, the lights were competing with another dark figure: the sea.  At the coast the lights hazed, like they were having trouble deciding whether to exist or not.

And then there was up.  The winter constellations, my old friends, shined brightly above.   Orion’s belt was the first noticeable object and then the rest of his stars, specifically, Rigel, Bellatrix and Betelgeuse.  The last of these is supposed to nova between thirty and a million years, and emit light as bright as the full moon.  There was Sirius in Canis Major, Procyon in Canis Minor, and then Castor and Pollux in Gemini.  Best of all, Mars was out to play, which is a spectacle that I don’t get to see very often.

I sat there for a while, letting the breeze brush my hair.  Getting back to the hotel was like warp speed.  I remember one moment where I was scared of barking wild dogs and climbing some rocks to escape, but my mind settles on sitting on that column above what is now one of my favorite cities.


Comments Off on Philopappou Hill

Filed under PGS

Racism is…strange (?)

Interesting that this post follows the Separate but Equal post.

Last week, I felt my first bit of racism aimed at me–it happened twice: once in Athens, Greece and again in Chiasso, Switzerland.  Both came from young teenagers, maybe 8th or 9th graders.  Both groups bowed at me as I walked passed.  Hands were in a praying position and their prayers pointed at me and followed me.  The bowing was coupled by “Asian” sounding gibberish (I think the closest thing it sounded to would be Mandarin).   I mean, I have faced ‘racism’ before that, but those were jokes that I understood as jokes and I also felt that they were funny and/or had no malicious intent–aka. I enjoyed it.

At the time I just brushed it off–didn’t worry about it.  However, when I was telling people the story, they asked me how I felt about it and how I reacted with looks of concern on their faces.  It seemed very obvious, then, that I was procrastinating thinking about it.  Once I was forced to think about it, however, I did.  It turns out, as I was explaining how it felt “weird,” my face, then my chest, then my stomach got hot–steamed.  It was apparent that I was am bothered by it.  Not too strongly bothered, but bothered.

Granted, I have been rather sheltered and spoiled.  Back home, in the states, there is a lot more variety more effort towards tolerance (genuine or not).  My neighborhood is probably 75% white, 20% Asian and 5% everybody else.  I have been well integrated to where I live so people are used to me and the Asian population. Those that made fun of me didn’t come from such background.  They lived in places that rarely saw other races.  Their main exposure is probably from TV.  Although, I would’ve thought that they would be afraid to make fun of me because of all the kung fu-ninja power they they think I know. :P

I still stand by my previous post, Separate but Equal.

For now, I’ll conclude with: it was really strange.

Comments Off on Racism is…strange (?)

Filed under PGS

Attempting an All-Digital Dynabook

Programming in computer science is a bit like speaking another language. You have to learn the syntax in order to compose statements that make sense; there are many words, but they only function in a certain order. My project separates understanding the logic behind computer science behind needing to know all of its syntax. This allows me to teach Computer Science gradually, making learning easier. Computer Science allows people to create nearly anything their minds can come up with, and that’s why I love it. This application is modeled in the spirit of Alan Kay’s Dynabook, and shares a lot of its education-promoting features. First off, it’s widely available. As an application for iOS, it can be run on iPads and iPhones, popular consumer products.  Information (in the form of a program) can be shared between instances of the application, and are saved by each user. With a bit of planning, online communities could be developed to share applications.  This open-ended approach to sharing and creation promotes collaboration.  Open software combined with an interface that makes editing lines easy means that programs are in no way static. They resemble the gaming programs described in Turkel’s “Computer Holding Power.” Code is provided, but it is easy to modify based on your personal needs or whims. This is how my project includes an invitation to the user to innovate further. The ability to create, save, and run programs written in TI BASIC allows “ordinary users to casually and easily describe their desires for a specific tool.”  Though this application needs time to fully realize the goals behind Kay’s Dynabook, it has far more bandwidth to provide content in. This potential for evolution means that this could someday be a project to impress Kay himself.

This is the first screen seen when app loads. On this screen, there is a list of all your projects. Some example projects are packaged with the application, which gives the user an idea of how a program is set up, and how they can start creating their own applications. Applications that are added from other users also appear in this list. To edit an existing project, click the blue arrow next to its respective project. To add a project, click the plus symbol, which leads to the next screen displayed.  Adding a project adds it to this list, where it can be accessed in the future.

This is a simple screen that pops up before the previous screen.  It asks the user to name their new project, and displays a keyboard for them to enter a name. Additional options can be added here in the future, such as potential export languages, where to publish the program, or other potential features to add.

This is the screen that contains the actual “code.” The screenshot above is a sample program that comes packaged with the application: the quadratic formula. In the initial version of this software, lines of code are added and edited individually. When the user is done making edits, the code is saved all at once as a project. The process of creating and editing individual lines will be seen on the next screen. The part of this screen that I’m most proud of is the console on the bottom of the screen. When the code is in a runnable state (which should be fairly easy due to the on-rails nature of this application, it will take inputs from the user and produce an output based on the lines of code. Currently, the user is limited to 27 variables, like they are in the TI BASIC language. Over time, however, the user will be able to designate variables to store values. With potentially infinite variables to store information, the user has infinite potential for creating programs. After all, any question can be answered with enough binary (Yes/No, 0/1, etc) values.  This interface is a starting point, but it has the scalability to turn into a full compiler.

This is the final screenshot, and is brought up when the user is adding or editing a line of code.  The value picking wheel shown in the Choose a Function section is populated with functions ranging from logical statements to math equations.  A full description of TI BASIC functions can be found here. Eventually, the draw functions will be integrated, and that would allow the user to make games, or even the sketching function described in Kay’s description of the Dynabook.  The Define Variables screen below changes based on which function is selected.  It appears blank in the screenshot above, but it’s populated with drop down fields and picker wheels, similar to the Choose a Function section.  The initial versions of this software limit the user to predefined variables (A-Z and theta) and values (numbers, other variables) in order to let them learn in pieces, but later versions of this application could support a free text mode.  This would greatly increase the user’s speed of entry, but would require a far more robust compiler, which would take a significant length of time.

This application is similar conceptually to a portable compiler, and my knowledge of the field is not at the point where I could create a compiler in iOS.  I wanted to use my knowledge and passion to create a final project that was unique and based in my field of study. The framework for this type of project, however, can be valuable for both prompting discussion and inspiring future work.  I hope that this project has the ability to do both, for myself as well as anyone who reads my project description.

Comments Off on Attempting an All-Digital Dynabook

Filed under VT NMSF

“We are not limited by our intelligence”

Way of Life

Older people often complain about the attention and focus of students now. They say that the media, especially computers, are destroying our education because it distracts us. “Back in my day,” they would say, “we didn’t have personal computers. When we needed to write a paper, we wrote it by hand and used library books, not the Internet.” They say this as though the process now is not as good. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi is right when he says, “today my work could not be possible without the Internet.” Although this is a necessity because of the way the world is moving in terms of technology, there is another reason for it: Barabasi’s sixth sense.

When we were first evolving into humans, we began to do an astonishing thing: we created tools. At first, it was just something simple, like a stick or a rock. Sticks and rocks combined make spears. When hunting, spears were an extension of our arms. Hunting was not an extracurricular activity but a necessity. However, this was not always the case. Hunting became a necessity, when we developed a good way to hunt. This is true to such an extent that we lost a lot of our “natural” ability to hunt–loss of large wrestling muscles, running on all fours and sharp teeth. Spears became “natural” parts of us, just like how the Internet and computers are becoming a natural part of us: an extension of our minds. As Doulgas Englebart suggests, we are not limited by our intelligence.

Englebart notes that “every person who does his thinking with symbolized concepts should be able to benefit significantly” (Engelbart, 98). Theodore Nelson also emphasizes this point: “modern communications media and in particular electronic media are outgrowths and extensions of those senses which have become dominant in our social development” (Nelson, 307). Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg explains it best with “thinking goes on in one’s head, external media serve to materialize thoughts and, through feedback, augment the actual paths the thinking follows” (Kay & Goldberg, 393).

In summary, computers have the capability to simulate our ideas into physical things that we can see and analyze. They give “concrete form to areas of knowledge that had previously appeared so intangible and abstract” (Papert, 416). Attempting to keep all thinking in the brain is absurd. There are too many things to contemplate, remember, and analyze which is followed by more contemplation, remembering what you contemplated and more analysis. Not only does the computer help us store, retrieve and simulate, it also helps us think through feedback.

Blogs are a prime example. In many ways, blogs are like journals: a place where thoughts can be written and reread later for deeper thinking. The advantage that blogs have over journals is its capability for feedback. Blogs allow other users and guests to comment on thoughts. This feedback is not limited either. Comments can come from anywhere in the world, not just from peers in the classroom or the neighborhood. As our local environment has a huge influence on who we are and how we think, it is important to listen to other people. These comments could inspire ideas that were never thought of or never thought to be relevant.

Computers are more than just an extension to our minds, however. Barabasi’s sixth sense is more about how it changed his way of thinking. Just like how spears changed cavemen’s way of life.
When studying children and their use of LOGO, Seymour Papert noticed that “the child, even at preschool ages, is in control: The child programs the computer. And in teaching the computer how to think, children embark on an exploration about how they themselves think” (Papert, 414). There is thinking about thinking and “learning how to learn” (Turkle, 500). The computer allows for active and self-directed learning.

In school, children learn that something is right or wrong. This is not problem solving. In many ways, it’s a more like learning how to guess correctly: noticing patterns that work and don’t work, such as multiplying by 2 always outputs an even number. Papert says that in computer programming, you almost never get it right the first time. Instead, “programming for a computing machine forces you to think clearly, it disciplines the process” (Licklider, 75). The thinking process for programming is not ‘is this correct or incorrect?’ Rather, it is, ‘its not quite there yet.’ That is the attitude of most good innovators and scientists. Things are never quite satisfactory. There is always room for error or improvement.

Most importantly, computers and the Internet allow for a different form of thinking. It is all about “your frame of mind” (McCloud, 712). As we surf the web and interact with it, we are putting a little bit of ourselves into it. Like in the story of Jarish in Sherry Turkle’s Video Games and Computer Holding Power, “You are Pac-Man” (Turkle, 500). Turkle explains that, while you are playing video games, you are so immersed that you are not only controlling Pac-Man, in the third person, but you are also Pac-Man, in the first person–both first and third at the same time. This is also true for blogs. You are writing, representing yourself, but at the same time, you can read your blog afterwards as a third party.

Blogs keep a record of everything that you have written in the past. We are used to not seeing “what is before it and what is after it–we only see the narrow slit of ‘now’” (Viola, 464). However, when reading one blog post, in the present, you are, at the same time, reading in the past because it was a past post. As Scott McCloud suggests in his comic, Time Frames, it is as though time and space are bent. This occurs all over the Internet through linking. Linear progression is not necessary, or even real. Connections, or links, can exist at any point in time and space. What happened in history one hundred years ago could be pertinent to something today.

The Internet is a great place that simulates this process. The availability of the Internet allows us to think more broadly and less linearly than before because links are everywhere. If the link isn’t there, then a simple Google search will gladly take you to other relevant places and times. Can you imagine trying to find every variable in a problem only through library books? Without search engines, databases and “Find” that would take forever. Of course, every variable is a lot to ask, but computers and the
Internet are a lot more efficient and maybe we can get close.

To the doubters who think computers are ruining our future, they must remember that times change and humans are constantly becoming better thinkers. We build tools that improve our way of thought. Although sixth senses are often seen as fictional or ridiculous, Barabasi’s sixth sense is developing into a way of life.

Comments Off on “We are not limited by our intelligence”

Filed under New Media (Web 2.0)

Call to action: Run a TEDx event

Who? – Everyone who is in this amazing class Memex to Youtube Fall 2011. Maybe a partnership with Spring of 2012 as well?

What? – I know Dr. Campbell talked about doing a TEDx event next semester and I think we should organize at the beginning of next semester to organize and run one. There is even a separate division for TEDx for universities.

When? – I want to say spring of 2012, but since I have been on an event committee this year and I know how long things take to process at school. I would say realistically next fall of 2012.

Where? – Somewhere on campus…. Burruss Auditorium would be sweet or McBryde 100, or a big event room in Squires. I would also say the Lyric Theater would be a viable option as well.

Why? - I think that it would be cool to get our ideas spread in this class across the university. I would also like to get some of the recognition of these amazing ideas put forth to us by Douglas Englebart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, just to name a few and display them to the world. I also enjoy listening to TED talks and it is a way to give back to the TED talk community that many people like to listen to. Final reason to beat UVA TED talk.  I feel that this is a way to give back to a great community of Blacksburg and show that we can put on a great information session.

You have been called out! Now it is time to act. I know it is something hard to do after this class has been already finished, but I would like to try and get something together in the Spring and I will try and work with Dr. Campbell. Maybe something through the FB group. More information to come later.

Called Out

Called Out

Comments Off on Call to action: Run a TEDx event

Filed under Uncategorized

Networks networks networks

Ideas about them are still spinning in my head about them. I feel that my best ideas come after I leave the test and I feel like I remember or can think better after it. Testing, pressure and stress is something that is always a problem with today’s education system or network.

Here is that word coming up again. All of these could be related to networks:

  • Computer
  • Social
  • Economic
  • Educational
  • Highway

I think that it would be interesting graphs of these drawings. Computer networks would be a schizo drawing because of all of the connections between computers and the WWW. Social would be schizo as well because of all of the connections between different friends. The economic network would be schizo as well because how money changes hands and how random and crazy that can be. The educations would be hierarchical, going from elementary schools with a lot on the bottom level all the way to post graduate universities on top. I feel that most networks that one can come up with are usually schizo in nature.

Is this just an unusual consequence, or undeniable fact? I mean why are most networks formed in a schizo structure?

I think I have a solution and connection that relates both of these and why it is like that. I feel that everything is schizo structure is because of how brain works with making connections between items. There is no pattern for the connections; it is just something that is related, which bring me back to Vannevar Bush and the Memex. After I talk about this I think Vannevar Bush was more of a genius then I ever imagined he has everything together and knew so much everything.

On a side note:

I hate everything to do with pressure testing and writing. I like to do things when I have to do them in peace and on my own time, it makes my work better and makes me more productive. I feel that this dream of a system of doing everything without pressure would make for a nice world…. a Kimonian world. A Kimonian world would be something to be desired, but I feel that the usual power structures would oppose this.

Another side note:

It never ceases to amaze me how this class is related to many other things, I can talk about one thing and related back this classes core ideas… Good Job Dr. C, you augmented my human intellect, well played sir.

Comments Off on Networks networks networks

Filed under Uncategorized