16 APR 2018 by ideonexus

 Early Attempts to Replace Teachers with Games

The current push to bring digital games into school is, strictly speaking, not the first, nor even the second time that educators have pushed for individualized instruction via machines. But it is decidedly the most nuanced, humanistic, and thoughtful. The first actually took place in the 1950s and early 1960s, when a small group of educational psychologists proposed doing away with teachers altogether and replacing them with self-paced, preprogrammed instruction on so-called "teaching machin...
Folksonomies: history learning automation
Folksonomies: history learning automation
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10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 The Volumetric Approach to History

You will be thinking that we are coming to the end of this book: we’ve dealt with eight centuries, so there are only two to go. You may be surprised to learn, therefore, that in historical terms we are not even halfway. The reason for this discrepancy is that history is not time, and time is not history. History is not the study of the past per se; it is about people in the past. Time, separated from humanity, is purely a matter for scientists and star-gazers. If a previously unknown uninha...
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14 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The 800th Lifetime

It has been observed that if the last 50,000 years of man's existence were divided into lifetimes of approximately 62 years each, there have been 800 such lifetimes. Of the 800, fully 650 were spent in caves. Only during the last seventy lifetimes has it become possible to communicate effectively from one lifetime to another- as writing made it possible to do. Only during the last six lifetimes did masses of men ever see a printed word. Only during the last four has it been possible to measu...
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Difficulty of Reconstructing Our Forager Ancestor's W...

We obviously have no written records from the age of foragers, and the archaeological evidence consists mainly of fossilised bones and stone tools. Artefacts made of more perishable materials – such as wood, bamboo or leather – survive only under unique conditions. The common impression that pre-agricultural humans lived in an age of stone is a misconception based on this archaeological bias. The Stone Age should more accurately be called the Wood Age, because most of the tools used by an...
Folksonomies: history archeology
Folksonomies: history archeology
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Power of Fire

A signi
Folksonomies: history evolution tool use
Folksonomies: history evolution tool use
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Disruptive Nature of Homo sapien's Rapid Rise to Apex...

Genus Homo’s position in the food chain was, until quite recently, solidly in the middle. For millions of years, humans hunted smaller creatures and gathered what they could, all the while being hunted by larger predators. It was only 400,000 years ago that several species of man began to hunt large game on a regular basis, and only in the last 100,000 years – with the rise of Homo sapiens – that man jumped to the top of the food chain. That spectacular leap from the middle to the top ...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 The Increasing Chemical Complexity of the Cosmos

The ancient origins of stars, planets and life may be viewed as a sequence of emergent events, each of which added to the chemical complexity of the cosmos. Stars, which formed from the primordial hydrogen of the Big Bang, underwent nucleosynthesis to produce all the elements of the Periodic Table. Those elements were dispersed during supernova events and provided the raw materials for planets and all their mineralogical diversity. Chemical evolution on Earth (and perhaps countless other plan...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The False Promise of WWW Enlightenment

Never before have so many people been connected together in an instantly responsive network through which memes can spread faster than natural viruses. But the notion that taking the whole world online would create a utopia of netizens, all equal in cyberspace, was always a fantasy—as much a delusion as Luther’s vision of a “priesthood of all believers.” The reality is that the global network has become a transmission mechanism for all kinds of manias and panics, just as the combinati...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 American and French Revolutions Led to Different Results

...the structure of a network determines its virality. As recent work by the social scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler has shown, the contagiousness of a disease or an idea depends as much on a social network’s structure as on the inherent properties of the virus or meme. The history of the late eighteenth century illustrates that point well. The ideas that inspired both the American Revolution and the French Revolution were essentially the same, and both were transmitted throu...
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
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20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 Old CRPGs are Unplayable for Modern Gamers

They had five days to play (Ultima IV), and I asked them to make as much progress as they could in that time. When we gathered to debrief in class, a few students explained how they’d overcome some of their difficulties, but the vast majority was utterly flummoxed by the game. As one of them put it, “I’d say for gamers of our generation, an RPG like Ultima IV is boring and pretty much unplayable.” After removing the arrow from my chest, I asked them to explain why. It mostly came dow...
Folksonomies: gaming preservation history
Folksonomies: gaming preservation history
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