10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Asimov Story on Computation

■ N 1958, American science fiction legend Isaac Asimov wrote a very short story called "The Feeling of Power." In it, lowly technician MyI ron Aub discovers that he is capable of duplicating the work of his computer by multiplying two numbers together on a piece of paper. Amazing! This miraculous discovery makes its way up the chain of command, where the generals and politicians are stunned by Aub's black magic. The top general is intrigued by the possibility that human calculations could g...
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10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Outboard Brain

Following in the grand tradition of nearly every new technology, nobody started to panic about the potential downsides of cognitive outsourcing until kids starting doing it, and doing it in ways that their parents didn't understand. They type with their thumbs in ugly slang and funny symbols. They have short attention spans. They can't remember their own phone numbers. They spend more time on social media than they did with their friends irl (that's "in real life," my daughter tells me). They...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Shannon's Learning Mouse Theseus

Theseus was propelled by a pair of magnets, one embedded in its hollow core, and one moving freely beneath the maze. The mouse would begin its course, bump into a wall, sense that it had hit an obstacle with its “whiskers,” activate the right relay to attempt a new path, and then repeat the process until it hit its goal, a metallic piece of cheese. The relays stored the directions of the right path in “memory”: once the mouse had successfully navigated the maze by trial and error, it ...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 The Communal Nature of Tabletop Gaming Complicates Unders...

De Koven’s concept of play is predicated on the idea that play, as a purposeless act, is the means through which we can build community and move closer to living better lives. He ultimately moves away from the idea of playing games and towards a purer idea of play beyond games, play as mastery over nothing in particular (De Koven 2013). For De Koven, games are at best a means to an end, a way to encourage an initial sense of playfulness; at worst, they are a controlling aspect over play, so...
Folksonomies: education play gaming
Folksonomies: education play gaming
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08 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Negative Attention is Better Than No Attention at All

To give and receive attention is a fundamental human need. In the 13th century, King Frederick II of Sicily wanted to find out what language children would naturally grow up to speak if they were never spoken to. He took babies from their mothers at birth and placed them in the care of nurses who were strictly forbidden to either speak to or touch them. The babies, as it turned out, didn’t grow up to speak any language, as they all died of attention deprivation within a fortnight of the sta...
Folksonomies: parenting attention focus
Folksonomies: parenting attention focus
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06 JAN 2018 by ideonexus

 Border Crossings into Science Culture

Learning to communicate in and with a culture of science is a much broader undertaking than mastering a body of discrete conceptual or procedural knowledge. One observer, for example, describes the process of science education as one in which learners must engage in "border crossings" from their own everyday world culture into the subculture of science.^ The subculture of science is in part distinct from other cultural activities and in part a reflection of the cultural backgrounds of scienti...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Blockchains

Ownership on the Bitcoin blockchain is determined by a pair of cryptographic keys. The first, called the public key, resides in the blockchain for anyone to see. The second is called the private key, and its owner keeps it safe from view. The two keys have a special mathematical relationship that makes them useful for signing digital messages. Here’s how that happens: Helmut takes a message, combines it with his private key, does some calculations, and ends up with a long number. Anyone who...
Folksonomies: blockchains technology
Folksonomies: blockchains technology
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Children's Art Has Its Own Logic

Even simple scribbles are meaningful. While it was once thought that kids only scribbled to experience the physical sensation of moving their arm along the page, “now it’s been shown that when children are scribbling … they’re representing through action, not through pictures,” said Boston College’s Winner. “For example, a child might draw a truck by making a line fast across the page and going ‘zoom, zoom,’ and so it doesn’t look like a truck when the child is done, but i...
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This reminds me of Sagan's pumpkin-carving, where he made random cuts and took out chunks to make it scarier with more "bloody guts."

20 JUN 2017 by ideonexus

 Choral Reading

Choral reading gives students the experience of reading aloud without the stress of reading alone. Based upon the previously described research demonstrating that repeated stimulation of neuronal networks increases their efficiency, it makes sense that the experience of reading aloud together reinforces patterns. When we start the choral reading, I ask students to whisper the words as I read aloud. Th is process continues until students become more confident. As the reading progresses and I ...
Folksonomies: teaching literacy reading
Folksonomies: teaching literacy reading
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30 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Whole Earth Catalog Purpose

We are as gods and might as well get good at it. So far, remotely done power and glory—as via government, big business, formal education, church—has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing—power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this p...
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