216. Kierkegaard

August 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’ve been reading his Concept of Dread. He builds an entire book on what we might thin of as a small deal, but as he makes clear, dread is a pervasive aspect of human lives, maybe all lives, and yet we do not recognize it, not make much of today. In the past, say in christian meditation, getting clear about such feelings was important. Our sense today of what a human being is is weak because we ignore suc explorations.

156. making numbers too important.

July 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

Here is an example of  our stress on the numerical and aithmetic rather than on content in business planning and enterprise management.

Swivel | Make your business smarter. .

150. Sputnik Observatory For the Study of Contemporary Culture

July 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

This is a very intersting site, forthe tech, which is conversations and comments in little videos, well connected an fairly easy to navigate.

Sputnik Observatory For the Study of Contemporary Culture.

127. Brain represents tools as temporary body parts, study confirms

June 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

When thinking of cultural change, this is a clue as to what is going on. The body is reconfigured through the tools it uses. It is a question of identity and function working together.

Brain represents tools as temporary body parts, study confirms

Researchers have what they say is the first direct proof of a very old idea: that when we use a tool—even for just a few minutes—it changes the way our brain represents the size of our body. In other words, the tool becomes a part of what is known in psychology as our body schema, according to a report published in the June 23rd issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

“Since the origin of the concept of body schema, the idea of its functional plasticity has always been taken for granted, even if no direct evidence has been provided until now,” said Alessandro Farnè of INSERM and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon. “Our series of experiments provides the first, definitive demonstration that this century-old intuition is true.”

In the new study, Farnè, Lucilla Cardinali, and their colleagues reasoned that if one incorporates a used tool into the body schema, his or her subsequent bodily movements should differ when compared to those performed before the tool was used.

Indeed, that is exactly what they saw. After using a mechanical grabber that extended their reach, people behaved as though their arm really was longer, they found. Whats more, study participants perceived touches delivered on the elbow and middle fingertip of their arm as if they were farther apart after their use of the grabbing tool.

People still went on using their arm successfully following after tool use, but they managed tasks differently. That is, they grasped or pointed to object correctly, but they did not move their hand as quickly and overall took longer to complete the tasks.

Its a phenomenon each of us unconsciously experiences every day, the researchers said. The reason you were able to brush your teeth this morning without necessarily looking at your mouth or arm is because your toothbrush was integrated into your brains representation of your arm.

The findings help to explain how it is that humans use tools so well.

“We believe this ability of our body representation to functionally adapt to incorporate tools is the fundamental basis of skillful tool use,” Cardinali said. “Once the tool is incorporated in the body schema, it can be maneuvered and controlled as if it were a body part itself.”

via Brain represents tools as temporary body parts, study confirms.

81. The Universities in Trouble

April 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Amazing to me how peole fail to disaggregate numbers. In this case, apportioning university costs across undergradtaues fails to recognize that the faculty are paid by research grants and very little of what a university does is directly related to undergraduate costs. At 50k per year four undergrads could hire a nobel laureeate to really teach them, say four hours a day!

Since most American colleges have an endowment less than 1 percent the size of Harvard’s, most do not have Harvard’s problem. But they have other problems. The sources of income on which they depend—tuition revenue (at private colleges) and state appropriations (at public colleges), as well as annual alumni contributions (at both)—are under pressure too. Everyone knows about the competitive frenzy to get into a few highly ranked colleges, but in fact most of the 1,500 private colleges in the United States do not attract significantly more applicants than they can enroll. On the contrary, they struggle to meet enrollment targets, especially now that families in economic distress are turning to public institutions, which tend to be cheaper.[2]

via The Universities in Trouble – The New York Review of Books.

71. End the University as We Know It

April 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

Education? Well, the factory model is dead, bt what repalces it at the level of abay sitting and specialzation? Here is a serious attempt.

1. Restructure the curriculum, beginning with graduate programs and proceeding as quickly as possible to undergraduate programs. The division-of-labor model of separate departments is obsolete and must be replaced with a curriculum structured like a web or complex adaptive network. Responsible teaching and scholarship must become cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural.

Just a few weeks ago, I attended a meeting of political scientists who had gathered to discuss why international relations theory had never considered the role of religion in society. Given the state of the world today, this is a significant oversight. There can be no adequate understanding of the most important issues we face when disciplines are cloistered from one another and operate on their own premises.

via Op-Contributor – End the University as We Know It – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com.

66. Andy Kroll, Will Public Education Be Militarized?

April 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

education is entral to pesonhod and stae viability. os of conflict.

Yet a closer investigation of Duncan’s record in Chicago casts doubt on that label. As he packs up for Washington, Duncan leaves behind a Windy City legacy that’s hardly cause for optimism, emphasizing as it does a business-minded, market-driven model for education. If he is a “reformer,” his style of management is distinctly top-down, corporate, and privatizing. It views teachers as expendable, unions as unnecessary, and students as customers.

Disturbing as well is the prominence of Duncan’s belief in offering a key role in public education to the military. Chicago’s school system is currently the most militarized in the country, boasting five military academies, nearly three dozen smaller Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs within existing high schools, and numerous middle school Junior ROTC programs. More troubling yet, the military academies he’s started are nearly all located in low-income, minority neighborhoods. This merging of military training and education naturally raises concerns about whether such academies will be not just education centers, but recruitment centers as well.

via Tomgram: Andy Kroll, Will Public Education Be Militarized?.

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