Friday, December 31, 2010

Dugong and calf: I do choose to write the muse of bliss unfolding

I do choose to write the muse of bliss unfolding

(So that I have a New Years' Eve poem every year, I'm posting this "I do choose to write the muse of bliss unfolding" poem, today, on January 1, 2012, to my blog dated December 31, 2010, from a poem I posted on this blog on January 19, 2011. I like this poem because it gets to experiences of loving bliss and freedom, vis-a-vis Harbin :).

Snow Monkey: A friend, who has been going to Harbin for decades, asks about my Harbin ethnography, Drafts of 2 1/2 chapters, Very Different Manuscript

A friend, who has been going to Harbin for decades, asksabout my Harbin ethnography:

Happy Birthday!!!! I went to your info page ( and now am curious. Would you be willing to share with me, maybe a glimpse or summary, of your manuscript that includes Harbin Hot Springs? How long have you been working on this piece? What is it about and who will it appeal to? Blessings and joy to you!!!!!!


Hi Yogini,

Here are drafts of 2 1/2 chapters:

I've been working on it for years now, but after the theft of the first manuscript (very different) with beginning virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, you can see the date on the first page of this one via these Harbin Books sections:

It's an actual / virtual Harbin ethnography with some appeal for academic anthropologists and folks interested in the 1960s. It also comes into conversation with Tom Boellstorff's "Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human" (Princeton 2008).

Joy to you :)

Happy New Year!

( - December 31, 2010)

Vanda coerulea: Thanks so much for your birthday good wishes, At 70 ... Harbin warm pool, Writing poetry, World University Music School, Loving Bliss


Thanks so much for your birthday good wishes! ... at 70 I hope I'll be in the Harbin warm pool {} a fair amount, writing poetry {}, making music with World University & School with YOU :) {e.g. here - and with many subjects} and eliciting loving bliss neurophysiology {} a fair amount :)

( - December 31, 2010)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eastern Woodland Forest: The Relaxation Response is delicious & integrating & a great image for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, A Great Practice, Too

The Relaxation Response is delicious & integrating - - and in Pittsburgh, no less.

The Relaxation Response is a good practice, and a great image/focusing practice for Pittsburgh. {Many practicing the relaxation response here would cultivate a good image for Pittsburgh} ...

( - December 30, 2010)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bee Butterfly: World University & School IS LIKE ...

World University & School ... -


Wikipedia ( with

MIT OCW - Open Course Ware (

Berkeley Webcast (

Yale OYC - Open Yale Courses (

Stanford SEE - Stanford Engineering Everywhere - (

Goethe Institute's language lessons and conversation in Second Life (


Google Inc. {pragmatic, digital innovation} (

Stanford University {a relaxed, great university in California} (


OLPC, AFSC, Reed, Harvard) ...

where YOU can wiki




(and Find FREE Educational Software


Chorinea faunus - Bee Butterfly

( - December 29, 2010)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wild Grass Lands: Wait a couple of decades & you can see some great Dead shows for free on the Web, And Loving Bliss?, Wisdom in Waiting ...

Wait a couple of decades ... and you can see some great Dead shows for free on the Web ... ...

or hear some:

The Dead are expressing happiness in their faces here:

... what about eliciting loving bliss? I think there's wisdom in waiting ... :)

( - December 28, 2010)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Alpine Lakes: Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - "PLEASE record & upload before Saturday 1st Jan, 2011!, Good model for World University's Music School

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir -

(also linked here -

"PLEASE record and upload before Saturday 1st Jan, 2011! If you've already uploaded, please check and double check you've titled and tagged your video properly, and please set the location (even if it's to another town or your country's capital)."


Check out Whitacre's online, video, musical direction videos above

... all of this is a good model for World University's Music School


Come sing and jam at World University & School ... :)

( - December 27, 2010)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Moon Moth: Happy Kwanzaa! A weeklong celebration held in the U.S. honoring universal African-American heritage & culture, Unitarian Universalism

Happy Kwanzaa! (Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from Dec 26 to Jan 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with 7 candles and culminates in a feast & gift giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966 - 1967). We celebrated it this morning at the Unitarian Universalist church in Pittsburgh.

( - December 26, 2010)

Tallest Tree: added Burton Malkiel's 2010 Asset Allocation recommendations to the INDEX INVESTING subject at WUaS, SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING

... added Burton Malkiel's 2010 Asset Allocation recommendations to the Index Investing subject at WUaS: Malkiel provides the intellectual rationale for indexing (in his book "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"), an investing strategy which has been most successful.

It's from Greg Mankiw's blog, who teaches Harvard's Freshman Economics' 10 class:


Learn about Socially Responsible Investing by clicking this link (also at the WUaS Index Investing page ( page.

( - December 26, 2010)

Blood Orchid: Happy that U.S. has Free K-12 Education & Libraries, Incorporated & tax-exempt, World Univ & Sch Memes, Culture, Science

... is very happy that the U.S. has free K-12 education and free public library systems {Free to the People} ... and is planning for WUaS to build on this worldwide -


Incorporated & tax-exempt, World Univ & Sch - - invites you to make teaching & learning wiki MUSIC by engaging it ... to teach, learn, add

...WUaS is like Wikipedia with MIT OCW (Open Course Ware), Berkeley Webcast, Yale OYC (Open Yale Courses), Stanford SEE (Stanford Engineering Everywhere)

as well as JAMMING, and so much more, at the Music School:


If science, reason, poetry, counterculture, music, digital technologies, the Dutch Tulip mania, words, a novel, a summer dress (Dawkins), etc., for example, are all memes (replicating, cultural units, or ideas' seed pods), over tens of thousands of generations, how to replicate love and joy neurophysiologies in great measure? One possible way: ... see 'Select Video and Audio' :)


Eclipse: World University & School, An open source, Creative Commons, free MODEL (web cameras & in virtual worlds' teaching), Great Open Course Ware :


Added the FREE, public domain, MUSIC SCORES' web site - International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as the ... Petrucci Music Library - to World University and School's "Music" Subject, "Library Resources" page (, as well as to the WORLD UNIVERSITY MUSIC SCHOOL -...

( - December 26, 2010)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Galaxy cluster: Joyeux Noël - World University and School is a communal sharing of open teaching & learning wiki cadeaux

Joyeux Noël - World University & School is a communal sharing of teaching & learning wiki cadeaux {gifts} ...

... free for all

‎... and you & I are opening them slowly, these days. :)

( - December 25, 2010)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cosmic: To WUaS's "Digital To Do" section I added Digital Text to Audio File programs, Network Neutrality is Key for Music School with JAMMING

To World University & School's SUBJECT TEMPLATE's "Digital To Do" section - (which is a way of understanding WUaS's structure) - I added new 'Digital Text to Audio file format (Browse Aloud - / Read Aloud -' line ... to listen to books ... :)


Especially for World University Music School: for example, ... Net Neutrality is key ... It's a free, teaching and learning music school, potentially with ALL instruments, & with online - in virtual worlds - JAMMING possibilities :)


Relief: we still appear to have internet neutrality, with today's FCC ruling:

( - December 24, 2010)

Hydrothermal Vent: AMAZING ~ "Plastic to oil fantastic" conversion from Akinori Ito, Added to World Univ & Sch's Energy Technologies' Subject page

AMAZING ~ "Plastic to oil fantastic" conversion machine from Akinori Ito

This is great and I added this innovation ...

Ito, Akinori. 2010. Plastic to oil fantastic. Japan: United Nations University - OurWorld 2.0.

... to World University & School's Energy Technologies' subject page:


... a new expression of alchemy?


All around the world, - make plastic disappear, produce oil from it, clean up the world and reduce our carbon output ...


Please add other energy technologies to WUaS's Energy Technologies' page.

( - December 24, 2010)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gallactic collision: New Paleontology subject at World University and School

New Paleontology subject at World University and School: with a lecture by Cornell's Niles Elsdredge, as well as his kids' book, a MIT OCW course on Geobiology, Stephen Jay Gould's book "Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History" ... add a fossil find you know of ... or teach or learn evolution :)

( - December 23, 2010)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nembrotha: Want to make a film, or study it? Two Film subjects at World Univ & Sch, SEARCH in WUAS Subjects

Want to make a film, or study it: There are two Film subjects at World University and School, accessible in the Subjects' section: ... here: and here: :)

... or teach how to make a film? WUaS is a wiki, where you can teach, or learn, film making :) ...

( - December 22, 2010)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eclipse: World University & School, An open source, Creative Commons, free MODEL (web cameras & in virtual worlds' teaching), Great Open Course Ware

I hope World University & School becomes the / an open source, Creative Commons, free MODEL (teach & learn to web cameras & in virtual worlds, engaging great universities' open course ware) to spawn 1000s of universities and schools to generate flourishing conversations about ideas ... e.g.


Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse - Video
by William Castleman

( - December 21, 2010)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nebula 3: Learning about & from loving bliss milieus, The first such milieu was with my Mother, Parents, Friends, Loving Bliss Elicitation, Naturally

... learning about & from loving bliss milieus

... the first such milieu for me was in Cambridge, MA, with mother, parents, their friends & kids, particularly L & C & P

... how to learn from, and grow this, decades later, in thinking about loving bliss elicitation, naturally ....

{parallels with ecstasy (MDMA), but both are long ago}


See these 5 loving bliss letters:

( - December 19, 2010)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Doves in Snow: To further conversation about defining nontheist Friends, There is that of nontheist Friends in common & Bonobo chimpanzees

Hi, All,

To further conversation about defining nontheist Friends, (which I am also happy calling atheistic Quakers) and complementing and developing Jea's Friendly language (Penn, Nayler or Boulding, I think - in the email nontheist Friends' group), I'd like to 'rif' on George Fox's saying, to suggest that "There is this of nontheist Friends in common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and that of nontheist Friends in Bonobo chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)." (In a nontheistically Friendly way, I appreciate Bonobo chimpanzees peaceableness, and am not surprised by common chimpanzees' team, war-like and violent behavior; both species are the closest to us human primates genetically of all species). To echo Darwin, both behaviors (peaceableness and violence) have been selected for by natural selection. We three are each a species that is millions of years old, and have all navigated a lot of social 'waters' successfully (whereas Neanderthals did not, for example - from the evidence).

Having mentioned this before in these emails in different ways, I think Quaker and nontheistic Friendly communities are a form of troopbonding ('bonding together in groups' ... see John Money here: and, also, here: and related) among human primates, which I think we are. I would guess / hypothesize that it's a kind of cultural troopbonding that has lead to your ongoing enjoyment of Silent Meeting and Friends, Jea, and perhaps all of ours, in combination with the relaxation response:, in part. It's nontheistically Friendly discourse (language, community and culture with 350 year old roots, and Friendly teaching and learning about peaceableness that I experience an agreement with, and choose to be a part of sharing in). I also think that Quakers / Friends emerged historically with the Industrial Revolution in Britain, networked and traded with each other, prospered - partly leading to the growth of Friends, and that it was Silent Meeting and Meeting for Business that were the 'institutional' processes for this.

I admire this nontheistic Friends' group in its conversational (email based) approach to seeking a kind of Truth (based on our experience mediated in writing here, and based on reason, as well as a sympathy with the SoF) within the Society of Friends, and beyond, concerning nontheism vis-a-vis the Religious Society of Friends, as well as evolutionary biology, and all the other many themes we converse about. I think the term nontheist friend is very inclusive, and might include many friendly atheists, some of whom had ancestors who were affected by memes (replicating, cultural 'units') from one of the at least 7 great religions mentioned in Huston Smith's "Religions of Man" - (all species are so old, and religions in their symbolic and linguistic expressions are relatively new).

As an ongoing, innovative, nontheistic, Friendly contribution to our conversation, I'd love to explore generating more peace, love and happiness, per this definition - "Like traditional Friends, nontheist Friends are actively interested in realizing centered [[peace]], simplicity, integrity, community, equality, [[love]], happiness, and [[social justice]] in the Society of Friends and beyond," particularly love and happiness. I just re-added 'happiness' to this definition, which is important to me, vis-a-vis nontheist Friends, and wonder in what ways nontheistic Friends could contribute these aspects to the Society of Friends at large, especially in a gathered sense. I also added just the above definition to the nontheistic Friendly subject at World University and School -

Wikis, in general, invite your edits, ideas, knowledge and contributions.

I'm personally happy that we're all sharing these ideas on this list. In many ways this is a very significant, ongoing conversation, in society at large, and in the SoF to have, in so many ways, and for years now. (Yea, for this archive). :)

I'll start a new email thread for nontheistic Friendly poetry soon. Perhaps some of us have written some. Here's a poem of my which touches on this nontheistic Friendly conversation:

Nontheistic Friends are both visionary and innovative ... let's keep being generative in this conversation ... Yea, friends! :)

With friendly greetings,

( - December 19, 2010)

Origins of Stars and Planets: Pranav Mistry - My goodness ... differing ways of thinking lead to innovations & different technologies, India

Pranav Mistry ...

My goodness ... differing ways of thinking lead to innovations & different technologies ... appreciating this Indian & MIT-educated way of thinking ... would like to learn from it ... seems quite peace-oriented - Pranav Mistry & Sixth Sense ...

In the TEDIndia video below, Prana v Mistry says he's going to make these technologies open source ... MMmmm :)

... it's the many, many, remarkable developments like these that I hope WUaS will link with to flourish. There's a lot of EXTRAORDINARY innovation ahead in the information technology revolution, and I hope World University will help 'produce' the talented minds en masse who further generate this :) :)

‎... and, again :), in this video, Prana v says he's going to make these technologies open source :) ... MMmmm ... with an invitation to teach, create, add & learn.

WUaS is like Wikipedia with MIT OCW :) ... over millennia, especially

... and so that we can ALL innovate with each other in conversation - in the context of the school idea - from our own computers, including handheld compters with broadband video

(and ... projectable holographic worlds? saw a cool Pico projector the other day the size of a cell phone - amazing!)



Definitely, the peace-oriented zeitgeist in a culture, group, or friends in cyberspace with a general focus upon peace-creations...leads to a growth of the same. Pranav Mystry seems to shine forth as a quantum growth creation of the IT zeitgeist.


... flows freely right out of the far-reaching India meme (replicating, cultural 'unit,' or idea, seed pod) ... to instantiate yet another fascinating information technology ... yay! ... I like the bliss meme ... flowing out in my & people's neurophysiologies :)

( - December 19, 2010)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Earth rise: Harvard's & Stanford's Presidents dream the dream of access to education for people who deserve studying at Great Universities

Harvard's & Stanford's Presidents dream the dream of access to education for people who deserve studying at Harvard and Stanford, but can't afford it: ...

Let's bring this dream together with World Univ & Sch ... -

like Wikipedia with MIT Open Course Ware

... where YOU can teach, learn , add

( - December 18, 2010)

Cosmos changes: Hippies are free spirits, 60s & 70s, Doesn't take much to explore freedom in society, I.T. revolution ? Post lovingly

Hippies are free spirits ... and were back in the 60s & 70s, as well ... doesn't take much to explore freedom in society ... just be, grow a garden, plant some flowers, wear flowers, ... wear tie die, ... jam a little in whatever way you want to, ... make art, love ... have fun, be, ... go to a peace vigil ... build community

peace love & happiness in so many ways yes yes yes :)

let's analyze how to get there ... let's think about this & the possibilities ... more music, I think ... and dancing

‎... and in the Information Technology revolution? Post lovingly to transform oppressive and harmful regimes, authoritarianisms, injustices, wrongs, lacks of freedom ... to change society for the better?

( - December 18, 2010)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whirlpool Galaxies: It's funny how loving bliss milieus aren't springing up flourishingly in modernities, Grateful Dead's bliss generation for many

It's funny how loving bliss milieus aren't springing up flourishingly in modernities

e.g. Grateful Dead playing together for 30 years of hippy bliss generation for so many.

Why not?

There could be so many of these milieus with so much exploration of loving bliss neurophysiology.

While the Grateful Dead just started jamming together in the early 60s, and we could probably come up with a lot more examples for each of us, taste-wise, etc., of what brings us to bliss, let alone loving bliss, WUaS has a subject for Loving Bliss Elicitation

(search:, for example,

where it could be interesting to' jam' - share ideas -

about what makes bliss bliss, and loving loving, with love, even

... which is what World University & School is partly about ...

China Cat Sunflower - great jam


( - December 17, 2010)

Nebula: Star Trek Universal Translator to Follow, Wave Phone Around & Translate Text, Hope wiki WUaS will become basis of a Universal Translator

Harvard's JZ:

Star Trek universal translator to follow: new app lets you wave iPhone around and any text in view gets translated


And will Gingerbread (Android OS 2.3) become sweeter, and even more gingery :)

I hope the open, editable, wiki World University & School will become the basis of a U.T. in all 3000-8000 and human-made languages ... perhaps even 3-4 separate, independent Universal Translator projects, e.g. one building on Google Transl...ate, etc.
... and WUaS are the bases for all of this.

( - December 17, 2010)

Star formation: Harvard & MIT students & Matriculated WUaS students to be able to take a class from any of these 35-ish great universities?

In a similar way to Harvard & MIT students being able to take a for-credit class, not offered at their home institution, I think, in Cambridge, MA, I'd like for matriculated WUaS students to be able to take a class from any of these 35-ish great universities - - at WUaS in a virtual world (with an invitation to add other great universities), and, indeed, for WUAS Ph.D. students to be able to work with any of these faculty

... distantly & digitally .... a distributed university in virtual worlds with a distributed faculty with internet mediated group knowledge production :)

... ... check out the free Harvard doctoral degree in education - -

for 2011 & 2012 ... apply in 2 weeks or next autumn ... going, going, going, gone ...

then I hope WUaS will offer free, highest quality online degrees with some classes matriculating in 2014 ...

( - December 17, 2010)

Pismis: Participant observation actual & virtual, Differential approaches to conducting field work / pool play, gathering data, taking notes

Harbin ethnography:

... Interpretive anthropology, grounded in field work – here in this actual / virtual Harbin ethnography, re-conceived as pool play – and the making of a virtual Harbin in a virtual world, makes possible not only generative knowledge – interactive, multimedia representations in digital technologies – but also new approaches to comparative participant observation.

Participant observation, both on-the-ground as well as in-virtual-worlds, makes possible differential approaches to conducting field work / pool play, gathering data and taking notes. The similarities and contrasts in methods allow for the focusing of data-collection, as well as ethnographic world/pool-building, in novel ways. In this instance, the actual Harbin ethnography aspect involves a history and a temporality - a time span - of around 17 years experience with Harbin, with around 15 formal interviews, and hundreds of pages of notes. Virtual Harbin, as field site, involves looking ahead, and planning methods, for some probable, unforeseen, research contingencies, such as avoiding theft, but also anticipating learning curves in the making of a virtual Harbin, in scripting for virtual water and virtual Watsu movements, for example, and then concurrent field work and virtual pool play, throughout this process. Such a process may also involve anticipating group, wiki-like, virtual Harbin building. …

( - December 17, 2010)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Galaxies Collide: Just added Science Blogs to a new Science subject at World University and School

Just added Science Blogs ( to a new Science subject at World University and School: - in addition to all the 'Science' subjects on the WUaS Subjects' page:


At World University and School, there are a LOT of Science subjects:

Here are the current Science subjects at World University and School:

Animal Behavior:




Biological Anthropology:

Biological Engineering:


Biomedical Engineering:


Brain and Cognitive Sciences:

Cancer Biology:

Chemical Engineering:


Computer Science:

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences:,_Atmospheric,_and_Planetary_Sciences


Electrical Engineering:



Environmental Science:

Evolution subject:

Evolutionary Biology:



Health Sciences:

Health Sciences and Technology:

Materials Science:



Nuclear Science and Engineering:

Organic Chemistry:



Philosophy of Science:


Plant Evolution:


Quantum Physics:




Society, Technology and Science:,_Technology_and_Science


Veterinary Medicine:



The WUaS subjects I didn't add with science in their name are

Library Science

Media Science

Political Science


To reflect, after having posted these science subjects above, why I chose them as science, has to do with all of them focusing on natural phenomena which involve approaches to knowledge involving systemization, categorization, replicability, predictability ...

What about Ian Hackings' concerns about contingency, metaphysics, and stability in his book "The Social Construction of What?" (Harvard 1999)?

I see the above subjects as offering more stable approaches to knowledge, less-ambiguous-metaphysics-than, say, social sciences, and more enwebbed metaphysics (both correlation and correspondent theories of truth), which is not to say that the vagaries of language are not important in thinking about science in these terms.

In defining science, for World University and School, with these subjects, I think I also take a pragmatists' approach, recognizing there will always be disagreement about what science is, as well as how to define it. I would also engage the "Oxford Companion to Philosophy" (2005) entries.

( - December 16, 2010)

Deep Star Field: Ethnographic field work, Vision of the growing Harbin, Economics

Harbin ethnography:

... In this context, and in relation to this recent Harbin purchase of actual land, participant observation, as method, makes possible an articulation of countercultural vision, with finances, in unique processual and temporal ways.

So, ethnographic field work leading to the above interview with Ishvara, where he expresses his vision of growing Harbin, as well as his bumping into me in the warm pool, finds social meaning (Boellstorff 2008:75) in Harbins' interactions - communication-wise, financially and even physically - in combination with synthesizing various articulating 'cultural' milieus, processes, and temporalities, such as a Harbin hippie 'vision,' since 1972 when Ish bought the property cum economics cum the warm pool. Through these two examples of interacting with Harbin's found, Ishvara, I hope to suggest that participant observation offers approaches to 'knowledge-about' Harbin, in unique and significant ways from any other kinds of social scientific approaches (e.g. social psychology of the Harbin dressing room, or workshops, vis-a-vis Zimbardo 1973), or even scientific ones (e.g measuring Ishvara's ability to relax, using, a recent, innovative, human-computer, interface, headband device, which allows an enduser to pick letters from a key board with only her 'mind' to spell words on a screen (like “hello world,” the example Junker and others have used), without language or gestures, - and which, to function well, requires the end user to relax, to become chill. When Andrew Junker, the inventor, brought this to try to the British physicist, and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, who has Lou Gehrig's disease and who is also quite disabled, tried this, he couldn't relax enough to make the Brainfingers' device function properly, for example, according to Junker (personal communication 2007). Interpretive anthropology, grounded in field work – here in this actual / virtual Harbin ethnography, re-conceived as pool play – and the making of a virtual Harbin in a virtual world, makes possible not only generative knowledge – interactive, multimedia representations in digital technologies – but also new approaches to comparative participant observation.

Participant observation, both on-the-ground as well as in-virtual-worlds, makes possible different approaches to conducting field work / pool play, gathering data and taking notes. ...

( - December 16, 2010)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pleiades: In terms of Harbin's economy, Participant observation, Commodities, land and Harbin's vision

Harbin ethnography:

... And actual Harbin freedom vs. virtual Harbin freedom vis-a-vis clothing-optionalness and physical intimacy, and hippie agency, become new processes when studied ethnographically in a virtual Harbin.

In terms of Harbin's economy (which we shall return to in Chapter 8), and participant observation as method, commodities, land and Harbin's vision play significant roles in both actual and virtual Harbin's cultures. For example, Heart Consciousness Church (HCC) – so, Harbin and Ishvara, significantly - have just bought, in late 2010, around 4,000 acres of land, in Lake County, around ten miles away from the Harbin Hot Springs' valley, which this ethnography is significantly about. I don't know much about this purchase. Ishvara's vision of growing Harbin, which he expressed in 2008 (MacLeod 2008 - personal interview, as well as in a number of “Harbin Quarterlies,” and perhaps in the pamphlet “Living the Future”), is realized further here, in 2010, with the acquisition of this new land. My first, virtual Harbin build, in Open Simulator, was stolen, unfortunately, and quite painfully, along with the first manuscript of this book and a manuscript of poetry, so it's from an amalgam of related, virtual world and virtual Harbin experiences, in Open Simulator and Second Life, that I write of virtual Harbin, in terms of finances and the virtual. Second Life, itself, has both an economy with its own currency, the Linden dollar, which has an exchange rate with the U.S. dollar, which avatars can use to purchase prims' which other avatars have made, as commodities, and also makes possible the 'purchasing,' (rental, in a sense) of virtual land. And Linden Lab, the company which owns Second Life, has a business model of virtual land for actual 'real-world' currencies. These days, people who want to build things in Second Life, or simply own virtual land there, pay Linden Lab around U.S. $3,600 per year, (which in Linden dollars at today's exchange rate would be ), plus a U.S. $1,000 dollar set up fee (2010 VWER transcript, http:// ; and Second Life costs web page, http://). Harvard University, for example, presently pays this amount of money for their Berkman Island in Second Life. In this context, and in relation to this recent Harbin purchase of actual land, participant observation, as method, makes possible an articulation of countercultural vision, with finances, in unique processual and temporal ways.

So, ethnographic field work leading to the above interview with Ishvara, where he expresses his vision of growing Harbin, as well as his bumping into me in the warm pool, finds social meaning (Boellstorff 2008:75) in Harbins' interactions - communication-wise, financially and even physically - in combination with synthesizing various articulating 'cultural' milieus, processes, and temporalities, such as a Harbin hippie 'vision,' since 1972 when Ish bought the property cum economics cum the warm pool. ...

( - December 15, 2010)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Single Star: From digitized text to a portable, audio MP3 file, Digital Public Library of America, Music & Language Lessons for Kids?

Text to audio has been available on your computer since at least the mid-1990s, for listening to digitized text.

I'd like to go (legally) from digitized text to a mp3 file ...

or from a Digital Public Library of America (, for example.

Any suggestions for WUaS's FREE, Educational Software page, besides Browse Aloud & Read Aloud, which do some of this?

(Hopefully we'll be able to, with a Digital Public Library of America (, go from a digitized library text to a mp3 audio file, - like checking out a book :) ... and check out software, too, like you use a Word document, or language learning software, in the library :) ... like the Berkeley Tool Lending Library. online and from anywhere ... yes, yes, yes :)

Here's World University & School's free, Educational Software page - - where you'll find Browse Aloud ...

And here's World University & School's Library Resources - ... let's bring this together with the Digital Public Library of America, too.



Northampton MA: Looking for good guitar lessons for a 6 almost 7 year old and Language lessons for a 9 year old (preferences: Dutch, Italian, or French. In that order). Any tips/ideas?


Hi, Here are some ideas: Go out to performances :), and ask your friends for musician and language teacher recommendations, as well ... (And how far is Boston, to increase the possibilities, if you hear of someone who is dynamic, for example?) Find the milieus where making music, and speaking the language, are normal and 'in the air' ... (This is what I'll look for when kids come along:). Scott


Online, I know of free German conversation, and a lesson a week, from the Goethe Institute, in Second Life.


and here:

I don't know of any kids' Skype music lessons, for example.

What ideas do you have, who are reading this?

( - December 14, 2010)

Eagle Nebula: Actual and Virtual Participant Observation Methods

Harbin ethnography:

... But such interviews and bumpings-in-tos – both actual and virtual - offer insight into Harbin's culture, especially vis-a-vis Harbin and economics, which we shall explore shortly.

Methodologically, interview-recording-transcription vs. interview-virtual world text chat transcript (with recordable voice possibilities) offer two versions of a similar participant-observation process, with different implications for ethnography. Face-to-face benefits vs. avatar-to-avatar benefits of participant observation offer similar varied possibilities for ethnographic understanding and analysis. And the lack of place-based ease of connecting / talking in virtual worlds vs. the ease of connecting/talking in virtual worlds, whenever, similar to the telephone, offer yet other possibilities. The benefits of touch in an actual Watsu session and exploring creative new movements vs. benefits of being able to explore virtual Watsu, even if there are no benefits of touch, with the possibilities of scripting creatively new movements, offer yet other possibilities for participant observation. And actual Harbin freedom vs. virtual Harbin freedom vis-a-vis clothing-optionalness and physical intimacy, and hippie agency, become new processes when studied ethnographically in a virtual Harbin.

In terms of Harbin's economy (which we shall return to in Chapter 8), and participant observation as method, commodities, land and Harbin's vision play significant roles in both actual and virtual Harbin's cultures. ...

( - December 14, 2010)

Hawaiian monk seal: Wayne Marshall's talk at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and back chat transcript today

Wayne Marshall's talk at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and back chat transcript today:

The Unstable Platforms and Uneasy Peers of Brave New World Music

The actual video is posted.

Here are Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society senior fellow, Ethan Zuckerman's observations about Wayne's talk:

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Good morning!
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Just started watching, should be interesting.
Here's Wayne Marshall's blog:
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who's here?
hi doc
Hi Doc!
Here's Audacity - the free audio program Wayne just mentioned, for which you also need 'Lame' - at the open, editable, World University and School's free Educational Software Page - (where there's a lot of other software these kids probably use ...)
Had to go fill a parking meter
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When I had podcasting fantasies, I developed a way of recognizing my "um"s on Audacity, and gag-edited them out of whole files. Now I'm thinking my "um"s are my vernacular watermarks.
In a way, Wayne is exploring an anthropology of creativity vis-a-vis digital technologies ...
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The challenges of access to platforms, and negotiating commercialism, would change with a kind of National Digital Library of software (like the Tool Lending Library in Berkeley), which a number of other people in the building there in Cambridge are actively working on ...
For example -
I hope the open, editable, World University and School's free Educational Software Page - (where there's a lot of other software these kids probably use ...) and WUaS's Library Resources page might be part of this Library project, as well as help these kids explore creativity -
Years ago, I refered to readio as "snow on the water." That's when all of it was streamed, unless you troubled to record it on a tape cassette or whatever. The default was: here and gone. Live, but also instantly dead. Little was also spooled onto files or otherwise saved off. With the Net, we have these traditional media -- audio and video -- in file as well as stream form. In fact, files are the new default. Yet there'
snow-on-water effect still, only unevenly and in slow motion. Stuff may be up on YouTube, but not permanently . In fact, noting on the Web is permanent. We rent our domain names. Things pause there on their way to oblivion, kind of like we all do, on our journey between birth and death. So, now we have snow on ice. But the ice melts.
good stuff, Scott.
I tink we're the only ones here. Funny, in years past, the IRC would have up to dozens of people.
I've added Wayne's talk here already to's Anthropology of Youtube section: (Webnographers is a wiki bibliography for virtual ethnography).
Yes, Doc
Thanks. I think I'll save off this IRC, and make it snow on ice for Media Berkman, when they put up the webcast.
Here's the Ethnomusicology page at WUaS ... ... where Wayne's blog is also linked ... for open teaching and learning ...
This you?
Using Wayne's talk - "The Unstable Platforms and Uneasy Peers of Brave New World Music" - how would he distinguish between World Music and Ethnomusicology as umbrella terms for this study?
Just looking to link to something.
Anyone in the Second LIfe iteration of this event
k. I'll ask.
I doubt it., but I dunno.
I'll go into SL and check regirob
I was there but didn't find the stream
My character in SL lapsed out.
I was only there for Berkman anyway, hate to say. My kid took over early on, then lost interest.
I didn't last week either ... didn't even find the screen in SL on Berkman Island ... seemed to have disappeared or moved ... and the building on the other side of the island which now mentions streaming video was inaccessible:)
ok no problem
I find SL fascinating for potential classrooms for World University and School, for example - you can voice chat with 40 avatars at the same time as you text chat, while streaming video in, and you can save the transcript ...
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Here's WUaS ... (like Wikipedia with MIT Open Course Ware)
Welcome Ethan!
Hi scott
what was the question from the backchannel?
Ethan, et. al., so it doesn't scroll off...
scottmacleod: Using Wayne's talk - "The Unstable Platforms and Uneasy Peers of Brave New World Music" - how would he distinguish between World Music and Ethnomusicology as umbrella terms for this study?
(Do any of the kids who make music do so in Second Life, or other virtual worlds? - haven't heard Wayne mention this).
It may be too hard to post in SL
One would need to link out to a service provider
unless you have access to a streaming server
maybe a machinma
SL adds a level of complexity but it's still pretty easy ... but youtube etc ... make music video sharing very easy ... in a focused way ..
Interesting backstory:
posted to Youtube
Machinimas add a creative element
In what ways could Wayne see an open, editable World University Music School - - potentially in all instruments in world (add a number instrument and teaching/learning videos from youtube) for open, teaching, learning and jamming online?
* More clearly: In what ways could Wayne see an open, editable World University Music School - thriving - potentially with all instruments in the world (add any instrument and/or teaching/learning videos from youtube, etc.) for open teaching, learning and jamming (e.g. Skype jamming) online?
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Does Secondlife have a halflife? Meaning its decline is asymptotic.
this is off topic, but it will be interesting when Facebook plateaus and starts to decline.
I am interested in looking at the content of these videos as ethnographic material especiall the people in the background.
and is it niche at the same time, as Wayne mentioned ...
Is TV a good historical example and precedent for SL and FB ?
What's th e little animated icon in Wayne's browser next to the location bar?
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"That thing's been done. It's so five minutes ago..."
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I wonder if just appearingin the NYTimes and having MTV's name dropped had chilling effects. Like, it was over as it began
thanks for the link, doc
Does MTV still have music videos? I don't have cable, so I dunno.
Ethanz: four things: 1 takes over 2 jihadest rejection, 3. curry, fusion. 4. "Nice culture. I've got one of my own. This is 3. Ethan, correct that, if you like.
Here's where you'll find this video plus transcript from today's talk by Wayne:
(Am I the only one not entirely comfortable having the transcript of these backchannels posted on the Web?)
I am fine with it. It adds the conversation that people will miss if there are not online for the live stream
gives richer content to the lecture
It also adds resources and contributes to the conversation ... but I'm happy to remove it ...
Yes, but I will participate more, um, gently if I know it's being posted.
would probably be a good idea if we talked through the idea of posting the IRC before deciding we're going to - we haven't posted it in the past
That is a good point.
I'm registering discomfort, not demanding takedown. But thanks for the offer, scott.
Yes ... sounds good ...
Scott, I'm not suggesting the whole backchannel dialogue, but rather harvesting the questions and the links.
It could be edited to exclude participants who decline
I just dont want to lose the good stuff.
makes sense ...
Thank you all.
will do
Thank you Wayne!
Some of these backchannels (not today's) are robust, raunchy, and not ready for prime time.
Thank you for the backchannel
I am ambivalent about this. Why it's just like WikiLeaks!
Perhaps it should be stated at the start of the program, just like it was for the people in the room.
Agreed, Rob
Anyway, thanks again. Regina Roberts Stanford Univeristy - Librarian
Welcome, Regina ... nice to meet you here.
Yes, this was a very interesting lecture and I am so glad that my questions got asked
Do you participate here occasionally or regularly, Regina?
this is the first time
I am working on a paper on this topic, but related to self-production and self-publishing in lusophone Africa
my colleague sent me the link
Yes ... having the possibility to participate in the conversation remotely is great - and it's possibly more likely here in this back channel than others.
Yes, it is very rich.
interesting ... lusophone Africa?
Yes - Portuguese Speaking Africa - I noticed Wayne mentioned Kuduru
that is one of my examples as well
I see ...
There is so much information in the background of those music videos, daily life, intimate views of the household
little brothers and sisters standing in the wings
other conversations.
The web is a remarkable resource ... have you found anything in virtual worlds on lusophone Africa, by any chance?
the problem is getting at the details of the time, who, and the ethical considerations of using the material to inform a view
about virtual worlds... not much for SL type of things...I have foudn allot of Angolan art, music, poetry online
from other sources than YouTube, but YouTube is prominent
vimeo has some
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the production, the producers are in the in portugal, Amsterdam etc
I'm writing an actual / virtual ethnography of Harbin Hot Springs in northern California - intending to build a virtual Harbin in Open Sim or Second Life - but recently found some great online videos
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thanks, all. saved off. I'll be gentle. Punching out...
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Important questions ... if material makes it on to the web, what are the ethics of re-
posting and thinking/writing about it, anthropologically?
I don't now about Harbin Hot Springs, but now I will look it up.
Bye, Doc!
thank you
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and other Harbin tags on this blog are some resources ...
Do you know Laura Hubbard at Stanford? ... also an Africanist, she might say, I think ...
Yes I do
I live near Berkeley, and know her from Cal
And how did you find out about this even?
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hi all
Here's a video of Watsu (water shiatsu) at Harbin (pretty well done) - - and a machinima on "The Making of Harbin Hot Springs as Ethnographic Field Site in Open Simulator or Second Life"
Hi Schock
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hey scottmacleod, ethanz, amarashar, weinbergerd
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Hello Schock. Scottmacleod: Did you make the machinima?
everyone sounds so cheery :) hi regirob
Regina, I participated in a class with Harvard Law Professor Charlie Nesson in 2006 on Harvard's virtual island called "CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion" and have gone to a number of Berkman events in Cambridge, and stayed in touch on line, from California.
argh, who is eating the mic
Yes, I made the machinima with a friend.
I've also taught a class, "Information Technology and Society," on Harvard's virtual island for about 6 semesters.
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I enjoy teaching in virtual worlds ...
have you been to Stanford University Library Island?
We are actively building out special collections exhibits for use in teaching
Yes, I visit it occasionally ... I enjoy the sim ...
Are you familiar with the Exploratorium SL exhibits? They've done very innovative things with SL, making physics' exhibits 'work' in SL.
Have not seen that - I would like to
What are you focusing on with the special collections exhibits?
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trained in the art of email :)
linking the digital resources to the library catalog and additional resources as well as internet sites
yes - do send me email
glad to see opensimulator gaining steam
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was always bizarre to see educational institutions piling on to a proprietary VR platform w/SL
will do
agreed schock
now that it's come time to pay the piper, hopefully most will make the smart move away :)
Very nice graphic, Doc! - :)
maybe we need a netiquette version of ?
socsearls: thx
too small, but it's there.

In text:
Interesting why email is informal since it is more public than personal letters -- more recipients and The former being context and the latter being manners.
I wonder if in part it's because email came into an office ecology where the more formal niches were already occupied (e.g., by memos)
It isn
't just interoperablity. It's usefulness and adoptability. It's why SMTP, POP3 and IMAP won over X.400.
didn't it really grow up in uniersities?
I think something has to do with the simple ease of creating and sending vs handwriting a letter, addressing an envelope, etc.
And why HTML won over SGML. In the latter cases, proprietary silo-ing became problems to be solved with simple adoptable no-friction alternatives.
jbessen, good point. But email also has a higher chance of being embarrassing, which would make you think it'd be taken as a more formal channel
islamic netiquette
Interesting how much manners matter to religious fundamentalists.
Here, also, are some resources at on email: . See, for example, the history of email by Van Vleck, although he only focuses on POP and SMTP - and mostly in the 1960s.
docsearls: or corporate tools
docsearls: or families
(Check, to the Videos' page, as well as the Books' page).
weinbergerd :)
We're re-writing etiquette books as user guides
same thing
I come from these people... ... who taught, literally, "Children are to be seen and not heard." This became embedded in compulsory education, corporatism (see Weinberger on Fort Business, in Cluetrain chapter 5) and other regions of Severe Practice, including religious fundamentalism.
What hath God tweeted...
Google should have a Google Was for dead projects.
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"Just had sushi for lunch. What hath god wraught"
Is email a medium or a practice?
docsearls: yes.
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The numbered items are protocols, no?
is each protocol set (such as email's smtp, pop3 and imap) its own "medium"? Could be that how the Internet Protocol Suite is actually a collection of media that have been absorbed by universal transport and addressing protocols? Just a thought.
*clap clap*
Maybe nothing is broken, but everything is partially fixed.
* schock is on, trying to find the 'IRC' button needs an 'other' button at least
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for users to create their own channel description
'smoke signal, carrier pigeon, IRC etc'
the problem isn't email. It's the inbox.
Thanks, all. Fun to join this. Gotta go pick up a kid. See ya this evening.
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had the same problem, schock. I prefer to be contacted by telepathy, then email. Couldn't find the button
ethanz_ :)
I actually tell my students which days I read their email.
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protocol issue, schock?
ctrl W in the wrong window :P
* schock has the same experience w/linkedin
has the same experience w/linkedin
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bye all
jim b says bye
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anyone here?
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( - December 14, 2010)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brown Bear: I'd say the Grateful Dead are blissing here together through their music, and that you can see it in their faces, Humanities, Reed College

I'd say the Grateful Dead are blissing here together through their music, and that you can see it in their faces ...

It begins especially around the 4 minute mark, with hints before, and they are in a 'flow' state (Csikszentmihalyi) pretty much from the beginning.

What do you think? ...

They're also pretty good musicians ...

So many folks blissed with them ... I do here ... You?


World Univ & Sch plans to wiki-facilitate teaching & learning abt great SUBJECTS - ... with, for example, the following subjects, and so many more (potentially infinite):

Music (any instrument),


loving bliss,

Grateful Dead,

all Academic Subjects (indeed, any subject - YOU can add a new one) &

focused Reed College-like undergraduate education, with matriculating degree classes in 2014 ...

Check out, for example, Will Durant's cassettes on Ancient Greece from the library, for example ...

haven't found them online yet to add them to the Ancient Greece, Classics, or Humanities' Subjects at WUaS, yet ...

their Ancient Greece text is captivating & riveting :)


In what ways would it be possible to learn to 'bliss' while studying Humanities in a Reed College-like context ... and even to learn to bliss with analytical writing?

( - December 13, 2010)

Andromeda puffs: excerpt from interview

Harbin ethnography:

... Harbin's Mainside area, where the pool area, the 3 guest buildings, the 3 cottages, the main Stonefront Lodge with its restaurant and market, the Harbin theater, and the Harbin main office are located, are not large. Here's an excerpt from our interview, which I transcribed:

… more intelligent than I am, and I don't place much faith in any predictions.

You ...

One practical thing is that we're trying to acquire a considerable body of land.

We're right in the middle of this, right now, under

the pressure of this cell tower attempt. … and, ah … So I see us expanding off the present property.

I think of the present property as being pretty fully loaded.
I want to see us be known nationally. I want college students on the east coast and the midwest to think of Harbin as a beacon of light

that they want to check out, and seriously contemplate being involved with. I think Esalen had that status like 20 years ago, where it was the center of everything.

“Living … “

I want us to be like that so we can have an impact on the society. As it is we're a little isolated island.

“Living the Future” certainly talks a little bit about that too. And why not hot pools' retreat centers

everywhere, you know, in this country?

Well they wouldn't be natural everywhere, but anyway...

Well, I mean you'd have to create some earthquakes or something to bring up some natural ones. But pools work and you can create beautiful milieus

although this is so nice as it is. And it just seemed to have happened organically, as far as I can tell,


and that's, yea, pretty far out. I imagine though that you've been – I mean you're a smart guy – you've been in the background

probably saying yay and nay, although the water has just flown out of the ground, and people have come up through the gates. And I know you, in the “Harbin Quarterly,” and in your book, talk about that self-governance is sort of where it's at, but....

I don't do much yay or nay, and on big issues, they'll say - managing directors will say - “we decided to do such and such. Are you o.k. with it? Or how do you feel about it?” And I usually say “fine.”

(Scott laughs).

Not much yay or nay. Things like the budget and new construction and areas that I'm more 'knowledged' in than most of the managing directors – or

large scale finance – those are areas I'm very active in. Day to day management, I'm not active at all.

Well, you have the history in your mind, and it's kind of your history in some ways, and it's your vision, which I think is really far out.

Excuse me. I want to get my hearing aid.


(sound of drawer opening)

(Ish getting hearing aid)

Go ahead.

So it's your history I mean, in some ways, and it's your vision that's sort of unfolded in conjunction with all the other good folks who have come here.


And, you know, you can't predict, - one can't predict the market, one can't predict the future. But the water continues to flow out of the ground.

And it could flow out of the ground in other places. The degree of freedom here that is so novel relative to so many other places that I've been to – and I've traveled a whole bunch – is quite unique and part of that, as I see it,

comes out of whatever happened in the 60s and 70s.

Uh huh.

It created a kind of other possible way of seeing things that's

Uh huh.

very open ended. Um, And so, - how that might take shape in other places probably

would play out in very different ways if that were the direction you were going in. But, um

Well, I think what's unique about us in terms of how we're run


is that, that contrasts us to other places,

virtually all initial communities, spiritual centers, psychological centers are dominated by a single person, who puts tremendous energy into it, and who

is able to raise money and put it on the map, and, uh … Well, I went to a talk by Timothy Leary and he said, ah ...

there's only two things that work in terms of community. One is the big beat, you know there's somebody with a …

(MacLeod, Scott. 2008. [Ishvara (Bob Hartley) - Harbin Hot Springs' Founder – Interview]. April 8. Harbin Hot Springs, CA: Personal Interview).

While I have neither the in-a-virtual-world conversation, nor an in-virtual-Harbin 'physical-contact-in-the-warm-pool-with-Ish' yet, methodological questions concerning participant-observation vis-a-vis the actual vs. in-world interviews, are important here methodologically. First, to get another interview Ish may not be easy. When I asked him on the telephone after our first interview, he said “I don't want to.” And while he might possibly agree to be interviewed in a virtual Harbin, the development of virtual Harbin would have to be much farther along for this to occur. Second, being bumped into by him in the virtual Harbin won't be the same at all. But such interviews and bumpings-in-tos – both actual and virtual - offer insight into Harbin's culture, especially vis-a-vis Harbin and economics, which we shall explore shortly.

Methodologically, interview-recording-transcription vs. interview-virtual world text chat transcript (with recordable voice possibilities) offer two versions of a similar participant-observation process, with different implications for ethnography. ...

( - December 13, 2010)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

North Chinese Leopard Cubs: Continuing curiosity about eliciting loving bliss neurophysiology, Beginnings of World Univ & Sch's online choir subject

... continuing curiosity about eliciting loving bliss neurophysiology

... check out the VIDEO & AUDIO ...

and (the idea is to) get to this neurophysiology RIGHT NOW


Here are the beginnings of World University and School's online choir subject ...

... with the potential to sing together from wherever

... where YOU CAN SING

... see Whitacre's example here ...

And pass it on

... let's find someone inspired to orchestrate this online :)

( - December 12, 2010)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Golden langur: Information Technology & Society Textbook?, World University and School BEST Textbooks

Information Technology and Society transcript

11 December 2010

Harvard's virtual island in Second Life

Last class

Textbooks, World University and School, Information Technology and Society

[11:00] Connecting to in-world Voice Chat...
[11:00] Connected
[11:00] Roman Takacs: Aloah !
[11:00] Roman Takacs: Aloha !
[11:00] Aphilo Aarde: Aloha, Roman!
[11:00] Aphilo Aarde: What are some of the best textbooks you've ever read?
[11:01] Roman Takacs: Been reading FP (Foreign Policy) top 100 "global thinkers"
[11:01] Aphilo Aarde: Textbooks are astounding condensations of information, but I also associated them with being boring, somehow.
[11:01] Roman Takacs: Text Book:
[11:01] Roman Takacs: (1) Fermi's Notes on Nuclear Physics (?title)
[11:01] Roman Takacs: - they were hand written and photo reproduced
[11:01] Aphilo Aarde: I found Manuel Castells to be a fascinating global thinker
[11:02] Aphilo Aarde: Notes ... ok
[11:02] Roman Takacs: MC gave me a headache !
[11:02] Roman Takacs: But generally, I don't like textbooks ...
[11:02] Roman Takacs: though I was a TA in a course that was developing a good text :)
[11:03] Aphilo Aarde: And yet they're efficient
[11:03] Roman Takacs: "Harvard Project Physics" ... a history of science and technology approach to physics ...
[11:03] Aphilo Aarde: Recently, I found a grading of Economics' text books ...
[11:03] Roman Takacs: I'm wondering if, now a days, wikipedia could replace them ...
[11:03] Roman Takacs: or the Kahn Academy
[11:04] Aphilo Aarde: I added the 3 at the top of the list to World University and School's Economics' page here:
[11:04] Roman Takacs: Or a "wiki course notes" document ... each course creating a textbook that suits their own needs.
[11:04] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:04] Aphilo Aarde: Good question about wikipedia ... and what great examples of wiki textbooks are
[11:05] Roman Takacs: (2) unremembered author, "Applied Mathematics for Science and Engineering" ... thick, but well written.
[11:05] Roman Takacs: (3) Churchill;s, Complex Variables.. VERY short, but easy to work with.
[11:05] Aphilo Aarde: And how one might improve on the important condensed, focused knowledge aspect
[11:05] Aphilo Aarde: but rewrite the 'boring' aspect ...
[11:05] Aphilo Aarde: why do you find textbooks boring, Roman?
[11:06] Aphilo Aarde: Applied Mathematics :)
[11:06] Aphilo Aarde: There's a video game of the immune system
[11:06] Roman Takacs: We used to have a "Computing Across the Curriculum" conference in the early 90s. Best idea was a graduate student seminar that focused on writing the "text" for the next year's students.
[11:06] Aphilo Aarde: made by the federation of American Scientists
[11:07] Roman Takacs: Text books are booring because ... "too much text" !
[11:07] Aphilo Aarde: which is a fascinating amalgam of genre's - it's for the high school level -
[11:07] Roman Takacs: (and badly written text doesn't help!)
[11:07] Aphilo Aarde: but, while not wiki, could become the basis of a text book
[11:07] Aphilo Aarde: :) perhaps ... yet books that capture me ... Henry Fieldings, Tom Jones - a masterpiece of a comic novel
[11:08] Aphilo Aarde: are also too wordy ... in some sense ... but the narrative is so compelling ... and so funny ...
[11:08] Aphilo Aarde: The web is great because it's interactive ...
[11:08] Aphilo Aarde: but if an 18 year old, who might become a neurosurgeon, doesn't learn the material,
[11:08] Roman Takacs: (4) Not sure if they qualify as texts, but at Berkeley, I had a Chaucer and Shakespeare course that used the Riverside texts. ....
[11:08] Aphilo Aarde: I don't want him cutting away ...
[11:09] Aphilo Aarde: and textbooks impart material ...
[11:09] Roman Takacs: BUT ..
[11:09] Roman Takacs: THe medical education model is (1) watch one, (2) do one, (3) teach one ... !
[11:09] Aphilo Aarde: yet as the Economics grade report by Baumann (also an Economics' standup comic) - also on the
[11:09] Roman Takacs: It doesn't come from a book.
[11:09] Roman Takacs: (The book is basically a "glossary" !)
[11:10] Aphilo Aarde: WUaS page - all textbooks are not the same, when it comes to global warming, for example, which
[11:10] Aphilo Aarde: is what the grading was about
[11:10] Roman Takacs: (You make me want to run to wikipedia, find an entry on "prefrontal lobotomy" and the the :how tow version :)
[11:10] Aphilo Aarde: How to review great textbooks and build on those ...
[11:10] Roman Takacs: Key point. All text books are not the same.
[11:10] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:10] Roman Takacs: Indeed.
[11:10] Roman Takacs: Neither are students.
[11:11] Roman Takacs: Neither are subjects.
[11:11] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:11] Roman Takacs: A section on prefrontal lobotomies would be very different than one on radical masectomies ...
[11:11] Aphilo Aarde: Here's the grading report by Yoram Bauman, on Greg Mankiw's blog (who teaches Harvard Freshman Ec 10)
[11:12] Aphilo Aarde: Yet, I suspect that we might agree that even great text books such as Har
[11:12] Aphilo Aarde: those above, might be boring ...
[11:12] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:12] Roman Takacs: That's a nice example ... how many economic texts even talk about "the envirnmment" (isnt that an "externality" - it was when I had economics ::) :) )
[11:13] Roman Takacs: I never used it, but my sociology friends recommend C. Wright Mill's .. can't remember the title ...
[11:13] Aphilo Aarde: too condensed knowledge ... Reed College (where I and Bauman went) emphasizes primary texts in its required Freshman Humanities course
[11:13] Aphilo Aarde: - no text book there - and reading scientific papers ... (science courses at Reed use textbooks, I suspect)
[11:14] Roman Takacs: As I recall at Cal, only the math and science courses used "text books" ...
[11:14] Aphilo Aarde: Yes, the environment is an externality ...
[11:14] Roman Takacs: all others had 10 paperbacks !
[11:14] Aphilo Aarde: Don't know Mill's textbook ... but latest versions are also important
[11:14] Aphilo Aarde: in textbooks - they improve ... but not necessarily by becoming less boring
[11:15] Roman Takacs: Or, more insightful ...
[11:15] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:15] Aphilo Aarde: Here's the courses' section on the COURSES page at WUaS
[11:16] Aphilo Aarde: see John Palfrey's et als. course on Copyright ... a wiki source
[11:16] Roman Takacs: The nice thing about a "text" rather than "textbook" is, perhaps, a sense of voice ...(author's )
[11:16] Aphilo Aarde: I can see this as the beginning of a wiki text book
[11:17] Aphilo Aarde: that will grow, and will be improved by multiple authors ...
[11:17] Aphilo Aarde: although it isn't explicitly a textbooks, and the subject might be voring for some
[11:17] Aphilo Aarde: I agree about voice, Roman ...
[11:18] Aphilo Aarde: Which textbooks can we point to that retain an academic's voice
[11:18] Aphilo Aarde: Greg Mankiw's is one ...
[11:18] Aphilo Aarde: but this isn't wiki, of course
[11:18] Aphilo Aarde: And I see advantages to wiki, in multiple ways ... as group production
[11:19] Aphilo Aarde: of knowledge ... how to focus such voices in way that's sings?
[11:19] Aphilo Aarde: as textbook ...
[11:19] Aphilo Aarde: And then cultivating students who love textbooks, and are very focused as students,
[11:20] Aphilo Aarde: consuming knowledge, in a sense, is another way to lessen the 'boring' aspects of textbooks ...
[11:20] Aphilo Aarde: which condensed knowledge aspect is incomparable
[11:20] Aphilo Aarde: Of all the textbooks you've mentioned, which stand out?
[11:20] Roman Takacs: The textbook genre tends to favor "voicelessness" ... or perhaps replace "voice" with "authority" (THIS is the TRUTH. Memorize it for the exam!)
[11:21] Aphilo Aarde: and in the name of accuracy, as well ...
[11:21] Roman Takacs: Only the Fermi really stands out.
[11:21] Aphilo Aarde: textbooks have authority ... they cost $150 each, because they are right ... and you can become a medical doctor with them ...
[11:21] Roman Takacs: The text itself was the notes he lectured from.
[11:22] Aphilo Aarde: Voice is great ... I'll have a closer look at Greg Mankiw's economic's textbook
[11:22] Roman Takacs: I;m from Vermont ... our state motto is "question authority" :)
[11:22] Roman Takacs: (#berniesanders!)
[11:22] Aphilo Aarde: - maybe even sit in on his course -
[11:22] Aphilo Aarde: he identifies as a conservative, however -
[11:23] Aphilo Aarde: so voice comes in this case, with politics
[11:23] Aphilo Aarde: (Bernie Sanders ! :)
[11:23] Roman Takacs: (All academics are. It comes with being a technically honed bureaucrat :) )
[11:23] Aphilo Aarde: perhaps ...
[11:23] Aphilo Aarde: ok ... so I suspect that Mankiw's 5th edition economics' text book
[11:24] Aphilo Aarde: is excellent, possibly boring for some, and that we might find equally excellent textbooks
[11:24] Roman Takacs: The old neurons worked ... C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination ...
[11:24] Aphilo Aarde: which are also radical ...
[11:24] Aphilo Aarde: great ... Betty Reid Mandell's Social Work text book might be one such text ...
[11:25] Roman Takacs: Mills approaches "sociology" as a method of study, not as the results of "research" ...
[11:25] Roman Takacs: (so i gather)
[11:25] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:26] Aphilo Aarde: An Introduction to Human Services: Policy and Practice (5th Edition)
[11:26] Aphilo Aarde: still possibly boring though ... due to the limitations of modernity ?
[11:26] Roman Takacs: Is it "sociology" or is it "politics" ...
[11:26] Aphilo Aarde: of finding jobs in modern economies
[11:26] Roman Takacs: "Human Services" where ? when ?
[11:27] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:27] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:27] Aphilo Aarde: Classics, though, are different from text books ... and Betty wants her students to get jobs and readers to understand the limitations of the system
[11:28] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:29] Aphilo Aarde: I need to listen to The Sociological Imagination ...
[11:29] Aphilo Aarde: I think the wiki for this course
[11:29] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:29] Aphilo Aarde: not that
[11:29] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:30] Aphilo Aarde: could become the basis for a 'text book' for Information Technology Revolution and Society
[11:30] Roman Takacs: (I used to teach Physics ... the idea that my course would really help you get a job was seldom an issue :) )
[11:30] Aphilo Aarde: drawing on
[11:30] Roman Takacs: (I advertised it as making you a better human being :) )
[11:30] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:30] Aphilo Aarde: critical thinking in any discipline may help with sociality and becoming a better human being
[11:31] Aphilo Aarde: because you talk with other smart people and begin to share norms ...
[11:31] Roman Takacs: (Going out on a warm night with a bottle of wine, a blanket, and watching the stars, satellites, etc, and being able to say "hey, it's just gravity !")
[11:32] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:32] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:32] Roman Takacs: Your definition sounds very much like a classical new england liberal arts approach !
[11:32] Roman Takacs: (a good thing !)
[11:32] Aphilo Aarde: Here you'll find Immune Attack
[11:32] Aphilo Aarde: by the Federation of American Scientists
[11:32] Aphilo Aarde: a video game on the immune system ...
[11:32] Aphilo Aarde: could this become the basis for a video game text book
[11:33] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:34] Aphilo Aarde: How to think around the classical new england liberal arts' approach ... drawing on learning traditions which have success and a history?
[11:34] Aphilo Aarde: Sweden? ... perhaps too structured
[11:34] Aphilo Aarde: and the 'social sciences' are a unique discipline
[11:35] Aphilo Aarde: So
[11:35] Aphilo Aarde: in this course we ask
[11:35] Roman Takacs: At least in my experiences, which were generally in the "general education track", the essense was the somewhat unstructured seminar sequence.
[11:35] Aphilo Aarde: What is Information Technology?
[11:35] Aphilo Aarde: What came about?
[11:35] Aphilo Aarde: Who did it?
[11:36] Roman Takacs: (1) What is Technology
[11:36] Aphilo Aarde: What is its history (occluding the history of the internet)?
[11:36] Aphilo Aarde: Where did the IT revolution occur - its geography?
[11:36] Aphilo Aarde: What has been the process of diffusion into the economy and society?
[11:37] Aphilo Aarde: And we looked at main features of the historical development of information technology to broader society and economic trends.
[11:37] Aphilo Aarde: So, technology, as we defined it in this course -
[11:37] Aphilo Aarde: - in a text book, too -
[11:38] Aphilo Aarde: is the use of scientific knowledge to specify ways of doing t hings in a reproducible manner.
[11:38] Roman Takacs: The text book is an "information technnology"
[11:38] Roman Takacs: So is the "classroom"
[11:38] Aphilo Aarde: Yes ... and yes
[11:38] Roman Takacs: So is the "lecture"
[11:38] Aphilo Aarde: So how to bring them all together ...
[11:38] Aphilo Aarde: yes ...
[11:39] Aphilo Aarde: It's the interactivity of virtual worlds that allows for creativity ...
[11:39] Roman Takacs: Without invoking, perhaps, "a theory of everything explaining nothing" :)
[11:39] Aphilo Aarde: and lessens boredom, compared with textbooks
[11:39] Aphilo Aarde: Schools, however, test ... - creating all kinds of pressures in modernity - and textbooks
[11:40] Aphilo Aarde: are geared toward testing, too ... taking the 'flow' out of conversations about serious ideas
[11:40] Aphilo Aarde: in my experience ...
[11:40] Roman Takacs: Would anyone read a textbook outside of a class ?
[11:40] Roman Takacs: classroom ?
[11:40] Aphilo Aarde: yet, I want any hypothetical medical student coming out of World University and School
[11:41] Aphilo Aarde: to know the material ... and tests are useful there
[11:41] Roman Takacs: I recall a conversation once with a prof from Kenya who had asked his dean "why do we have lectures?" and the answer was "because books are expensive."
[11:41] Aphilo Aarde: Good question ... have you ever read a text book out of class?
[11:41] Roman Takacs: (late 70s)
[11:41] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:42] Roman Takacs: Tried once to read Salvador Luria's Biology ... got about 4 pages into it :)
[11:42] Aphilo Aarde: I see textbooks, too, as a kind of program ... computer program, even ...
[11:42] Aphilo Aarde: and efficient ones ...
[11:42] Aphilo Aarde: for student learning ... but still boring for some of us primates in modernity
[11:43] Aphilo Aarde: Interesting ... I enjoyed Peter Raven's Plant Biology ... but
[11:43] Roman Takacs: It was the standard "top down" (or is it "bottom up") approach. To understand biology we have to understand the carbon atom .model of though. HEY, I want to see some weird animals !
[11:43] Aphilo Aarde: it was for a class on Plant Evolution
[11:43] Aphilo Aarde: not outside of class
[11:43] Aphilo Aarde: I picked up Conrad Kottak's
[11:44] Roman Takacs: My favorite biology texts were Fowlers "Field Book of Natural History" (with 10 pages on Homo sapiens)
[11:44] Aphilo Aarde: Anthropology textbook ... and read some
[11:44] Aphilo Aarde: it's one of the best syntheses of contemporary anthropological thinking
[11:44] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:44] Aphilo Aarde: added it to the WUaS Anthropology textbooks's
[11:45] Aphilo Aarde: section
[11:45] Aphilo Aarde: and then came across
[11:45] Roman Takacs: My UC anthro course had 3 paperback "studies" (Cheyenne, Taureg, ....) and 3 case studies from the profs own research ...
[11:45] Aphilo Aarde: Carol Delaney's anthropology text
[11:45] Aphilo Aarde: used at MIT
[11:45] Aphilo Aarde:
[11:45] Aphilo Aarde: that was reportedly more experiential, so I added this one, too
[11:46] Roman Takacs: The prof lectured from his "field notes" ...
[11:46] Aphilo Aarde: Taussig?
[11:46] Aphilo Aarde: I find a well structured class invaluable ... field notes aren't that ...
[11:46] Roman Takacs: (The northern african nomads from just south of the sahara ...)
[11:46] Roman Takacs: He usef field notes and reflections on them ...
[11:46] Aphilo Aarde: But I think Delaney's approach of experientiality ... in anthropology possibly important in text book making ...
[11:47] Roman Takacs: So bacic concepts were more or less repeated six times in the course, in differnet settings.
[11:47] Aphilo Aarde: Often, introduction anthropology classes use readers, or primary texts (at Reed, for example).
[11:47] Aphilo Aarde: interesting ...
[11:47] Roman Takacs: Each example was a "whole course".
[11:47] Roman Takacs: Think like kinship, myth, etc ...
[11:48] Roman Takacs: He was like the only prof who had mobs of students coming up at the end of class with questions, etc ...
[11:48] Aphilo Aarde: Anthropology has changed a lot through the years ... epistemologically, it's interesting as an academic discipline
[11:48] Aphilo Aarde: returning again and again to a trajectory of questions emerging from over a century
[11:48] Roman Takacs: Are you on the Media Anthropology List ?
[11:49] Aphilo Aarde: ... can be very engaging :)
[11:49] Aphilo Aarde: and charismatic profs make a difference ... what was his name?
[11:49] Aphilo Aarde: I am ... and see your postings from time to time
[11:50] Roman Takacs: I keep thinking it was "Brown" ...
[11:50] Aphilo Aarde: A professors personal interest in their discipline can be a very contagious meme
[11:50] Roman Takacs: ... which seems to be the default name for the profs I gnerally found interesting :)
[11:50] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:51] Aphilo Aarde: I found Castells' course at Cal 10 years ago on the IT revolution captivating and riveting ...
[11:51] Roman Takacs: Besides the 2 midterms and final, we had to do a "field study" paper. I didn one on "marriage patterns in Oakland California"
[11:51] Aphilo Aarde: how to turn this skill in analysis, narrative, timeliness and topicality into a textbook ...
[11:51] Aphilo Aarde: do you still have the paper?
[11:51] Roman Takacs: (ANd compared them to S.F. Using the Oakland Tribune versus SF Chronicle marriage reports"
[11:52] Aphilo Aarde: great subject ...
[11:52] Roman Takacs: No, paper was tossed !
[11:53] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:53] Aphilo Aarde: Paper writing ... as human output ... and way to learn ... and participate in a conversation ...
[11:53] Roman Takacs: Threre were like three themes (1) how the wedding was reported (media models), (2) who was getting married (wealthy versus ordinary), and (3) religion (SF was Catholic, Oakland was protestant !)
[11:54] Aphilo Aarde: human computers as input output .... can be invaluable ... how to make this process fun for those who find it tortuous
[11:54] Aphilo Aarde: is a question that parallels my/our questions about great textbooks?
[11:54] Roman Takacs: It would be fun to do it today, since one could get a bigger collection of articles, use wordle, etc ...
[11:55] Aphilo Aarde: Why not come out here, and do it on your own?
[11:55] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[11:55] Aphilo Aarde: agreed ...
[11:55] Roman Takacs: I like winter !
[11:55] Roman Takacs: I hate rain !
[11:55] Aphilo Aarde: I long for great students ... having had not great students ...
[11:55] Aphilo Aarde: is it possible to build richly on idea sharing as conversation ...
[11:55] Aphilo Aarde: with Stanford students ... ?
[11:56] Roman Takacs: Never had anything but great students !
[11:56] Aphilo Aarde: the weather isn't for you here :) ... it's so mild today :)
[11:56] Roman Takacs: (benefit of "liberal arts" colleges and "general education program" model )
[11:57] Roman Takacs: (the freshman seminar is a problem only because it should not be the exception ... it should be the rule for all courses !)
[11:57] Roman Takacs: (The p2pu model was intriguing for that reason ...)
[11:57] Aphilo Aarde: I think I'd find a difference between top 5 students (Stanford, MIT, H Y P) and other schools'
[11:57] Aphilo Aarde: World University and School
[11:58] Aphilo Aarde: - is open, wiki, and free -
[11:58] Roman Takacs: I taught at Franconia College ... basically an open admissions place ... if the student interviewed well (looked like they would do the work), we took em.
[11:58] Aphilo Aarde: but also focuses on great universities' open course ware
[11:58] Aphilo Aarde: here -
[11:58] Roman Takacs: What was scarey was that even ordinary kids became brilliant in that environment !
[11:58] Roman Takacs: no grades
[11:58] Roman Takacs: no required courses
[11:58] Aphilo Aarde: There are about 35 great universities
[11:58] Roman Takacs: all courses designed by students
[11:59] Aphilo Aarde: so cool, Roman
[11:59] Aphilo Aarde: Yes .. that sounds like 'culture' to me
[11:59] Roman Takacs: My first semested evaluation came through - from the students - "too didactic"
[11:59] Aphilo Aarde: Milieus are transformative
[11:59] Roman Takacs: Deans suggestion was "just sit there and listen"
[11:59] Aphilo Aarde: - viz. my Harbin actual / virtual ethnography
[11:59] Roman Takacs: If they want you to say something, they will ask !
[11:59] Roman Takacs: :)
[12:00] Roman Takacs: All of the questions would come in the cafeteria over some beers ...
[12:00] Roman Takacs: and generally had the pattern ... "i don't know but ..."
[12:01] Aphilo Aarde: By great students, I mean those who have met more sophisticated symbolic challenges in the aggregate at the high school and college level, than others ...
[12:01] Aphilo Aarde: ... does sound fun ...
[12:01] Roman Takacs: Our main job was to chat with the students and help them come up with a plan for next semester ...
[12:01] Aphilo Aarde: interesting ... the text book, on the other hand, is that plan ...
[12:01] Roman Takacs: Will Miller would be happy to explain to you the existential challenges of working at McDonalds !
[12:02] Aphilo Aarde: how to fly from the text book ... rif with the knowledge of Economics? or Fermi's notes?
[12:02] Roman Takacs: Fly with the "question" ...
[12:02] Aphilo Aarde: Can one provide the opportunities online, as MIT OCW seems to be doing,
[12:03] Aphilo Aarde: for people to have access to great academic resources at the college, and! high school levels ...
[12:03] Roman Takacs: I wonder about the OCW. The key to MIT is, I think, living in a dorm and drinking beer with smart kids !
[12:03] Aphilo Aarde: so that students can learn the calculus if they want to, even their home school is panning out ...
[12:03] Aphilo Aarde: an alternative, if needed ...
[12:04] Roman Takacs: At MIT, Cal, etc, the pressure is to study hard ....
[12:04] Roman Takacs: At WVU, the pressure is to drink hard ...
[12:04] Aphilo Aarde: The social aspect is so important ... but that's possible here in virtual worlds ... as I see it (not the same), but possibly better in some ways, even, and worse in others
[12:05] Aphilo Aarde: The pressure is there due to the challenge of learning at a relatively high level
[12:05] Roman Takacs: The other of "real life" schools is getting the kids out of the house/home.
[12:05] Aphilo Aarde: (how to make this fun, too)
[12:05] Roman Takacs: THey can't "change" in that fixed environment.
[12:05] Roman Takacs: The social roles are too rigid.
[12:06] Roman Takacs: (THere's an anthro thesis or two in that !)
[12:06] Aphilo Aarde: One definition of 'flow' - is an aborbed mind - and challenge at the right level ... also a definition of Enjoyment
[12:06] Aphilo Aarde: See Cskiszentmihalyi's (who studied enjoyment at the University of Chicago for 23 years)
[12:06] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:07] Aphilo Aarde: on the WUaS Happiness subject page
[12:07] Roman Takacs: Zen and the Art of The Final Exam !
[12:08] Aphilo Aarde: Place can't be changed ... or local school's milieu ... hence private schools ... but access to high quality learning materials ... and now in virtual worlds
[12:08] Aphilo Aarde: makes choice possible
[12:08] Aphilo Aarde: Thanks ... MIT OCW, Yale OYC, Berkeley Webcast, Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE)
[12:08] Aphilo Aarde: all on the above Universities' Course Listings list
[12:08] Roman Takacs: I'm not sure that the "quality" of paperbacks available in th 60s was that bad :)
[12:09] Roman Takacs: (Most of my learning came from pulp paperbacks in middle school and high school !)
[12:09] Aphilo Aarde: The 60s were wild ... but students are always freer than most others groups in society ...
[12:09] Roman Takacs: Iin the 50s!)
[12:09] Aphilo Aarde: And more paperbooks and web books are around than ever ...
[12:09] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[12:10] Roman Takacs: I wonder ...
[12:10] Roman Takacs: I grew up in California, Pennsylvania, Pop 2500 or so, back then.
[12:10] Roman Takacs: We had a paperback store down town, which was about 1/2 mile from home.
[12:10] Aphilo Aarde: bookstores are still around ...
[12:11] Roman Takacs: I could walk there. (Actually, I worked there, as a newpaper delivery boy).
[12:11] Aphilo Aarde: and some affluence to buy books ... we're lucky
[12:11] Roman Takacs: Bookstores are at the mall, etc ...
[12:11] Roman Takacs: Suburbia is not small town life ...
[12:11] Aphilo Aarde: and libraries ... it's very different in India, in China, Venezuela, Brazil ...
[12:12] Aphilo Aarde: (glad OLPC is around)
[12:13] Aphilo Aarde: So a milieu of books and information is important for learning ...
[12:14] Aphilo Aarde: for those who chsose to
[12:14] Roman Takacs: When I was at CAL, telegraph avenue had at least 4 bookstores , there were 2 more at north gate, 1 or 2 on shattuck, and one on campus ...
[12:14] Aphilo Aarde: Can we do this around the world with World University and School and on OLPCS, and the Google's Nexus S, (made by Samsung)?
[12:14] Roman Takacs: People used to "hang out" at bookstores ...
[12:15] Aphilo Aarde: Here's a recap of World University and School ...
[12:15] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:15] Roman Takacs: (FP divides the world into Kindle and iPad :) )
[12:15] Aphilo Aarde: it's main subjects ...
[12:15] Aphilo Aarde: hanging out in virtual world bookstores ... I've been to one here in SL ... not sure if its still around ...
[12:16] Aphilo Aarde: or an ancient Greek fora ... or San Francisco's Exploratorium in Second Life
[12:16] Aphilo Aarde: *forum ...
[12:17] Roman Takacs: I have a friend who has a nice book out called "Cappucino University" .... (Jerome Martin, Spotted Cow Press) ... free for downloading ... which discusses "third spaces" ...
[12:17] Aphilo Aarde: a community of idea exchange ... is great ... Reed is in a quiet suburban Portland neighborhood and, without sports' teams, attracts kids who are attracted to somewhat traditional academics, in a very free environment
[12:18] Aphilo Aarde: ideal for open idea exchange ... and not replicable in a virtual world, in nearly the same way
[12:18] Roman Takacs: One of the nice things about franconia was that it was very "non traditional" ... most of the entering freshmen were 21 or 22 ... not right out of high school !
[12:18] Aphilo Aarde: the 'conference table' in a virtual world allows, though, for 2 channels of communication ... and the need to stay focused to text and voice chat
[12:19] Roman Takacs: they had done military service, worked at jobs, just hung out ...
[12:19] Aphilo Aarde: Similarly to thinkiing about textbooks, I wonder how best to structure an undergraduate education at World University and School
[12:19] Roman Takacs: but those extra 2 or three years of "maturity" helped.
[12:19] Aphilo Aarde: with matriculating classes beginning in 2014
[12:20] Roman Takacs: ... have you ever dont a pechakucha on this ?
[12:20] Roman Takacs: done
[12:20] Aphilo Aarde: I have Reed in mind - with Freshman required humanities, a life of the mind, distribution requirements, and where everyone does a thesis
[12:21] Aphilo Aarde: Humanites focuses on the ancient Greek thought and intellectual trajectories ...
[12:21] Roman Takacs: - just don't offer a degree in "criminology" :)
[12:22] Aphilo Aarde: I think this liberal arts' approach benefits students, as much as some students might not like the requirements ...
[12:22] Aphilo Aarde: Reed's curriculum is a fair traditional academics, despite it being free socially ...
[12:22] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[12:22] Roman Takacs: liberal arts is a "process" not a "package"
[12:23] Aphilo Aarde: Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Sociology, Anthropology, Literatures, Theater, ... etc.
[12:23] Roman Takacs: there is nothing magical about the greeks ... you could just as easily study the chinese :)
[12:23] Aphilo Aarde: Yes ... it's social and last 4 years ...
[12:23] Roman Takacs: Just have one subject ... "humanities" ....
[12:24] Aphilo Aarde: There's a wholeness to the greeks ... and they started EVERYTHING democracy, math, philosophy, poetry, the academy, drama ...
[12:24] Roman Takacs: subsume everything into one department !
[12:24] Roman Takacs: (Did the greeks start "everything" ... or is the "everything" a roman bureaucratic response to it :)) )
[12:25] Aphilo Aarde: One thing an online, virtual world university would make possible, vis-a-vis MIT OCW, is to free up folks perhaps after the Freshman Humanities' course ... as a kind of group process ... to learn at their own speed,
[12:25] Aphilo Aarde: while incorporating the social benefits of classes, and group thinking along the way ...
[12:26] Aphilo Aarde: one step further away from academia based an agricultural calendar
[12:26] Aphilo Aarde: thanks MIT
[12:26] Roman Takacs: Are you familiar with the "International Bacculariate" program ?
[12:27] Aphilo Aarde: Romans came along with so much else ... but the intellectual foundations of the west, and knowledge, significantly come from the Greeks, I think ... Romans weren't quite so knowledge oriented
[12:27] Roman Takacs: Exactly .... the Romans made a mess of things ...
[12:27] Aphilo Aarde: Yes, I've been looking for
[12:27] Aphilo Aarde: a free I.B. education online ...
[12:27] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:27] Aphilo Aarde: It's listed here, too ...
[12:28] Roman Takacs: they kept the trappings but didn't get the point of it all !
[12:28] Aphilo Aarde: the closest I've found is MIT's High school material ...
[12:28] Aphilo Aarde: I.B. is international, however ...
[12:28] Roman Takacs: Canada, apparently, Switzerland, work on similar processes.
[12:29] Roman Takacs: "University" education is not "mass education" ...
[12:29] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:29] Aphilo Aarde: Hong Kong, too, has I.B. schools, and Singapore ...
[12:29] Roman Takacs: And is, more importanly, not always job oriented.
[12:30] Aphilo Aarde: So much of University education involves work with a few professors and, of course, the course work before ... reading those readers ...
[12:30] Aphilo Aarde: programming the mind ...
[12:30] Aphilo Aarde: MIT OCW and WUaS will change the University conversation worldwide
[12:30] Aphilo Aarde: due to making resources available. ..
[12:31] Aphilo Aarde: Agreed ... leanring 'knowledge' ... vis-a-vis Reed, for example ...
[12:31] Aphilo Aarde: is not about jobs ... although the modern University is big ... and jobs play a role in degree production apart from the
[12:32] Aphilo Aarde: ideal of knowledge learning apart for its own sake (Reed:)
[12:32] Roman Takacs: the "work with a few professors" is a core component of MIT .... and probably most "excellent" universities. (they are not about teaching, but about research / learning )
[12:32] Aphilo Aarde: Yes ... check out Stanford and Harvard's presidents recent article on making education available widely ...
[12:33] Aphilo Aarde: it's an issue for great universities as well .
[12:33] Roman Takacs: (the "jobs" function was explored in Illich's "Deschooling Society" ... the primary function of school being "certification", not "education")
[12:34] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[12:34] Aphilo Aarde: The Stanford Harvard presidents' article is at the bottom of this blog entry
[12:34] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:35] Roman Takacs: And I suspect that the big push in online education willl be more towards "certtification" rather than the humanities ...
[12:35] Aphilo Aarde: but I see jobs as a reality ... and desirable ... and World University and School would like to create great academic and knowledge jobs, if possible
[12:35] Aphilo Aarde: and on a large scale ...
[12:36] Aphilo Aarde: Yes, there are so many educational approaches online ... it's exciting ...
[12:36] Roman Takacs: Jobs ARE a reality. (or at least employment is).
[12:36] Aphilo Aarde: WUaS matriculating classes, some in 2014, will focus on 4 degrees BA, Law, M.D. and Ph.D.
[12:36] Roman Takacs: But are universities necessary for "jobs" ?
[12:38] Aphilo Aarde: ideally with web cameras in great universities' classrooms, and for Ph.D.s where a MIT professor will take on the electrical engineering student in India, and a Stanford professor with work with the Brazilian student
[12:38] Aphilo Aarde: the great universities becomeing a kind of consortium
[12:38] Roman Takacs: I think the IB model is a basic education, and then special training for the various career paths ... with the training not all packaged as a 4 year lump.
[12:38] Aphilo Aarde: Jobs .. in the knowledge society ... which this course argues for .
[12:38] Aphilo Aarde: Unviersities produce knowledge ...
[12:38] Aphilo Aarde: so, more and more, yes ...
[12:39] Aphilo Aarde: but not necessary
[12:39] Roman Takacs: Yes, but WHO at the university is producing WHAT knowledge.
[12:39] Aphilo Aarde: There's so much potential for variety of degrees on the web
[12:39] Roman Takacs: (The franconia model is that the students produce the knowledge that ends in a degree, not the professor.)
[12:40] Aphilo Aarde: The faculty ... and through the degree process .. .so the student, too, in learning the material
[12:40] Aphilo Aarde: the university as sociological phenomenon and institution
[12:40] Aphilo Aarde: sounds also possibly like the Hampshire model in Massachusetts
[12:40] Roman Takacs: When I was at Cal, the general feeling was that undergraduate education was a barrier to producing knowledge !
[12:41] Aphilo Aarde: starting around 1973 ... choice is so important for students ...
[12:41] Roman Takacs: Only the graduate students working for you were producing new knowledge.
[12:41] Aphilo Aarde: so the college catalog emerges .. and liberal arts' education ...
[12:41] Aphilo Aarde: different in Britain and Germany, for exmaple
[12:42] Aphilo Aarde: :) ... it's still true ... that undergraduate education is a barrier to producing knowledge !
[12:43] Roman Takacs: just noticed ... our advatars are just about synched in their motions.
[12:43] Aphilo Aarde: focused, good students are a dream for me ... (emerging from the 1960s)
[12:43] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[12:43] Roman Takacs: Well, "occassiopnally focused" :)
[12:44] Aphilo Aarde: And fortunately academia has a lot of faculty who saw the 60s ... which changed thinking significantly ...
[12:44] Aphilo Aarde: :)
[12:44] Roman Takacs: (I don't think students have changed all that much ... at least "statistically"(
[12:44] Roman Takacs: (I don't think that faculty have changed all that much either !)
[12:45] Aphilo Aarde: Stanford and Berkeley both sought to produce more Ph.D.s than their east coast counterparts Harvard and MIT
[12:45] Roman Takacs: (Which school they went to weas more important ...)
[12:45] Aphilo Aarde: int he late 50s and 60s ... and did so ...
[12:45] Aphilo Aarde: a production of knowledge occurred ...
[12:46] Aphilo Aarde: all those things still count ... academic networks have been around for a long time
[12:46] Aphilo Aarde: for better and for worse ...
[12:46] Aphilo Aarde: One beauty of World University and School vis-a-vis textbooks is its openness
[12:47] Aphilo Aarde: and a textbook section on each subject page - here's the template:
[12:47] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:48] Aphilo Aarde: where we'll be able to add the great textbooks out there ...
[12:48] Roman Takacs: Hmmm ... my niece went to rutgers. there were 12 psychology 1 sections, and 7 different textbook selections !
[12:48] Aphilo Aarde: ... still possibly boring, as you and I see them ... have to look at Delaneys
[12:49] Aphilo Aarde: :) Another beauty of WUaS has to do with class size ... the 'conference table' in all courses with graduate student instructors, for example,
[12:49] Roman Takacs: So why have a "course" unit ? why not each "course" being 10 different "modules" or "chapters" or "cases" ...
[12:49] Aphilo Aarde: is more possible ...
[12:50] Aphilo Aarde: no more 1 professor to 500 students in the same way as in a lecture room
[12:50] Roman Takacs: (Apparently the Open University (UK) model is 10 credit courses, each credit being a weeks work.
[12:50] Aphilo Aarde: It will be possible to break all these things down in new ways at WUaS , for the innovator ...
[12:50] Aphilo Aarde: thanks to MIT OCW :) and all of us teaching and learning ... youtube for example, mroe generally.
[12:51] Aphilo Aarde: We'll stop soon ...
[12:51] Aphilo Aarde: but I think WUaS will still engage the U.S. credit model, as well as grades
[12:51] Aphilo Aarde: 3 credits per class ...
[12:51] Aphilo Aarde: as a basic unit for degree programs ... because their transferrable ...
[12:52] Aphilo Aarde: At MIT which uses a different system, divide by 3
[12:52] Aphilo Aarde: Roman ... great to have generated this conversation this semester with you and everyone ...
[12:52] Roman Takacs: It was fun ...
[12:53] Roman Takacs: ... it set me off in the "hacker culture" direction
[12:53] Aphilo Aarde: Next year's course plans are still taking shape ... will keep you posted
[12:53] Aphilo Aarde: yes, fun! ...
[12:53] Aphilo Aarde: hacking culture is freeing :)
[12:53] Roman Takacs: Do a course on education, information technology, and the future of society :)
[12:54] Roman Takacs: (long may wikileaks live !)
[12:54] Aphilo Aarde: first some other foci ... World Univ and Sch, Harbin virtual actual ethnography ... possible Fellowship for the first ... maybe a textbook
[12:54] Roman Takacs: (or a thousand wikileaks :) )
[12:54] Roman Takacs: go for a "reader" :)
[12:55] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:55] Aphilo Aarde: building on the course wiki ... is the first step ... maybe with Palfrey ...
[12:55] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:55] Aphilo Aarde: we'll see ...
[12:56] Aphilo Aarde: let's stay in touch ... let me know when you come out to warmer climes in the west ...
[12:56] Aphilo Aarde: and via FB
[12:56] Roman Takacs: In a few years ... with a VW van :)
[12:56] Roman Takacs: just before oil peaks !
[12:56] Aphilo Aarde: Sounds like a blast (from the past :0)
[12:56] Aphilo Aarde: a solar VW van ?
[12:57] Roman Takacs: Solar bicycle !
[12:57] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:57] Roman Takacs: (human powered)
[12:57] Aphilo Aarde: Have you seen the Sunnev - a solar car by an inventor from Maine - Art Haines ?
[12:58] Aphilo Aarde: only goes 20-30 miles an hour, uses bicycle wheels, but it appears to work ...
[12:58] Roman Takacs: Not sure about that one ... lots of students are into building them ... UVM had some nice examples !
[12:58] Roman Takacs: UVM had similar model ...
[12:58] Aphilo Aarde:
[12:58] Roman Takacs: but they were able to make it cross country !
[12:58] Aphilo Aarde: It's also linked to the WUaS
[12:59] Aphilo Aarde: Solar Energy page ... let's get a solar hybrid car going 70 miles an hour, and legal :)
[12:59] Aphilo Aarde: for our VW bugs to come :)
[12:59] Aphilo Aarde: See you in cyberspace :) Nice to converse with you ...
[12:59] Roman Takacs: I'm happier at 40 mph !
[12:59] Roman Takacs: Ciao !
[12:59] Aphilo Aarde: :)Ciao!

( - December 11, 2010)