Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fruit dove: The scientific mind and learning, "SCIMIND," Artificial Intelligence, Anthropology, Virtual Harbin, AFSC & WUaS, Easier to operationalize in AI the "TEM" mind compared with the "science mind," given "TEM's" foundation, Taking MIT OCW courses for credit in various languages in digital glasses while visiting places or STEM one is studying

Dear Jan, 

Thanks for an interesting and edifying ISSIP talk this morning on the scientific mind and learning. Besides the questions and comments I wrote this morning, both in voice and in the text chat here ... 

"Thank you, Jan - very scientifically visionary. 

I'm curious about your thoughts about developing distinct "scientific minds," such as an "anthropological scientific mind," a "physics' scientific mind," a "philosophical mind," etc. Where does your thinking go in these directions? 

I'm also curious about how such a "scientific mind" might become "operational" in, for example, artificial intelligence - given, for example, Watson - re habits, values, skills, emphases, methodologies - conceptually perhaps? 

As president and founder of wiki World University and School - - which is like Wikipedia in 288 languages with MIT OCW in 7 languages, planning free CC online MIT-centric degrees, based on a dialogical model (the "conference method" in group video), - and planned for accreditation in all ~200 countries and their main languages for CC degrees, but also in all ~8,000 languages as wiki schools, and in developing AI, in what ways could your interesting learning approach to the "scientific mind" engage MIT OCW in all its languages and Yale OYC, and in Artificial Intelligence?" ...

... I also wanted to share the following links about World University and School and some of your interests.  

Here's the Physics' wiki subject/department at World University and School - - only in English so far, but with some MIT OpenCourseWare courses, to give you an idea of how WUaS will work both toward CC university degrees. Matriculated WUaS students will be taking these courses from MIT professors in video as lecture, and in group video as seminar with graduate student instructors - for planning purposes. And all of us - that is, professors, students and you and I, for example - can teach to and learn from on the wiki. Here's MIT OCW's 6 non-English languages - - and with Physics' courses in them.

And I've added a reference to your slides from today here at the "Theories of Learning" wiki subject page at WUaS - - which is for wiki open teaching and learning, and an example of a kind of creative page at WUaS to complement "academic" pages. While there are other WUaS wiki pages on which your slides (or papers at could go, for example, I just wanted to share these with you for now - to come into further conversation.  

Your Brazil conference sounds fascinating. MIT OCW is in the Portuguese language - - and I noticed on your LinkedIn page that you're fluent in this language as well. WUaS is very interested in finding high achieving online students from Brazil (MIT President Rafael Reif is originally from Brazil, for example) to matriculate first in English and eventually in Portuguese, but WUaS isn't yet sure how best to reach out to high-achieving Brazilian high school and college students to apply here - You'll also find beginning other countries World University and Schools' here - - including Brazil WUaS, but not yet very much in Portuguese.

And as a further inquiry, I'll think more too about the "wiki STEM mind" -,_Technologies,_Engineering_and_Mathematics - per your talk.  

Looking forward to further conversation, as well as your further thoughts about some of this and my questions. Thank you again!

Best regards, 



Dear Scott,

Thank you for your kind words and for sharing information about your work and interests.

Having explored your various links, I wonder if you are familiar with the WikiEducator platform (, the OER Foundation (  and OER University ( Their work seems to be based on a similar philosophy.

I hope I responded adequately to your queries during the brief Q&A time following my presentation. Thank you for asking those questions. As mentioned in my response, the scientific mind expresses itself differently in the practice of an anthropologist, a physicist, a philosopher, etc., but the differences have largely to do with the third bullet in the definition, the underlying skills that such people work with (Slide 6), and also with different emphases on particular dimensions of the scimind, the various bubbles in Slide 7. This goes even beyond the categories of professionals you mention by way of example. It would equally apply to carpenters, plumbers, musicians, poets, etc. Developing and nurturing the growth of the scimind is of importance for any human being. In fact, it’s what humans have been doing since prehitoric times, becoming more and more able and understanding their world increasingly better.

I see it as a problem that we have started to think of science (= knowledge) only (or mainly) as what is being practiced by scientists, those who are active in the STEM areas and those, to whom we are tolerant, when they call themselves social scientists. Knowledge is not only what can be expressed in numbers. Thus full and deep understanding of our world and our own place in the universe will remain limited if we think of the scimind as belonging to the province of those sciences.  The “pursuit of knowledge for understanding and wisdom” should be the shared concern of the theoretical physicist and the sculptor. In the past those professions might have been united in the same person. Nowadays they tend to be associated with distinct individuals, but it need not be so. Because the scimind, as defined on Slide 6, refers to more than just our rational abilities I don’t see how AI alone could capture it. The the extent that AI is important in this regard, it would be, at least from my current perspective, AI in combination with human mental abilities.




Dear Jan,

Thanks so much for your email, and again for your talk. The wiki / open educational links you shared have been posted for some time at the main 'Courses" wiki subject page at WUaS - - in the section called "Course listings' aggregates"- I communicated with a Wikiversity person 2-3 years ago about engaging such Wiki-education projects, but WUaS has a unique learning model, pedagogy and plans for online accrediting CC MIT OCW-centric degrees in most countries' languages and any other large languages so we didn't proceed.

As an anthropologist, and with your engagement in many ways of kinds of epistemological questions (perhaps partly Dreyfus-informed), I tend to think in terms of discourse (or culture, or counterculture in my research). Science as a discourse, and, in particular, comprised up of individual minds of scientists (all different - with different consciousnesses - what is consciousness is fascinating - and unconsciousnesses) helps me understand your conception of "scimind," as word and concept, in English, in new ways. I'm curious too to think further about ways in which your concept, with its habits of thinking, values, mastery of skills and emphases, might, in our conversation, become operationalized in terms of Artificial Intelligence - as theory. So I just re-glanced at The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, new edition (2005), edited by Ted Honderich (accessible in an online library near you, perhaps?), - which I mentioned at the close of your talk - under the many 'science' entries (each entry can be a delightfully edifying read in this book), and was reminded first off of the diversity of science vis-a-vis the idea of "scimind." Also, I'm fascinated by Stanford University's ethos (ie discourse/culture in terms of science and philosophy too), for example, as well as 1960s-thought forward in California, and as this informs contemporary scientific discourse, and wonder about how all of this might inform your concept of scimind as it could be developed in AI. For example, here are some recent anthropological field notes about my ethnographic field site, Harbin Hot Springs, in my blog from two days - (I hope to publish my 400 page actual / virtual Harbin Hot Springs' manuscript soon - and I'm looking for a publisher) - with a nod to STEM ethnography, and online virtually, too, and I wonder further, for example, brainstorming-wise, about ways in which an avatar ethnographer in a virtual earth in a virtual Harbin - think 3D interactive group-building virtual worlds like OpenSim and Second Life with their avatars, which can become even digital robots in a sense - might take parallel field notes as these, and wiki (editable web page for textual conversation/dialogue)-wise too, among a variety of STEM-researchers. What do you think? In terms of your scimind concept and in-world avatars, which could become coded with AI to do STEM field research, in what ways would your conceptions of scimind shape this, for example, I"m asking myself (given IBM Watson's success - is a question answering (QA) computing system that IBM built to apply advanced natural language processinginformation retrievalknowledge representation,automated reasoning, and machine learning technologies to the field of open domain question answering.[2] )? Contemporary anthropology as a social scientific academic discipline will probably come into conversation in edifying epistemological ways with your concept of scimind, and especially in terms of brainstorming about related scimind AI developments. Anthropology's participant observation methodology, often expressed in writing, where the "field" can change as a consequence of inquiry, that is fieldwork, is another interesting expression of your concept of scimind I think.

Looking forward to further conversation, as well as your further thoughts and questions about some of this. Thank you again!



Jan and Jim, 

As a followup to my first email's conclusions, and in terms of "wiki STEM minds" re your "scimind," I guess I think it will be easier to operationalize in Artificial Intelligence (eg see - - which is MIT OCW-centric and planned in many languages) the "TEM" mind compared with the "science mind," given "TEM's" foundation.  


And concerning your mentioning bringing the classroom in the world, Jan, it was interesting to think about taking MIT OCW courses for credit in various languages in digital glasses while visiting places or STEM one is studying. 



Hi John,

Very nice to talk with you today at AFSC. 

Your new AFSC work and your book sound great - (Emperors in the Jungle: The Hidden History of the U. S. in Panama). I enjoyed too looking at your web site -

As an example of how WUaS works, the hypothetical Panama World University and School, which is not yet made, but you could begin it here, as wiki - - and by adding MIT OCW, adding your book as reference, would seek to accredit in Panama. And WUaS is seeking to matriculate online undergraduate students first in English (including Panamanians) and soon in Spanish via Admissions - - for CC free MIT OCW-centric degrees. Here's the Brazil WUaS by way of comparison with the planned Panama WUaS - And here's MIT OCW in Spanish and in other languages, for example - - as a start for course ware. 

And here's the Peace and Social Justice Studies' wiki subject page and related subject links - - for open teaching and learning, and some courses of which will be for credit. WUaS would easily develop related pages vis-a-vis anti-militarism. 

I'm curious about your thoughts for fundraising for WUaS in particular, as well as how to possibly engage both SF and Oakland as city governments concerning this. CC, MIT online highest quality STEM-centric inter-lingual education, and free University degrees, will benefit many many people world-wide. 

Hope to talk with you again at AFSC in the not too distant future.

Friendly regards, 



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