Miscellaneous

MOOCs and Open Educational Resources: A Handbook for Educators

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 20:00


Peter B. Kaufman, Intelligent Television, Feb 12, 2017

This is a longish guide (60 page PDF) outlining MOOCs for instructors and (mostly) developers. There are long sections devoted to video and open licensing, which I consider to be the least important aspects of a MOOC. Interesting terminology half way through - "a Massive Really Open Online Course— a MROOC" (which would distinguish it from a merely open online course, I guess). Vie OER Knowledge Cloud.

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If content is king, why are OER still uncrowned? A developing world perspective’

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 17:00


Asha Kanwar, Balasubramanian Kodhandaraman, Abdurrahman Umar, Pan-Commonwealth Forum, Feb 12, 2017

This is a conference presentation from 2010 which was listed in the OER Knowledge Cloud today (10 page PDF). So it's a bit dated but it's well written and I felt it was a pretty good description of some fundamental trends and issues in open educational resources. The prize you get for reading it to the end is this redefinition of OER: "The phenomenon of OER/OLR is an empowerment process, facilitated by technology in which various types of stakeholders are able to interact, collaborate, create and use materials and processes, that are freely available, for enhancing access, reducing costs and improving the quality of education at all levels."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

A Growing (But Controversial) Idea in Open-Access Textbooks: Let Students Help Write Them

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 12:00


Ellen Wexler, EdSurge, Feb 12, 2017

I've promoted the idea of having students author learning resources since forever, but not surprisingly the idea hasn't caught on. It won't catch on after this article either but each voice in support is a tiny step forward. The article describes physics teacher Delman Larsen's project called LibreText in which his students write the wiki-like textbook. Jessica Coppola, another professor doing the same thing, has a very practical reason for doing so. “ I commonly have students who are homeless, students who have to choose between feeding their child and buying a textbook,” she says. “ I had to find a way to get them a free resource.”

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Shattered Mirror, Part Two: The Underwhelming Recommendation for Open Licensing at the CBC

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 21:00


Michael Geist, Feb 11, 2017

Michael Geist has authored a two-part review of The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age (108 page PDF), released by the Public Policy Forum in January (part one, part two). The report itself is a mixed bag, on the one had seeking to strengthen revenue for news media (partially by extending copyright), and on the other hand seeking to address local needs (partially by helping CBC reduce reliance on advertising). Geist's first article attacks (quite rightly) the recommendations on copyright. And in his second posts he applauds opening CBC content under Creative Commons but wonders why the authors would recommend the "no-derivatives" clause, which would prevent people from making anything new with CBC content.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Path to Prosperity

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 21:00


Advisory Council on Economic Growth, Feb 11, 2017

The Canadian Government's Advisory Council on Economic Growth has released a set of five papers under the heading of 'The Path to Prosperity'. Here they are:

The second (FutureSkills Lab) and Fifth (Workforce Participation) have the greatest impact on education and training. The latter is the 'skills gap' argument for 2017, with a focus on reskilling and workforce integration. The former would "solicit, select, and co-finance innovative pilot programs in skills and competency development. I can think of a few things I'd propose for such a program.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Security Impact of HTTPS Interception

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 21:00


Zakir Durumeric, et.al., Feb 11, 2017

The state of web security is, um, awful. Specifically, with respect to HTTPS, here's what this pointed study reports: "we find more than an order of magnitude more interception than previously estimated, ranging from 4– 11%." This was determined by studying different browsers, e-commerce sites, and content distribution networks. But worse, software installed by corporations to increase security may be making the network more vulnerable. "62% of traffic that traverses a network middlebox has reduced security and 58% of middlebox connections have severe vulnerabilities. We investigated popular antivirus and corporate proxies, finding that nearly all reduce connection security and that many introduce vulnerabilities." Via O'Reilly.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Announcing the new CC Search, now in Beta

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 21:00


Creative Commons, Feb 11, 2017

Creative Commons has launched a new search service. "The new CC Search harnesses the power of open repositories, allowing users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface. The prototype of this tool focuses on photos as its first media and uses open APIs in order to index the available works.... we selected the Rijksmuseum, Flickr, 500px, the New York Public Library as our initial sources." The beta, I think, needs to be refined - none of my 36K Creative-Commons licensed photos on Flickr appear to be findable.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

CLOs, Move From Conduit to Curator

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 18:00


Greg Pryor, Chief Learning Officer, Feb 11, 2017

A CLO is a 'Chief Learning Officer' and the point of this article is to suggest that CLOs shift their role from being a 'conduit' of knowledge and information to being a 'curator'. This is a three step process:

  • Personalize employee learning experiences - "deliver content in a way that’ s personalized and similar to the content employees view on their personal devices; think Netflix and Facebook."
  • Enable the (l)earning curve - encourage learners "who are always ready to learn and evolve to meet new challenges"
  • Crowdsource employee knowledge - "have learning technology in place that can capture and store employee knowledge on the business"

Of course none of these is nearly as simple as the quick one-paragraph form suggests. And I thin k the process involves far more than mere curation.

 

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Algorithms and insults: Scaling up our understanding of harassment on Wikipedia

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 21:00


Ellery Wulczyn, Dario Taraborelli, Nithum Thain, Lucas Dixon, WikiMedia Foundation, Feb 10, 2017

I've seen this type of result before, but it's worth reiterating. "Registered users make two-thirds (67%) of attacks on English Wikipedia, contradicting a widespread assumption that anonymity is the primary contributor to the problem." The other two observations are also consistent with my own experience of Wikipedia (and speak to why I don't get myself involved in editing Wikipedia documents): "Only 18% of attacks were followed by a warning or a block of the offending user" and "While half of all attacks come from editors who make fewer than 5 edits a year, a third come from registered users with over 100 edits a year."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Gavagai and TZQQA

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 21:00


Mark Liberman, Language Log, Feb 10, 2017

I thought this was a fun post. Quine's thesis on the indeterminacy of translation is that in the case of a radical translation - that is, a translation of a completely unfamiliar language - we don't have sufficient evidence to be certain of the meaning of any specific word - 'gavagai', say - in the other language. What's amusing here is that this theory is applied to teens' use of text messaging. What does 'TZQQA' mean, anyways? "There is nothing in linguistic meaning, then," says Quine, "beyond what is to be gleaned from overt behavior in observable circumstances."

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Next Generation Repositories

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 15:00


Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Feb 10, 2017

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) has released a report as a part of its efforts to define a vision for resource repositories. "The vision is to position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed." the current report outlines 12 user stories that help define the functions to be supported. This is a draft for public comments (which will be open until March 3). You can comment paragraph-by-paragraph right on the web page.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

“Xenophobia”

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 12:00


Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Feb 09, 2017

You can split a lot of hairs by saying that 'xenophobia' means 'fear of foreigners' and then saying you don't fear them , you just want them treated differently. The traditional Greek suffixes (-mania, -philia, -phobia) doesn't seem to leave us any alternatives. But there are some. I like 'xenovilic', meaning 'one who vilifies foreigners', for example, by treating them differently. So the Canadian Federation of Students could say that differential fees are 'xenovilic' and avoid the brunt of Alex Usher's argument (which is essentially say "no they're not").

Now it's true that xenovilia is  popular worldwide. But should it be? Is there a good rational (morally justified, politically economic, etc) argument to support treating foreigners differently? Usher argues, "services go in priority to people who pay taxes in that jurisdiction." But what about infants and children, and the disabled, and the poor, who pay no taxes? No, the "he who pays" argument doesn't work. Finally, and as an aside, the goal of international trade agreements is to eliminate xenovilia - that is, to ensure foreigners and domestic businesses are treated the same way in each others' countries. They do this very imperfectly, and they do not extend their protections to people, which ultimately is their Achilles heel.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Scientists Need to Stop “Othering” the General Public

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:00


Jessica Pelland, ExtreNewsfeed, Feb 08, 2017

I have mixed feelings about this article. I agree that scientists should see themselves as a part of the general public. I also agree that some (not all) scientists should engage the public "not only to communicate their research, but also to encourage non-scientists to use the scientific method in everyday life." But I don't think scientists - not even Neil Degrasse Tyson - should be silent on issues on which they are not expert. If you are approaching an issue in a reasoned and scientific manner, then it is perfectly appropriate to voice your thoughts. Ours is a society not of experts but of the people, and if there is a problem with society it is not that we don't listen to experts, it is that we don't talk back to them.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Against mass consumption of ‘already certified’ credentials

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 16:00


Doug Belshaw, Open Educational Thinkering, Feb 07, 2017

Doug Belshaw bemoans the unsurprising co-option of digital badges by established institutions. "Even though the tools to do something radically different are available, people seem content to do as they’ re told, going cap in hand to the existing powers that be." Sure, there were alternative credentials, but these were swept away by the mainstream. "If we have a landscape full of ‘ alternative credentials’ provided by the incumbents," writes Belshaw, "then, I’ m sad to say, this may all have been for naught." I don't think you can disrupt certificate-granting institutions with more certificates. I think you need an approach that makes certification superfluous.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

What the Acquisition of Meta Means for Scholarly Publishers

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 16:00


Joseph Esposito, The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb 07, 2017

Meta  is a tool that analyzes scientific publications. For example,  in one study it predicted the number of citations a published article would receive. Now it has been acquired by Chan Zuckerberg. This, writes a Meta board member, is a good thing. "The acquisition of Meta by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) promises to transform scientific investigation. As a byproduct of this, it will likely transform scientific publishing as well." There's no doubt that scientific publication is changing; 'research' these days consists of running (more or less) intelligent searches against databases of hundreds of thousands of articles. People don't look at the content of the articles any more; they analyze global trends. That's what Facebook tries to do already with social media. And that's why they acquired Meta.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

What Research Says About Transferring Explicit Knowledge: To Share or Not to Share

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 16:00


Nancy Dixon, conversation matters, Feb 07, 2017

As always, convenience is the major usability factor when introducing new technology. "Acceptance of technology for knowledge sharing is directly related to how employees view the usefulness of the technology in supporting their job performance, without extra effort. Those last three words are key." Meanwhile, they are more likely to use the knowledge management system if it is useful: they need to be able to access content where they are, and they need efficient search (that doesn't take a training program to understand).

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An Ethics Primer

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Tue, 02/07/2017 - 07:00


noreply@blogger.com (Stephen Downes), Half an Hour, Feb 07, 2017 Many readers will find this section unnecessary, but for many others the range and variety of ethical theories extant may be new to them. It is my objective here to show that a significant number of questions and assumptions in dialogue around ethics are open for discussion. Ethics is by no means a complete or closed discipline; it is a living study that has been shaped and formed by thinkers from the ancient world through to the modern era.Virtue and CharacterEthics is in the first instance the study of virtue in a person, in a person’s actions, or in a society. But what is a virtue? The SEP says, “A virtue is an excellent trait of character. It is a disposition, well entrenched in its possessor—something that, as we say, goes all the way down, unlike a habit such as being a tea-drinker—to notice, expect, value, feel, desire, choose, act, and react in certain characteristic ways.” (SEP, 2017)
While we typically characterize virtue by means of various traits - honesty, frugality, piety, humility, caring, courage, generosity, moderation - the concept of virtue is not defined by those traits. It might be derived from some sense of ideals or perfection, as Plato might say, or it might be derived from the Greek notion of arete (ἀρετή) - “be all that you can be”. The achievement of virtue is essentially tied up with the development of character. As Aristotle says, the achievement of virtue might be a lifetime task. Virtue is the opposite of what might be termed the “weakness of the will” - our succumbing to the temptation to indulge, to become intemperate, dishonest, or violent. (Aristotle, 1959) Simply developing one’s own character, though, might seem selfish to some. It’s self-indulgent, at the very least. And one might question whether the cultivation of virtue constitutes a basis for ethical action. We need a sense of normative virtue ethics, such that the virtues not only describe good character, but prescribe right actions. (Hursthouse, 1998) We see this perspective reflected in modern ethics by writers such as Michael Foucault (1985). In The Use of Pleasure he talks of morality as “self-formation as an ‘ethical subject,’ a process in which the individual delimits that part of himself that will form the object of his moral practice, defines his position relative to the precept he will follow, and decides on a certain mode of being that will serve as his moral goal.”Ethical RulesTo prescribe right behaviour, one might appeal to a set of rules describing the virtues. A classic example of this is the Ten Commandments, which requires that adherents be honest, to not covet, to not kill, and the like. (Bible: Exodus 20) With rules one encounters almost immediately what has come to be known as ‘the conflict problem’. In a case where the application of different rules produces different conclusions, which rule takes priority? Additionally, we encounter what might be called ‘the exception problem’ - the rule may say, for example, that you must not kill - but what if this is the only possible result of defending oneself? But more significantly, morality doesn’t seem to simply be a matter of following the rules. “If right action were determined by rules that any clever adolescent could apply correctly, howcould this be so? Why are there not moral whiz-kids, the way there are mathematical (or quasi-mathematical) whiz-kids?” (Hursthouse, 1998)Categorical ImperativeFor Kant, morality poses the question of what would constitute a duty to act. This is found in the bases of Kantian morality autonomy and freedom. It is only through autonomy and freedom that we have the possibility of making moral choices. As we would say today, “ought implies can”. The morality of making a choice entails the possibility of making a choice. (Kant, 1956) So morality applies to any rational being, and the nature of morality can be known through reason (indeed, it is this very fact that makes morality possible at all). There are several elements to Kantian ethics; one of the most significant is the categorical imperative. In a nutshell, this is the principle that we must act in a way that we would imagine the action being a universal law. This is not the principle your mother appeals to when she says “what if everybody did that?” Rather, it’s the idea that you would will people to act in such a way because such actions are inherently good. (Kant, 1998) What sort of actions could be universalized in such a way. Many typical actions, those based merely in our own pleasures, where we use other people as a means to an end, would not qualify. The only consistent universal principle of morality imposes on us the duty to treat people as ends in themselves, rather than as a means to an end.UtilitarianismUtilitarianism is sometimes known as ‘the happiness principle’. The simplest statement of utilitarianism is that something is morally good according to whether it produces pleasure and avoids pain. In a society, a morally good action is that which produces the greatest good for the greatest number. (J.,S.Mill, 1957) Utilitarianism is therefore an important statement of ethical consequentialism, that is, the idea that the effect of one’s actions are relevant to ethical appraisal. It is worth noting that utilitarianism is concerned with the goodness of an act, as opposed to the Kantian concept of duty to act. With utilitarianism come several immediate objections. (Smart & amp; Williams, 1973) For one, there is the concern that utilitarianism caters to our lowest desires; for example, in hedonism we find the ethic of personal pleasure. Another is there is the question of how consequences may be measured (the unit of measurement sometimes derisively called a ‘hedon’). Indeed, we might not be able to know, or to calculate in time, the ‘unintended consequences’ of an action. Many of these objections are answered by John Stuart Mill. The cultivation of taste, he writes, leads one to enjoy the ‘higher pleasures’. Better to be a discontented man than a contented sheep. As well, we need not evaluate each act individually. We may distinguish between ‘act utilitarianism’, which looks at the consequences of individual acts, and ‘rule utilitarianism’, which looks at the consequences of types of behaviour generally. But a final critique of utilitarianism is that it is cold and unfeeling. Do the needs of the many genuinely outweigh the needs of the few? If seven billion people could be made to feel slightly better by the life-long torture of one person, is this act morally permissible? Intuitively this seems wrong, though a utilitarian calculation might say otherwise. EgoismAnother form of consequentialism, Egoism is the philosophy that one is required only to act in their own self-interest. This is the philosophy often associated with Ayn Rand under the heading of ‘objectivism’ (Rand, 1970), and though Rand’s arguments in favour are incoherent, reasoned argumentation for egoism is not rare. Egoism can be expressed in different ways. “Psychological egoism asserts that it is impossible for anyone to do anything other than seek his own good. Ethical egoism tells us that a person ought to promote his own interests.” (Mcconnell, 1978) Both of these suggest that whatever the status of ethical theory, it is not really possible for a person to adopt any ethics other than personal self-interest. Egoism forms the foundation of modern economics. As Adam Smith Writes, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages" (Smith, 1937, I.ii.2).Social ContractWhile we usually associate consequentialist theories with the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain, consequentialist theories can identify other goods, for example, justice, fairness, and equality. However these are even more difficult to define and measure than pleasure and plain. An alternative mechanism is required; historically this has been the social contract. The social contract appears first with any significance in modern philosophy, and in particular the work of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Hobbes argues that we willingly cede power to the monarch in order to escape the state of nature in which no rules exist and where, as he says, there are "No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." (Hobbes, 1986) John Locke depicts the contract as a mechanism to defend the rights of citizens against the sovereign, and in particular, to protect their right of property, which they acquire by removing goods from the state of nature and adding their own labour to them. Failing this, writes Locke, the recourse is either legitimate revolution to overthrow the sovereign, or emigration to unoccupied land. (Locke, 1821) “Man is born free,” writes Rousseau at the beginning of the Social Contract, “yet everywhere he is in chains.” Rousseau depicts a ‘state of nature’ quite opposite to Hobbes, where people lived in peace and plenty, and the net effect of society was to constrain this freedom and enslave people to serve the individual will of the master. The objective of the social contract is to ascertain ‘the general will’ expressed by the unanimity of citizens. (Rousseau, 1950) A significant and influential modern version of social contract theory emerges with John Rawl’s A Theory of Justice. Rather than postulate an ethically dubious ‘state of nature’, Rawls proposes that we imagine what sort of contract we would negotiate with each other if we were not aware of where we would be in society. What results, he argues, is a theory of “justice as fairness” (which doesn’t sound remarkably different than Plato’s version, “to everyone his due.” (Rawls, 1971)MetaEthicsThe study of meta-ethics is the study of what grounds an ethical argument. To some degree this discussion is already present in the range of ethical theories described above (and many writers place the discussion of meta-ethics prior to the list of ethical theories). I have chosen to place it here because, after reflection on the different theories, it is relevant to ask about the bases or grounds for one approach or another. For example, as we consider these different theories, we see that even what counts as ethical can vary from one viewpoint to another. Some see it as a form of excellence in individuals, others see it as defined in terms of duties and responsibilities, still others characterize ethics in terms of good and bad or right and wrong, while others see ethics expressed in terms of value and worth.Does Might Make Right? Suppose Gyges has a ring, says Glaucon in Plato’s Republic, where this ring makes him invisible and hence essentially free of retribution for any act. He can take whatever he wants, lie with anyone he wants, even murder anyone he wants, and there will be no retaliation. Why then would he act in a moral manner at all, no matter how we define morality? (Plato, 2000) Friedrich Nietzsche makes a compelling modern case for this argument. He argues that if a man becomes ‘Superman’ (ubermensch), then whatever he does is by that fact moral. (Nietzsche, 1900) We see echoes of this today in the proclamations of Donald Trump when he observes that the President can’t be in a conflict of interest. (Voskuhl & amp; Melby, 2016) Conversely, if a person must behave ethically because of the power of an authority (whether it is the will of God or the dictates of a King) and is unable to do otherwise, on what grounds would we cann behaving in this manner moral at all? If I am falling, and will kill someone when I land on him, I am powerless to stop or to change direction. Am I still responsible for the man’s death? The relation between power and morality is a complex one. If morality is based on subservience to power, this takes away the element of choice, which seems essential to morality. But if the element of power is removed, what them makes an act moral or immoral?Naturalism There is a long tradition in ethics, often depicted as a variation of rationalism, to the effect that right and wrong are defined by natural law. This can be expressed in different ways. For example, there is the argument that human rights are based in natural law, as evidenced in the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” (Stoner, 2017) There is also an interpretation of naturalism and natural law to the effect that we should behave according to our nature, or (variously) according to our best nature. Thomas Aquinas, for example, places the creation of our nature in the hands of God, which therefore makes behaving according to that nature. (Magee, 1996) Flavours of naturalism can also be found in Taoist and Confucian thought. (Nelson, 2009) But can we deduce moral facts from nature, or even from human nature? David Hume argued famously that one cannot deduce an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’. If it’s the nature of something to do something, there is no right or wrong about it. (Hume, 2003) G.E. Moore called such an inference “The Naturalistic Fallacy.” Specifically, the fallacy is “the assumption that because some quality or combination of qualities invariably and necessarily accompanies the quality of goodness, or is invariably and necessarily accompanied by it, or both, this quality or combination of qualities is identical with goodness.” (Moore, 1903) There is, after all, no means of determining which natural properties are identical (or opposite to) goodness. If flight is not natural, is flight a sin? If violence is natural, is violence ethically acceptable? Moral SentimentPerhaps moral judgement isn’t based on rationality and reason at all. Perhaps it is based on how we feel. This argument as most famously advanced by David Hume against rationalist accounts of morality. For one thing, reason alone cannot persuade us to act - “reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions,” he writes. (Hume, 1739, II.3.3) “Truth is disputable; not taste: What exists in the nature of things is the standard of our judgment; what each man feels within himself is the standard of sentiment.” (Hume, 1751, 1.5) The nature of ethical dilemmas arises from the subjective experiences of moral disagreement we have in ordinary life, writes C.L. Stevenson. (1937) These can be differences of belief or disagreements of attitude. In the case of the latter, people agree on the state of affairs in question, but interpret them very differently. Take ‘desire’, for example: we might agree objectively that something is ‘capable’ of being desired, ‘worthy’ of being desired, but then there is the entirely separate matter of whether in individual actually does desire it. Consequently, argues Stevenson, moral persuasion may often be non-rational. “It depends on the sheer, direct emotional impact of words—on emotive meaning, rhetorical cadence, apt metaphor, stentorian, stimulating, or pleading tones of voice, dramatic gestures, care in establishing rapport with the hearer or audience, and so on.” Consider, for example, how the impact of some of today’s most significant moral statements is obtained - the repetition of words in King’s “I have a dream” speech, for example. (Boisvert, 2011)RelativismKant argues that morality is based on the categorical imperative, the duty that arises out of universal moral precepts. But what if morality exists only in relation to some purpose, goal or outcome. Then they become hypothetical imperatives. In her paper of the same name, Philippa Foot asks what we are to say to the man who does not care about the ends we would ascribe to the moral man - justice, liberty, etc. (Foot, 1972) If he does care about them, it is because he values them as an end, not because he must (in absolute sense) ought to care. Care ethics is a type of morality that can be understood as a hypothetical imperative. Drawn from feminist theory, which stresses nurturing and relationships, “care ethics affirms the importance of caring motivation, emotion and the body in moral deliberation, as well as reasoning from particulars.” (IEP, 2017) What’s significant about care ethics is that it addresses not only motivations and actions, but also attitudes and motivations. (Held, 2006) A final question concerning relativism is whether it is feasible. While some argue there can be no compromise on ethical principle, relativists will generally hold that different perspectives can (to a certain degree) be compatible with each other. For example, in a society some people may subscribe to care ethics, but it does not follow that all people must entertain the same attitudes and motivations.In economics we have the concept of “incentive compatibility”, which expresses a similar idea, where people may have different interests, provided they are consistent with the principles of exchange adopted by the group. (Myerson, 2009) Thomistic Philosophy - the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.Aristotle, and W. D. Ross. The Nichomachean Ethics. London: Oxford UP, 1959. Print."BibleGateway." Exodus 20 - - Bible Gateway. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.Boisvert, Daniel R. "Charles Leslie Stevenson." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 15 Apr. 2011. 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Print.Hume, David, and Tom L. Beauchamp. An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals: A Critical Edition. Oxford: Clarendon, 2003. Print.Hursthouse, Rosalind. "Normative Virtue Ethics." How Should One Live? (1998): 19-36. Print.Hursthouse, Rosalind. "Virtue Ethics." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 18 July 2003. Web. 17 Jan. 2017.Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Practical Reason. New York: Liberal Arts, 1956. Print.Kant, Immanuel, and Mary J. Gregor. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge UP, 1998. Print.Locke, John. Two Treatises on Government. London: Printed for R. Butler, 1821. Print.McBride, Kelly. "The New Ethics of Journalism: About This Blog." Poynter. Poynter, 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.McBride, Kelly, and Tom Rosenstiel. The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2014. Print.Mcconnell, Terrance C. "The Argument from Psychological Egoism to Ethical Egoism." Australasian Journal of Philosophy 56.1 (1978): 41-47. Print.Mill, John Stuart, and Oskar Piest. Utilitarianism. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1957. Print.Moore, G. E. Principia Ethica. Cambridge: At the UP, 1903. Print.Myerson, Roger B. "Fundamental Theory of Institutions: A Lecture in Honor of Leo Hurwicz." Review of Economic Design 13.1-2 (2009): 59-75. Print.Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, and Thomas Common. Thus Spake Zarathustra. New York: Modern Library, 1900. Print.Plato, G. R. F. Ferrari, and Tom Griffith. The Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. Print.Rand, Ayn, and Nathaniel Branden. The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism. New York: Signet/New American Library, 1970. Print.Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, and G. D. H. Cole. The Social Contract: And Discourses. New York: E.P. Dutton and, 1950. Print.Smart, J. J. C., and Bernard Williams. Utilitarianism; for and against. Cambridge: U, 1973. Print."Statement on Professional Ethics." Statement on Professional Ethics | AAUP. Web. 20 Jan. 2017.Stevenson, Charles Leslie. "Ii—The Emotive Meaning Of Ethical Terms." Mind XLVI.181 (1937): 14-31. Print.Voskuhl, John, and Caleb Melby. "Trump Says 'Can't Have a Conflict of Interest' as President." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 22 Nov. 2016. Web. 17 Jan. 2017. [Link] [Comment]

Categories: Miscellaneous

Call for Diversity in Ed Tech Design

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 19:00


Jade E. Davis, DML Central, Feb 06, 2017

Part of the problem with e-learning technology is that it is designed with the wrong consumer in mind. Designers picture the typical online student as a stereotypical college student with deep pockets attending a traditional midwestern university studying the liberal arts. Real students, though, aren't like that - especially those served by e-learning. They're not studying full time, they don't live on campus, they have jobs and expenses, and they have a pretty good idea why they're taking classes and what they want to do.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

HEBOCON World Championship 2016

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 19:00


YouTube, Feb 06, 2017

As usual, the essence of understanding technology can be found in understanding what makes for bad technology. "Hebocon is a robot contest for the technically ungifted. "The word Heboi in Japanese means 'crappy,' 'unperfected,' 'poor in quality,' or 'poor in ability.' 'Hebocon, the robot contest for dummies,' is a robot battle contest for Heboi robots made by Heboi people. All the entrants are people who neither have the technical expertise, determination, nor the focus it takes to build an actual robot. " "Entrants will need compromise and surrender, instead of ideas and technical skill. Robots are penalized for having high-tech features." (Metafilter, 2014) The first Hebocon. A bit from IEEE Spectrum. I thin k technology conferences should have mandatory contests to design the worst possible actually functioning technology. And the winner should have to apologize.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Is It OK to Punch Nazis? Here’s What Philosophers (Including Slavoj Žižek) and Ethicists Have to Say

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 02/06/2017 - 19:00


Dan Colman, Open Culture, Feb 06, 2017

I'm happy to say that the philosophers are lining up on the correct side of this discussion. "No, you do not get to punch people even though they’ re ideologically despicable." Let's remember that. For more on ethics, you might want to read my recent post, An Ethics Primer.

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