Miscellaneous

How big data is unfair

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 10:00
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Moritz Hardt, Medium, Aug 03, 2015

Is justice 'fairness'? Is there a requirement that big data be fair? That is the underlying presumption behind this paper that argues that the needs and interests of minorities are subsumed under the unflinching generalizations of big data. Empirically, I think there's no doubt that Moritz Hardt is right. This is the sort of observation that has spurred philosophers since John Stuart Mill to warn of the "tyranny of the majority". How much does it matter, though? Will it even slow down the adoption of big data? It should - but will it? In medicine, we have the "do no harm" principle to prevent doctors from unthinkingly prescribing stock solutions to special cases. But we have no equivalent in education. We don't really get an answer - and at the very end I see the purpose of the article is not to actually address the issue, but to promote a conference. How disappointing.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Employability and quality of life

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 10:00
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George Siemens, elearnspace, Aug 03, 2015

This is a set of slides on the employability narrative for higher education, which as George Siemens says, is becoming overpowering. "While I certainly agree that work is important," he writes, "I think the framework of 'getting a job' is too limiting for the role that higher education (can and should) play in society." I agree.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Negotiating a New Social Contract for Digital Data

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 10:00


Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 03, 2015

I know my article from yesterday on  what I learned from philosophy can be tough sledding, but seriously, it's a Rosetta Stone for understanding pretty much everything in our field. Consider the present post. The focus is on big data, and yes, that is the topic. But how is it that a new 'social contract' would work with respect to big data? Would we (and by 'we' I mean you and me) ever actually negotiate such a thing? I agree, and probably so does everyone else, that "there is a lot of good stuff that can come from using large data sets, but we need to figure out who gets to decide which uses are beneficial." But how do we get from there to here? It will take more than government transparency, regulations, and self-education.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

One Thing

Stephen Downes' OLDaily - Sun, 08/02/2015 - 18:00


Andrew Nachison, We Media, Aug 02, 2015

Are newsletters making a comeback? As social media becomes less and less useful, maybe people are turning to (as this We Media updates suggests) that 'one thing' that they can rely on to be relevant. I've long since given up making any guarantees :) so I'm quite happy to pass along this notification. Because I do like media. "You can’ t keep up with everything. But you can manage One Thing, the newsletter from Andrew Nachison. No promises on format or frequency. Get it by email." And Doug Belshaw, your survey kept timing out on me, but I think a daily newsletter from you would be welcome too.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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