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Todd Suomela

Is Ours the Best World Ever? | Commonweal Magazine - 0 views

  • Pinker also refuses to engage seriously with the major philosophical critics of the Enlightenment such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, and Foucault. He offers a ludicrous summary of their thought, claiming that they “are morose cultural pessimists who declare that modernity is odious, all statements are paradoxical, works of art are tools of oppression, liberal democracy is the same as fascism, and Western civilization is circling the drain.” The first and last statements are just crude ways of saying that they raise serious questions about the Enlightenment, which, given their influence over many years, should make them essential targets for Pinker. In fact, except for perhaps Heidegger, all of them are best seen as Enlightenment thinkers, extending its critical project to some of the Enlightenment’s own intellectual weaknesses. Moreover, none of them would assert that all statements are paradoxical or that works of art are tools of oppression; and only Heidegger might be inclined to equate fascism with liberal democracy. But even if these crude slogans were acceptable summaries of these thinkers’ conclusions, rejecting those conclusions would require careful consideration of their detailed analyses and arguments.
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    Review, written by Gary Gutting, of Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker.
Todd Suomela

"We do software so that you can do education": The curious case of MOOC platforms - Wor... - 0 views

  • edX’s case illustrates one mechanism through which this happens: the construction of organizational roles. Consider the separation of software and pedagogy within the edX ecosystem. As edX expanded its slate of partners, its first clients and patrons, MIT and Harvard, saw a decline in their own ability to set the agenda and control the direction of the software. These “users” argue that the software has an implicit theory of pedagogy embedded in it, and that, as experts on pedagogy, they should have more of a say in shaping the software. While acknowledging this, edX’s architects counter that they—and not the Harvard-MIT folks—should have the final say on prioritizing which features to build, not only because they understand the software the best, but also because they see themselves as best placed to understand which features might benefit the whole eco-system rather than just particular players. The standard template in the education technology industry is that the technology experts are only supposed to “implement” what the pedagogy experts ask. What is arguably new about the edX platform framework is that the software is prior to, and thereby more constitutive of, the pedagogy.
Todd Suomela

Big data: are we making a big mistake? - 0 views

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    Very good description of the problems that big data claims to solve, but may not actually solve.
jatolbert

Editorial: Digital Engagements; Or, the Virtual Gets Real | Public - 0 views

    • jatolbert
       
      Tired of this. Nobody has explained why iterative failures are desirable. If someone other than the parties involved learned from these processes, maybe I could accept their worth; but I'm not convinced that anyone does.
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