Category Archives: General

tufte, illusions, trump

Tufte writes about attention and misdirection.

To create illusions is to engage in disinformation design….

In conjuring, strategies of disguise and attention control work to regulate the optical information available to the spectator. As we have seen for the backpalm and the copper-silver coin exchange, a common technique is to disguise smaller motions by means of larger motions; the fingers craftily manipulate while the hand grandly waves. The attention-attracting but resolution-reducing character of motion is described by Henning Nelms:

“Although movement attracts attention, it also diminishes visibility. When a thread is used to support a light object, it can be seen from a surprising distance even when its color matches the background. However, the slightest movement makes it disappear. A large movement can be used to conceal a small one. For example, the weak spot in The Strong Man’s Secret [a trick based on a cut-and-restored storing] is the action of cutting the loop. The technique . . . can be made more deceptive if you keep the knife still and force the string against it by a sudden movement of the left hand. . . . The large movement of the left hand and the string draws every eye away from the kmf’e so that no one can observe the unnatural way in which the string is cut.”

And in detective stories, the small clue that solves the mystery may be similarly disguised: “It is Agatha Christie, too, who regularly contrives that just as the clue is dropped a distracting m‘cident occurs. Here we are close to the art of the stage conjurer.” As well as close to the arts of propaganda, strategic Intelligence, and politics — although for magic, at least, the targets of the deception are aware and pleased that they are being deceived. Tufte, Visual Explanations, 64.

fedwiki proposal to opened15

March’s Teaching Machine Happening led to some Hangouts and discussions with Mike C, Ward and a small group of participants. Encouraging. Those discussions led me to submitting a proposal to the OpenEd Conference, 2015. With mine , I’m following Mike Caulfield’s lead, but focusing on composing strategies. Alyson Indrunas also submitted, more on the lines of assessment.

Writing Strategies in a Federated Wiki Class

A commonplace in writing instruction says that the tool changes the process in noteworthy ways. Users have to learn how to operate the new writing tool. But they also have to adapt and devise writing strategies to suit the affordances and constraints of the tool as well as the social interactions the new tool creates. Users of the first wikis developed ThreadMode and DocumentMode as one strategy for organizing their collective work. Federated Wiki, now in development, makes similar demands on users to adapt and develop strategies for collective writing.

This presentation takes a first look at some of the writing strategies participants used in the Teaching Machines Happening. The aim is to get a sense of the issues for teaching new and alternative strategies for collective composing this new writing space.

Abstract: A first look at writing strategies in FedWiki.

I made it simple, with an eye to keeping the pretension down. And although I submitted it as a standard presentation (25 mins), I’m hoping that they’ll schedule it with Mike’s presentation.

Update 18 May 2015. My proposal wasn’t accepted, but I’m assuming Mike’s was and will still be attending in November. 

goal area 13: sense of humor

I was digging around in the Lib Ed area of the BSU website this morning, when I saw a sidebar to their FAQ with a curious question.

Lib ed faq

My first sense was, “Who’s having who on?” The question is patently a joke. Maybe it was asked tongue in cheek, but even if it wasn’t, it stands as a joke, a ribbing of the university’s pretensions. Like the We the People petition for the US to finance the construction of a Death Star. I decided to read more to see if we rose to the challenge. Does Lib Ed have a sense of humor?

Im a liberalI suppose that’s a fair if condescending attempt at explaining the distinction. But sadly it’s clear Lib Ed lacks a sense of humor. The last paragraph, in fact, makes damn sure the question is never asked again. It deserves repeating.

If you do not understand (well enough to explain) what the terms “liberal” and “conservative” mean as applied to politics, you are at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to participating in the civic and political life and conversation of your country. Liberal education can help here.

Ten minutes on the naughty step for you, Mr Sarcasm.


re-opening rhetorical exchange for learning in a social network

Post by M C Morgan: via google+

Edited from a Google+ post.

M C Morgan –  8:49 AM (edited 8:59 AM) –  Public

More on social analytics in the link below. 

Interesting to see an interest in discourse coming back. Did a dissertation on that back in 1996: Student Rhetorical Practices in E-Mail Conferences. There’s an html version of it around somewhere. Summary: Students don’t have the rhetorical chops to get a pedagogical useful conversation going or to maintain it for long if they do get it going. There: That saved you a 3-hr read.

It might be time to re-investigate rhetorical interaction again, now that dialogue theory has moved on, now that social web is providing a new set of affordances, now that a generation has had the time (since my 1996 sample) to grow up with the affordances. Hypothesis: Students can’t get a pedagogically valuable exchange going without teacher intervention, but do know how to use the affordances. That is, the tools have developed, but the values and rhetorical practices of the student social circle haven’t.

March 2nd, 2011Discourse-centric learning analytics. Posted by Simon Buckingham Shum in Talks/Articles. Here in Banff, we’re wrapping up the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics &amp…
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a sunday update

Still a couple of feed issues to work out, but things are looking almost ready for Weblogs and Wikis.

Update: Happy with mosts of what’s happening.

en3177 friday update

Can’t get more frustrating.  Syndication is working, but i can’t get the bugger to filter, and I’m not sure how syndication via Google Alerts is working. Google Alerts seems to not be finding a lot of the course-related posts I send out. So, two more posts: this one, specifying a category, and so being syndicated, and a second one without a category – which I hope will be filtered.

Update: I set the category to what I wanted. The post should now appear. If it doesn’t, check the category number. I have used two categories.