Archive | Education

Can blogging be academically valuable? Seven reasons for thinking it might be

via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

I have been blogging for nearly five years (hard to believe). In that time, I’ve written over 650 posts on a wide variety of topics: religion, metaethics, applied ethics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of law, technology, epistemology, philosophy of science and so on. Since most of my posts clock-in at around 2,000 words, I’d estimate that I have written over one million words. I also reckon I spend somewhere in the region of 10-15 hours per week working on the blog, sometimes more. The obvious question is: why?

Could it be the popularity? Well, I can’t deny that having a wide readership is part of the attraction, but if that’s reason then I must be doing something wrong. The blog is only “sort of” popular. My google stats suggest that I’ll clear 1,000,000 views in the next month and half (with a current average of 35,000 per month).Read the rest

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Why we love repetition in music

via Brain Pickings:

How and why this happens is precisely what cognitive scientist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas, explores in On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (public library). This illuminating short animation from TED Ed, based on Margulis’s work, explains the psychology of the “mere exposure effect,” which makes things grow sweeter simply as they become familiar — a parallel manifestation of the same psychological phenomenon that causes us to rate familiar statements as more likely to be true than unfamiliar ones.

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Free Radical Media Podcast: Mathematics, Education and True Learning with chycho

via chycho

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks at Free Radical Media to see if I would be willing to be a guest in their fledgeling podcast network. I checked out some of their work and really liked what I found, so I nervously agreed – I’ve never been a guest on a podcast before.

We ended up discussing a myriad of topics focused on mathematics, education, and some of the problems associated with our centralized systems as well as some of the solutions available to us at the moment.

It was a very fun experience and I would like to thank Eric and Patrick for having me as a guest. Below you will find the podcast.

FRM – Mathematics, Education and True Learning with chycho

For those interested in further exploring some of the topics that we discussed, you will find additional information regarding these topics at:

 

 

 

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The Einstellung Effect Proves That a Good Idea Can Be A Very Bad Idea

Chess Set by Dan Zen via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Chess Set by Dan Zen via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Some food for thought.

via io9:

The perfect is the enemy of the good. We know that phrase very well. What the Einstellung Effect proves is the good can be a real enemy of the even better. When we have a solution that’s good, we can’t begin to think about a better one.

The seeming inability to come up with a better solution is called the Einstellung Effect. It’s not the product of simple laziness. Once people see a possible solution in their heads, they have a really tough time approaching the problem from a fresh perspective. Experts become less skilled than novices. At least, that’s what happens some of the time.

Another study found that chess players become less flexible and prone to settle for sub-optimal solutions as they gain expertise. Get above a certain level of expertise, though, and people are less and less prone to fall for the Einstellung Effect.

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The Shamefaced Lanky and Impure in Heart: Thoughts on Kafka

Franz Kafka by MEDIODESCOCIDO via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

Franz Kafka by MEDIODESCOCIDO via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

I’ve been on a Kafka binge as of late. The Metamorphosis is by far my favorite book (yes, even beating The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), so it was high time that I finish The Trial.

In addition to reading the rest of Kafka’s works, I snagged an anthology of his letters, Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors, from the library. You may remember this post, where I shared a letter that Kafka wrote to Selma Kohn.

I came across another, this time to Oskar Pollak, in which Kafka metaphorically explains his tormented relationship with Emil Utz, a former classmate of Kafka’s. Just as a clarifier, Utz is Impure in Heart and Kafka is Shamefaced Lanky.

You’ve read a great deal, but you don’t know the tale of Shamefaced Lanky and Impure in Heart. Because it’s new and is hard to tell.

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The Clash of the Shakespeareans

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I tried to think of a fitting Shakespearean insult that would suit this, but I came up short. I did, however, find this fun Shakespeare Insulter.

via The Guardian:

Shakespeare wasn’t immune to throwing around the odd insult, penning some of the greatest put-downs in the history of the English language.

“Thine face is not worth sunburning”; “Thou art as fat as butter”; “You are as a candle, the better part burnt out”.

But now the Bard himself is at the centre of some distinctly colourful language after academics traded blows over the publication of a Shakespearean journal.

The row erupted when one professor submitted a paper in which he cited evidence that poems and plays attributed to the “man from Stratford” were in fact written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.

The essay – intended for the Italian journal, Memoria di Shakespeare – was said to examine the case for the theory as well as “the conscious and unconscious psychological factors behind the taboo against openly discussing the authorship question”.

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Ritual Magic, Mind Control, and the UFO Phenomenon

crystal forestI’m sort of late to this party, but I’ve just recently become aware of the writings of Adam Gorightly, mainly because he contacted me on Facebook (friend me) and sent me some books. Anyway, I’m going to try and get him in for an interview regarding his most recent work regarding the history of Discordianism, but in perusing his website I found this gem of a rant. Really ties in with my book, The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations which is finally coming out here on September 23rd. Fans of Cosmic Trigger and the Invisibles rejoice. Anywho, I’m sure most Disinfonauts are probably familiar with this material, but it’s always fun to revisit.

It was not long after my own encounter with strange aerial phenomenon that I began to see a link between UFOs to such seemingly disparate topics as psychedelics, psychotronics, and ritual magick. As the years pass, the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) makes far less sense to the observer than other theories ranging from mind control conspiracies or — on the other hand — fissures in the space-time continuum which provide a portal of entry for ghostly apparitions that can be saucer-shaped or even take on the form of Moth-Men, Chupacabras or the Blessed Virgin Mary.… Read the rest

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