Thursday, May 24, 2007

So the US worries about China's military capacity and intentions

It's sabre rattling time again -- these little rattles are discernible from time to time. The US Defense Secretary expresses concern about the increasing sophistication of China's alleged weapony (mass destruction capabilities, perhaps?) and calls, if you please, on Beijing "to be more open about its intentions".

Let us all hope that Beijing is not as open about its intentions as Pentagonville and CIAlandia are about theirs, eh? Fingers crossed everyone?

I remember reading that renowned political commentator, Sir Mick Jagger, saying in an interview a couple of years or more back that anyone who thought Iraq was mainly abount oil rather than the shifting geopolitical centre of gravity had rocks in their head -- or words to that effect. My money was on Mick then, and I lay just a little more out each time I hear the sabres rattling in Washington.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

McDictionary definitions: Redefining McJobs

A great story is just out on British business leaders getting behind McDonald's campaign to have the definition of the word "McJobs" changed in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The story,British business leaders want to flip 'McJob' definition,reports that the business buddies reject the current definition on the grounds that it is "out of touch with reality" and insults "those hard-working, talented and committed people who serve the public every day in the UK".

The OED currently defines "McJob" as "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector". The proposed change would define "McJob" as "a job that is stimulating, rewarding and offers genuine opportunities for career progression and skills that last a lifetime."

I'm loving it.

Second life as machinima affinity space: Tale from Midnight City

It seems like the potential of Second Life as an engine for making machinima has fast become an open secret. Just following the links from here led me very quickly to some very interesting work and ideas. The trek affirmed for me, as if it needed affirming, the worth of Jim Gee's concept of affinity spaces as resources for learning and situated contexts of learning. I love the way Torley encapsulates tacit constructive critique, technical expertise, and a response to earlier feedback in a single brief comment on the movie: "BTW, I find I often have to add a touch extra contrast and saturation to a video encode before I upload it to YouTube." Of course, in the spirit of affinity, the comment follows immediately upon saying "THIS ROCKS!!!! Great testament to the achievement of SL machinima used for less-than-funny purposes."

How much good pedagogy do we find *there*?!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Crowd sourcing against perpetual copyright

Cory Doctorow has posted on BoingBoing about a current initiative by Lawrence Lessig to crowdsource contributions to rebutting an op ed editorial in the New York Times, which argues that copyrights, like physical property, should last forever. Within hours of Lessig establishing a wiki to generate "collective authorship of a thoroughgoing rebuttal" of the editorial, the process was well underway. Doctorow applauds the work done to date and encourages the rest of us "to go help make it better".

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Red vs Blue

Today surely goes down as a classic in the Mindsets Wars, speaking truth to John Perry Barlow's mid 90s claim about cyberspace immigrants just not getting it.

The initial story has broken a meme of outstanding proportions, even if the whole code exposure is more of an "in principle" than a readily usable digital coup d'etat.

Hacker humour has got to be today's big winner. The tee shirts are for sale on eBay before the new sun dawns. Cory Doctorow is smiling encouragingly. Publish the code, he says, then when you get a "cease and desist" just scan it and post *that*.

Michele gets invited to join a Facebook group whose name is "the code"

And one of our all time favourite memes gets a side-splittingly funny outing as

Not to put too fine a point upon it, you have to love it.

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