Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I thought you might be interested in this article from the NYT on the Dragas-Sullivan shambles at UVA .. the demonstration was the most fun I've had on campus since ... 1974?

I don't think the controversy is over yet.  The trend to "online education" seems counterproductive to me in light of artist Kyle McDonald's covert photographing of people staring at new Apple computers with robotic expressions on their faces.  Perhaps McDonald was just recording the usual facial expressions of people absorbed in what Roland Barthes calls "the dream of reading" ....

(See Guardian article on Kyle McDonald and some of McDonald's other projects are also entertaining, as is this video.) 

As I noted in a comment on Kurzweil AI, even though online education is being ballyhooed just now, perhaps primarily as a cost-saving measure,  probably a great deal of intelligence, including what are possibly the most valuable parts of education, are transferred most efficiently in a human to human interface that allows the student’s mirror neurons an opportunity to learn these intellectual behaviors in a process similar to learning to dance. It seems possible that students won't learn the most important elements of what we might call “the dance of the intellect among facts” just by staring at a computer ... but then, reading books and attending lectures have never been very important to the ill-educated.

Hoping to see you at the Messiah Sing In on Tuesday, December 8, and 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall (not free any more, but not expensive)