Five years ago, when our son was born, we wanted to keep notes on his first bilingual, later trilingual, language acquisition. One idea was to do audio records, but the amount of data would have proven quickly to be unmanageable as well as life (read: work) getting into the way. In the end, we kept written notes about the first correct utterance of a word in a few dozen cases. Tonight, I came across at a TED talk by Deb Roy: The birth of a word. His presentation as well as the implementation and findings are nothing short of amazing.
Project Implicit® – taken from the introduction:
It is well known that people don’t always ‘speak their minds’, and it is suspected that people don’t always ‘know their minds’. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology.
This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. [...]
Available in 33 languages – try it.
An article at Mashable “In the Future, the Cost of Education will be Zero” doesn’t bode well for institutes for higher education. Universities are a different matter, as higher education used to be free in Germany and still is in countries like Sweden – also top students in any country. In the long run, costs will naturally decrease, but I don’t see language teachers being replaced by videos anytime soon. Also, lower costs don’t mean the price will fall as well – especially in education, a high price tag signals quality. Many of the courses universities offer though could be replaced by open source and keep down overall costs – readings first and foremost. Also, education could be introduced to a broader spectrum of the population, but then again, a certain mindset is neccessary to watch an MIT Video lecture about Classic Mechanics instead of a mundane Big Brother episode at Youtube.
A commenter argues that “automatization can go only so far” – but logical essays i.e. can’t be evaluated by a machine. Nevertheless, PearsonVue is attempting exactly that with the new Pearson Test of English. If it’s technically feasible, I don’t see a problem evaluating other forms of academic production as well, verbal or written.
Still, I’ve had the opportunity to both experience face2face as well as online courses: The biggest advantage is direct intellectual exchange between students working on a case – not doable with today’s tools. Many textbooks are definitely going to be free in the future, it’s just a long way. Education is certainly going to get cheaper – but as long as teachers need to be paid and class rooms needed for social interaction, institutes for higher education are not going to be able to offer completely free courses.
I’m at a great workshop today and yesterday, “Social Software @ Work” at HHU’s Schloss Mickeln in Duesseldorf. I didn’t have much opportunity to take part in such conferences – something that has to change! Dozens of like-minded people, from companies like BASF, Daimler and Siemens as well as Frauenhof researchers talking about web 2.0. Check out the speakers list and their publications.
Make Money Around Free Content in the Wired How-To Wiki – it partly touches my MBA thesis. How to develop and implement a business model, offering a high-quality service (not content) for free while being paid by a third party.
My WordPress install was borked since version 2.x, I finally got around to revamp the backend, clear out 1001 folders and all that. Oh, and there are 30+ drafts in the pipeline – most of it probably out of date, but we’ll see.
The night was short, the birth great! Our daughter was born today at 14:24 (with 53cm and 3900gr). Both mother and daughter are in good health. I ‘m taking a timeout now, attending to the new family member.
It is an ironic fact, however, that while the Japanese developed a system of sound representation that was almost perfectly suited to their language, they ended up with one of the worst overall systems of writing ever created.
John DeFrancis (1989:138)
The other day, I was looking for add-ons for Thunderbird and found an article about Rapleaf. In short, if you write me an email, the addon shows me which social networks you belong to. Comes in handy, but the database is not big enough.
Google Chrome arrived – the second browser war, if it hadn’t already started with the emergence and success of Firefox, has now officially begun. I think Google Chrome is rather a huge social experiment than a browser – what’s more important, your privacy or the (second) best browser?
Reading CNET’s 10 Things we’d like to see in Google Chrome, I already know what I’d like to see in it but won’t ever be part of the software… a decent Adblocker.
I did it! After reading up on further education, thinking over my decision not to do a doctorate, but an MBA program and coming to the same conclusion once again, I started looking for business schools in the area. There are two local schools, FOM and DBS and a number of distance study programs like the ones from Akad and Open University. The latter was really tempting, but I wanted to sit with other students in one room and work on problems together. Since every student has several years of experience in his work field, the mix of experiences a group can offer is unparalleled and can’t possibly be reached by distance learning. The DBS has an English MBA program as well, but it hasn’t started yet for this year so I’m settling for the German one and might switch later one.
Money is scarce as always, so I applied for a scholarship – and obtained it! The first day of school is today. In the next 19 months, I’ll dive into the world of economics and business administration. See you December 2009.