I’m trying to build a jigsaw puzzle. I wish I could show you what it will be, but the picture isn’t on the box. But I can show you some of the pieces that snapped into place this year, and try to share a context for why they mattered so much to me.
Bret Victor discusses scientific thinking and computing from a deeply humane perspective
through the eyes of Douglas Engelbart, Alan key and other great thinkers of our time.
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Jan 7, 2014 -
Teaching Cliteracy 101: "It is a curious dilemma to observe the paradox that on the one hand the female body is the primary metaphor for sexuality, its use saturates advertising, art and the mainstream erotic imaginary. Yet, the clitoris, the true female sexual organ, is virtually invisible."
~ Artist Sophia Wallace
is using street art
and an art exhibition
that incorporates pithy slogans, 'scientific data, historical information as well as references to architecture, porn, pop culture and human rights' to make "the case for the clit"
. (Links throughout this post may be NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 30, 2013 -
Are you enthusiastic ("pertaining to possession by a deity," from Gk. enthousiastikos "inspired," from enthousiazein
) about Etymology? ( ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from O.Fr. et(h)imologie (14c., Mod.Fr. étymologie), from L. etymologia, from Gk. etymologia, properly "study of the true sense (of a word),"
Then why not explore ( 1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back formation from exploration, or else from M.Fr. explorer (16c.), from L. explorare
) the vast resources (1610s, "means of supplying a want or deficiency," from Fr. resourse
) of the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 12, 2012 -
was a titanic "electronic" tea time BBC general knowledge quiz show in the late 1980s, presented by heartthrob Debbie Greenwood
(now a regular on QVC UK) with the aid of a BBC Micro called Eugene. Two teams of teenagers represented their schools as they battled for supremacy playing a random selection of arcade games like skateboarder 720 degrees
, the ultimate prize an Acorn Archimedes
. Now, the nail-biting encounter between Armthorpe School in Sheffield and Montagu School of Kettering is on YouTube [parts 1
posted by feelinglistless
on Jul 11, 2012 -
Tails of the Unexpected:
"Normality has been an accepted wisdom in economics and finance for a century or more. Yet in real-world systems, nothing could be less normal than normality. Tails should not be unexpected, for they are the rule." An eminently human-readable explanation of why normal models fail to describe the uncertainties of our abnormal world. [more inside]
posted by ecmendenhall
on Jun 9, 2012 -
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert
- "McLuhan prefigured the Internet era in a number of surprising ways. As he said in a March 1969 Playboy interview
: 'The computer thus holds out the promise of a technologically engendered state of universal understanding and unity, a state of absorption in the Logos that could knit mankind into one family and create a perpetuity of harmony and peace' ... Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of 'authority', 'authorship', and even 'knowledge' ... Knowledge is growing more broadly and immediately participatory and collaborative by the moment."
posted by kliuless
on May 29, 2011 -
is a general knowledge quiz game. Categories include Art, Astronomy, Food and Drink, Geography, History, Literature, Movies, Politics, Music, Economics, Languages, Sports, Math and more. If you want to try out Knowledge Score without registering, use the "Play as guest" feature.
posted by netbros
on Oct 24, 2009 -
Two articles from The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine about changes in knowledge production and acquisition, The Last Days of the Polymath
by Edward Carr and Is Google Killing General Knowledge?
by Brian Cathcart. The first deals with the implications of increasing specialization in all field of human activity and the second with whether people are not committing facts to memory because they are so easy to look up on the internet.
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 28, 2009 -
The Case for Working With Your Hands.
In the boardrooms of Wall Street and the corridors of Pennsylvania Avenue, I don’t think you’ll see a yellow sign that says “Think Safety!” as you do on job sites and in many repair shops, no doubt because those who sit on the swivel chairs tend to live remote from the consequences of the decisions they make. Why not encourage gifted students to learn a trade, if only in the summers, so that their fingers will be crushed once or twice before they go on to run the country?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot
on May 22, 2009 -
For most of us, science arrives in our lives packaged neatly as fact. But how did it get that way? Science is an active process of observation and investigation. Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know? [HTML version, Flash version also available]
examines that process, revealing the ways in which ideas and information become knowledge and understanding. In this case study in human origins, the folks from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
explore how scientific evidence is being used to shape our current understanding of ourselves: What makes us human—and how did we get this way?
posted by netbros
on Mar 25, 2009 -
is a general-knowledge website, designed for anyone above the age of about twelve with an interest in history. I found the site searching for dance history
, but it includes 400 broad topics with more added all the time. It approaches history as a narrative, making full use of chronology
. This is for the student as well as the researcher. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on May 23, 2008 -
So, you're planning to take a trip around the world, are you? Well, in that case--you'll need to know a couple of things before you leave (in order not to offend the sensibilities of the local population). Let's see--suppose you're making your way through Azerbaijan
for example, and your host happens to be a businessman who is about to embark on a journey to the city: what would you do to give him the appropriate send off? Would you:
- a) Bid him farewell and shake his hand.
- b) Dance in front of him and do a traditional jig that everyone else is doing in order to ward off evil spirits.
- c) Throw a bowl of water in his wake.
Don't know, well, that's okay. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy
on Apr 9, 2008 -
Sushi Science and Hamburger Science: I had always regarded science as universal and believed there are no differences in science at all between countries. But I was wrong. People with different cultures think in different ways, and therefore their science also may well be different. In this essay, I will describe differences I have observed between Western science and Eastern science. Let me start with a parable......
posted by Rumple
on Feb 24, 2008 -
The new age of ignorance.
A panel of well known (UK) scientists and artists are asked some basic questions about science
Except the questions weren't that basic (since when is the Second Law of Thermodynamics
considered basic knowledge?) so the results weren't surprising... although some of the answers were amusing ("The sky is blue because the sea reflects on it.").
The worrying thing is that the questions could have been much simpler ("How many planets are there in the Solar System?") and I suspect the results would have been much the same. Meanwhile, ignorance marches on
posted by bobbyelliott
on Jul 1, 2007 -
On September 9th 2006, 112 of the world's writers, artists, activists, and social entrepeneurs (nominees here
) will gather for a Table of Free Voices
in Berlin, Germany, discussing questions about the important issues of today. Who provides those questions? You.
posted by divabat
on Jul 24, 2006 -
(not the same as OpenCourseWare
). And don't miss LSE
, and Connexions
. Still bored
? Don't forget ResearchChannel
, and Wikiversity
. Do you care for psychology
, or math
? Or maybe you prefer journals
, or podcasts
? Knowledge is useful
posted by foraneagle2
on Feb 23, 2006 -