[Olpc-open] Earth is flat, center of the universe and computers are useless for kids theories, etc.

Yoshiki Ohshima yoshiki at vpri.org
Wed Dec 5 04:58:44 EST 2007


> How do you define 'good'? :-)  For example, I
> define it as linux, etc.  Others define it as MS. 
> Still others, Mac, etc.  That is another endless vi vs
> emacs war ;-)

  No it isn't.  The software in which kids can open the hood, explore,
and learn is good.  Its UI should invite exploration.  I'm biased on
this regard, but documents like below might give you the idea on that


>  And you are not
> > answering tall897's
> > question either.  Can you, for example, show the
> > proof that learning
> > and practicing reading/writing with a computer is
> > better than without
> > a computer?
> > 
> The evidence is overwhelming and all around us.

  I was trying to help you.  For example, my boss' group did an
expriment with kids in 70's and showed that hyper-linked computerized
documents was more effective than paper.  They have two groups of kids
and tried one method on each.

> But if you really need so-called
> 'academic' studies (which tend to argue meaninglessly,
> endlessly, on both sides of the issue), well, I'll
> choose one on my side and post here, you show your
> article that shows they are NOT useful (I'll be more
> than happy to tear it to shreds, using logic, etc.
> :-))

  Some academics probably gave you that impression, but, you know,
good academics are *very* good.  Many good things we use are based on
the work of these academic studies.  Criticizing whole "academics"
based on an overly generalized statement is a bad idea.

> But I really don't have time to spend trying to
> convince a few flat-earthers that the world is round,
> or that the earth is NOT at the center of the
> universe, etc.  I recommend they do their 'studies' to
> prove the earth is flat, etc., that computers are not
> useful in education, and other delusional theories,
> etc.  Go for it, but I don't want to spend time on
> that.  I want the children to stand on the shoulders
> of the giants who have already built computers, the
> internet, etc., not trample children back down into
> the ground :-)

  Wow.  Calling others "flat-earthers" wouldn't help here at all.

  What if you see some academics showing positive empirical results of
computer use in the classrooms.  If you want to be consistent, you
have to dismiss that research, and label the researcher with some bad
label, too.

> what do you define as "anti-intellectual?!"
> Hardly.  I have a few degrees, but I only admit that
> to help dispell the "anti-intellectual" argument.

  The number of degree doesn't matter.  When you see a disagreement,
you don't try to refute but just put a label on the people. That is
anti-intellectual for sure.

> Socrates as quoted in Lives of Eminent Philosophers
>     * I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

  Exactly!  Because of this philosophy, he never jump to the
conclusions.  He spent time to discuss with people who disagree with
him and showed, say, one is just confined in "ivory tower" only after
doing that.  You do the opposite.  You don't mind labeling people who
disagree with you.  And when asked, your answer was basically "because
I have experience."  That is like the sophistes Socrates criticized.

  After the first 1/3rd of this email, it is irrelevant.  So feel free
to ignore.  But I just didn't want some extreme statements on an olpc
related list unchallenged...

-- Yoshiki

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