[Olpc-open] Discussion

Ed Montgomery edm at rocketmail.com
Tue Dec 11 23:25:07 EST 2007

>   "Toward a Theory of Instruction" is good one.
  Is it available, free online? I'm not anywhere near
a large academic English language library...
>   If you dig in, I can assure that you *will* find
> how much he has
> done for the betterment of society and people.
  Oh, I *will*, will I?  Perhaps I will not. Perhaps I
will find detrement instead.  Who knows until AFTER I
read it and comment, etc.?  It would be more accurate,
etc. to say that YOU found whatever...
>   I'm talking about more fundamental stuff like the
> reasons why we
> have "icons" on screen, etc.  Nothing subjective,
> nothing to do with
> the choices of Win/Mac/X.
  And I'm talking about even more fundamental than
icons, etc.  And I would argue that icons are VERY
subjective, etc., just as much as written language.

>   And, if you want to talk about the voice
> interface?  Probably you
> should start from Bruner's books on languages,
> narrative and thinking.
  Are they available to the world free, online, to
anyone or only available to academics, who perhaps
claim to have bettered mankind, etc.?
>   If you think of a computer as merely
> billions/trillions of switches,
> you can't think of its social impact.  Are books
> just papers and
> inkblot?  Are you just arguing for argument's sake?
  And why can't I think of a computer as merely
switches?  When I look at a screen or hear sound
output, etc., I am fully cognizant that they are
bitpatterns, etc.  You are now talking about cognitive
perception, not computers.  You are switching to
discussing psychological impact of graphics, sound,
etc. which can just as easily be displayed in other
ways, and not necessarily via computer, etc.  No, I am
not arguing for argument's sake.  I simply seem to be
thinking quite differently from you! :-)  And to some
people, books are indeed that, simply inkblots on
paper, etc. if they have not been trained how to read,
 i.e. how to interpret the inkblots, etc., so one
could indeed argue that they are just inkblots on
paper to someone who cannot read the inkblots, etc.! 
You just happen to be able to (usually) understand the
inkblots of (some) books in your language(s).  Others
are just inkblots to you.  Just as you give meaning to
the bitpatterns you are currently reading! :-)  (But
both you or I could switch to bitpatterns, inkblots
that only you, I or someone else would associate with
meaning, etc.)  Doesn't have much to do with computers
now, does it?

>   To consider, calling a person flat-earther and
> dismiss what he
> wants to say wouldn't help.
  I heard what she/he said.  And I assessed what
he/she said (idea(s)), and compared it to what I
consider to be a similar level of idea, etc. And I
would say that what HE/SHE said wouldn't help.  Based
on overwhelming evidence, probability of truth, etc.,
I stand on the following:  Stating that 'computers are
not good for children' is on the same level of
thinking as that 'the world is flat', given all that
we know about the above two ideas, and therefore are
comparable in considering level of understanding. 
Hence, I personally do not consider it even remotely
worthy of consideration.  Others may differ on
any/some/all of the above points.  Feel free to do so,
but not in an OLPC forum, which has already decided
that 'computers are good for children' and that 'the
world is not flat' (I assume).  Feel free to discuss
the world being flat and computers are not good for
children in a psychology forum, etc., whatever.

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