[Olpc-open] Discussion

Yoshiki Ohshima yoshiki at vpri.org
Wed Dec 12 13:08:07 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...

  Amazon.com and Amazon.co.jp seem to have copies.  I wouldn't be too
surprized if big bookstores over there like Kinokuni-ya or Junku-do
have copies.

  Don't you see that I wouldn't suggest a book that is only available
at an "academic library" in this discussion?  (Did you really type in
the title into Google?)

  (Ooh, you might say that Bruner is not a typical academic *precisely
because* he has been making real contribution to the goodness of
society.  An invincible logic...)

> >   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...

  Yeah, perhaps you will not.  But, I thought it is more or less
obvious with even a shallow Google search.  Did you read about MACOS?

> >   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.

  You seem to forget where this paragraph came from.  We were talking
about the influence Bruner had on GUI design, and the fact that he
indeed had influence on GUI is not subjective.

>   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 "free and online" contrasts against "only available to
academics", that is a problem...  You are a teacher, right?

> >   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?

  If you read the above paragraph, you would find that I didn't say
you cannot think of a computer as 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?

  Huh?  And where did the social impact and education part go?

  And, following you wrote here, a computer is just plastic and metal
for some people and then it wouldn't be useful for education, but I
thought that is not what you want to say...

> >   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.

  FWIW, OLPC is also supposed to be based on constructivist theory in
education and that is one thing Bruner contributed.

-- Yoshiki

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