The Internet as the Great Truth-seeking Machine

rashomon Rashomon

After I watched the movie Argo, I had a one of those Rashomon moments, a realization that there is more to the story than was related to you. You may recall Rashomon (1950) introduced the master movie director Akira Kurosawa to the wider world. Set in medieval Japan, it is the story of the rape of a woman and subsequent mutually inconsistent accounts told about the incident by various eye-witnesses. According to Kurosawa, there are no particular truths, no definitive version of what actually happened at a particular time and place. What is recalled and later told depends on the observer and the particular vantage point.
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Learning from the web: The Sagan Series

I can never stop marveling at the wonder that the great big classroom in the skies, the WWW, is. Take a bunch of computers, link them up with high speed communications link, create standards and protocols, and let people do what they feel like doing with it — then watch as magic happens. Sure a lot of serious stuff happens on the web — from commerce to scientific research — but I think that the more interesting thing is that it allows people to play. It is the world’s biggest playground.
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Visual Perception Lessons

Our brains create the what we observe the world to be. A pretty awesome set of lessons on visual perception from the Mind Lab. Start with “Lesson 1: Illusion of an Uninterrupted World” by clicking on the thumbnail picture. The second lesson is on “Constructing a 3-D World from 2-D Images.” The next lesson is “Visual Interpretation of the Physical World.” And finally, “Perception beyond Sensory Input.” The web is amazing. There’s so much out there to learn. Have a fun weekend.

Hans Rosling: The Magic Washing Machine

Dear old Hans Rosling can always be depended upon to teach while making the lesson interesting and fun. I am confident that one day everyone will realize what an amazing machine the world wide web is and how it can be the answer to our educational problems. But for now, sit back, and watch this amazing man do what he does best — lift the veil of ignorance and reveal a little bit of what lies beneath. And most of all, remind us to mind the gap. The video is below the fold:
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European History Interactive Map

The web is amazing. It is the largest smorgasbord of stuff for the brain ever imaginable. I have to admit that I spend inordinate amounts of time just learning stuff from surfing the web. It is worth reminding ourselves that the world has changed qualitatively. Used to be that information was a scarce resource. That was then. This is now. Now you have a virtually limitless supply of great information. Now the truly scarce resource is time. Anyway, go take a look at . . .
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Links are good: David Weinberger

You never thought of the web reflecting the morality that permeates human behavior, did you? I did not. I just read a fine article on the topic. The article title by David Weinberger, “The Morality of Links“, is a tad disturbing to me because it smacks of anthropomorphism but the article is a delight to read. The article is from a collection in the book, “The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age“, Joseph Turow and Lokman Tsui, editors.

Weinberger starts off with the simple declaration “Links are good” and then goes deep into what makes us human. Here are a few excerpts, for the record.
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