In Defense of Academic Freedom – Conference Audio – 12 October 2007

October 27, 2007

Great conference audio with some of the worlds leading intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein & John Mearsheimer.

In Defense of Academic Freedom – Conference Audio – 12 October 2007

“The Oct. 12 conference, titled ‘In Defense of Academic Freedom,’ brought together not only Jews and non-Jews, but professors whose ideological differences are so vast they likely agree on little else than the notion that Jewish groups have degraded the quality and breadth of discussion in the media and in Washington.

 

 

Mearsheimer is a proponent of the realist school of international relations, which resists the intrusion of moral considerations into cold calculations of national interest. Chomsky’s belief that American policy in the Middle East is motivated solely by imperialist aggression is greatly informed by the moral consequences of American behavior.

 

 

Nevertheless, they came together around the view that universities are the final redoubts of robust criticism of Israel. Naturally, they added, these institutions are now coming under assault.”

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The once and future university

October 27, 2007

I think this video does a nice job of showing what a museum a university education has become”  Mike Caulfield

Links


Libraries Going Open! Free books for all!

October 27, 2007

This movie was commissioned by Internet Archive for the 2007 Open Content Alliance meeting held on October 17, 2007

Libraries going open!

Project Gutenberg is also worth exploring, many of histories defining texts are avaiable free from the site as their copyright has expired and they’ve entered the public domain.   E.G. Walter Lippmans book Public Opinion that shaped the development of western democracy away from true democracy to control of public thought,

it argues that twentieth century advances in the technology of “the manufacture of consent” amounts to “a revolution” in “the practice of democracy” because this allows the control over public opinion about the world and about the public’s interests in that world. Control of public opinion is a means to controlling public behavior.


The size of the Universe

October 27, 2007

Great video, view from an atom to everything.

 Powers of Ten: The Relative Size of Things in the Universe


The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein

October 7, 2007

“Changing people: Shocking them into obedience”


Banned: Craig Murray inaugural speech – University of Dundee

October 6, 2007

.. see text of his speech below in full – The press office at Dundee University had refused to provide it, place it in the library or put it online.

I’m a big admirer of Craigs work and really enjoyed his views on education and University life.

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Computer literacy better self-taught or schooled?

October 2, 2007

I heard a vice-president of IBM tell an audience of people assembled to redesign the process of teacher certification that in his opinion this country became computer-literate by self-teaching, not through any action of schools. He said 45 million people were comfortable with computers who had learned through dozens of non-systematic strategies, none of them very formal; if schools had pre-empted the right to teach computer use we would be in a horrible mess right now instead of leading the world in this literacy.

Probably most people working in IT learned most of what they know on their own.  Is it possible that creating fixed lessons could damage this enthusiasm?  I remember I was a huge technology geek, but found the Computer Studies standard grade so dull, I didn’t go on to do the Higher.  It was only later I returned to University to Study Computing and got very bored in the first year where compulsory classes explained what a mouse was.  The rest of the article is also very interesting, do we have the PhD because of a lost war?

The Public School Nightmare:
Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?
by John Taylor Gatto
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