Archive for August, 2006

Quest for the Holy Grail

Regarding COPs, for sure.

Two articles on wikipedia, one from The New Yorker and the other from the Atlantic Online. (Ok, let’s start with a one creator, ten contributor, a hundred listener ratio.)

“There are two hundred thousand registered users on the English-language site, of whom about thirty-three hundred—fewer than two per cent—are responsible for seventy per cent of the work. … There are now nearly a thousand admins on the site. … Wales also appointed an arbitration committee to rule on disputes. Before a case reaches the arbitration committee, it often passes through a mediation committee. Essjay is serving a second term as chair of the mediation committee. He is also an admin, a bureaucrat, and a checkuser, which means that he is one of fourteen Wikipedians authorized to trace I.P. addresses in cases of suspected abuse. … talk pages and “meta pages”—those dealing with coördination and administration—have experienced the greatest growth. … Things work well when a group of people know each other, and things break down when it’s a bunch of random people interacting. … It can still seem as though the user who spends the most time on the site—or who yells the loudest—wins. … At any given time, a couple of hundred entries are semi-protected, which means that a user must register his I.P. address and wait several days before making changes. … Larry Sanger proposes a fine distinction between knowledge that is useful and knowledge that is reliable, and there is no question that Wikipedia beats every other source when it comes to breadth, efficiency, and accessibility. … Wikipedia is a combination of manifesto and reference work. Peer review, the mainstream media, and government agencies have landed us in a ditch. Not only are we impatient with the authorities but we are in a mood to talk back. Wikipedia offers endless opportunities for self-expression.” (The New Yorker)

The Atlantic Online contains some interesting tables.

Regarding the 15 fastest-growing foreign-language wikipedias I’d like to point out to two things:
– 9 out of 15 of the listed languages are ‘small’,
– 3 out of 15 of the listed languages are in the top 15 spoken languages (Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi/Urdu, Bengali, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Wu Chinese, Punjabi, Javanese, Korean, French are not in the list).

Regarding the 20 most-edited articles:
– 8 is about a person (4 political/historical, 2 religious, 2 popstar),
– 4 are events,
– 4 are religious,
– the second most edited article is ‘Wikipedia’ itself.


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Clashin’ on the ‘new teacher’

Peter Wood is an idealist: “In a globalised world, mediocre teaching is doomed.

Stephen Downes is an idealist: “If anything, online learning heralds the age of mediocre teaching, because it will herald an age when almost everybody is a teacher.

Yes, I’m also an idealist: “Hm. Living in an Eastern European country where the quality of education dropped horrendously in the last 15 years leaving us with an inert body of public education and only the worst candidates going to university to became a teacher what is the solution?

I’m really pro-anarcho syndicalist, but the only practising teacher I’ve seen as a role model for the “new teacher” works in an elite high school.”

I see that right now a teacher in Hungary is someone who graduates as a teacher. Most likely she cannot teach, sorry. What’s the solution?

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Freeware gaming

If you’re a lean back type, check out the short documentary, Freeware Rebellion (Quicktime) on Metanet Software.

If you’re lean forward, play the game n and check out the amazing creations of Kenta Cho.

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More interface

Darkeye sent me this real-time, open source eyetracker.

I also have to remark that Atlas Gloves is a DIY hand gesture interface for Google Earth with open source software and 5-dollar hardware.

Ps: found another one, LiveMove.

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