Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Sunday stroll through the blogosphere

It's raining this morning. I didn't post yesterday because I had to go to Newcastle. By the time I had finished meeting preparation, there was little time left.

I feel uninspired, bogged down in some writing. I know when I don't like doing something; the words won't flow. The malaise then spreads.

As so often happens in these cases, I went for a stroll around the blogosphere looking for inspiration or, at least, distraction.

Darcy Moore is a NSW teacher. In Passion for learning… he begins:

For the first time in 20 years I do not have English classes to teach.

The principal has requested that I am ‘off the timetable’ and work with all students on digital citizenship and creating a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) or, if you prefer, Personal Learning Network (PLN). This is another small step towards creating an environment at our school where student learning is personalised with the internet in mind.

As it happens, I am presently working on something very similar, but in a world far removed from the NSW school system or indeed education. My focus is on work flows in a particular area. How do you create an internet experience that reflects and supports the way people actually work in that area?

It's quite difficult. To do it properly, you have to shift focus from the processes associated with the technology to those associated with work (or education in Darcy's case). This is quite difficult to do. The technology is like a spoilt child; it keeps demanding attention!

Staying with posts or articles featured on Neil's Google Reader, David Robert is right to argue in Renewables or nuclear: maybe we do have to choose that a heavy investment in one solution can actually prevent another. I think that he is also right in his description of the innovation process, experimentation and multiple solutions. As I have argued before, one problem in Australian policy has been the tendency to go for single (and generally unstable) solutions.  

In The other African war we were supposed to stop, Elizabeth Dickinson looks at the conflict in the Ivory Coast. It is very easy to get depressed at the apparently intractable nature of human (really inhuman) conflict. Steven Pinker on how the world has gotten much more peaceful presents an alternative view.

I do love the meanders that blogging takes me to. In Unnoticed Unrest in Turks and Caicos and the Canadian Connection, Martin Lewis refers (among other things) to the suggestion that the Turks and Caicos Islands might become part of Canada. Well, that's something else I dBarMarsellaPicassoidn't know!

Staying loosely with Canada, Christopher Moore's Valley of the Historians drew me to A Casualty Of The Archives: Put Me On Research Injured Reserve, Please. I knew that historical research was a health hazard.

I often refer to Helen Webberley's ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly.  In Barcelona, Hemingway and absinthe, she looks at absinthe and Barcelona's Bar Marsella. 

The reproductions shows Picasso's The Absinth Drinker, 1901, Melville Hall Collection, New York.

For those who are interested, Wikipedia has quite a good article on absinthe.

One of the things that I find interesting is the way in which certain visual images capture a time or period.

They actually become part of our visual architecture, an architecture widely shared among those with common histories or at least cultural links. These images also spread across cultures through exposure.

Painting is especially good at this, more so than photography or other forms of visual expression, although I stand to be challenged on this. I think, for example, that Helen would argue the same for architecture.

It's actually a while since I looked at some of this on this blog. Maybe time to revisit

It's now coming up on 7.50. Its still raining, but I've had a nice wander and got my brain working again. Time to finish.  

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