Academic Earth and Open Culture

Okay, this is very cool —

You can now get college lecture videos off the web for free.  The primary disadvantage, in comparison to going to college, is that you don’t get to hassle the teachers.

Links here (to Academic Earth) and here (to Open Culture).

The difference seems to be that Open Culture is organized more like a blog, apparently with links to off-site material, while Academic Earth has all their own videos that they put together in-house.

So expect consistency from Academic Earth, and variety from Open Culture.

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm  Comments (1)  
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Taking the Next Step (a Meta-Thought)

We can think of a well-designed procedure as a number of well-designed steps (that are well-put together).

So I was thinking about what we need to include, when we’re designing a step.  And in general, it seems we must do everything that isn’t done, which the following step will require to be done before it can begin.  But additionally we can do anything that we have the resources to do, and that must be done before the end of the process.

So the next step for each of us is to determine what our next step is; isn’t it?

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mill’s Methods (toward insight)

John Stuart Mill is known for his creation of the ethical system of utilitarianism.  The basic idea of utilitarianism is that an action is good (it has utility) to the extent it makes people happy.  There follows a complicated bit of hand-waving whereby happiness is (conceptually) measured and actions are ranked by the predicted amount of happiness they will produce in sum across the population.

What J. S. Mill is not known as well for are his rules for inductive reasoning.  And that’s a shame, because induction is a remarkably important part of the reasoning process, and it’s usually not taught at all, or taught badly. (more…)

Published in: on July 9, 2009 at 11:31 am  Comments (3)  
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