machine learning

New Years resolution to post more often.

Recently, Jaap Bosman posted on learning machines and Lisa Lane responded: 

“Could we please consider for a moment that there’s supposed to be a difference between what’s learned in college and the workplace?”

This is a very good question–in other words, I thought it might a very obvious “well of course” kind of answer that would please my ever-curious college student brain and triggers a shrug from my worker brain. The problem for me is the two domains are really hard to isolate as individual sources of skills. Nor am I clear of the purpose of thinking one way or another if the end result resolves the problem.

That’s a simplification but it does bring up the idea (to me anyway) of there being something  that acts as a limit on thinking?
>Or preferences one “type” of thinking over another?
>And is thinking in different ways something we learn?
>Do we learn to approach a problem from different angles or to apply wider ranges of possibility in a strategic way as a result of learning in a “way” that differs from from straight perceptual observation?
>And since it’s important to bring up the idea of social class when discussing higher education, can we think about an individual’s permitting themselves to think in certain domains? This permission thing is also appropriate when thinking about Machine MOOCs (as Jaap refers to them) because they are being looked at as educational alternatives in emerging economies where being poor is a place in the social order that being educated won’t change.

Apologies for this jumping around a bit. My resolution for the coming year is to try and be settled with the damage I’ve sustained over the last few illnesses. I’m scattered, it’s the way I am.

Happy New Year and Happy birthday to John Mack!

From “Light” by M. John Harrison:
“This reminded Ed of something he had been meaning to ask. ‘Hey,’ he said. ‘What planet am I on?’
Vesicle stared at him.
‘ Come on,’  Ed said. ‘Be fair. Anyone can have a problem with that.’ “

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  • Carolyn Jones  On January 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Just you stay on this planet and continue making your insightful comments Scott. It’s quite difficult to change society dramatically in one lifetime – but we sure can go on nudging it!

    Take good care of yourself.

    Carrie 🙂

    • scottx5  On January 1, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Very good video on the bear. Manning park is nicer in the summer without the bears:-) Or film crews from Vancouver. Further north where we are the bears sleep the the winter.

      Like the idea of being on a different planet. It makes it easier to tolerate the silliness around here. My new project in civic involvement is help push the construction of a railroad crossing in town. The rail line splits the town in half and the two regular crossings are a long walk for students at the college to manage. Especially like today when it’s minus 22C and the sidewalks have been minimally shoveled. Try pushing a stroller, a wheelchair or walking your 3-year-old to the grocery for the 6 months of snow we get here. Sounds odd but this simple project is a big deal here.

      How are things with you two?

      • Carolyn Jones  On January 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        All is well here. I thought you might be quite familiar with bear country. Many areas in the UK are grappling with severe flooding but fortunately we are OK where we live. I can’t imagine living with 6 months of snow in such sub zero temperatures. Derwyn had a cataract operation the day before Christmas Eve and is making good progress with it – except his eyes are currently out of balance with each other which is taking a lot of getting used to. However, his friends can no longer call him ‘Cyclops’ on the golf course and he is practising hard to achieve perfection in his golf swing after which time he tells me he will quit the game altogether – I am not daft enough to believe that day will ever come!
        I’m looking around for another technology enhanced learning type of course to keep me out of trouble in the New Year. It’s the one way we have of keeping up to speed with new technologies and it has expanded our world greatly.
        Every good wish to you, your wife and family for a very happy New Year.
        Kind regards,


      • scottx5  On January 4, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        It is possible to golf here. White balls get lost in the snow and depending on the ice conditions one strong putt will get you to the green–or long past it. Courses are generally closed below minus 25 as the ball can shatter and cause eye damage. Not some Derwyn might appreciate.
        Not sure what technology to follow. I have Photoshop and find it too complicated or maybe too complete? I like things that have immediate and apparent limitations that a person can fight with to come up with odd approximations of what they meant to do. Have an older Bamboo graphic pen set that was never set up. I like sketching and that could be a nice pastime.
        I think POTCERT is going to become more technical in the second half. #rhizome14 and #deeplearning14 (?) are starting at P2PUniversity. These are focused on learning and strategies for technology to enhance learning. The core is still what the student needs to be a effective human.
        What kind of tool would you think might keep you in the loop? For me it’s contact and self-expression that reaches other people and then their voices, like yours and Derwin’s coming back to me. We spent a lot of time with teachers looking at tools and trying to imagine uses for them in the class. What use or need do you have that could be done with technology? Not necessarily better or faster but something you are already doing that might be interesting to change the way it’s done by using technology. Maybe adapting something to a different format can use skills you hadn’t noticed you already have?
        My interest in digital drawing comes from making birthday cards for everyone that I stopped doing years ago. I liked doing them and the supplies were put away and the interest became feeling bad about not doing them. Spending time on the computer anyway it seems silly not to include partly done birthday cards “put away” on a memory stick to work on when I have a moment. Plus we have a print shop in town that does wonderful work for very cheap so I can mail the cards keeping the hand made feel.
        Let me know what technology you decide to learn.

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