22 Mar 2010

Learning curves, redux

March 22, 2010 506, assignments Comments Off

I was 18 the first time I wanted someone, and I mean really wanted someone, felt-like-I’d-been-drugged wanted someone, why-are-my-hands-shaking wanted someone, sorry-I-missed-that-what-are-we-talking-about-again wanted someone.

I don’t remember what it was we were doing in that meeting, but I remember the immediate struggle it became to even try to pay attention once he walked in.

Ten years later, I can still tell it’s him when he walks up behind me in a restaurant by the way my brain suddenly checks out.

[More]

22 Feb 2010

Learning curves

February 22, 2010 506, assignments Comments Off

I was 18 the first time I wanted someone, and I mean really wanted someone, felt-like-I’d-been-drugged wanted someone, why-are-my-hands-shaking wanted someone, sorry-I-missed-that-what-are-we-talking-about-again wanted someone.

[More]

8 Feb 2010

Arf You

February 8, 2010 506, assignments Comments Off

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.

Unless, of course, you bark.

"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

[More]

1 Feb 2010

Why hello, navel.

February 1, 2010 506, assignments Comments Off

I read Catcher in the Rye when I was 13. It’s a good time to read it, especially when you’re a prickly, precocious kid with a bone to pick with the world.

I read Catcher in the Rye again when I was 23. I was too old for Holden; I wanted to slap that whiner across the face with his stupid hat.

Holden Caulfield, cultural icon. Metaphor for disaffected American youth. J.D. Salinger, the writer who withdrew to write, many imply selfishly, for himself.

[More]

2 Dec 2009

“Do not dream of influencing other people … think of things in themselves.”*

December 2, 2009 501A, assignments, responses Comments Off

So the language in Neil Gershenfeld’s Fab bothered me a little bit. Particularly this section on page 6:

“The overwhelming interest was from students with relatively little technical expertise was only the first surprise. The next was the reason why they wanted to take the class. Virtually no one was doing this for research. Instead, they were motivated by the desire to make things they’d always wanted, but that didn’t exist … their inspiration wasn’t professional; it was personal … Starting out with skills more stuited to arts and crafts than advanced engineering, they routinely and single-handedly managed to design and building complete functioning systems.”

And again on page seven: “The learning process was driven by the demand for, rather than the supply of, knowledge. Once students mastered a new capability … they had a near-evangelical interest in showing others how to use it. As students needed new skills for they projects they would learn them from their peers and then in turn pass them on.”

Well, ain’t that all so very, very surprising, Mr. Gershenfeld.

[More]