Tweets from Twits

Some of the things I learned via Twitter this past week:

@snowded – Good, Bad & Ugly on the Wikipedia

Despite the frustrations, experience tells me that in general right wins out in Wikipedia but there are times when it gets downright frustrating. Right finally won out, at least for the moment on British issues when two disruptive editors were proved sock puppets but it took a year! That’s the Good of the title. In comparison two currently unresolved issues show the dangers that are inherent in a system where some editors are better at playing the game that others.

via @KoreenOlbrish Your company culture is a meaningless platitude

The great corporate cultures are a simple mix: a few polarizing decisions or excesses, with a handful of quirks mixed in. Preferably quirks that reinforce the rest of the culture.

Are you illiterate if you don’t know how to program?

In November 2009, nine researchers from MIT’s prestigious Media Lab were among the eleven authors of a paper that espoused the value of programming as an essential skill for all. For those who cannot program in the 21st century, they declared solemnly, “It’s as if they can ‘read’ but not ‘write.’” Is it true: will we be lost without the ability to create code?

via @smitty1966 Roger Ebert’s take on Twitter: should be Twitter’s manifesto for new users.

I vowed I would never become a Twit. Now I have Tweeted nearly 10,000 Tweets. I said Twitter represented the end of civilization. It now represents a part of the civilization I live in. I said it was impossible to think of great writing in terms of 140 characters. I have been humbled by a mother of three in New Delhi. I said I feared I would become addicted. I was correct.


via @minutrition RT @umairh: in the age of strategy, what counted was knowing the terrain. in the age of wisdom, what counts is knowing the soil.

@VMaryAbraham “These guys are some of the smartest in the microsharing room, but I haven’t yet heard the 140-nugget that makes the case.”

@charlesjennings “ROI on social learning? ‘social networks are necessarily loose-edged and impossible to make fully explicit’ (David Weinberger)”

2 Responses to “Tweets from Twits”

  1. Gilbert (Formative Assessment Guy)

    Are you illiterate if you do not know how to program?

    Litteracy is what I called a bundled word.

    Lets take the case of someone who can read and understand any subject or diagram easily, but for some reason cannot write in an understandable manner. Would we say that he is illiterate?

    Some people would say yes and some would say no. Such is the nature of bundled words.

    Our language needs to change a bit and be more verb oriented. “Can read”, “Can write”, are two different things.

    Litteracy is one dangerous word. Reminds me of democracy. People are ready to kill without thinking to preserve democracy. Such is the power of the abstract word in the post-gutenburg era.

    Those who think that providing laptops to kids, or giving them programming classes is preparing them for the major types of changes coming from this major technological revolution really don’t realize what type of revolution we are currently living.

    Would rather see classes on how to avoid computer addiction, on what is cyberbullying, on how to report sexual predators, on the need to do physical activity to counterbalance the effects of computers etc.

    This said, Programming does develop certain skills by providing an opportunity to see our minds at work. Its a bit like playing chess. It lets you discover that your mind sometimes plays tricks on you. It also develops a vocabulary around logical and object constructs.

    But if our schools were properly designed logical thinking would already be part of it and there would really be no universal need to teach programming more than anything else.

    The skills required to survive the major change wave we are about to see will not be computer skills. Sure you have to know a bit about how to use the devices but you must also learn to live by the rules.,

    Politicians who know how to program won’t have better chances at keeping their jobs.

  2. Paul Angileri

    I can’t say I agree with the term illiterate for non-programmers. I understand the importance of comprehending how software works and provides the technologies it does. But I also understand the importance of engineering. Arguably the programmers are just as incompetent in mechanical or industrial engineering as an engineer might be incompetent in the programming sphere. And, programmers can’t do their jobs if the aforementioned can’t do theirs. Both require a significant amount of mathematics instruction, though in different areas. So the question is: How does one make the choice where to put their energies?

    I think this is a misdirected concern that misses the point that we are all interconnected and interdependent. Everyone needs most everyone else in order to get things done and live life. We all need farmers, for example. I can barely raise a single plant beyond potting and watering it, so I rely on others (and thus pay them for their services) for my food.

    I of course am not suggesting that knowing how to program is necessarily a worthless pursuit for anyone who does not do it to earn a paycheck. I’m saying though that it’s not feasible to express concern that people need to learn what can be a very sizable new chunk of knowledge simply for the sake of understanding why email gets sent when they press a virtual button. I would love to know how to program. I just have no time for it at present. But what language? Some are more relevant than others, and no two are identical. And then there are differences, such as “writing code” versus scripting.

    This problem is not a new realization or an expression of sloth; it’s simply an acknowledgement of human limitations and societal arrangement. Regardless, I will look into Scratch as a means of helping me understand programming. It sounds like a worthwhile initiative.


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