technology changes but people don’t

Every fortnight I collate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

Abundance of books makes men less studious” – Hieronimo Squarciafico c. 1481. [Technology changes but people don’t]

Henry Mintzberg said, “It is the conceit of every generation to believe things are chaos in their world, while the past was linear & calm.@tom_peters

All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” – Friedrich Nietzsche via @surreallyno

“Comparisons to the industrial revolution are correct. The problem is when people don’t realise we are the horse this time.@fraserspeirs

We all live in multiple on-line communities. – @Orgnet

Growing a community is not just adding new members. It requires adding both people and relationships — nodes and links. Node counts are important in social networks, but it’s the relationships — and the patterns they create — that are key! A community thrives by its connections, not by its collections! It’s the relationships, and the prospect of future relationships, that keep members active and excited.

Saintly or sinful? Appreciation of luxury goes in circles – @TheEconomist

Thorstein Veblen, the economist who gave his name to the sort of goods that become more desirable as their price rises, had political grounds for sneering. Luxury is a form of waste that arose to confer status on an essentially useless class, he argued in “The Theory of the Leisure Class”, published in 1899. “Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.” Both Veblen’s and Hume’s ideas remain potent.

How to learn efficiently@lemire  [seek difficult problems > reflect > seek multiple sources]

Some students blame the instructors when they feel confused. They are insistent that a course should be structured in such a way that it is always easy, so that they rarely make mistakes. The opposite is true: a good course is one where you always feel that you will barely make it. It might not be a pleasant course, but it is one where you are learning. It is by struggling that we learn.

On this note, Learning Style theory is junk: while it is true that some students have an easier time doing things a certain way, having it easier is not the goal.

One Response to “technology changes but people don’t”

  1. Martine Bolton

    I enjoy your posts Harold. I have to say though that I think the idea that learning always has to involve pain and difficulty is only partially true. When it comes to important life lessons, this is often (although not always) the case – we tend not to change or learn the lesson until things become really uncomfortable and change becomes vital.

    When it comes to learning new skills and information however, I believe that learning can be joyful and (almost) easy. I also believe that people are more likely to learn when they are relaxed and enjoying the experience. The alpha brainwave (ie awake but relaxed) state supports learning the best. That’s not to say that we should include no element of challenge – just that when challenge tips over into struggle and struggle becomes stress, the individual will be learning nothing, and more – may form a block to the learning.


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