115

What system of dialogue will be implemented?

The concern of a dialogue is not to win an argument but to forge a greater understanding of the matter being discussed. Aristotle described and classified 4 types of arguments didactic, dialectical, examination arguments and contentious arguments. It wasn’t until recently and Waltron’s research which modernized the thoughts behind dialogues (1998).

In the new dialectic an argument is always an argument “for a purpose” whether for one person or another’s benefit, each speaker may have a goal or motive.

Types of dialogue

TYPEINITIAL SITUATIONMAIN GOALPARTICIPANTS AIM
Persuasion dialogueConflicting points of viewResolution such problems by verbal meansPersuade the other(s) in the dialogue
NegotiationConflict of interests and need for more cooperationMaking a dealGet the best out of it for oneself
InquiryGeneral ignoranceGrowth of knowledge and agreementFind a proof or destroy one
DeliberationNeed for actionReach a decisionInfluence outcome
Information seekingPersonal ignoranceSpreading knowledge and revealing postionsGain, pass on, show or hide personal knowledge
EristicsConflict and antagonismReaching a, provisional, accommodation in a relationshipStrike the other party and win in the eyes of onlookers.

The system used in the community will usually be an inquiry, persuasion or information seeking dialogue. To make it easier to tell when a dialogue has started key phrases might be worthwhile idea like “So we are discussing X now correct?” I need more research into dialogues before I write more entries.

[note: Dialogues are a form of discussion, not necessarily a debate, they were used as a teaching and reasoning method for thousands of years before falling out of vogue in recent times. The idea of discussing a principle with structured debate not just speaking louder or interrupting is a sorely required  skill in the modern era. Remaining calm, noting logical fallacies in other arguments and our own is fundamental. It is especially useful in a community that actively seeks to improve itself, and where everyone should be able to voice an opinion.]

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114

What methods will be used to monitor and decide the continuation of projects or research?

Some channels of research can take a long time to prove, disprove or found to be impossible or pointless. If time is the only issue this should not be considered an issue. Members have left the normal way of living to exist in a place of study and research, if they wish to spend 30 years of their life investing, time and effort into a theory it is their choice. However, should a commanding piece of evidence occur to completely negate their work or through its success make other other projects redundant the research / product is subject to review. Regular meetings and conferences should be organised meetings and conferences should be created where peers can discuss informally or to an audience the trials and results of their research all research and results are posted automatically online to the community and after the study is completed to the world for peer review.

All studies should be part of an open peer review service held within an extremely searchable format allowing people to quickly find relevant studies or similar experiments in the same area. These studies can subsequently linked to by on-line writers to show references the critiques of the paper, similar studies that have the same conclusion papers that have alternative or conflicting results.

The only significant barrier to continuing or starting research then is capital and the cost of obtaining the necessary equipment or tests (a CERN sized LHC is hard to find). In such cases it will depend of the size of the community, the R&D teams within the community and the importance of the research.

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113

What fields of science, technology and education will the community endorse?

Due to primarily working on a practical development, skills and reasoning platform, there will initially be a focus on the areas of science, research and engineering (computer/electrical). With a broad base of the basic sciences mathematics and logical reasoning. Ultimately, the community should endorse, teach and promote all the legitimate forms of science and even assess the claims of things considered pseudo-sciences as well.

Initially the organisation will be small and this so this may result in certain certain subject or entire departments having only one person. In time these will fill to reasonable sizes and have more members to spread the duties among, the more time can be dedicated to unique and specialist areas.

There should be a special interest in promoting programming and computer science skills to every member as the ability to develop software is useful in almost any scientific discipline.

[note: computer science skills should also be taught as they should be the bread and butter skill of the community, allowing the community to work en mass on projects to improve them imagine having 5000 community members working on improving a project like Ubuntu or LibreOffice and the amazing strides those projects could make with simple bug fixes being implemented.

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112

What types of research will the community endorse?

As long as the research does not go against the ethical oath [e57] of the community it should be allowed. Initially there will be limitations of scale and time constraints, represented disciplines e.t.c. But personal research should be given as much autonomy as possible. When it comes to resource usage, available equipment or problems of costs, there must be a meeting with the head of the relevant departments to request a loan, grant or new equipment. A project requirements document is needed [e62]. Conversely while projects can be endorsed that tackle similar subjects there is a focus on collaboration, so having 3 people doing the same thing seems like a waste. There should be a clear database of projects that are currently in progress to avoid such problems (or at least a list of projects internal to the country not including others).

[note: Massive projects and subjects require hundreds of concurrent teams collaborating, projects can also be approached from a number of novel angles. We could take cancer cure research or A.I as two examples where there are a vast variety of methods being applied to try and discover the best way to solve the problem. Similarly pure research into subjects such as climate change have thousands of teams researching a whole host of elements, while two teams doing precisely the same thing is not useful (unless of course there are multiple teams working on replicating research for peer review) there are a number of reasons that multiple avenues of research may run in parallel.

The database of current projects though is a great idea, more than this a list of potential project or research ideas could be added to the list allowing people to browse research that is considered open for review or investigation.]

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111

What methods of self promotion or publicity will the community employ? There are three reasons, which immediately occur to me, to publicise oneself; reason one, is to find new members; the second is to find work and the third is to let people know what services you offer.

Secondary reasons are that such publicity can help correctly tell society who we are and what our motivations are.

As mentioned in previous entries it is necessary that we interact with the local community this word of mouth and actively approaching organisations is in itself a form of promotion. Offering cheap services to businesses and open source solutions to local administration and civil institutions, or simply providing free supplementary teacher aids to teach subjects like science, computing or debating skills, allowing the public to be members of the community dojo e.t.c. All of the above will be methods to promote the community.

Active ventures will include stalls at career days for colleges and universities showing people and the alternatives to the traditional systems. Conferences on subjects to engage the public interest writing peer reviews for the scientific community or a free science column for local newspapers.

Essentially, promotion should not be done simply for the sake of promotion or self praise, but should occur out of genuine effort to help the general public and offer advice, education and help.

[note: since I wrote this in a book over 2 years ago, I have been struggling to create a language school, learning a great deal about promotion, sales, attracting attention and all that implies. While this the core reason I haven’t been writing up my community notes I realise how naïve I was when I wrote the above. It is an incredibly difficult process to sell something new to the public. This doesn’t negate what I said, public promotion selling our services and reaching out to the public is necessary but a solid plan of how to do that is very necessary. Also any teacher help, courses and writing science columns would only be accepted once the community has managed to establish itself as a reliable organisation without an agenda.]

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110

What interactions will happen between the community and the society at large?

There should be a healthy level of interaction between the community and locals especially in a business, social, care, aid and education sense. Open classes available to all would be an appropriate venture, helping local homeless shelters with time and excess food, promoting educative systems and programs, organizing public debates between contentious groups or on serious issues like immigration, vaccination, global warming etc. Hopefully showing to people how real science works in opposition to hyperbole and media misrepresentation.

Public conferences, science fairs, supporting local teachers and students should all be considered reliable services which the community provides.

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Long absence

I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who reads this blog, but that aside I should explain that I am in the process of creating a language centre in France, not that it’s a real excuse at to why I haven’t continued my writing, I have had plenty of time to watch TV shows and waste my time on other pursuits.

The school is still in a fragile state and we are slowly gathering students, the concept of the community has not completely left me, I think my ideas have matured a lot since I wrote them down but I shall continue to write up my original thoughts on a more regular basis.

More to the fact, running an educational institution, or any kind of business at all, is going to be a very useful experience to help me consolidate and clarify my thoughts as to how the community might be able to work.

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109

What standards will be applied to differentiate a novice from an expert? The present undergraduate, graduate, master, Professor / Doctor system is ultimately misleading. When someone claims “I am a Dr” you must then ask “of what?”, biology, philosophy, humanities etc. being a professor doesn’t suddenly give you a status to talk on every subject. Consider the martial arts and their more gradual system of grading; starting at the basic level and progressing to 1st Dan (the black belt) which, contrary to popular belief, is the where the basic level of training ends and you start to master your skills in earnest.

The difference in professional Go players is also worth noting, it is measured in a similar system from  the lowest Kyu grade to the highest Dan grade, however, an even more interesting in this system is the concept that each grade difference between players is considered an extra stone handicap to the weaker player so that they can play a master on an equal footing.

All these systems correctly understand that there is a continuum of ability at knowledge at work here. You start at nothing and then progress over a lifetime to mastery, where systems differ is in how to measure how far along the continuum you have progressed so others can gauge your skill/knowledge/ability/suitability. As things stand standardized tests like GCSE’s, BAC SATs or A-Levels are created to give us a grade of our ability in each subject.

However, many people question how accurate this methodology is and whether it misrepresents or marginalizes students, it certainly only measures academic ability and knowledge, not practical application or personal experience. A much larger range of levels must be devised  for the community that reflects the levels of knowledge, experience and usage of a subject, so the level will be a blend of a number of factors. This will be extensively investigated in a future entry.

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Mindfulness and Education

So I saw this article on neural studies of Monks doing meditation and it’s effects on the brain:

http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Stanford-studies-monks-meditation-compassion-3689748.php

I’m presently reading a book on some of this, it’s really quite amazing. There is a sizeable amount of scientific literature which shows that meditative skills and methods have a huge number of positive benefit to the way we think. With that in mind, I wonder how long it will take to get meditation programs into schools. We are all about training the mind but really we’re mostly just teaching facts and not creative ways to think or solve problems.

In present education systems, at least the ones in the west that I am familiar, there is a focus on how much you ‘know’ as opposed to teaching students how to learn it, use it and retain it. I honestly remember very little of my schooling before University, just like most people we retain relevant pieces here and there but the bulk of it has very little use, outside of a pub quiz. Of course it’s good to have a wide spread of subjects at school to help us find what we excel in or enjoy, but what we need is to teach our children some methods ‘of learning’ rather than making them simply ‘memorize facts’

To clarify, there are a number of teachable skills and methods that we can raise attention levels, memory retention and enhance cognition among people. Even a regular 30 minute exercise and 20 minutes of meditation before schooling, every day, could have dramatic results. Mnemonic techniques have also existed for centuries and while they are a way of ‘memorizing facts’ they are a method which would help in every subject, not just one. Conceptual framing, lucid dreaming and many, many more techniques exist, they work, we already have them, they just aren’t taught in schools.

We need to teach the next generation how to think, not in George Orwellian kind of factual dictatorship kind of way, but in a vibrant, dynamic, constructive way. From memory palaces in primary school to meditation and dialogues at college. Let’s try and create better people and better learners and work from there. Let’s try  make a better student rather than a more comprehensive exam, in all honesty none of us have a clue what the world will be like in 20 years anyway, so what the exam is testing for is really to give you grades to get you into the next level. It’s measuring your capability at the time it was taken. Something which will never reflect your ability in the future, nor prepare you for it.

For those worried about religious aspects or indoctrination into a particular faith, like Buddhism for example. Don’t. While religions were the initial creators of these methods they are now firmly being understood and in the realm of science. Just like we don’t teach kids Islamic algebraChristian science or even Hindu Yoga the religious underpinnings have been clipped from these subjects and we focus on the problem solving methodology  or physical benefits they offer. In the future meditation will also be stripped of its religious elements and join the world alongside other subjects.  Meditation is to the mind what the gym or an exercise regime is to the body.

So now that I’ve got that off my chest, any ideas how do we go about getting these methods and meditations into schools?

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les sites educatif

aujourd’hui j’ai fait beaucoup. J’ai utilizé les sites-web duolingo et aussi trésbienFrench pendant 3 heures. Ils étaient un peu durs, néanmoins j’ai persévéré, et dans le processus que j’ai vu  il y a un long chemin à parcourir!

En fait, c’est pas tout mauvais, j’ai vu beaucoup l’amélioration aussi; Je suis sûre; si je continue finalment je gagne.

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