Weekend Reading, 9/2/2011

As you may have noticed, posting has been light this week, and by light I mean non-existent. The fall semester has commenced and I’m already swamped. I’ll try to keep up the posting, but in the mean time here are some items to keep you busy. Three weeks in row!

Cornel University’s Chatbots on Youtube: This is just interesting. Cornell University researcher has two chatbots talk to each other and they have an intriguing conversation. I’ll let you decide what to make of it. (Update: I forgot to include a link to Kevin Kelly’s exchange with the programmers and his observations on his blog.)

Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age by Cathy N. Davidson in The Chronicle: In defense of online, technologically mediated education. Some good points, but I’m not quite convinced with the tenor of the whole. Would love to hear your thoughts.

When Cursive Cried Wolf by Elissa Lerner at The Book Bench: On the reemergence of handwriting as a creative niche and its benefits.

The Haimish Line by David Brooks in The NY Times: Wisdom regarding the simple, happy life with a Yiddish twist.

A Walk to Remember to Remember by Jesse Miller at Full Stop: This is a lovely reflection on the virtues of walking in a digital age. If you’re only going to read one of these, make it this one.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Reading, 9/2/2011

  1. The conversation between the Cleverbot and self started my morning with an intellectual pop. I was particularly fascinated by their exchange about God.

    As an inveterate walker, I was drawn to read the Miller essay; a lovely reflection, just as you said. Two thoughts will follow me through the weekend, prompted by the musings of Rebecca Solnit and Andy Fitch:

    Our gadgets and gizmos allow our thoughts and actions to be propelled forward and sideways at an increasingly fast pace. But I suspect that our minds work at the speed of feet — three miles an hour — as Solnit suggests, and my sense of restlessness and perpetual scrambling comes as an attempt to move faster than the speed of thought. My daily walks, with and without dogs, through neighborhoods, by rivers, through woods, are essential to my mental health, perhaps precisely because I am able to think at the speed of thoughtfulness. I also identify with Fitch’s compulsion to walk rather than wait for the stillness to speak, as Thoreau urges. I, too, want to know this world with me walking through it.

    Good luck with your school year! and thank you for taking time to share these resources.

    1. Thanks for adding the personal reflection on walking. Honestly, I wish I did it more often. It is something I hope to do more of as the summer heat begins to break.

      Do check out Kevin Kelly’s reflections on the chatbots which I added after you posted your comment.

      Thanks for the well wishes and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

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