Notes


The History of the Future

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The Sandman [...]

"The Sandman" is a short story (Der Sandmann in German) written by E. T. A. Hoffmann in 1816 that draws on the folklore character of the same name who throws sand in children's eyes to make them fall asleep. Themes in "The Sandman" include eyes, laughter, automatons, and childhood fears. It is the inspiration for Sigmund Freud's essay "The Uncanny" (PDF) "Das Unheim...

 

Monograms and Personalization [...]

When my dad died a few years ago and we were going through all his stuff, neither my little brother nor I wanted to keep any of his silver. My parents had a cabinet in the dining room where they displayed a collection of plates and mugs and the like. I think most of it had been wedding gifts. But we didn't want it. Silver requires so much maintenance polishing and so...

 

The History of “Personalized Learning” [...]

What is the history of "personalized learning"? (When did it change from being "individualized learning," for example?) According to Wikipedia, the term dates from the 1960s. But Google's Ngram Viewer shows it was in use prior to that. Was the bump in the 1970s due to the commercialization of early teaching machines? And similarly, was the increase in the late 1990s o...

 

“Personalization” versus “Individualization” [...]

What is the history of the term "personalization" particularly as it relates to education (and education technology)? See Google's Ngram Viewer: The OED dates the word "personalization" in print to the 1860s, but the particular definition that's used today "The action of making something personal, or focused on or concerned with a certain individual or individuals; e...

 

Illusory Truth Effect [...]

From the Wikipedia article: "The illusory truth effect (also known as the truth effect or the illusion-of-truth effect) is the tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure." This is one explanation of how Facebook's "fake news" functions to change people's minds, not simply confirm their pre-existing biases....

 

The Myth of Codependency [...]

From a Vice article: Indeed, there is no reliable research support for codependence and related concepts. Although there have been a few attempts to measure it, they fizzled out as it proved as slippery as a horoscope—and a search of PubMed reveals little further research interest in it since the turn of the century. "There is no disease of codependence," adds Wilke...

 

Not Even Wrong [...]

From the Wikipedia entry: The phrase is generally attributed to theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking. Rudolf Peierls documents an instance in which "a friend showed Pauli the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli's views. Pauli remarke...

 

This is not the Crusades [...]

David Perry, a medievalist, writing on CNN: The idea that contemporary military and terrorist activities in the Middle East embody a new Crusade isn't exactly new. What's startling is that today both supporters of ISIS and radical Christian terrorists have adopted the same language. Both sides are using medieval history to justify their violent intentions. ...But one ...

 

The People Derek Black Knew [...]

Derek Black, rising white nationalist star, came around to realizing the error of his beliefs not through argumentation with the enemy, but through dinners with diverse friends. On the rare occasions when Derek directed conversation during those dinners, it was about the particulars of Arabic grammar, or marine aquatics, or the roots of Christianity in medieval times....

 

Robot Professionals [...]

We believe these are but a few early indicators of a fundamental shift in professional service. Within professional organizations (firms, schools, hospitals), we are seeing a move away from tailored, unique solutions for each client or patient towards the standardization of service. Increasingly, doctors are using checklists, lawyers rely on precedents, and consultant...