4 Mar 2006 mirwin   » (Master)

Wikiversity

We are still stalled with no permanent namespace to advertise effectively. I guess I will update the advogato Wikiversity project sheet with a useful link instead of the current dud ... en.wikiversity.org (de.wikiversity.org works but I have no idea whether the German language project is progressing well) and start adding alternate links to other sites that might be of interest for free educational materials.

Maybe we can just pretend the ineffective tab location at www.en.wikibooks is an interactive insider joke or something (Wikiversity is Not a University or Wikibooks ... WiNUKs ...maybe the Canadians will like it ... Starts with WiN, rhymes with smucks ...hmm ... WiNuWs ... rhymes with Great Gazoo ... ).

this article on some guy's dot.corg theory has an interesting discussion and analysis of incestuous dot.org and dot.com relationships. Late in the lengthy article the author makes several points that the dot.org must be perceived as trustworthy and accomplishing its values based mission before branching out to working with commercial organizations to create revenue streams (which are split somehow between the value oriented dot.org and the profit motivated dot.com) to reinvest in their respective missions.

Maybe it is time for an anonymous email to MIT asking their open courseware initiative managers to consider a parallel free project where the public could use wiki style software to modify and republish their stuff. Maybe tie in some constraints such as MIT CS grad students can spend DOD funding counting sentences and testing theories of semantics webs or inserting Turing Test Bots or something. Developing and testing ways to track and hide information from various agents with access to the internet. It would seem like something useful could be done to justify a few million dollars worth of bandwidth and computers. Of course MIT is a private institution .... maybe better to ask some tax supported institutions what they are doing to justify their tax bases and research money to the public at large.

Maybe point out to Homeland Security that a good multi-lingual Wikiversity would be ideal learning environment for future covert operatives and intelligence analysts regarding foreign languages, cultures, thinking patterns, and typical views or biases. American Free University Online ... other countries could either compete or ally with the effort. Start it off with a big bang announcement of how many effort hours the U.S.G. intended to allocate for its trainees to create free training materials for any or all to modify and use under an FDL. Tie it into President Bush's grand plan (3rd time's the charm) for getting to Mars on a shoe string by allowing NASA specialists to leverage off of available free grunt work to keep those space technology development projects coming in under budget and ontime. Some Pentagon spectacular photo-ops could show military parents collaborating with their kids on their homework the day before a combat patrol or after debriefing. Could not possibly be less cost effective than press announcements regarding Madison Avenue based propaganda ... could it?

Really go all out and ask the American people to make a supreme sacrifice for the war effort. Instead of just encouraging your alleged literate to earn college tuition or a decent retirement in the U.S. military dodging IEDs or raiding neighborhoods in a foreign land .... gun ho civilians could encourage their students still at home to key their graded homework and term papers into a world accessible database and discuss it with their peers worldwide .... have to set up some form of mediation I suppose when the inevitable grading scandals rock the nation.

In other exciting news, I plugged a replacement CDROM into my linux server and redid the incomplete installation of Fedora Core left when I broke the previous CD. (It was jamming and refusing to open, managed to "assist" it twice before breaking it one CD short of installation competion ... argh!) Everything appears to be working fine again except, as usual, internet access. I am not looking forward to setting up Linux to the DSL with Verizon again ... so far I am one for three. Verizon kluuge and poor installation instructions, no tech support at fault ... not Fedora Core) I know it can be done with the equipment I have (unless Verizon has changed their stripes) but I am still not certain what exactly worked previously, why and in what sequence to duplicate it reliably.

I played with Kig a bit. I really liked it when it worked but I seemed to hang it up periodically. I intend to check out the code but I have an ugly feeling it is in C++ whereas I am supposed to be studying Java. Still the potential for using it to plot orbits for space related games/papers/lesson plans/sci fi plots/etc. is tempting ... not to mention its solid possiblities for high school and college level geometry and trig for wikiversity ... I forgot to check the file export capability. No rush. Nothing interesting happening with math at Wikiversity prototype, no need for cool math analysis tools with good interfaces.

Still. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I will add a link to Kig in appropriate engineering, math, and space related department files and possibly a few courses. There is some activity in some of the computer language and programming courses ... maybe they would be interested in debugging tools useful to getting the engineering or other departments of passing interest to themselves going?

Good grief! K edutainment It looks like a motherlode! I guess I have enough to keep me out of trouble for a few weeks looking this stuff over and liberally sprinkling links around the wikiversity prototype/test/stall site to provide a little apparent progress for other participants waiting breathlessly for stacked Board approval to proceed.

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