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attending to the shadow of living and learning on the web

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Life in the network

An open ethics review panel for independent researchers: Where do I sign up?

[ This post was published on another site on April 30, 2015]

A response to David who asks: “How could we move on, how could we build…”

I have had that feeling of deja vu for a while, it started after the honeymoon period of being in the open was over.

Initially I liked the ‘free for all, no rules’ ethos as I compared it to doing research in an institution. Then, the many years of academic training kicked in and I started to see the underbelly of it all.

This sense of deja vu came over me as I read dodgy methodologies and outputs being used as evidence for ‘how learning is for all’ and ‘how the university will be (has been?) replaced by the MOOC or its latest incarnation’. I am less optimistic than you and feel quite helpless at the ignorance I see touted as ‘good’ research out there….yet…

Continue reading “An open ethics review panel for independent researchers: Where do I sign up?”

Predicting badly or why we need an external observer

[post originally published in 2015 elsewhere]

I responded to Jaap’s interesting post

Thanks for this, Jaap. Groupthink is more than a danger in this type of group.

I was put to mind of Heli Nurmi’s excellent engagement with her experiences with this kind of group (It is worth reading the comments) and of course the interesting article that Jenny and Frances wrote which gathered data of the impact on people of ‘the tension between openness and cohesion’ that Daniel talks about.

Continue reading “Predicting badly or why we need an external observer”

410 Gone

mark

The presence of absence. How do we get to choose to leave online life and leave behind a clean screen if not a clean slate? Jenny Mackness has been writing about absence as an essential element of presence from many interesting perspectives – art and metaphor, for example. I am also interested in silence as part of dialogue, disconnection as part of connection. It is so easy to forget the background in favour of the foreground of the moment.

“As we bring to the foreground new structures, we focus on them to understand them or destroy them…as we assimilate the new structure without sight of the whole but just those aspects that attract or repel us it becomes ‘normal’. What was figure becomes the ground, the way things are around here. New figures come to the fore including the seeing of the old as obsolete and to be shedded. What can our actions be in that interface of figure and ground almost instant and certainly not stable shapeshifting?” McLuhan

This post seeks to bring to the foreground resonances I found when reading Jenny’s posts.

Continue reading “410 Gone”

We can’t break the spell

'Will you all shut up?!' by @mdvfunes CCBY
‘Will you all shut up?!’ by @mdvfunes CCBY

It has been a difficult two years.

The last incident left me ready to start pressing that button 24 hours a day.

'One of those days' by Michael Branson Smith CCBY
‘One of those days’ by Michael Branson Smith CCBY

I wrote a pointy finger blog post. It did not help me feel better. I decided it was time to go. I had visited the internet, and it just had not lived up to its expectations.

Meme by @mdvfunes CCBY
Meme by @mdvfunes CCBY (see sources)

The cartoon that opens this post is populated with statements that have been directed at me during the last 2 years. I have followed the usual advice ‘don’t feed the troll’ and have remained silent…except when I haven’t.  When I haven’t I have tried to be smart. This has not made me feel better. I had had enough and I saw no solution but to leave.

Source
Source

I have written before about the idea that my troll is your friend and vice versa. What I have not included in those reflections is the temporal dimension, people shift roles on a dime. All of the comments on the cartoon come from a supposedly supportive community that values learners who  create own path – so difference of opinion should be welcomed. Yes, I thought that too.

The rest of this post is about the wonderful people who convinced me to stay and who helped me learn that it is really possible to see the troll as a gift.  Continue reading “We can’t break the spell”

Finally! Some hope?

As some of you know, I have been going down a hole of desperation, Marx and economics over the last few weeks. The more I read, the more I feel like a pathetic dot and as I have not been engaging in the conversational web, the online silence has been deafening.

I have kept reading. I was hopeful I could find a way through to action that did not entail finding a how-to commit internet suicide guide. May be the courageous decision is to step out altogether but if my reading of critical internet studies authors is correct, this is not what they are suggesting. Still, may be my need for drama would have been met had I filmed my online death using my digital storytelling skills.

Continue reading “Finally! Some hope?”

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