Tianjiin: A Pictorial Travelogue

This is a hard post to right — in the physical sense. The pollution in Tianjin is worse than Beijing, and the combination of the air and the days have caught up to me. All day I have this ugly feeling of exhaustion without sleepiness.

There’s a lot to see in Tianjin during this sidetrip, so I decided to break up my Tianjin photolog into a mini series. As this series completes descriptions & such will be added to the section titles below.

Statue in Tianjin

These entries are thematic, as opposed to the day-by-day accounts in the rest of my Beijing photos, They aren’t part of SummerBlog ’06, but are a summer (mini) series nonetheless.


Round the blogsphere

The press release for Redefining the Gap has found some fans, including Critt Jarvis (of the “gaming as a public media platform” Connecting in Conversation blog), Future Creaters, and Kobuyashi Maru are fans. Curtis Gale Weeks and Sean Meade (Barnett’s blogger-in-chief) have already weighed in.

On that note, Tom’s kind words stunned me. Mark kindly supplied a link.

The Asia Logistics Blog found my motely collection of China pictures interesting, as did Catholicgauze, Chirol, and Sean. I had a wonderful conversation with Dan of China Law Blog.

George Curzon of Coming Anarchy blatantly plagiarized an old tdaxp article. CA has been really trolling the CG and tdaxp archives recently… 😉

Catholicgauze notes tdaxp attention in his brewing jihad against Ask.com.

While I wait for the season finale of LOST to be available for download, I listen to LOSTCasts (a theory-heavy podcast that Generally Speaking, an old tdaxp favorite, recommended). LOSTCasts is a very tdaxp-y podcast: if an audio feed could come with charts, I’m sure LOSTCasts’ would. From LOSTCasts I found this extremely well crafted video about the birth of the Hanso Foundation.

Perspectives and Peers 4, Other Articles

Note: This is a selection from Perspectives and Peers, part of tdaxp‘s SummerBlog ’06

The trend toward more emphasis on multiple perspectives continued with the articles found elsewhere. While only one of three books was supportive of the idea, and only two of three articles downloaded off blackboard were, every relevant peer reviewed article unqualifiedly supported the value of multiple perspectives in constructing rationality. On peer interaction the out-of-class reading split down the middle, with half completely for and half somewhat against.

Unsurprisingly, articles supporting the importance of peer interaction in rationality can be easily found. Under the heading of “Man as Collectively Rational,” Shulman note that “it is precisely the opportunities provided to amplify and elaborate individual human reason through collective deliberation and action that constitute the least appreciated vehicles for overcoming the bounding of rationality, whether for learners, teachers, or researchers” (515-516). The authors use markets and theaters as examples of environments that encourage rationality because of the multiple perspectives inherent in those domains.

Both theaters and markets possess both more and less powerful “peers,” so it is not surprising that other articles also support non-peer or unequal peer interaction as scaffolding to rationality. Before retelling case studies that involve the creation of”a new way of explaining” (that is, a more rational epistemology), Driver et al (1994) note that they have used “dialogic interactions between the teacher and individuals, or small groups of students. In these interactions, the adult (or a more competent peer) provides…. ‘scaffolding’ for the students’ learning as they construct new meaning for themselves” (10). In a situation such as this, multiple perspectives are generated by peer interaction is much less important than the non-peer interaction in constructing rationality. This same view is baked up by Hursh and Borzak (1972), who talk about cognitive development and learning multiple perspectives, which they call “decentering” (70), during actual internship experiences.

At the other extreme, some research has looked only at equal peer interaction and found it valuable. For instance, comparing student performance in two-student dyads as opposed to individual work, Schwartz (2005) found that “dyads constructed abstractions well above the rate would expect given a ‘most competent member’ model of group performance” by negotiating “a common representation that could serve as a touchstone for coordinating the members’ different perspectives on the problem” (321). Instead of looking at the world in right-and-wrong terms, students acted and thought more rationally because they had to deal with others at their same power level.

A compromise may be found page in Frank et al. (1992). Unlike the previous writers, Frank and her co-authors do not dismiss interaction between equal peers as such. Instead, they argue that peer interaction as well as student-teacher interaction is important. In their work, different natures “of the students and the relationship between students and teachers contribute to the acquisition of multiple perspectives…” (230). Here, peer interaction seems just as important as non-peer interaction.

Perspectives and Peers, a tdaxp series:
Perspectives and Peers 1. Introduction
Perspectives and Peers 2. Books Assigned in Class
Perspectives and Peers 3. Articles Assigned in Class
Perspectives and Peers 4. Other Articles
Perspectives and Peers 5. Interview with the Subject
Perspectives and Peers 6. Conclusion
Perspectives and Peers 7. Bibliography
Perspectives and Peers 8. Interview with Mark Safranski

Kevin Mitnick Interviews Steve Wozniak

My plane ride to Beijing wasn’t just full of blogging on Christian 5GW and reading classic American horror. I also had the chance to listen to a delightful episode of Coast to Coast AM.

On April 30th, Kevin Mitnick (filling in for Art Bell) interviewed Steve Wozniak. I had heard of both of these men before — Mitnick for his computer crimes and subsequent consulting biz, Wozniack for his co-founding of Apple, the invention of the Apple computer, his famed kindness, and his Wheels of Zeus site.

The interview is impossible to summarize, going over everything from high school to Presidential politics. Nonetheless, I was stunned to see what an excellent duo they made. Mitnick’s radio voice is incredible, and Wozniak’s is as well. In fact, in the first hour when Wozniak was talking, I thought he was the co-host.

If you subscribe to Coast to Coast, listen to the four hour interview for yourself!