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Comment: Re:People, not tools (Score 1) 167 167

You've got it absolutely right. It's the people that make the space, not the tech.

I currently serve on the board of directors for Quelab in Albuquerque. (We're a 501c3 org, so we have to have some formal structure.) Like you, I've been involved for about 5 years. It is ALL ABOUT the people. Get the right people in the door: they'll figure out what to do with what you've got, and they'll bring their own toys when they really get inspired.

My research for my Masters in Educational Leadership is exactly on how to create a great makerspace. I focus on community relations and social justice topics. I also blog, reflect on processes, and post occasional papers about it.

Let's get in touch.
Cameron

Comment: Re:There's a lot of stuff (Score 1) 87 87

FTA: "Their recommendations to make videos better are sound (keep them short, informal, etc.), but the overall emphasis is too much on the instruction, and too little on the student—which is where learning really happens."

It doesn't matter how good your videos look if the teacher is the one doing all the interesting work. Shift the load to the students in creative ways; they'll do the learning.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 7 7

They would get them back and then punish them and then separate them.

Exactly. If that's what he deserves, then truth will out.

And I have seen an awful lot of people saying that he wasn't worth any particular effort to get back, which is pretty close to "let him rot." That's just mind-boggling to me.

User Journal

Journal: These are the things in my head at night 7 7

Then-PFC, now-SGT Bergdahl may in fact have deserted his post. There are certainly credible accusations to that effect, and if so, then he should be tried and convicted for the crime. But it's a whole lot easier to investigate those charges with him here, and we don't let the Taliban mete out justice for us.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1, Informative) 35 35

Makerspaces are places where people--either the general public or a group of paying members--can gather together and make things. Makerspaces usually have an abundance of tools, materials, and places to work on hands-on projects. They typically celebrate open source, notions of hacking technology, and playful misuse of technology to do interesting things.

Think: informal, engaging, creative spaces where you can collaborate with people to make things.

Here's a blog I wrote with good pics: Quelab - a Community of Practice. Full disclosure: I'm on the board of directors at Quelab in Albuquerque. Drop by if you're in the area code.

Comment: Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (Score 1) 107 107

No, biological processes are inherently non-deterministic, and this becomes more apparent the smaller the scale. At the genetic level, it's all about probabilities. I suppose you could argue the same about computation since circuits are now getting small enough for quantum effects to show up, but I don't think most programmers are explicitly modeling random bit flips! On large scales, when you're talking about big programs with lots of different possible inputs, it's often more effective to model them statistically, I agree, but the underlying processes are still quite different.

Comment: Re:Next goals: (Score 3, Insightful) 107 107

Co-evolution only looks "co" on very large timescales; every new trick our immune systems have come up with has been in response to something a pathogen already came up with. Sure, there always can (and will) be new plagues, whether the victims are trees or people. I just think they're a whole lot more likely to come from the nigh-uncountable number of random "experiments" taking place in the wild than they are from anything done in a lab.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 284 284

Corporations don't go to prison for violating censorship laws. The members of the group, employees, owners, and members go to jail. They are the ones who have their assets taken.

That last bit would be a lot more persuasive if it weren't for the concept of limited liability. The whole idea of corporations owning assets, signing contracts, etc. is that the owners of the corporation are to some degree insulated if the corporation "does" something such as breaking a contract that could lead to the loss of those assets--but it really ought to work both ways. As things stand right now, the privilege pretty much only seems to go one way.

Comment: Re:Next goals: (Score 4, Informative) 107 107

Honestly, I think that fear is overblown. Vertebrate pathogens have had hundreds of millions of years of optimization in the most ruthlessly selective "laboratory" ever known, and while there are obviously some pretty deadly ones out there they haven't managed to wipe us out yet. Nothing we do in a lab is likely to come close, in terms of coming up with something that can spread wildly on its own.

I used to work between a synthetic bio lab at one end of the hall and an infectious disease lab at the other. Ask which one scared me more.

Real computer scientists don't program in assembler. They don't write in anything less portable than a number two pencil.

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