[Edu-sig] Postmortem of my OSCON talk

Kirby Urner urnerk at qwest.net
Thu Aug 4 07:24:31 CEST 2005

> Open source versus closed source seems to me somewhere around number 8 on
> the list of issues in respect to assessing worthwhile technologically
> derived/connected "educational materials", versus worthless such
> materials, versus actively destructive such materials.

For me, it's more a matter of putting tools in the hands of a next
generation, knowing in advance that a *lot* of what they'll come up with
I'll consider of questionable quality.  But who made me the judge?  I'm
entitled to my opinions, yes, but many times I'm not especially trying to
have an opinion on a specific Sourceforge or Freshmeat asset; I'm content to
trust the judgment of others.

More important is to lower barriers to access, which is where open source
comes in.  It's about dealing cards to whomever wants to sit at our table.
If they play their hands badly, that's another issue.  Like, what if
Microsoft had won, and every Chinese kid really *did* have to pay in hard
currency, per EULA, for a copy of Windows?  How many would grow up to be
programmers?  But now they have legal alternatives:  Linux, FreeBSD,
OpenSolaris.  That's a major twist in evolution, not just petty politics.

You seem to think your main role is a thumbs up thumbs down kind of role,
whereas I'm more just asking myself what it'd take to lower the barriers to
more kids being able to make their own television -- not just sit as passive
viewers.  I don't think it's healthy how we bombard kids with our so-called
"commercial messages" and yet don't really arm them to fight back with their
own views and experiences, even if that just means thinking critically,
questioning authority.  'Mad Magazine' was on the right track -- a kind of
early/prototypical 'Head First Into...' (O'Reilly series), or like the title
'Questioning Culture for Dummies.'

> Where might a self-proclaimed intelligent person go to discuss with other
> such persons  1 through 7, without the diversion of 8?

I'd be open to your listing range(7), i.e. [0,1,2,3,4,5,6].

> Is there an 8 don't make it right crowd to plug into?
> Art

failure to parse sentence reading "Is there an 8 don't make it right crowd
to plug into?" 


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