[Edu-sig] Another update from the field...

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Mon Aug 21 03:17:39 CEST 2006

> (It's worth remembering a design goal of XML is machine friendliness and human
> readability, not the other way round - wiki markup tends to favour the human)
> Michael.

I find this an interesting discussion because it recapitulates a
central theme on edu-sig over the years:  how much hand-holding versus
how much "they just need to learn it too"?

Some have the model that technologists are supposed to infantalize
non-technologists, by pandering to the vision of some "mindless
consumer" wanting "no brainer" controls.

In contrast, some believe humans are tool-users by nature, so once the
tool is "good enough" by some reasonable standard, it's OK to tune out
all the whiners and "still don't get it" types.

Fortunately, there's not just one big fat omnitechnology out there
that one either knows inside-out, or is completely clueless about.
It's not that simple a picture.

We all distribute our competencies and bring interesting "hands" to
the table ("hands" in the sense of "in card games" but I'm also
imagining a surgeon's).

I'm really incompetent in so many dimensions, and I don't feel I'm
underselling myself by admitting that.  I take it for granted in
everyone I meet.

We're all "just chickens" in this soup, even if we sometimes look like
superchick to one another, based on our specializations (allusions to
'Chicken Little' movie,

In other words, there's just too much technology out there to for
anyone to credibly claim to have mastered it all.  So if we just relax
a little bit, we can at least agree on some regions of overlap,
so-called background knowledge that's widely distributed across

I would include XML in this category, and I'm talking about including
minors (people under the age of 18) in this loop.  They should be
informed of it.  No kidding.

You'll see what I mean here:

Plus I'm influenced by Gene Fowler's way of weaving it together:

Plus here's a mathcast I've just been working on:


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