[Edu-sig] notes from a User Group meeting... (Urner in Portland)

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue Sep 27 18:01:23 CEST 2011

I've been enjoying repartee with the math-teach irregulars over on
Math Forum, an old haunt of mine, approaching 6K postings over the
years, maybe more if we count lost dialogs (had a good one with J.H.
Conway when MF was still with Swarthmore).

The thread includes some commentary on OLPC and some early mistakes.
I should have more links to back me up on some of this stuff.
Wikipedia would likely sweep it out the door in its present form, but
then I wasn't intending to write the veridical history.

Our recent PPUG meeting at Produce Row included Michelle Rowley's
proposal to do a Pycon talk centered around posture, ergonomics, yoga,
all those tricks you need to know to stay buff in your cubicle.

Reasonably, she was concerned this topic would be deemed too froo froo
by the ambient serious-minded engineering culture, however she had
solutions for that, namely software services, written in Python, that
would encourage self-awareness while working.

Your phone might have a few words to say about your posture
occasionally, thanks to a tickler file you threw together in some DIY
hack job, latter ported to github and turned into a community service
enterprise, complete with forking branches.

We talked about the self quantification movement springing from
athletics mixing with cloud services.  This'd make work in a cubicle a
little more like a gym class.

The next generation of cubicle may have more "monkey bar" features,
letting you hang upside down while coding.  I could see a whole office
doing that, maybe at Marvel Comics.  Urban Airship.

Michelle is an accomplished Djangsta and systems architect, with an
earlier background in PHP.

She's working on a yoga-related web site for teachers, a kind of Khan
Academy for yogis, minus most of those Youtubes (that's not how she
describes it, and I'm not doing her business model justice, just
giving some more background on our User Group leader).

I brought a laptop to the meeting and showcased some of my Tractor
Graphics, simple Python generators ploughing in 2D fields of ASCII.

I've written a lot about that here before.  I've got some sample
slides in my Photostream, clearly early draft in that the spellchecker
is turned on and giving wavy lines in Powerpoint.

I've pointed math-thinking-l to the thread, so far without sparking
any commentary.  That's a sleepy-head list these days.


Thread on Math Forum:

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