Who knew that sharpening a chainsaw blade was so complicated? Must acquire one of these guides…
In order to make farming more efficient, we should embrace precision agriculture.
In order to preserve the livelihood of farmers and build a robust food system, that precision agriculture needs to be decentralized. (Source)
As desertification is the clear and present danger to our landscapes -a transnational issue that governments are seemingly powerless to attack- this initiative could be a harbinger of what is to come, with ground-based initiatives leading the way, and public sector falling in behind with substantial support.
According to the Bonn-based UNCCD Secretariat, the Fund has turned the traditional approach to investment on its head: boldly uniting project leaders, farmers, public and private investors to redefine healthy and productive land as an asset. It has encouraged public funders to secure the risk taken by private investors – to achieve measurable sustainable impact on the ground. (Source)
Thursday 21 December 2017 | 16:02 CET | NewsSmart Forest, a Portuguese start-up working on ways to prevent forest fires, has started to be implement a pilot project in Cascais, where equipment will be installed in Quinta do Pisao. Smart Forest was voted one of three winning ideas of this years edition of Big Smart Cities, a competition for entrepreneurship and innovation promoted by Vodafone Power Lab and Ericsson. Cascais municipality will receive a range of solutions from the startup winners to help improve mobility, energy efficiency and waste management in the city.With the installation of IoT sensors at Quinta do Pisao, Smart Forest will gather information critical to preventing fires, such as carbon dioxide levels, humidity, wind power and direction. The data is transmitted by Vodafones mobile network to a gateway that, through an artificial intelligence system, analyzes and interprets the information, triggering alerts in case of fire risk. (Source)
A high-level summary of post-mortem analysis & reaction following the devastating fires of this past summer in Portugal. Dunno why this rates as news NOW, since the government and NGO reports came out some months ago… And it’s noteworthy that they cite just a single theory of immediate cause (i.e. dry lightning strike), when there are competing theories -including organized arson.
Fire experts, meanwhile, pointed to a series of shortcomings in Portugal’s strategy of tackling wildfires, even though the summer blazes have been happening for decades.
There is a broad consensus that more work is needed on fire prevention, starting with forest clearing and the creation of fire breaks.
“In Portugal, the main factor in the scale of wildfires is the unbroken stretches of forest,” Paulo Fernandes, a forest researcher at Portugal’s Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro University, said.
But he noted that around 90 percent of landowners have smallholdings, making it difficult for authorities to keep tabs on them all.
Xavier Viegas, a wildfire expert at Portugal’s Coimbra University, said Portugal needs a long-term strategy, but changes in government often mean changes in forest and farm policies.
He said a key measure would be the creation of “fire-resilient communities” who receive instructions on what to do when faced with a wildfire and to not act rashly.
“We need to prepare them so that they don’t go dashing off in cars,” Mr Viegas said.
Portugal’s leading environmental lobby group, Quercus, blamed the blazes on “forest management errors and bad political decisions” by governments over recent decades.
It rebuked authorities for allowing the planting of huge swathes of eucalyptus trees – the country’s most common and most profitable species – but one that is often blamed for stoking blazes.
Emergency services were also criticised for not closing the road where most of the deaths occurred. (Source)
Interesting article on these two kindred-but-different tropical plants (will help me to nail the species of a plant that was gifted to my farm)… But i question some of these assertions about tropical plants. For example: Bougainvilleas must be brought inside for the winter? i beg your pardon, but Bougainvilleas grow to monstrous proportions outdoors here in Algarve, where winter temperatures can get down near freezing. Check this out:
My gardening zone is not at all sultry, warm and humid, but it doesn’t stop me from purchasing a bougainvillea or other tropical plant for outdoor use. The plants thrive in summer but have to be moved indoors in the cooler season. Dipladenia, a favorite, is a South American native that grows in tropical forests. The plant is similar to mandevilla vine and works outside in warm zones, or indoors as an accent houseplant. We will discuss the difference between dipladenia and mandevilla so you can decide which of these amazing flowering vines is the best option for your garden. (Source)
I came across a very simple way of making some charcoal, in a substantial enough volume for your garden beds, in a video on YouTube by Greenpower,. It involves simply burning some dry deadfall branches in your backyard, and then dousing the fire suddenly and thoroughly with water, at the point when you have a nice bed of red coals. (Source)
From my perspective, this article provides the most insightful high-level view on what Computer Supported Collaborative Learning needs to be about -i.e. flipping the existing AI approach around, so it’s about Intelligence Augmentation, at level of both individual and group. This for me is the future of the Human Race -the only one worth working for, ultimately. As Sandy Pentland puts it:
Culture is something that comes from a sort of human AI, the function of reinforcing the good and penalizing the bad, but applied to humans and human problems. Once you realize that you can take this general framework of AI and create a human AI, the question becomes, what’s the right way to do that? Is it a safe idea? Is it completely crazy?
This site obviously has an activist agenda, but the info on dynamics of climate change appears both clearly presented and comprehensive -if you trust the sources (not all very current, but at least well-footnoted). Helpful, how they single out water vapor as they primary fast FEEDBACK gas, while the 4 main greenhouse gases (contribution of each quantified) are identified as FORCING climate change. Good way to get readers thinking in terms of classical System Dynamics.
There are 2 ways that greenhouse gas emissions enters our atmosphere. One of them is through human activities. The main human sources of greenhouse gas emissions are: fossil fuel use, deforestation, intensive livestock farming, use of synthetic fertilizers and industrial processes. The other is through natural processes like animal and plant respiration.There are four main types of forcing greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. The main feedback greenhouse gas is water vapor.Greenhouse gas emissions trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, just as the glass of a greenhouse keeps warm air inside. Human activity increases the amount of greenhouse gas emissions entering in the atmosphere, contributing to a warming of the Earth’s surface. (Source)
La dehesa (montado en Portugal) es un sistema agrosilvopastoral único, donde se genera actividades económicas y sociales en un perfecto equilibrio con el medio ambiente donde se desarrollan.
Es el producto de la acción del hombre sobre el bosque mediterráneo en zonas donde, por lo general, no son adecuadas otras actividades agrícolas, dando como resultado un sistema basado en un arbolado disperso que permite la formación de pastos.
Su estado actual es el resultado de la acción combinada de factores culturales, ecológicos, económicos, geográficos, históricos, paisajísticos y sociales.
If you destroy the forest then the river will stop flowing, the rains will become irregular, the crops will fail and you will die of hunger and starvation.” Professor Wangari MaathaiThe Green Belt Movement uses a watershed-based approach to restore degraded watersheds of key water catchments so as to improve their functions and improve the livelihood of the local communities. (Source)
In my vision of the future we would have to come together to face our debts, and not let our leaders manage them for us. I don’t mean monetary debts, which are largely ridiculous. I mean our bio-diversity debts, our nitrogen and phosphorus debts, our carbon debts, our energy debts. These debts are not just environmental issues, they also describe economic injustice, and access to resources for 4–5 billion people on this planet, and growing. What do you think prosperity is made of? Mostly, as it turns out, nitrogen, carbon, energy, and the space that was once diverse ecosystems. (Source)
> Farmers Sequestering Carbon To Reverse Climate Change
The primary initiative from the French was called the “4 in 1000” initiative, where they are now incentivizing farmers to work towards building 0.4% organic matter on a yearly basis and have done the figures to show 10 years of reversed climate change if we can work towards that goal. Thankfully 22 other countries have now signed on to that initiative. Understand that when you build humus in your soil, when you see an increase in organic matter on a soil test, you didn’t make new carbon. You’ve step into the carbon cycle and sequestered what otherwise would have been in the atmosphere. It is the solution. 1% increase in cultivated lands in the US pulls back over half of their total carbon emissions, and that’s more than what’s required to save the day. It’s absolutely doable, but we’ve got to start doing it and we’ve got to start doing it fairly quickly.
Just talking about the scale of this change, it really has been kind of a revolution that’s now underway, and I’ll just quickly brush over some of these slides. Driscoll’s are the world’s largest berry producers. They are 3.5, 3.57 billion dollar turnover. I’ve spent four days training their growers last year. It’s not that they’re new to this game, because 25% of Driscoll’s production is organic and the interesting thing … and this is, see the old school concept of organic, “Ah yeah, you go organic, you can’t do anything. You fall in a heap and hopefully the extra premiums will cover your losses and make you some money at some point”. That is absolute total rubbish. There is absolutely no reason known that you should have less yields, it’s just a different road to Rome, and here’s the world’s largest organic producers which they are now, almost a billion dollars in organic production who are out yielding … we’re not talking about the profit, because of the higher premium, they are substantially out yielding their conventional division with their organic division. They’re learning so much from that whole biological processes thing that they … and their whole game plan, now five years, 100% organics. And why not? You’re actually out yielding, so it’s understanding this, it’s an old notion to think that you sacrifice by looking at growing more sustainably. It’s simply not the case, it’s just a different way of looking at it and there’s all the tools, you just use them differently.
So everyone knows that this change is coming, and the bigger operators are jumping on board rather than playing catch up. It’s really easy to argue quite compellingly that this biological approach is the shape of the future or there may not be much of one and you do need to understand the seriousness of the situation. There has never been more of a time for people to stand up and do something
A key objective of the UNCCD is to become a global authority on scientific and technical knowledge in the areas of desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) and to address negative effects of DLDD on productive land and relevant ecosystems. By launching the new Knowledge Hub, the UNCCD Secretariat aims to support knowledge-management tasks, together with the Committee on Science and Technology (CST), by providing a framework for organizing scientific and technical information and access to best practices. (Source)
The Open-Source Google Earth Enterprise project (Open GEE) is making inroads into not only big business, but also municipal-level government.
HOW ISLINGTON COUNCIL USES GOOGLE EARTH ENTERPRISE
See how the Borough of Islington used Google Earth Enterprise to transform multiple city operations. Everything from community interaction, maintenance and repair, to crime tracking and innovative crime prevention techniques. (Source)
I’m less frustrated by people’s blindness to the problem than I am to their blindness to the solutions – by how easy it is to develop local currencies, to use alternative websites, to do simple investments in their communities rather than in far-flung mining companies. People don’t realise how much power they have. And that’s partly because the real world has been dwarfed by this digital simulacra which seems much more important than our reality but it’s not – it needs to be in service of our reality. (Source)
Many of the biggest problems we face in this moment as a society result from decisions being made by the hidden creators of our digital world — the designers, developers, and editors that create and curate the media we consume.
These decisions are not made with malice. They are made behind analytics dashboards, split-testing panels, and walls of code that have turned you into a predictable asset — a user that can be mined for attention.
They do this by focusing on one over-simplified metric, one that supports advertising as its primary source of revenue. This metric is called engagement, and emphasizing it — above all else — has subtly and steadily changed the way we look at the news, our politics, and each other. (Source)
Fear itself these days is America’s top-selling consumer product, available 24-7 as mobile app with color-coded pop-ups in all shades of the paranoid rainbow. Ready to hand at the touch of a screen, the turn of a phrase, the nudge of a tweet. (Source)
There weren’t many on the market seven years ago when I started tinkering in my garage with visions of fish tacos dancing in my head. Today, though, there are a plethora. Some are suited for raising nothing more than a couple goldfish and a bouquet of herbs in your kitchen. Others are big enough to supplement a market gardener’s income with sales of hydroponic produce and organically grown fish. Here’s a brief rundown of the options. (Source)
(share link with n.b. (not telepac tho) and Clotilde+Abilio … They would appreciate!)
How to do grafting :
After you have selected a good scion(one year old, w/at least 2 sections of joint above) & cut it (wipe grafting tool cutting blade with alcohol) to perfect fit to root-stock (cambium layer must be contacted well), tying with nursery tape or rubber(must be tight joint point).Tip: use a measuring caliper to find close size diameter branch for scion & root-stock.
Apply the environmental friendly grafting tape over the grafting area, overlap 3 to 4 times, make sure it is tight(air tight: prevent rain/water, bacteria or any other disease from getting into grafting area and keeps the moisture inside the grafting/joint area). Also apply tree seal to cover any new-cut expose area(to prevent infection & keep moisture inside scion/root-stock, very important!!), especially on scion’s tip point, must apply seal to prevent die back effect.
Cover the grafting area with clear plastic bag(spray some filtered water into inner bag area, to keep moisture inside bag, Do not spray water at grafting area). If there is direct sunlight over the grafting area, use brown paper lunch bag to cover it for protection.
After 3 weeks, if the scion still look pretty greenish, then it is great chance that you will see the new bud coming out from scion in 4 to 8 weeks depends on temperature & weather. (Source)
the food movement starts out splintered. Among the many threads of advocacy that can be lumped together under that rubric we can include school lunch reform; the campaign for animal rights and welfare; the campaign against genetically modified crops; the rise of organic and locally produced food; efforts to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes; “food sovereignty” (the principle that nations should be allowed to decide their agricultural policies rather than submit to free trade regimes); farm bill reform; food safety regulation; farmland preservation; student organizing around food issues on campus; efforts to promote urban agriculture and ensure that communities have access to healthy food; initiatives to create gardens and cooking classes in schools; farm worker rights; nutrition labeling; feedlot pollution; and the various efforts to regulate food ingredients and marketing, especially to kids.It’s a big, lumpy tent… (Source)
Eucalyptus or pine, would have been much more spaced out in their natural habitats. While both are also adapted to experience fire in their native ecosystems, which humans even enhanced through controlled burns to create more of a savannah for hunting, planting them at this density is ludicrous especially without animal integration. While it does afford economies of scale, which is a cornerstone of modern capitalism, it doesn’t see the system holistically. Thus when fires reach the canopy of such monocultures through ladder fuel of shrubs below and the bark and branches being held up by them, the intensity of fires, the spread of them, the beast that is created is so incredibly dangerous it belongs in a Hollywood Horror movie. But it has been a reality for Portuguese for many years. (Source)
For Wolfgang Cramer, scientific director of the Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology in Aix-en-Provence, France, climate change impacts are already visible not only in the vicinity of Murcia, but across much of the Mediterranean basin. If pledges to cut emissions are not met, catastrophe looms. (Source)
Seville and Lisbon have thrived for more than a thousand years in a temperate climate. But if global warming continues at the current pace, these cities will be in the middle of a desert by the end of the century, climate modellers report on 27 October in Science1.
> What constitutes ‘deadly heat,’ and who might be affected by it the most? A new study explores these questions, while the lead author acknowledges the superior ability of developed countries to adapt to extreme weather.
Breakthroughs come from awareness, not from willpower or “grit”, or any other forceful qualities we never have enough of. They come from understanding our behavior, not from policing it.Awareness makes stagnation impossibleWhen we don’t allow striving to undermine our tracking, the improvement comes from wisdom—a real-time understanding of the connectedness between our behaviors and the types ease and difficulty we keep experiencing in our lives. Doing the healthy or wholesome thing is always going to be a fight if it only comes from a dull, nagging sense that you “should” do it. (Source)
The prototype, under conditions of 20-30 percent humidity, was able to pull 2.8 liters (3 quarts) of water from the air over a 12-hour period, using one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of MOF. Rooftop tests at MIT confirmed that the device works in real-world conditions. (Source)
Uploaded on Mar 17, 2011Charlie Price from the social enterprise Aquaponics UK, explores the role aquaponics can play in the future of our collective food supply.He provides an insight into both the applications for aquaponics but more specifically a new approach to urban agriculture, turning wastes into resources and transforming disused urban spaces to provide not only food, but resilient communities. (Source)
Imprinting is a method for instantly adding what permaculturists call the ‘edge effect’ to soils, utilising a heavy and dimpled/wedged roller to ‘imprint’ soils with patterned depressions. The bottom of these depressions then become collection points for all the crucial elements needed for seed germination and soil building: seeds themselves, water, organic matter (including plant debris and animal manure) and wind-blown silt and clay particles. (Source)
Most of the devices in our life, from our cars to our homes, are “entropic,” which is to say they get worse over time. Every day they become more outmoded. But phones and drones are “negentropic” devices. Because they are connected, they get better, because the value comes from the software, not hardware. Although my device was made in December of last year, it just got a new software update today. It all of a sudden got new features, and it got better performance, and it’s going to continue to get better and better for years, until we’ve reached the limits of its hardware. All connected devices are potentially negentropic devices, which is a very big deal—a reversal of the arrow of consumer experience. (Source)
Given all the eggs we have coming out of our backyard chicken system, this is a must-know technique for getting the most nutritional value out of them.
Published on Apr 14, 2013This cooking tip walks you through preparing a poached egg, and how to do it perfectly every time. This easy three-step process makes egg poaching fool proof. Promise. 1 farm fresh organic egg 8 cups of water or more 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or more 2 teaspoons of salt1. Egg freshness doesn’t matter more than when you are poaching one. Frying, scrambling and hard boiling techniques are fairly easy on the structure of the egg. Dumping one into a pot of boiling water is a whole other story. So if you are going to poach eggs, use very, very fresh ones that are organic. If you don’t, you will be disappointed by the results. Now, using your fresh egg, crack it and place it in a bowl that will make it easy to pour.2. For whatever pan you use, you want at least 1 1/2 – 2 inches of depth with your water. My sauce pan took 6 cups.3. For every 4 cups of water, you want to add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Don’t worry, I have a trick on how to remove the vinegar taste once it is cooked. See, the vinegar helps keep the egg together. Without it, it will get all ghosty and break up a bit in the boiling water.4. Bring the water to boil and then reduce it so that it just simmers. Once you achieve that, spin the water with a spoon, creating a whirlpool affect. Watch my video on how to do this.5. Gently deliver the egg into the water and let it cook for about 3 minutes or so if you want yolk runny. Cook it for 5 minutes if you want if firm.6. Once it is done cooking, transfer the cooked egg to a bowl of iced water. This stops it from cooking if you wanted the yolk runny.7. Heat four cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt over a medium-low heat so that it is just warm. Transfer your poached egg to the salt bath and warm it for about 30 seconds. This will remove the vinegar taste and warm the egg up for serving. This is especially helpful for when poaching large quantities for brunch. (Source)
Facing a future of technologic wonders: Artificial Intelligence
Don’t be demoralized; we’ve faced waves of anti-science mania before. Today, let’s assume we decide to resume being a boldly confident, ever-ambitious, scientific and technological civilization, in which children believe they can be better than their parents… but parents make that goal hard to achieve, in the best way, because we’re improving too! (Source)
Curso de Aquaponia e Aquacultura – Produção Plantas&Peixes – modulo I1 Abril às 9:30 – 2 Abril às 18:30 (Source)
Curso de Aquaponia e Aquacultura – Produção Plantas&Peixes – modulo I1 Abril às 9:30 – 2 Abril às 18:30 (Source)
My recent collaboration with Mike Caulfield on the Digital Polarization Initiative has led to the creation of just such a toolkit. It supports DigiPo in the ways described and shown here. A version of the toolkit, demoed here, will support a team of investigative journalists. Now I need to show how the toolkit enables educators, scientists, investigative reporters, students — anyone who researches and writes articles or reports or papers backed by web-based evidence — to innovate in similar ways.
Starting now. A technology that allows for limitless reproduction of knowledge resources, instantaneous global sharing and cooperation, and all the powerful benefits of digital manipulation, recombination, and computation must be a “bag of gold”36 for scholarship and for learning. It is well within the power of educators to play a decisive role in the battle for the future of the web. Doing so will require the courage to buck prevailing trends. It will require an at-times inconvenient commitment to the fundamental principles of openness, ownership, and participation. It will require hard work, creativity, and a spirit of fun.
It will require reclaiming innovation. Our choice. (Source)
Recommended as a solid foundation and good frame of reference (common language) for anyone involved in the ERC (Ecosystem Restoration Camps) project: this course produced by Open University:
In this course you will discover how organisms are linked together by complex interrelationships, how such links are studied and how the physical properties of a particular habitat interact with the organisms that inhabit it. Using case studies, you will come to learn how knowledge of ecosystems leads to understanding of their individual importance, and how they can be preserved. (Source)
It features world-class content by such veteran presenters as David Attenborough and John D. Liu, so you know it will be as entertaining as it is enlightening.
I still get irritated with wide eyed, blue sky thinking permies though, who despite knowing sod all about vegetable growing, come and tell us that we are not doing it “right” in our market garden, because if it’s hard work, it can’t be PC. Apparently, you can design hard work out of gardening; in PC Lala land, all you have to do is wander through your food forest with your mouth open and ripe, juicy fruit will just fall in! Isn’t it exactly because of this desire to grow more food with less effort we ended up with industrial agriculture? And is it maybe also because it became so effortless to grow masses of food, we ended up valuing it so little that we waste tons of it every year? (Source)
> > Why PermOccupy? … “I should clarify. The name just popped into my head down in the Grand Circus Park the night this whole idea occurred to me. It’s just a simple, perhaps catchy way of getting across the idea of intentionally melding permaculture and Occupy to ramp up the transition to sustainability. (Source)
“PermOccupy – A Pathway to a Sustainable Future,” by Killian O’Brien. Interview on PermOccupy with Killian by Willi Paul. Presented by Planetshifter.com Magazine
Why PermOccupy? … “I should clarify. The name just popped into my head down in the Grand Circus Park the night this whole idea occurred to me. It’s just a simple, perhaps catchy way of getting across the idea of intentionally melding permaculture and Occupy to ramp up the transition to sustainability. (Source)
● Working towards my goal to create general AI; it will be a tool that will leverage discovery in every domain
● Using game development to bootstrap GoodAI
● The General AI Challenge is a way to crowdsource and diversify our search for human-level AI
If you Google search for “Allan Savory” you will find two articles on the first page which seem to discredit Allan’s work. (Source)
> In his recent interview with Allan Savory, the high profile biologist and farmer who argues that properly managing grazing animals can counter climate chaos, George Monbiot reasonably asks for proof. Where I believe he strays into the unreasonable, is in asserting that there is none.
> Here’s another one: a miracle technique that allows us to reconcile our insatiable demand for meat with the need to protect the living planet. Better still, it proposes, eating meat could actually save the biosphere. A TED talk which makes this claim has been viewed 2.6m times.
By way of explaining why the discipline of philosophy is more demanding than that of physics, Arthur Schopenhauer put it thusly:
So the problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, as to think what nobody has yet thought concerning that which everybody sees. (Source)
This idea in various forms has been used to convey the essence of scientific research, creative process and discovery in many walks of life.
Because mother nature invented the perfect solution to all these problems that plague synthetic solutions to the problem of clothing -good luck trying to one-up her by synthetic means! From “The Wool Room,” here are but a few of the benefits:
It’s cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s not!
Wool is a natural insulator to keep you warm in winter and naturally breathable to keep you cool in summer. Wool fibre helps to keep your body at the optimal temperature zone for comfort and rest. When used in blankets, synthetic fibres, down and even cotton fibres do not breathe as well as wool, and are more likely to trap heat in your bed. Wool buffers the extreme cold or hot air on the outside, keeping your body in the ideal comfort zone. Baa-rilliant!
It’s naturally absorbent!
Wool fibre is the original wicking fibre. Wool fabrics can absorb up to 30% of their weight without feeling heavy or damp. Cotton fabrics begin to feel damp after 15%. The fibres “breathe” by absorbing away moisture from the body and releasing it into the air. This quality makes wool fabrics comfortable to wear in warm and cold weather.
It resists Mildew and Mold, naturally!
Wool’s natural resistance to mildews and moulds comes from the way it repels moisture, and lets moisture pass through it’s fibres without trapping it. Mildews and moulds require moisture to live and grow (Source)
An online K-12 school that supports home-schooling in many countries around the world (including Portugal!), whose accreditation makes graduates eligible for application to many universities around the world -including most of those one might consider worth attending in USA!
From AboutUs section of their website:
We believe that learning begins with curiosity. From kindergarten through 12th grade, every Clonlara student learns through an individualized, meaningful, and relevant process called Full Circle Learning. This research-supported method encourages students to formulate questions and discover answers about subjects that capture their attention, leading them to deeper understandings that they are able to share, challenge, and extend. (Source)
> Our new Google Sheets integration allows you to build maps using the data within an online spreadsheet. This is great for crowdsourcing maps, especially when you need to get lots of people up and running quickly and you’d rather not train everyone how to edit data within Kumu. (Source)
Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. (definition, per Wikipedia)
> > Initiatives must meet five criteria in order to be considered collective impact:
- > Common Agenda: All participating organizations (government agencies, non-profits, community members, etc.) have a shared vision for social change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed upon actions.
- > Shared Measurement System: Agreement on the ways success will be measured and reported with a short list of key indicators across all participating organizations.
- > Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Engagement of a diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinating a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
- > Continuous Communication: Frequent communications over a long period of time among key players within and across organizations, to build trust and inform ongoing learning and adaptation of strategy.
- > Backbone Organization: Ongoing support provided by an independent staff dedicated to the initiative. The backbone staff tends to play six roles to move the initiative forward: Guide Vision and Strategy; Support Aligned Activity; Establish Shared Measurement Practices; Build Public Will; Advance Policy; and Mobilize Funding. (Source)
This is part 2 of our series on building intentional networks. Make sure you’ve read part 1 before diving into this article!
Last week we shared six tips on developing intentional networks:
Align around shared purpose and values
Know the stage of your network
Act intentionally to strengthen your network
Hold each other accountable to working like a network
Wait to add structure until you need it
Don’t underestimate the challenge
This week we dive into the final three. (Source)
there’s a distinct difference between a network as a structure of relationships and a network as a tool for driving change. The latter is what we’ll focus on today (and how visualization can help you along that journey). (Source)
Further to an article in this issue of “Permaculture Magazine” (see PM#91, Spring 2017, article “Regenerative Farming” by Walt Ludwick), this page is to elaborate on some of the topics merely touched-on in that article, not necessarily known to all “Permies”, such as:
- Ecological tools: like HugelKultur, Holstic Planned Grazing, AgroEcology;
- Economic tools, such as Business Model Canvas, CSA, Holistic Management;
- Cultural tools: DragonDreaming, Sociocracy, Holacracy, S3, WorldCafé, Forum. (Source)
Nascent network in early stages of formation. Future site location at:
Mike Caulfield has been working on…
Checking Internet-Based Claims
… He lays out a good 4 step process in this article -and adds:
Jon Udell is working on a Chrome extension that encodes some of the process we’re discovering works most consistently; you can see that work here. As I said, we’re still trying to get this down to something that almost becomes muscle memory — we don’t believe you’ll be able to fully investigate a site off of a recipe, but to borrow a term from Jon, I think we can make some “strategies for internet citizens” partially encode as habits.
Interesting, because Jon is a seasoned veteran in this space, and his work since leaving Microsoft has become quite interesting to me. Must check this one out!
There is a movement afoot to establish in Portugal a node in the Savory Institute Global Network.
Should be more info arising out of Skype chat scheduled for next Wednesday (2017.02.15) at 22h CET.
(FB chat excerpts appended below, for extraction of relevant links)
Last summer I went to the paleo convention where I met Christopher. He, together with some other speakers, was part of the “paleo and sustainabily” panel. Presentations where mainly focused on the role of grazing and holistic management in the creation of an healthy and sustainable ecosystem. We had a nice talk and Christopher told me about his interest in the potential that Portugal could have concerning holistic management. I have this feeling that there is a potential group for the setting of a Savory Hub, but more than that, a group that is in its way of applying animal base food sustainability.
I’m writing you all because I believe there could be a good synergy coming out of this conversation.!
As you know Hugo, my husband and I have a dairy farm that we’re attempting to convert into a raw milk, real foods dairy farm while practicing holistic land management. You can count me in in future exchanges about the subject! Looking forward to what might come of such conversations.
Glad to hear this, Hugo, didn’t know you had this interest. I guess you also know we are practicing Holistic Pasture Management in Vale da Lama; just hosted a course on the subject, as it happens, with some 20 participants. Should they be invited, I wonder?
Julia has the list, I believe.
Hi Walt…would you be willing to post a link to your FB page if you have one? I’d like to follow what you are doing and be informed of any future courses you might host.
Hi Gena. Will do when I get back to my desk, am mobile this afternoon.
At the seminar I met Jose and his mother. They have a huge farm (cattle) in the western Algarve, and I think there’s some interest in running it ‘better’. I went to visit it the other day, but unfortunately the mum wasn’t there- she’s running it currently. I feel Jose is very interested in the regenerative aspect, but not so much in the food side of it, as he’s (still;)) a vegetarian – (give me some time ;)). Anyway, the farm would offer a fantastic opportunity to establish a Savory Hub here in Portugal, and I may just contact the Institute to ask for some guidance. XJ
@julia: sounds good… But can you provide any more insight as to what Savory Hub means, in practical terms?
@Gena: FB page for our farm is https://www.facebook.com/valedalama/
Vale da Lama
Quinta de Permacultura – Programas Educativos – Casa Vale da Lama Eco Resort – Sweet Spot Café & Loja da Quinta – Eventos
this is a hub….www.3LM.network
@Gena: and your farm, can you say more about where it is at?
thanks for that, @Christopher. Are you affiliated with that hub? a HM trainer? Savory-certified? (i don’t know anything about all this, obviously; just took a short course with Kirk Gadzia at La Donaira ES few years ago)
Hi Yes. We run the UK Hub and yes I am an Accredited Professional with Savory Institute. Here is a document that tells the story…https://www.dropbox.com/s/aylf1cn35grhvkw/3LM%20Strategy%20REVIEW%2020th%20Nov%202016%20VSN%201.3.pptx?dl=0
Its interesting in that I am not sure how I came to be on this conversation – but please fire any more questions that you might have. It seems that I met Hugo last year at the Paleo event… Well done Hugo for linking me in to this chat. As for what is possible with HM – Simply put this work is applicable in all contexts not just agriculture – we work across the whole supply ecology and we use HM as the Management Framework that can handle the complexity – The Policy Setting approach is superb and we are learning day by day just how elegantly simple this work is. What led me to Savory was the quest for methods that can handle complexity and also to enable me to practically address the issue of poor nutrition – the running of the hub is our contribution to the planet. We are having great fun in this process. Our other web site www.5deep.net offers some insight into what led us to Savory. (One of the earlier blogs). Best to you all and gratitude.
5 Deep Home – 5 Deep
At 5 Deep we work with you when you know something needs to change, but you are not sure what to do about it, or where to turn for help.
Our farm is located on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, Portugal. Here’s a link to our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Farm-261718987505555/
We offer raw milk & pasture-fed beef through cow shares. Come take a farm tour & milk our cows, feed calves, & taste our raw milk & fresh cheese!
Gena, Im very focused on this issue of the conversion of intensive dairy to a standard beyond organic. In Australia in 2009 this was a big issue and farmers survived by letting go of agro-chem and making a move towards Biological Standards. I led an organisation that showed how to recover and regenerate. Our UK Hub still has contact with the team in Australia with whom we liaise regularly. I am just starting a large project here that will demonstrate such transitions across the UK. Best regards. Christopher
Your work is quite inspiring, @Christopher. If we could get any number of farm owners together in this part of the world, following your example to better manage our lands and food supply in a more regenerative way, that would be a great accomplishment.
Gena, Portugal needs a hub too!
It would be fun to do this in Portugal!
Ah, Azores… i should have known. No dairy operations in this brittle climate of S-mainland PT.
Extensive grazing operations here are all about beef and lamb.
Also – we are developing land partnership approaches – which links closely to what you are doing. Remember also that Brittle environments respond best to the use of livestock as a tool! If we need a chat lets do so – small group on skype later this week? Best regards. Christopher
Christopher, this is very interesting! I’m considering becoming an acredited professional, and would love to hear more from you, so yes to the chat. Thanks, XJ
Hello everyone, I’m glad to see so much enthusiasm! Currently I am taking the HM online, as I want to follow this path, and to eventually to become a trainer on HM (I have been working on education for human rights and I really feel that ecosystem regeneration through livestock management is one sure strategy to address the ecological, social and economical issues in Portugal – and elsewhere. And I want to actively contribute with my skills as an educator towards this goal) So this is why I am in this chat
For your information – we are running 8 day accreditation course in the UK – the next is in May. The 8 Day intensive, plus the online module – (all 5), plus a practical implementation on a site, plus an exit interview is the requirement to become an Accredited Professional. What is interesting is that the event in May is being hosted on a Scottish Island by a former large scale commercial farmer who made the change about 15 years ago. He now runs an island ‘oasis’. He is also our self appointed farming spokesperson. Here is the link – to show you what’s on offer. We do have people from Cyprus considering also. What an amazing time! http://3lm.network/events/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=listhttp://3lm.network/events/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=list
Events Archive – 3LM – Land and Livestock Management for Life
We are offering a 10-Month Comprehensive Holistic Management Training Programme at Fernhill Farm near Bristol. Enroll for just the foundations programme in March, or enroll in all 5 modules: Foundation of Holistic Management, Holistic Planned Grazing, Ecological Monitoring, Holistic Financial Planni…
Question @Christopher, re Cypress ref above: you mean folks from Cypress are interested in the Scotland course? or interested to host a course in Cypress?
At present we are waiting to find out if the Cyprus team will come to Scotland for the 8 day training. I will have an update later this week. Obviously – allowing for language we can train anywhere in the world – especially as we are part of the create additional hubs mission!!
Hi everyone – Im sorry I was on another conference call. Yes I can do Wednesday but it will have to be earlier or later – I have another call at 20.00 UK (21.oohrs CET) so can do anything before say 20.00 CET to 20.55 CET or 22-23hrs CET or even later! ? Please discuss amongst yourselves and let me know the time – I have booked out the whole evening just in case! ALSO PLEASE LET ME HAVE ANY QUESTIONS BEFORE HAND SO THAT I CAN PREPARE A CONGRUENT AND MEANINGFUL STORY / PROCESS. In the mean time here is a link that explains the global hub network…of which we in the British Isles were number 14! Seems a lifetime ago and our lives have changed beyond all recognition – My Wife Sheila was a Vegan when we started!! Now as long as quality is known and nutrition is the key we have a flexitarian lifestyle. Gratitude to you all. best Christopher http://savory.global/network
Holistic Training – Farm Planning & Holistic Grazing | Savory
Here at The Savory Institute we offer professional holistic training, educational programs and farm planning to assist you and your land in becoming a Holistic Grazing farm. Call (303)327-9760 and start your courses today.
OK It seems that the questions you all pose will keep us awake! best regards. 22 CET is I believe the time. Best Christopher
Christoph, should we maybe send you a quick intro into who we are and our questions to an email address?
Hugo, I’m assuming you’re referring to Alfredo from Herdade do Freixe do Meio. If so, would you like me to send you his cell number?
(cribbed from http://whatever.wikity.cc/how-wikity-works/ , which appears to be offline).
Much of software development is _open_, meaning that anybody is allowed to take code that someone else has written and modify it for their own purposes. This is similar to the idea of open content in education: open textbooks, open educational resources, open pedagogy. When someone performs a modification of this type we celebrate it as a success, and call it a “fork” (based not on the utensil, but on the idea of a fork in the road).
Open education is different from software development, however, in that the most commonly used tools in software make it trivial to fork and revise content content from others. In open education we have generally focused on the _rights_ that individuals have to remix content, while not providing or using publishing tools that make it easy to fork content in ways that make sense to non-programming communities.
Wikity attempts to apply the tools and logic of forking to WordPress, the world’s most popular web content platform. Content published in Wikity is easily forked to new sites while maintaining an attribution trail and keeping track of past versions. So sign up for an account. Then:
- Write up a list of the best indie albums of the 1990s. Watch as someone forks that content and turns it into their best of list. Watch as readers now can browse a connected set of divergent lists.
- Write an explainer of how the refugee application process works. Watch as others fork your material and improve it with additional references, or pull it into their own site.
- Post an interesting video you found, along with a summary. Watch as others fork it into their course spaces.
Most mainstream web platforms now are information streams. With alternative formats like wikis, you can cultivate online information as a garden, a growing hypertext library, says Mike Caulfield, one of the makers of Wikity.
The Garden is the web as topology. The web as space. It’s the integrative web, the iterative web, the web as an arrangement and rearrangement of things to one another. Things in the Garden don’t collapse to a single set of relations or canonical sequence[…] Every walk through the garden creates new paths, new meanings, and when we add things to the garden we add them in a way that allows many future, unpredicted relationships.[…]
In the stream metaphor you don’t experience the Stream by walking around it and looking at it, or following it to its end. You jump in and let it flow past. You feel the force of it hit you as things float by.[…]In other words, the Stream replaces topology with serialization. Rather than imagine a timeless world of connection and multiple paths, the Stream presents us with a single, time ordered path with our experience (and only our experience) at the center.
Chorus Title: What is solute potential?
Response Title: It’s the Negative Impact of Solutes on Water Potential
I know, fascinating right? But there are a couple of things to note here.
Other explanations of solute potential often mention that “osmosis wants to equalize the saltiness” on two sides of a membrane. But when we say “want” in terms of physical processes, we are talking about physical mechanisms, not desires.
So let’s start with an observed phenomenon:
Here’s a beaker with a semi-permeable membrane. In this first picture, there are two equally full sides of the beaker, but one has saltier water on one side than the other. (We use salt here, but it could be other solutes as well).
Now what happens? Seriously, think about it for a minute. You leave this glass overnight, go to sleep, and come back in the morning: what do you see?
If you’re like most people, you probably think you see a beaker that looks just like the one above, but with the saltiness “averaged out”.
But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Because here is what you’d find on your counter:
You’ll notice that the saltiness on each side of the membrane is equal, but this has been achieved by moving water, not salt molecules.
The reason for this is simple. For this semi-permeable membrane, water molecules can cross it, but the solute particles, which are larger and polar, cannot. As water molecules pass freely between the two sides, some of them bind to the solute, and are unable to pass back through the membrane. See this animation to see how that happens:
First, pure water (no solutes) has a solute potential (Ψπ) of zero. Solutes reduce water’s potential, limiting the ability of the solution to flow through a membrane.
Solute concentration relates to solute potential according to the given by the Van’t Hoff Equation:
Ψπ = − miRT
where m is the concentration in molarity of the solute, i is the Van’t Hoff factor, the ionization constant of the solute (1 for glucose, 2 for NaCl, etc.) R is the ideal gas constant, and T is the temperature.
The more solute molecules present in the , the more negative the solute potential is.
Solute potential has important implication for many living organisms. If a living cell with a lower solute concentration is surrounded by a concentrated solution, the cell will tend to lose water to the more negative water potential of the surrounding environment.
You can demonstrate this process in your kitchen using common eggs dropped in a hypertonic solution such as corn syrup:
Pieces of this explanation come from Wikipedia.
Using the methods described here, you should be able to read a 300-page book in six to eight hours. Of course, the more time you spend, the more you’ll learn and the better you’ll understand the book. But your time is limited.Here are some strategies to help you do this effectively. Most of these can be applied not only to books, but also to any other kind of non-fiction reading, from articles to websites. Table 1, on the next page, summarizes the techniques, and the following pages explain them in more detail.(Source)
Intrinsic motivation, as it’s known in psychology, is doing something because that activity is inherently rewarding. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for outside rewards — praise from parents, money or recognition, for instance. Goal pursuit directed by intrinsic motivation is not only more powerful, but exponentially more fulfilling. (Source)
the core idea of Wikity was simple: what if we bent the world of social media a bit away from the frothy outrage factory of Twitter and Facebook towards something more iterative, exploratory, and constructive? I took as my model Ward Cunningham’s excellent work on wiki and combined it with some insights on how to make social bookmarking a more creative, generative endeavor. The shortest explanation of Wikity I can provide is this: Wikity is social bookmarks, wikified. (Source)
At the moment, I see Wikity as a new style of mindtool. One that might be useful for me personally, but may also be really useful for much more than just my personal use. It’s a Wiki type tool that runs on top of WordPress and is informed by the ideas of Federated Wiki. It’s the most recent instantiation of thinking from Mike Caufield. (Source)
The links to follow are to individual chapters of a Farmers’ Handbook created by Chris Evans (UK) and Jakob Jespersen (Denmark), who have spent considerable time in Nepal, helping to develop locally appropriate methods and technologies that can help the people of Nepal live better lives, and sustainably so.
Although the information is specifically tailored for Himalayan conditions, almost everyone will find some useful ideas and information in this comprehensive work. The whole handbook is 50 chapters in 5 volumes – a total of 792 pages, including 170 pages of colour photos and illustrations. (Source)
Organic food has never been so popular among American consumers. Ironically, that’s bad news for the brand that made organic a household name — namely, the Austin-based Whole Foods. (Source)
As an author, I’m not sure if you are reading this article online or in print. But if you are reading it online, I can tell you what is about to happen to you.
If I’m lucky, maybe you’ll like the article. Perhaps I’ll make a point that you think you agree with, then another. And if you’re like most internet users, addicted to Facebook or Twitter, it’s around the third “mmm-hmmm” that you will begin to struggle with the overwhelming question: should I tweet a link to this out? Should I share this on Facebook? You will read the article, but only half read it, with one half of your brain evaluating the Facebook-ability of this post and the other attending to its words.
This is by design, of course. As many have noted, the design of the technologies we use for the web bear more in common with slot machines than books, primed to keep us clicking, watching, and pull-to-refreshing, ever desirous to find the next new thing that everyone will be rating up.
It’s not just distraction during reading of course. Consider that fifty-nine percent of links shared on social media have never been clicked, the vast majority of users sharing articles online that they have never actually read. Algorithms that decide what we see and what we don’t produce “filter bubbles” that trap us in cocoons of homogenous opinion. Facebook’s algorithms for selecting trending stories routinely surface fake news stories, encouraging users to spread them further.
Just yesterday, I found a good friend of mine sharing a story from an anti-semitic conspiracy site. My friend is, of course, neither anti-semitic nor a conspiracist. But over the course of a long Democratic primary, he had signed up for certain Facebook pages associated with his candidate. Since content inducing anger is the most viral content, as pages and clickbait websites competed for votes over a too-long primary season the economics of clicks and shares pushed most pages further and further into enraging conspiracy charges, until my formerly liberal friend was now sharing anti-Clinton material from a pro-Putin site whose other articles were outlining the vast conspiracy of the Rothschild family in collaboration with the Illuminati.
Welcome to the internet, circa 2017.
I can’t be the only person seeing this. If you’re engaged online, you have seen this as well: formerly mild-mannered people engaging in mob behavior on Twitter, previously quiet and thoughtful people spreading conspiracy theory, originally tolerant people moving into ever smaller cocoons of thought. At the time I am writing this, we have just come through the first social media election. The results were not pretty.
Can Higher Education Save the Web?
For as long as I have been in educational tech, pundits have asked whether the web can save higher education. There’s been many waves of this, from the early techno-utopianism of the 1990s to the recent fascination with Massively Open Online Courses. In this formulation, education is calcified, creaky, rusted. The web, on the other hand, is vibrant and agile, fueled by innovation and creative destruction. The idea has been that if we could tap into the web’s vitality and innovation we could “fix” education. We could make education work somehow, revitalize it. Optimize it. Disrupt it.
But what if we have it backwards? What if it’s the web that needs saving? And what if it’s higher education that is best suited to save it?
This is not as bizarre as it sounds. Vannevar Bush, whom most consider the great-grandfather of hypertext, drew his inspiration from academic culture, with it’s dense interweaving of cross-references and annotations. Ted Nelson, the person who first applied that vision to the digital computer, saw hypermedia as way to model networks of agreement and disagreement in a way conversation could not. And the earliest users of both the internet and the web were academics, who built a culture of sharing and cooperation, founded on the best traditions of a community of scholars.
As development of web technology moved from universities and research centers to Silicon Valley in the mid 1990s, progress and innovation accelerated. But as the financial model of the web began to form around the twin pillars of advertising and monetization of personal data, things went awry. The social layer of the web provided by Web 2.0 products was a welcome addition to our shared networks, but the set of economic incentives underlying those products set the stage for the web we have today, with its pull-to-refresh addictions, clickbait conspiracy sites, and mob-like behavior.
Towards a Reflective Networked Future
In other words, academic culture inspired much of the web’s early design. And as the today’s web careens Hindenberg-like to the earth below, maybe, just maybe, it’s possible our institutions could return to save the web from its current trajectory, by envisioning technologies and practice for a more thoughtful, reflective, and inclusive online experience.
So, what would saving the web look like? How could we do it?
First, we must put digital literacy at the core of the curriculum. We spend countless hours teaching our students to navigate the world of research and published books. And yet we graduate them into a world where the vast majority of the information they consume professionally and personally will come through the internet. The literate culture of books and published articles is one of the great achievements of our culture, necessary to life-long learning, and must remain central to the education of our students. But it must be placed side-by-side with education on how to best use and critique the information environments they find themselves in on a daily basis.
Second, we need to provide the general population access to better quality information and just-in-time education. Initiatives around open access and blended learning.
We can follow the examples of many open pedagogy projects, and engage our students by having them bring digital services online and use the internet to increase local community participation rather than suppress it. While the process of formal peer review is generally accessible only at the level of doctoral candidates, there is nothing to prevent a student at virtually any level of academia from engaging a community of actual peers, in the truest sense of the word, given current state of freely available technology.
The current set of tools we are presented with on the web are insufficient for (and perhaps antithetical to) a digital life of the mind. As scholars, researchers, and teachers that should concern us.
Our traditional options have been to push our students away from the web as an information source or to teach them to live with its structural inadequacies. I’d propose there is a third way: make higher education an innovation center for exploring new modes of thinking with and through the web.
What do I mean here? We can look at new technologies, like distributed web annotation (a project gaining some steam in educational circles). We can adopt infrastructure projects, such as BYU’s recent move to allow students access to all their information through APIs. We can build new ways of contributing to communities of inquiry, as I have discussed elsewhere in my work on Choral Explanations.
We can, as institutions, design and develop new software that tries out heretofore unexamined opportunities for new modes of collaboration and communication (see, for example, the work of Bret Victor). We can attempt to model better networked practice as educators.
The N.American food supply was further consolidated during the Obama administration, and if you think it will turn in direction of decentralization under the next president, think again. Here’s why:
According to one traditional yardstick, an industry is deemed excessively concentrated when the top four companies in it control more than 40 percent of the market. In the case of food and agriculture, that percentage is exceeded in beef slaughter (82 percent of steers and heifers), chicken processing (53 percent), corn and soy processing (roughly 85 percent), pesticides (62 percent) and seeds (58 percent). Bayer’s planned acquisition of Monsanto promises to increase concentration in both the seed and agrochemical markets. (Source)
Michael Pollan is anathema to the BigFood lobby, and it’s easy to see why: his research is sound, he knows the score, and speaks truth to the American people in a language they can understand and appreciate, even if the majority is not very inclined to change their dietary and food procurement habits just yet -likely not until the wheels fall off entirely!
> > Whatever Mr Trump comes up with next, with or without him in the White House, post-truth politics will be with us for some time to come (Source)
This reminds me of what Dr. David Brin has been calling for some time the Republican-led “War on Science”.
Moreover, it reminds me of what my comrade-in-arms Rafter Sass-Ferguson dubbed “Simple Solutions Populism” in his Doctoral Thesis warning: unless you are deeply into AgroEcology and/or Permaculture, could make for heavy reading.
This sort of populist dynamic could be related to any number of these well-known cognitive biases, and it is NOT limited to the RH side of the bipolar political spectrum (indeed, in context of the global Permaculture movement, you would probably find it more strongly corelated with left-leaning political beliefs, unless i miss my guess).
This is clearly fertile ground for mountains of social research, but it appears to me like a natural consequence of internet publishing accessibility, in much the same way as sloppy graphic design was a natural result of affordable PCs and LaserPrinters (remember all those newsletters in the late 80’s/ early 90’s that looked a cross between ransom-note and kids-b’dayParty invitation? a natural phase that must straddle the defrocking of design priesthood, and the now popular appreciation of graphic design professionalism).
Considering this question posed by Mike Caulfield:
But if we’re wondering why education is so resistant to technological change maybe it’s time to look at how our use of cheap labor enables that resistance? (Source)
-i am reminded of my recent experience of a MOOC offered by Coursera, and what struck me as a breakthrough that made the whole thing fly in terms of both student experience AND institutional economics.
The key? As Coursera CEO Daphne Koller explains in her 2012 TED Talk -relevant info at mark 11’13” in the transcript- it is Peer Grading.
I for one had my doubts about this, until experiencing it myself as a student in their course on learning how to code 2D arcade games (from primitive Pong to classic Asteroids -my personal fave 🙂 in Python. Course design was great, collateral material (videos, online GUI builder, etc) all top-notch… But probably the most educational aspect of the experience for me was reviewing evaluations of my projects submitted by student peers, and reviewing the 5 peer projects i had to grade each time i submitted one of my own, before i could harvest any peer feedback.
So, although it was probably the cost of one-to-one tutorial feedback (on stuff that is not machine-gradable) that held back the state of the art for so long, this way of leveraging student labor-power for free was pretty ingenious (“evil genius,” one might even say, considering that it was almost a form of blackmail! :-).
Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics? Yes, it’s complicated, but educator Sal Khan shares his plan to turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace. (Source)
Did you know that the first MOOC-like massive, open, online course was offered by HASTAC in 2006-2007? (Source)
Taking this eye-opening presentation by Mike Caulfield as a jumping-off point, I am exploring the potential of this wikity application (and the Federated Wiki idea on which it is based) to enable forms of Computer-Supported Collaborative Education that the world has yet to see.
This reawakens in me the motivation that prompted my enrollment in Open University’s MA-ODE program in “Open and Distance Education” all those years ago (around Y2K, IIRC), before the technology was quite ready. The real bottleneck back then was LoFi internet connectivity, which pretty much precluded the possibility of real-time interaction between participants even via text (tho some of us did some extracurricular chat), let alone video.
Moreover, this reconnects me to original vision of the web as a two-way, read-write medium for elevating the collective intelligence of humanity — that being i believe the motivational thread connecting seminal works of H.G. Wells, Vannevar Bush, Tim Berners-Lee, Ward Cunningham, Jimmy Wales, Sal Khan et al… Exciting stuff!
It’s been many moons since i did any serious work of data analytics, and my tool of choice back then was SPSS… But as i am having to reacquaint myself with both the science and the technology -see Measures of Engagement to understand why- i figure this is as good a time as any to pick up the tool that everyone else in the field is using these days, which is R (RStudio on Mac, in my case)… And this book looks like the perfect on-ramp for me!
Conventional wisdom in some circles says that you cannot manage what you do not measure -so if we aim as educators to achieve learner engagement with our material, then how do we measure that?
I don’t have an answer yet, am just beginning to research the question, but this article by David Jones seems a good jumping-off point. ExternalLink
Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.
Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded
Intrinsic motivation, as it’s known in psychology, is doing something because that activity is inherently rewarding. Extrinsic motivation is doing something for outside rewards — praise from parents, money or recognition, for instance. Goal pursuit directed by intrinsic motivation is not only more powerful, but exponentially more fulfilling. (Source)
I show how you can work in Wikity in the video below. (Source)
Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.
Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded
Changing the face of our beloved Mediterranean landscapes, one family farm at a time.
There are many ways to use Wikity, but this is the most common:
- Research something you don’t know about.
- Learn things
- Write a short article on the subject, capturing what you learned.
Did you ever wonder where people got the idea to steam milk in coffee and call it a cappuccino? Research it. Summarize it in an article called Birth of Cappuccino.
Did someone mention an artist you never heard of? Find out who they are. Write something.
The biggest misconception of new Wikity users is that you should write on things you know about. NO! (is that forceful enough?). Be curious. Learn new things. Share your learning.
Become a person who wonders things on a daily basis. Move from wondering to thinking “I should write a Wikity article on that.” If there’s already an article in Wikipedia, write a better one, a shorter one, a longer one, a more opinionated one, a less opinionated one, a less biased one, a more appropriate one for a class.
When you are done, look for other things in Wikity your article connects to and link them.
The Wikity model is Wonder Things > Research Things > Share What You Found > Connect It To Other Things.
(cribbed from http://saladofherbs.wikity.cc/markdown-syntax/ , which appears to be offline)
Wikity allows people to use standard WYSIWYG editing, but encourages frequent users to take a few minute to learn Markdown syntax, and use Markdown where possible. Using Markdown will:
- Dramatically improve your writing speed
- Keep you focused on the content instead of the layout
- Ensure your work is portable across many platforms
- Avoid classic HTML gotchas
Markdown is a widely used standard used by millions of people to quickly write and edit documents. We use a brand of Markdown called GitHub-flavored Markdown. (Link)
To work in Markdown, just open the text tab of your visual editor and type, using the small number of indicators for things like emphasis and extra emphasis. You can also do lists:
Here’s how that looks:
To work in Markdown, just open the text tab of your visual editor and type, using the small number of indicators for things like *emphasis* and **extra emphasis**. You can also do lists: * Like * This
You can add links: for example, Linked Word, as well as blockquotes:
This is a blockquote.
Here’s how that works:
You can add links: for example, [Linked Word](http://www.google.com/), as well as blockquotes: > This is a blockquote.
Long links can use a “keyword” syntax that allows you to move them to the bottom of the page.
You can add links: for example, [Linked Word][myref], as well as blockquotes: > This is a blockquote. [myref]:http://www.google.com/
Because this is Wikity, if you see something on a page that you want to do you can always copy the page and look at the source.
For instance, if you want to see how to do a
Special Term like this, just edit and view the source.
Same with this table:
(cribbed from http://mundaneum.wikity.cc/wikity-syntax/ ,which site is apparently offline).
Most formatting in Wikity is done with the WordPress editor. You can add pictures, indent blockquotes, bullet lists, and soon (if we can figure out how to do it safely) embed content from places like YouTube.
However there are a few differences in Wikity syntax, especially around linking, and these differences are crucial to understand. If you don’t follow the special Wikity method of linking, your content will not be easily reusable by others and may even break our federated web. So read up and follow these simple rules.
- Use Double Brackets for Wikilinks
- Don’t Put External Links in Paragraphs
- Use Cite Keyword for External Footnoting
- Use Four Dashes to Create an Annotations Section
Use Double Brackets for Wikilinks
Link to other pages on your own site and other Wikity sites by using the standard wiki syntax like so:
To make a new page, the easiest way is to make a link to the non-existent page and click it. This will prompt you to create a new page with that name.
It is really important that you link to other wiki pages in this way, and not by using traditional hyperlinks. Hyperlinks will break fork-ability. Breaking forkability is bad.
The rest of this tutorial can wait if you want. The only absolutely required piece is Wiki Linking.
Don’t Put External Links Inside Paragraphs
This is less important than than the wiki link advice, but still important. When people browse wiki, the assumption is that links internal to paragraphs, like this one to Free To All, link to other wiki pages. This is an established wiki style. Browse Wikipedia for a bit and you will see what we mean. (Link)
Wikipedia style actually doesn’t allow any external links until the references section. We’ve come up with a compromise. If you really need to link to something external that is referenced in a paragraph, link to it at the end using Markdown Syntax. Here’s an example.
Here’s what that would look like in context.
That syntax is Markdown, a popular markup language you can look up on the Google. You can use the link word however you like (here we used it to note the resource was on a site called bavatuesdays), but we recommend it be a single word. Since the paragraph preceding it generally explains the context, and a hover shows the destination, we often use the keyword to indicate what sort of resource it goes to — a pdf, an HTML document, a Google Books citation. But if you want to link it as (bavatuesdays), knock yourself out.
Many people on Wikity use the following link words:
- “link” for a link to to a resource mentioned in the previous paragraph.
- “source” to link to the source of a blockquote or other used resource, such as a data table.
- “cite” for a link to supporting documentation for a claim.
Sticking to this format gives the reader more information on what the link means, and helps them decide whether to click on it. It also reduces the visual clutter of links, and reduces issues for people using screen readers.
These three keywords (link, source, and cite) are interpreted a bit differently than others, and presented with surrounding parentheses. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
In a recent post on Vox, reporter German Lopez questions whether there is any real crime wave at all. As she points out, if you pull apart any average, there will be random ups and downs, and that may be all that is happening here. (Link)
Use Cite Keyword for External Footnoting
Let’s dig into the cite keyword a bit more. Sometimes you may want to get an external reference closer to a clause, for instance when citing a disputable fact. Here’s an example of how to do that.
and here’s how that looks on the page to the viewer:
As Braithwaite notes°, shame can be useful, but it can also lead to recidivism.
Note the style here is the same as the external link syntax, but here we’ve used the keyword “cite”. Using the cite keyword instead of something like html, pdf, or bavatuesdays creates a little degree symbol superscript. This functions semantically as a footnote, signalling that support for this statement can be found by clicking the degree symbol, but it’s not necessary to understanding.
If the URL in the paragraphing is too messy to work around, you can use Markdown’s keyword syntax, which allows to to reference a keyword and put the link further down in the document.
Use Four Dashes to Create Annotations Section
Wikity pages, by convention, are split into two sections. The first is the “article” — a tight treatment of a single idea or subject. The article should be relatively self-sufficient: someone should be able to read the article and learn something without having to click around and see what the context of the article is.
The bottom section, which we are currently calling “annotations and associations”, suggests places to continue your journey. Here we put links to related articles on wiki, as well as links to external resources. Occasionally we also put notes on the page’s content, things like “To do: check claim about gun violence, and add link if true.”
To create the annotations section, place four or more dashes on a single line at the bottom of the page, like so:
To the reader this will look like this:
We’ve found that having this separate section for annotations is important to the culture of federated solutions like Wikity — it allows people a low-stress way to contribute to an article without having to touch the body of it. Annotations and Associations on your page also help guide readers to other things that might help them.