Food for thought from my daily me (092109)

21 09 2009

Facebook Data Mining: Truth in Association?

A data mining project out of MIT sheds light on the way data from your friends connects to you through social networks. There may be an illusion of control as you set your profile settings. The reality, you have little if any control when data mining programs can harvest and analyze data from friends in your network to “out you” based on the likelihood that you will be similar to your friends. This moves the potential of data mining far beyond those of marketing. Are there no more secrets? Today, we all leave digital trails behind. What to those trails say about us?

 

Dirty Little Secret About the “Wisdom of the Crowds”- There is No Crowd.

What happens when the crowds don’t show up? Vassilis Kostakos from CMU looked at several sites that use ratings as established by “crowds” only to find that the crowds consisted of a few individuals. So, where is the “Wisdom of Crowds” when there are no crowds? What implications does this have for sites such as Wikipedia, Yelp, Amazon etc.? This is not a new question but one that does need to be considered as we evaluate value and veracity of information in today’s information rich environment.

 

H.G. Wells: The Google Logo Mystery is Finally Solved

If you are a fan of H.G. Well, you might have connected with the spirit of the mystery as Google revealed clues to their latest collection of logos. As one who is exploring the use of Alternate Reality Games as a learning environment, I find this intriguing. This report indicates that some solved the mystery after the second logo when public while other (including me) did not even know there was “a game a foot”. I will have to go back over the logos to see how they put the puzzle together. Just another example of the creative fun that can be had by all.

 

Revised Draft of Common Core Standards Unveiled

OK. So I will have to take some time to digest this but wanted to pass this along. I do find it interesting that the teams working on this are largely from Achieve and the College Board. While standards are not a bad thing, the way we measure and implement have been greatly flawed in the past and with current implementation. How will this be different? What is the purpose of this approach? It does sound a lot like making sure “all parts are interchangeable” on an assembly line form of education. If that is the case, I have a real problem with this. Only time will tell. Here is a taste of the current thinking.

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