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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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The Podcast Challenge Michael Allen is a very smart guy, and a leader in the world of e-learning. He knows the world of training and has spent a lot of timeMichael Allen's Podcast Challenge

This weekend I saw Spider-Man 3. Before I got to the theater, I'd been hearing all week from critics and friends that it was "okay" or it "wasn't as goodReview: The Spider-Man Trilogy

[This post was scheduled to go up last week, and I just realized it never posted. Anyone know how that could happen with WordPress' schedule function? I'm not waiting anotherMake a silent noise unto the Lord - Tuesday TubeWatch

I'm reading a lot more comics/graphic novels now than I ever have. Sadly, that's not saying much, since I only read individual unconnected issues at a time - I neverAn attache case, an underground government, and a Spider-Man on the edge

Just a couple of examples of life with Little Mommy... Sometimes I don't give my kids enough credit Recently Little Mommy and I were putting together a puzzle on the living roomLittle Mommy moments

The Players: Dad - in the upstairs office, working Mom - ...indisposed 3-year old, aka "Little Mommy" - playing in playroom 2-year old, aka "Stinky" - playing in playroom So I'm sitting in my office,Little Mommy drops the... um... ball

Three years ago today, at 11:48pm, I wrote these amazingly insightful words: Check it out… Friday, December 9th, 2005 Looks like I am officially blogging. I am too cool for words. (Ironic, isn’tThree years of yammering on...

Well, here we are with more sci-fi news. This time it'll be a mix of things old and new. Strap on your propeller hat and hang on, 'cause here weSci-fi rumors and news catch up

Living in a house with 3 females has apparently done me in. I think I need to turn in my man card. Either that, or I have to stop watching moviesWhen did I become a girl?

I thought I was done with posting about Watchmen. But then I found this: There are a huge number of these Marvel vs. DC clips, and a lot of them areTuesday TubeWatch: the final Watchmen-related post

Computer Tips For Everybody » Blog Archive » Create a custom Control Panel in Windows XP This is a timely tip for me, as I just received aCustomize your WinXP Control Panel

Craig Ferguson's Late Late show did a Doctor Who themed episode on Tuesday night. Craig cracks me up. And he's a true Doctor Who fan, too. Here's the "Cold Opening" and monologue: TheFerguson's Doctor Who show

It's 2am. I'm finally about to go to sleep. Before I can get into the bedroom, though, I hear my daughter whimpering in her bed. Usually, this means she hasAre all 3-year-olds like this?

Warner will follow Marvel model to develop new superhero films : Slice of SciFi [caption id="attachment_488" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Superman Returns darker"][/caption] Ever since Superman Returns was released, rumors were flying about theSuperman Returns, but not as expected

Sorry, all, for the lack of posts lately. There were some delays as Caddickisms moved to a new server, and I didn't want to lose anything here or on myServer move complete

Tuesday TubeWatch: Social networking will eat your brain!

It’s a popular debate lately: are these social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) bad for us? Recently an Oxford professor, Baroness Susan Greenfield, made some rather provocative speculations about the cumulative effect frequent use of these sites can have on our physical brains. As reported by ars technica:

Greenfield said that sites like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and Twitter may be forcing kids’ brains back into an infant-like state, as infants need constant stimulation to remind them that they exist. She added that she worries that “real” conversation will eventually give way to these little snippets of text dialogue, indicating that our normal language might eventually turn into pokes, wall shout-outs, and 140-character snark fests.

She’s also shown explaining her view in the video below (though to be honest I had a hard time following her).

As a result of her statements, a debate was born on a British news show. On February 24th, BBC Newsnight aired this segment:

They go back and forth about the issue. Sort of. I actually think the anchor, generally, did a good job.

Here’s what I learned from this debate:

  • Even with a British accent, snarky people are annoying.

(For the record, I know absolutely nothing about these individuals beyond what I see here.)

Both of these guys have useful things to say. It’s a shame they’re not having the same discussion.

This whole debate seems a bit twisted, actually. It’s supposedly about Susan Greenfield’s statements, but she’s not there to defend them—instead they got Aric Sigman (the ‘conservative’), who apparently has never met Susan nor was he involved in her research (or lack thereof). He did apparently also write something that was taken as alarmist on a similar subject, though he does a fairly good job, I think, of clarifying that his point is simply that there is reason to examine whether Social Networking sites, among other activities that reduce “face time,” could possibly have a negative effect on attention development. He cites similar studies (that no one refutes) on the effect of TV watching. More research is warranted. That pretty much seems to be his point.

He also gets around to parental responsibility in monitoring and limiting children’s time on the computer.

Honestly I’m not sure where the argument is here. Aric’s statements don’t sound alarmist to me. A bit of responsibility seems reasonable to request.

Ben Goldacre, on the other hand, won’t let go of talking about Susan Greenfield’s statements. He’s making valid points about policy setting, in the end, but they are not really directed at Aric as much as they are at Susan, who isn’t there. Childish looks of superiority abound.

What bothers me the most about this is that I think people will see this and relate more to Ben (as the “individual” raging against “The Man”) and discount Aric’s point almost out-of-hand. It’s not that most people would disagree with Aric’s points if they listened, it’s that they won’t really hear what he’s saying. Who would disagree that we need to pay attention to the amount of time our kids spend on the computer? That it would be helpful for them to cultivate ‘real life’ friendships and ensure that the proper time is spent on them?

What they’ll probably hear instead is that Ben is arguing that Facebook will not melt your brain and cause developmental disorders, so they’ll assume that Aric’s point is that Facebook will melt your brain and must be shut down. Which is nowhere near what he’s saying.

Gotta go… I need to Tweet about the problems I’m having coming up with my Facebook statuses.

(found via Corporate e-Learning Strategies and Development)

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