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

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Okay, the term "Web 2.0" is utterly useless, but you gotta admit, there's some cool stuff out there. Instead of listing all the cool apps that will make your life wonderful,Web 2.0 applications / free conferencing

I thought I'd give the site a new look, so I went searching for a new theme. I'm not entirely sold on this one yet, but I'm giving it aNew theme

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

Hey, guess what... this review will be completely devoid of jokes about having seen this movie before. Just wanted to get that off my chest. Off the top of my headReview: Deja Vu

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Embed a legal youtube clip that I either found today or created myself. Then tell everyone about the clip and related information. I consideredTelling Time - 7 day challenge

I just ran across a blog that offers "Tips for Life". In two articles, they provide perspectives on how to deal with police officers if you are pulled over forHow to deal with Cops

This is one of a series of articles I wrote for The Coalition of Awesomeness blog some time ago. The blog has since gone to an unfortunate (but very awesome)The gift of music

The majority of senior executives and managers are stressed at work. Eighty percent of senior executives and managers are stressed at work, with a third saying they are highly stressed,Stress: Executives and managers feeling the pressure

I've done the math and the interest in this from my typical readership turns out to be slightly less than zero, but hey... it's my blog. I write what IHow to publish a multi-file Captivate project as a single SCORM course

This is a great idea. Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill stand-up routine is hilarious (though profanity laced). Matching the bits with Lego stop-motion animation turns out to be really funnyTuesday TubeWatch: Lego Izzard - Cake or Death?

“Journeyman” Will Get Its 12 Episodes - Slice of SciFi Well, it sounds like saner heads have prevailed... for now. NBC has given the green light to the final two produced“Journeyman” Will Get Its 12 Episodes - Slice of SciFi

Well, what do you know? The first trailer for X-Men 3 actually looks good! I was really worried with all the rumors I'd been hearing. Now I'm looking forward toX-3 trailer up

In the last month or so, it seems like Murphy is camped on my front step. Computer - dead. Motherboard, presumably, is fried, based on research. Car inspection - over $500 moreUnexpected costs, things that have broken lately, and lessons learned

Ohio Board Undoes Stand on Evolution - New York Times (free subscription required) The Ohio Board of Education voted 11 to 4 Tuesday to toss out a mandate that 10th-grade biologyOhio Board Tells Students, "Thinking Isn't Important"

2theadvocate.com | Suburban | Deputies: Owner shot out man’s tires when he couldn’t pay for gas People are so screwed up. Take a second and write down the guy's license plateMan steals gas; Man shoots cars tires

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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