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

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I'm late for leaving on a trip, so this will be quick. The Dark Knight Rises is a completely worthy capstone to the Nolan/Bale Batman trilogy. It turns the trilogy intoReview: The Dark Knight Rises (no spoilers)

Apple - Trailers - The Dark Knight I can't believe no one told me this trailer was out. Okay, visually it's an extremely boring trailer. Pretty much, it's the bat-symbol with aTrailer: The Dark Knight

My daughters and I are enjoying my new Hadrian's Walk Buff. They love the balaclava mode. I'm partial to the pirate configuration, myself. Unfortunately an eye patch is not included, but evenBuff/Not So Buff

Writer's Blog: J.K. Rowling vs. Airport Security Somebody in the TSA has got to get a grip. [tag]J.K. Rowling[/tag] tried to return home recently and had a run-in with [tag]airport security[/tag]: Airport securityHarry Potter and the Paper-Cut Terrorist

» The Top 10 Most Quotable Geek Films…Ever! | Geekend | TechRepublic.com Wow, what a loaded topic. The Top Ten Most Quotable Geek Films... hmmm... to be included in my list,The Top 10 Most Quotable Geek Films

No, I'm not talking about downloadable, put-it-on-your-iPod-and-go music (well, the sites do make it easy to buy the singles as a download). I'm talking about music to listen to whenFree music on the internet!

Informal Learning » Blog Archive » The Weirdness of Wiki Wiki's are full of potential for learning and communication, and yet for the most part they aren't being used within corporationsWiki's in a corporate environment

"Dude," (for some reason this conversation frequently begins with "dude") "you're the most technical person I know. How can you not even have a cell phone?" This conversation (orThe Neo-Luddite Geek Technologist

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...

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » Latest Doctor Who Rumor - It’s All Good! Rumor has it that the second season of DoctorDoctor Who Season 2 on Sci-Fi

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

Why Religion is an Important Part of Personal Finance ∞ Get Rich Slowly The topic of the linked post has (almost) nothing to do with my post here. It's the commentsSome people have REALLY short fuses

If you were the head of a movie company, which movies would you choose to spend $1.5 million per 30 seconds to advertise during the Super Bowl—an event watched primarilyTuesday TubeWatch: Super Bowl Movie Roundup

Jason Bourne is at it again. Chasing down his past and removing people who get in his way with some amazing hand-to-hand take downs. The Bourne Ultimatum picks up right whereReview: The Bourne Ultimatum

... you're probably not alone. But it's really good! I love hearing songs performed in an unexpected way, especially when it doesn't diminish the song. Parodies are one thing, butIf you've never heard Bach on a mandolin... - Tuesday TubeWatch

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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