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

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Last month's podcast was such a great success that I decided to do another one. When I say it was a great success, I mean that it was successfully uploaded andTIDBABSH the second, part the first

Okay, that may very well be the longest title I've ever written on this blog. New milestone! Woo hoo! The Oatmeal, while not very old, has become an insanely popular site,Semicolons: the only grammar related poster I've ever been tempted to buy

J. Michael Straczynksi, the creator of the 5-year TV series Babylon 5 in the 90's, has been doing little side stories from the B5 universe on and off since theBabylon 5 - the final word (mostly)

Parkin's Lot: Stupid in America Godfrey Parkin takes the notion (supported by a study) that America's public schools, on average, produce substandard education, and applies it to corporate environments. As he says,America's schools ineffective? Challenges for corporate learning

Generally speaking, women are nuts for Valentines Day. Generally speaking, men don't get it. We participate, frequently against our will, but we don't really get it. Why is there a specificValentines Day!

In 1941 and 1942, Superman showed up in some great Max Fleisher cartoons. I just picked up a Volume 1 DVD at the Dollar Store and it was a bargain. TheseReview: Superman: Max Fleisher cartoon shorts

J. Michael Straczynski - B5:TLT Pre-Production - Babylon5scripts.com Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, Disc 1 has now finished principle photography. B5:TLT is a series of Direct-to-DVD stories that focus on aNew Babylon 5 finishes principle photography

Hana Gittleman's "covert" site This site gives you the chance to join in on the Heroes storyline and become a part of the story. There are links to other websites fromHeroes Viral Marketing

It's been quite a while since I found some worthy Babylon 5 geeking. Check this out. An impressive job. He fits a huge number of major points from the show intoFive years in two minutes, 27 seconds

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

(Originally posted Jul 31, 2005 on my older blog) I've been watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited lately. This is good stuff. Mike got me hooked. I'd caught it while flippingReview: Justice League

Monkey Bites The post is missing a few details (perhaps because they aren't available), but it looks like the popular Eudora email client from Qualcomm is being completely re-written, using theEudora goes Open Source

Comcast.net TV - Colbert Raises $171,000 for Charity Okay, it's cool that he raised that much money, and it's funny how he did it, but this is what I love: Since returningStephen Colbert found hung between bathrooms

free wi-fi hotspots wifi cafes coffee shops hotels airports RV Parks (Okay, so I'm slipping in one more post before the new year...) If you're looking for free wi-fi connection anywhere inFree wi-fi hotspots

Star Wars: Community | starwars.com at Comic-Con 2006 At the recent Comic-Con, Steve Sansweet, head of Fan Relations, dropped some depressing news about one of the more anticipated Star Wars rumorsStar Wars in 3-D: Not happening soon

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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