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April 06 2013

That which we learn with delight we will never forget.
— Aristotle interpreted by Bill Moyers
Reposted bysiriusminerva siriusminerva
It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?
— The correct quotation appears in Thoreau's letter to his friend, H.G.O. Blake, on 16 November 1857
The Henry D. Thoreau Mis-Quotation Page | Walden Woods

March 21 2013

Herb ... these are universals.

You select a piece of text. You click B or I, which marks up the text.
Or you select a piece of text, then click the Link button, and enter a URL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training), which marks up a bit of text to make it an active link.

January 29 2013


In the end, it appeared that actually the tone set early on in a comment thread looked like it influenced comments much more than anything intrinsic about the format or identity system used.

There’s no doubt that software design and features do influence community behaviors, but not as much as decent community management and personal engagement from journalists does.

How Facebook comments affect trolling for news websites — Tech News and Analysis (GigaOm.com)
So the question is not, Do we have policies that might work? It is, Can we mobilize the political will to act? And so, I've been spending a lot of time just thinking about how do I communicate more effectively with the American people? How do I try to bridge some of the divides that are longstanding in our culture? How do I project a sense of confidence in our future at a time when people are feeling anxious? They are more questions of values and emotions and tapping into people's spirit.
Barack Obama is Not Pleased | New Republic

January 27 2013

From someone who willfully used false information to shape perception and policy:
"... a mode of operation that was the opposite of conspiracy: We created a transparent record of the facts and reasoning we used to support our proposals. Bush often complimented Rumsfeld’s memos, which addressed him at the level on which he liked to operate—that of strategy, not tactics. They were analytical and mercilessly edited, giving the results of much thought in few words. And they showed confidence that the ideas they contained, when reduced to print on a page, could retain potency and withstand scrutiny over time, unlike arguments that derive their force from the personality of the advocate."
— Douglas Feith's "War and Decision"
Feith's record, deconstructed

January 01 2013

November 16 2012

Develop infallible technique, then place yourself at the mercy of inspiration.
— on the art and craft of Chinese pottery

November 15 2012

Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.
— Schopenhauer

November 14 2012

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much ...
— Rudyard Kipling in "If"

November 06 2012

Those who surrender true liberty to a false security defend nothing worth preserving, while those who abandon real security to an illusory liberty protect nothing worth safeguarding.
— Ronald K. L. Collins, Author and Law Professor; quoted in Who Watches the Watchmen (PDF) from National Intelligence University

November 02 2012

The Discourse Ethics of Jürgen Habermas
One of the most famous phrases of the discourse ethics of Jürgen Habermas is: in discourse the unforced force of the better argument prevails. Or to put it in the words of hermeneutic philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, who gives this a popular turn: "What the Others are saying could be right".
— "Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action"

October 16 2012

This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its substance and material? And what its causal nature [or form]? And what is it doing in the world? And how long does it subsist?
— Marcus Aurelius VIII. para 11 "Meditations"

October 11 2012

Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!”
— first paragraph of "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens

September 24 2012

There is a continuum in cognitive science between explicit and implicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge is known as data, as information stored as such in the mind -- "knowing that." Implicit knowledge is "knowing how" -- knowledge of how to go about doing something, knowledge that we may or may not be able to describe explicitly.
For instance, if I ask you: "How do you breathe?" you may have no explicit idea how you do it, but you nonetheless continue breathing. Depending how far along the scale something is, implicit knowledge may be converted into explicit, and vice versa. This often happens in learning -- we are told in words how to do something, like writing HTML, and these explicit rules are eventually converted into implicit habits and actions, like instinctively adding "p" tags before a new idea.
Implicit and explicit knowledge - Everything2.com
Axiomatic concepts identify explicitly what is merely implicit in the consciousness of an infant or of an animal. Implicit knowledge is passively held material which, to be grasped, requires a special focus and process of consciousness.
Implicit Knowledge — Ayn Rand Lexicon
Implicit Knowledge can be defined simply as knowledge that is not explicit. However, there is a subtle difference between Implicit Knowledge and Tacit Knowledge in that it is presumed that Implicit Knowledge hasn’t yet been codified but that it likely can be codified, while Tacit knowledge may well be impossible to codify. It could be said that Implicit Knowledge is that which hasn’t yet been “put together” either by expression, concept development, assumptions that lead to principles, or through analysis of facts or theory.
In Knowledge Management much has been written since Polanyi (1969) about both Tacit Knowledge and Explicit Knowledge and the distinct differences between the two, but less has been written about the potential importance of Implicit Knowledge as a probable “shade of gray” between the two.
Implicit Knowledge is very much about “knowing how” to do something (which explains to some degree why the terms Implicit Knowledge and Tacit Knowledge are sometimes used interchangeably) but it is something that we may not be able to explain or describe explicitly. Implicit Knowledge is often tapped into indirectly and unintentionally.
Implicit Knowledge - IT Toolbox
The ability to speak a language, use algebra, or design and use complex equipment requires all sorts of knowledge that is not always known explicitly, even by expert practitioners, and which is difficult to explicitly transfer to users.
While tacit knowledge appears to be simple, it has far reaching consequences and is not widely understood.
Tacit knowledge - Wikipedia
“With marketplaces, it’s that chicken-and-egg thing,” says Edelman. “Until you have lots of products, you don’t have lots of buyers.”
How a Teacher Made $1 Million Selling Lesson Plans - Businessweek
Reposted bythatsridicarus thatsridicarus

September 12 2012


apparatus (dispositif)

Foucault generally uses this term to indicate the various institutional, physical and administrative mechanisms and knowledge structures, which enhance and maintain the exercise of power within the social body. The original French term dispositif is rendered variously as 'dispositif', 'apparatus' and 'deployment' in English translations of Foucault's work

discursive practice

This term refers to a historically and culturally specific set of rules for organizing and producing different forms of knowledge. It is not a matter of external determinations being imposed on people's thought, rather it is a matter of rules which, a bit like the grammar of a language, allow certain statements to be made.


This term, which Foucault introduces in his book The Order of Things, refers to the orderly 'unconscious' structures underlying the production of scientific knowledge in a particular time and place. It is the 'epistemological field' which forms the conditions of possibility for knowledge in a given time and place. It has often been compared to T.S Kuhn's notion of paradigm.

exclusion (of individuals and groups)

The examination of the situation of people existing on the margins of society is one of the mainstays of Foucault's work. His analysis focuses on the 'negative structures' of society or excluded groups, as opposed to more traditional approaches which focus on the mainstream.

normal and the pathological, normalization

Foucault argues that contemporary society is a society based on medical notions of the norm, rather than on legal notions of conformity to codes and the law. Hence criminals need to be 'cured' of a disease not punished for an infraction of the law. There is a insoluble tension between a system based on law and a system based on medical norms in our legal and medical institutions.


One of the most important features of Foucault's view is that mechanisms of power produce different types of knowledge which collate information on people's activities and existence. The knowledge gathered in this way further reinforces exercises of power. Foucault refutes the idea that he makes the claim 'knowledge is power' and says that he is interested in studying the complex relations between power and knowledge without saying they are the same thing.

problematizations/ the history of problems

Foucault explains that he is more interested in writing a history of problems rather than a history of solutions or in writing the comprehensive history of a period or an institution. He describes the history of thought as 'the analysis of the way an unproblematic field of experience or set of practices which were accepted without question... becomes a problem, raises discussion and debate, incites new reactions, and induces a crisis in the previously silent behaviour, habits, practices and, institutions'.


Truth is a major theme in Foucault's work, in particular in the context of its relations with power, knowledge and the subject. He argues that truth is an event which takes place in history. It is something that 'happens', and is produced by various techniques (the 'technology' of truth) rather than something that already exists and is simply waiting to be discovered. Foucault argues that 'the effect of truth' he wants to produce consists in 'showing that the real is polemical'. Foucault further notes that he is not interested in 'telling the truth', in his writing; rather, he is interested in inviting people to have a particular experience for themselves.

michel-foucault.com/ concepts
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