Knowledge = connection….

I have responded to George’s post on the network and individual’s liberty here: https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/the-network-and-individuals-liberty/

My observation is: It may be worthy to think about knowledge not just in terms of connections, but the Yin/Yang or connections/disconnections followed by re-connections of another kind. The CCK08 well demonstrates some of the Yin/Yang effect in terms of how knowledge is co-created, consumed, re-defined and re-created. If we are to classify people under the concept of Yin/Yang, we would always find the strong opposite voices revolving in the interactions. As everyone of us is made up of the Yin/Yang in our mind we would also be sharing our Yin/Yang (positive and negatives) perspectives with each others. Also, the Yin (off or disconnected) would also be balanced by Yang (on or connected) depending on the how, when, where, who and what you want to be connected to.

If you are connected to me, and we both share common interests, the Yang takes effect. However, if you don’t think this connection is worthy, then the Yin (disconnection) takes effect. So the notion of knowledge = connection could be subject to a strong human dimension and personal preference (this includes intrinsic motivation, likes and dislikes, shared interests and emotions out of interaction). Would this be one of the primary factors in determining whether people would comment on other’s blogs or not?

This could also be the case when we are learning through the artifacts. We like or dislike a book or an article based on whether we could resonate with the concepts, understand the underpinning logic, and verify the validity of points, and gain values behind the ideas or facts presented by the author or blogger. If the contents are based on opinions rather than “facts”, then we would check the source and reasons of those opinions before we make a judgment on its value.

Based on the Yin/Yang concept, disconnection over the net (Web or Social Networks) may not be a bad thing, and could even be a good thing in some cases. This applies to those people who prefer to maintain a healthy balance of their life, by actually learning through personal meditation, prayers or the few close or strong connections only. For some people, too many connections may cause distractions, physical or mental discomfort or pain. This is based on my observation and notion that some people dislikes the use of internet, virtual social networks as a source of knowledge, but would prefer to be connected to their selected real world, the real people, and the real artifacts instead. The few real strong personal networks that could add value to their life.

This concept is validated to some extent with some of my strong connections (friends, relatives).

Would human elements play an important role in the perception of knowledge?

So does knowledge also come through some disconnections and re-connections (of a different kind)?

What is in your mind? Is pattern = knowledge?

I received this from my beloved sister.

Only great minds can read this quickly
This is weird, but interesting!
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is t aht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it

Is it recognition out of our words and passage?

Can you read other’s mind through such means?

Some reflections on lurking and facilitation in networked learning

This is my response to Jenny’s interesting Teachers talk too much.

Hi Jenny and Lani,
Great to learn about your views here. I have just listened to the recordings, and would like to reflect on the details later in my post.
The suggestion of using legitimate peripheral participation rather than lurking(from a social networking point of view) appeals to me. I have once read that educators or bloggers would like to lurk (read and observe) first, when they join a course or network, or a community, and see if they would be interested in before becoming more active in the “participation”. As Jenny has mentioned, lurking is legitimate. I think it is also part of any social networking and e-learning “induction”.
I resonate with you (Jeny and Lani) on the discussion of intervention and facilitation. In that teaching seems to have assumed that the “teacher” is teaching the learners some knowledge and skills. In facilitation, the facilitator would encourage participants (or learners) to become “active teachers or mentors to each other” in the e-learning process (learning as sharing), peer e-mentoring as you may call it. Facilitation seems to be more effective in community of practice and social networking, or even in Elluminate sessions, whereas teaching may sound appropriate in lecturing and traditional face-to-face lessons, where the purpose is to “transfer knowledge from teacher to students”.

I will need to reflect more deeply on the notion of course versus networked learning before responding to assessment.

Thanks Jenny for your stimulating post and Lani for your insights into facilitation.
John

An alternative way of blogging -Skype conversation

Here is my comments left in Jenny’s interesting Is Blog Conversation Distinctive

Jenny, That’s an excellent summary of some of the major reasons of blogging. As discussed, there are many others which could only be revealed via private chat. And I suspect that we could only reveal some “truths” even through formal research, based on “privacy”, and “cultural reasons”.
Here are some of my thoughts on Skype conversation (hope that it could echo with your conversation on whether blogging is distinctive):
I am delighted that we have opened up another way of connection – the Skype tele-conferencing (or over the phone). I greatly appreciate your wonderful sharing of views over Skype.  As it is a synchronous two-way communication, I have gained a deeper understanding of your perspectives as well as my own thinking. This strengthens our connections significantly. I am wondering if such Skype conversation could be an alternative “private” blogging that people would like to consider in future connections. Instead of writing, we talk and listen, and actively exchange views. Is such action learning more effective?
We could agree on actions promptly, and ask questions to clarify our different views. At times, this could be a challenge for me, as I have to remind myself in focusing on certain topic ( based on a “professional approach”). You might have noted that I prefer an informal approach in the chat, as this is our first one. And I was both excited and eager to share nearly everything with you. Just can’t wait for that conversation to slip away. Such experience could hardly be gained from a blog.
So, I found this an interesting experience in that all the myths, assumptions and mysterious character and appearance of a person may be revealed gradually in such a tele-conference. Whereas in blogging, you could still keep it as a suspense, for months, or even years. Curiosity to know about a blogger may be another important motivation towards reading a blog too! By the time when you talk and meet with the blogger face to face, what will be your impression? Ah Ha! Guess my age!  That’s how you look like! (This is added here on this blog, not left in Jenny’s comments)
Don’t you think so?
Again, what a great chat we have! Million thanks.
John

The network and individual’s liberty

George mentions in the liberty of the networked

“Society gave power to the individual, but also had absolute power over including or excluding the individual. Collective power was bought at the cost of individual rights and certainties. One of the most troubling aspects of the wired world, with its assault on privacy and its technologies of manipulation, may recreate and amplify this aspect of the world of the ancients.”

He raises the following questions: What will become of the individual? Collectives are great for many things. But any view of society that does not start with the individual is disconcerting.

In response to his questions, I would like to reflect on the different “forces”, especially the opposite voices amongst individuals within networks, and those between individual and network (or society) as Yin and Yang.

Yin and Yang

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin yang ([yin – simplified Chinese: 阴; traditional Chinese: 陰; pinyin: yīn] [yang – simplified Chinese: 阳; traditional Chinese: 陽; pinyin: yáng] um yang in Korean; often referred to in the west as yin and yang) is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn. The concept lies at the heart of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine,[1] and a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise,…. Many natural dualities – e.g. dark and light, female and male, low and high – are cast in Chinese thought as yin yang.

The relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and in the valley. Yin (literally the ‘shady place’ or ‘north slope’) is the dark area occluded by the mountain’s bulk, while yang (literally the ‘sunny place’ or ‘south slope’) is the brightly lit portion. As the sun moves across the sky, yin and yang gradually trade places with each other, revealing what was obscured and obscuring what was revealed. Yin is usually characterized as slow, soft, insubstantial, diffuse, cold, wet, and tranquil. It is generally associated with the feminine, birth and generation, and with the night. Yang, by contrast, is characterized as hard, fast, solid, dry, focused, hot, and aggressive. It is associated with masculinity and daytime.[2]

Yin and yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, which constantly interact, never existing in absolute stasis.

So Yin/Yang reflects the female/male or night/day. We need both sides to make up the world, to achieve the harmony, and the ultimate peace. And wouldn’t life be evolving like that? Even if it’s a coin, it has two sides (at least), but if you take a serious look, there is a third side (the rim- the ring which consists of multiple sides). This represents the multiple perspectives of individuals and collectives.  And these attitudes and perspectives are all coded and embedded in the individuals,  within the networks, and within the society.  And that may be how cultures of a community or society are developed.

Does it mean that an individual and its network are mutually dependent on each other just like the yin/yang or the 2 sides of a coin? Without the Yin (female) balancing the Yang (male), what would this world look like? 

How would this Yin and Yang affect the liberty of an individual in a community or network?  Sometimes, an individuals’ voice might be weakened by the network (the Voice of the Crowd), especially when there are misfit between individuals’ opinions from that of the network.  The power of the network could be imposed on the individuals.  Such conflict, if unresolved, will lead to individuals’ dissatisfaction on the network or participants of the networks. When there is an overpowering of the individuals such as basic rights from the society (or network), then the individuals would be resentful to its reign. History is the best teaching for us. How did revolutions arise? Why? How did people respond to the imposition of undemocratic rules and regulations?

So, it’s a natural phenomena – where an individual has to comply with the rules and regulations (the laws and legislations) set by society, which forms part of the basis of civilization. But without the individuals’ contribution to the network, how will a network or society grow?  Some networks or society fail because  of the domination of a few “strong voices” over the weak individuals, the power issue.

The Lord of the Ring – Return of the King exemplifies how the power of the dark force has turned the world upside down, with evils overruling the “Kingdom”, and where the Return of the King overturns the dark force and restore peace.  This is also the case of Star Wars, where the two opposite forces (Yin and Yang) have their important “roles” to play in the world.  Though these are fictitious stories, don’t they teach us very good lessons on the impact of power and forces over individuals in a society?  And that there are always Yin and Yang evolving in our networks and society.

How would we interpret these in our networks?   Which are the networks that could enable us to learn?  Who decides on what to learn and how to learn in a network? 

In reflection, I had shared learning with Catherine on Moodle Forum of CCK08 on various occasions. I think we had a fruitful conversation and discussion on the Network SARS example. I realised that SARS did represent one of the most life threatening virus network in recent decades.  And she kept on reminding me on the danger of virus spreading. And I valued her comments and criticism. 

In retrospect, without such a SARS virus attack, would we be aware of the need of community or network responses to any virus epidemic or pandemic? That was also a point that I would like to raise: any meme or virus could be spread without our awareness over the network. Sometimes, we may benefit from such a lesson, if we could learn from our mistakes. But at other times it may become a burden, and we might have lost control over the spread of virus. The result could be disastrous.

A balance between yin and yang is needed (just like the individual and the society/network). Individuals efforts are limited in solving systemic issues. One needs a collaborative network efforts to solve systemic or social problems. But we also need to nurture and empower the individuals to grow and develop in the network or society. That’s why education of individuals is important in any society.  And we need to value both individuals’ and networks’ voices.

Do we need to balance the Yin and Yang in an network?

The Social Network

Below is my “revised version” of a story that I received from my beloved one.  I share this with you by adapting it to the social network (instead of computers). 

A Spanish Teacher was explaining to her class that, in Spanish,

unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

‘House’ for instance, is feminine: ‘la casa.’

‘Pencil,’ however, is masculine: ‘el lapiz.’

So, a student asked, ‘What gender is ‘social network’?

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether ‘social network’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

family-photo-121

 

 

 

Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation. The men’s group decided that social network should definitely be of the feminine gender, because:

1. No one but their creator understands the internal logic of the network;

2. The language network members use to communicate with other members is sometimes incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes or criticisms are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one of the networks, you find yourself spending half of your available time in checking on the updates.  

(THIS GETS BETTER!)

The women’s group, however, concluded that social network should be Masculine, because:

1. In order to socialise with each other, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data  and information but still no body can comprehend all by themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but sometimes they may BECOME the problem (especially when the network is choked with information overload); and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better one to join.

Who won?  

This is to be shared with all the smart women you know…and all the men that have a good sense of humor.

But please take it as a laugh only.

John