The American Frontier and Open Source Software

As I was doing research on the frontier, I was shocked at how many articles that had been written on how the frontier had shaped American Culture.  Evidently, there was a famous article written about just this! It was entitled The Significance of the Frontier in American History. In his article, he discusses how different life in America was compared to life in Europe. The main difference, Frederick Jackson Turner argues, was the frontier found in America. This land was free to individuals who were simply willing to go out and take it. This free land was almost like a magnet that pulled men from the east to the west. They came as typical individuals who brought their cultural morays, but soon found that their traditional way of living simply would not suit life in the frontier.  Suddenly the skills that they had developed for a traditional economy simply were not useful in an economy based in self-reliance.  Individuals had to learn to develop more practical skills that would help the survive, rather than rely on the skills that society had placed emphasis on. Continue reading

Internet 1.0 < Web 2.0 < Education 3.0

This is going to be somewhat of a long post. So if your brain With that being said, if your attention span is too small for big ideas, leave now.

Let’s start start by looking at a picture of the internet.

Obviously, the internet is impossible to take a picture of. This is simply a graphical representation of what the web looks like virtually.  Notice how the web is simply a connection of billions of devices. Also notice how interconnected the web is. One device isn’t simply connected to one other device, but rather each linked in computer literally has a billions of connections it can make. Aren’t connections what makes the internet, the internet?  Imagine an internet that only allows one connection.  Imagine if, when you signed up for the internet, you could only choose one website to connect to. What website would you choose? Facebook (But remember you could only view your profile)? Google (remember though, Google is only useful because of the connections it makes)? Amazon.com (But remember that a large number of products sold off Amazon.com are sold by third party retailers)? Continue reading

Picasso and Einstein: Modern Communists

First off, this post has nothing to do with whether or not Einstein and Picasso were communists. The title just sounded catchy, and I hoped it would catch your attention. Anyway, on to my post.

As I was doing research on Modernism, I found a website that was the course website for a course entitled “Science and Modernism.” One of the suggested reads was  Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc. Seeing that these two experts were influential in modernism, I decided to give the book a try. A few seconds later on the Kindle, I had downloaded the book, and immediately became interested in the premise of the book.  The author himself says that he is “more interested in why Einstein and Picasso Picasso made their discoveries than in how they went about developing insights.” The author explores this by reading parallel biographies on both Picasso and Einstein. An ingenious way of exploring this topic.

Picasso’s work Blue and Rose were his two artworks that established his reputation.  Einstein, on the other hand was on the cutting edge of physics. He discovered scientific theories that completely revolutionized Newtonian Physics(at least at high speeds). One thing the author emphasizes is that although these thinkers were revolutionary in their discoveries, if they had been born later, others probably would have made these discoveries.  These two minds would have made other discoveries.  This made me think that the paradigm shift that was created by Modernism was as much as what caused these discoveries as the minds themselves. Continue reading