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

Of Machines and Men

While the industrial revolution was a revolution of lifestyle and society.  Romanticism is much more of a revolution in thinking, art and literature. In fact, Romanticism is a revolt of sorts against the industrial revolution.  Obviously, society had become too dependent on the modern advances that came with the industrial revolution, and there was virtually no chance for society as a whole to go back to the way things were, but there was obviously a desire to do just that.  Rather than having a complete De-revolution, the people of the day turned to other outlets, such as literature to express their desire for simplicity.

Before the romantic periods, literature tended to be more scientific and rational in nature. This is not surprising, as the Industrial Revolution was a huge revolution in science and reason. Romantic literature, on the other hand, explored more imaginative topics. They tended focus on capturing the feelings in an individual moment, rather than writing books with the intent of conveying information.  Describing emotion was more powerful to them than simply creating literature based in reason. Continue reading