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May 18, 2012

Two inspirational videos for today

A really short one -- Richard Feynman speaking about confusion in 1963, and a really long one -- Randy Pausch's 'last lecture' (not actually his last lecture by any manner of means). That last one is over an hour long and it has 14 million hits. I think I may be the last person on the internet to see it (except not, because I've just passed it on to Marianne).

I didn't watch either of those today, but I watched two other videos (as with food and study, I'm keeping public notes here). The first is another Randy Pausch lecture, Time Management. If you're familiar with time management, there's not a lot new here; he tells you to pay attention to Covey's four quadrants, to eat the biggest frog first, and to get your inbox to zero. But it's still jolly entertaining, and it's all a good reminder.

I've been planning to watch more TED videos, but how to choose? There's a lot out there. So I decided that I could probably do a lot worse than start with the most watched TED videos that I hadn't already seen. So I sorted by 'most watched', and came up with Ken Robinson's argument that the entire education system is wrong. I thought this was pretty mediocre to be honest; the premise seems obvious to me to anyone who is paying attention and I don't think Robinson takes it anywhere very interesting, or addresses it in a terribly clever way. Moreover, I observe my kids' schools trying to address this, and teaching IT, and enterprise, and learning power, and all the sorts of things that I think it would be jolly good for schools to teach kids. The catch is that the curriculum in these areas is so bad, the quality of the teaching so poor, and the subjects so reviled by the kids that I genuinely think they'd do better just teaching the kids Latin.

Finally, one video that features the greatly inspirational Peter Norvig and the not-so-inspirational me -- tonight's Office Hours Google hangout for Udacity CS212: Design of Computer Programs.

Posted by Alison Scott at May 18, 2012 04:46 PM


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