“We need to teach kids to code. All of them.”

Andy Young writes the post I’ve been gearing up to, this is a great read, if you have children, of any age, take a few moments and read the whole thing: “Coding for Success”:

…The computer stands with the greatest developments in modern humanity (and has made many of the other great developments possible). Let’s not just brush over such a crass truism, though – what do we mean by this, exactly?

Computers are tools for automation – fundamentally of calculation (“computation”) but which can be applied to endless tasks, once we factor in the multitude of peripherals and interfaces now available. Computers help us automate and repeat the many complicated steps that make up the search for the answer to some of our hardest problems: whether that’s a biologist attempting to model a genome or an office administrator tasked with searching an endless archive of data.

The use of tools is a big part of what make us human, and the computer is humanity’s most powerful tool. When David beat Goliath or when today’s researcher makes a breakthrough, it’s the tools that help us win.

…Yet the majority of us are entirely dependent on a select few, to enable us to achieve what we want.

…The ability to code is what brings the power of computing to the masses. We need to break away from a culture where we consider people to be “technical” or “non-technical” – not everyone takes to literature or eloquent composition of prose, but we need to attack the phenomenon of the “non-technical” in the same way that we tackle illiteracy.

If you’re not going dark, help others get informed: Be a Better Activist Day is today

Embedded in this post is a stream to an event, starting this morning at 10AM, on getting informed on how Congress works, organized by the author of “Information Diet”, Clay Johnson. There is a fantastic set of speakers that will help all of us better navigate the system and make change.

The stream below will remain blank to around 10AM. Click the link if you don’t see the stream starting then. Related links below the video.

Related Links:

Information Diet: “Dear Internet: It’s No Longer OK to Not Know How Congress Works”

Mother Board: “Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works”

O’Reilly: “Stop SOPA”

EFF.org: “Stop the Blacklist Legislation: a Guide to In-Person Meetings with Your Congressional Representatives” and “Strike Against Censorship”.

Fight for the Future: “Stop American Censorship”

Google.com: “End Piracy, Not Liberty”

Wikipedia: “SOPA and PIPA – Learn more”

YouTube.com: “Our Internet”:

Politically Minded Trek Episodes That Still Resonate

You may not be a Star Trek fan for various different reasons, believe me I understand, but there is a way of thinking about humanity, ethics, morality and governance that reflected a belief system that was both challenging and hopeful.

Tor.com lists 10 of the best episodes exemplifying this in “Occupy Starfleet: 10 Politically Minded Trek Episodes That Still Resonate”

YouTube.com: “Lessons in Humanity: Habeas Corpus”


Daphne Koller of Stanford on Technology as “Passport to Personalized Education”

NYTimes: “Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education”:

…our approach to education has remained largely unchanged since the Renaissance: From middle school through college, most teaching is done by an instructor lecturing to a room full of students, only some of them paying attention.

How can we improve performance in education, while cutting costs at the same time? In 1984, Benjamin Bloom showed that individual tutoring had a huge advantage over standard lecture environments: The average tutored student performed better than 98 percent of the students in the standard class.

Until now, it has been hard to see how to make individualized education affordable. But I argue that technology may provide a path to this goal.

Community Computer Center Opens in Frankford

The Frankford Gazette has a post on the new computer center that opened in one of my old neighborhoods, maybe I can stop by and help: “Community Computer Center Open in Frankford”:

The majority of the residents of Frankford do not have internet access. The Free Library Branch does offer some service which is very well utilized all day long by students and others but those facilities cannot come close to meeting the demand. The new computer center will help to close the gap.

Alistar Croll: “much of human interaction has shifted from atoms to bits”

Read his post on O’Reilly Radar: “The feedback economy”:

In a society where every person, tethered to their smartphone, is both a sensor and an end node, we need better ways to observe and orient, whether we’re at home or at work, solving the world’s problems or planning a play date. And we need to be constantly deciding, acting, and experimenting, feeding what we learn back into future behavior.

We’re entering a feedback economy.