Loading Docs 2016

A selection of short documentaries from the Loading Docs 2016 collection, hosted by Radio New Zealand.

RNZ is proud to present three short documentaries from Loading Docs 2016. Watch all here, including one that delves into a friendship in transition.

Source: What happens when your best mate becomes a woman?

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Serendipities – Len Hjalmarson

len_180In a little while, Len Hjalmarson will join us at Laidlaw College (Henderson) to teach an intensive course on missional leadership. Len and I connected initially through the Wikiklesia project back in 2007, and more recently through our mutual activities as faculty advisors for the George Fox University DMin in Leadership and Global Perspectives programme.

However, recently I came across a series of magazine articles that Len wrote for the old Bible College of New Zealand (now Laidlaw College) magazine ‘Reality‘ back in the early 90s. A serendipitous moment.

You can read the articles at the links below:

Len’s posting on his upcoming visit is here – http://nextreformation.com/?p=12918

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Robotic hand that learns from experience

An article following on from the one the other day – though from a different source. This time, work on creating a hand with human-like dexterity as part of a larger project to create robots that interact with the everyday world. Combine this form of inductive learning with the ‘pain’ sensitivity of the other robotic model and you get something that might be more responsive and, in the examples of making coffee in the article, able to react to the heat of the cup when passing it to someone.

Source: Researchers created a robotic hand that is eerily human-like and can learn on its own

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Robots to be taught how to feel pain

While we’re working to insulate ourselves from pain, we’re also working to make robots feel it. Makes for some interesting ethical scenarios about both human and machine pain.

An artificial nervous system aimed at teaching robots how to feel pain is being developed by German researchers.

Source: Robots to be taught how to feel pain

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Ellul, Technique & Confronting the Technological Society

Had occasion to direct a student to Jacques Ellul’s work the other day to look at his idea of la technique seen as ‘the totality of methods rationally arrived at and having absolute efficiency (for a given stage of development) in every field of human activity.’* In the process of doing that, I came across these two links.

Source: Confronting the Technological Society

With the conclusion of that piece ending with the following:

Neither of these two options — wholeheartedly embracing the technological imperative or shunning it with anti-civilizational escapism à la Rousseau — is a fitting response to the warning of The Technological Society. We ought instead to take Ellul’s book, placed in the context of his larger work, as an appeal to walk a middle path between unrestrained technophilia and reactionary technophobia, a path we see only if we refocus on human ends, which are familial, communal, political, and ecclesial. This requires that we are willing to admit that among our vast array of technical means many fail to serve us well, that progress on this path has often little to do with innovation, and that control over our means is not simply given but something we must struggle for by confronting them with these higher than technical ends.

See also:

Source: Ellul and Technique | | The International Jacques Ellul Society

* Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, trans. John Wilkinson (New York: Vintage Books, 1964), xxv.

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Free e-Book on quest for longevity

9780226020938With my ongoing interest in the area of bioethics and transhumanism an email mentioning this free eBook from the University of Chicago Press piqued my interest today. Will load it up on the eReader and have a skim through it.

“The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business, and the Fountain of Youth” by Ted Anton.
The book details are here and the eBook is available for month from here.

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Nonprofit WP: WordPress Guide for Nonprofits

This looks like a helpful site with advice for setting up the WordPress content management system. It’s aimed at non-profits, but some useful basic information there.

Source: Nonprofit WP: WordPress Guide for Nonprofits

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Reading the landscape…

Interesting article that came across my desk today.

David Pritchett explores how we can ‘read’ the cultural landscape and become more educated about the ‘invisible structures’ that exclude people from the land and from the wider permaculture movement.

See: Settlers in the Land: Decolonising Permaculture | Permaculture Magazine

Another article that might be useful for students to engage with and critique in the Laidlaw College Indigenous Theology programme.

See: Indigenous Theology | Laidlaw College

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Higher Education links – cleaning out the Bookmark bar

Clearing out a bunch of things that has been sitting in the Bookmarks bar of my web browser.

Here’s a bunch of links to some interesting higher education posts I saved during the last 6 months.

Posted in eLearning/Distance, Finishing the PhD, Postgraduate, Teaching/Education | Leave a comment

The 101 Best Websites for ESL Students in 2016

Useful set of web sites the connect with English as Second Language students that I’ll be forwarding onto my student support staff.

Source: The 101 Best Websites for ESL Students in 2016

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