Friday, 24 December 2004

Season Greetings

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thursday, 23 December 2004

More tips from the coaches

It was the Victoria State Age Championship in the last few days. I have been ferrying my dear swimmer between the swimming pool and home about 3 to 4 times daily until we have arranged car-pool to reduce to two trips per day. That's a big slice of time from my busy schedule!

During a causal discussion with the coaches, I learnt that swimmers need to overcome "pain barrier", learn to push their body, handle the pain from the physical work and recover afterwards. I know that my daughter knows her heart beat very well. She knows how much warm-up will get her heart beat to certain level in order to swim at certain percent of her maximum speed. However, her coach said that she actually hasn't really pushed her body hard enough. So she is performing under her potential.....

Our great Australian swimming hero Grant Hackett admitted that during Athens Olympic games, he defended his title in 1500m freestyle with a collapsed lung, with only 75% of his full lung capacity. The pain arising from that long swim was unimaginable!

I guess any success story will have sometime like that.

Roni and I are struggling through the Fablusi pain barrier - working long hours several times around the clock, mentally, socially and physically pushing ourselves and our family to the limits.

Interestingly, my sister forwarded a motivational powerpoint from her company's HR - advising the executives to do 20 minutes quick walk daily to reduce heart problems....

Life is a balancing act. The tips from the coaches are not only the "pain barrier" part. It is equally important to know how to recover after exerting oneself. This is the part I need to learn.

Monday, 20 December 2004

Context matters

My sister sent me this:

This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'Nothing' usually end in "Fine"

This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing"

This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

While this is more like a joke about the differences between the sexes, there is a lesson here for e-learning designer. Typically, e-learning will be delivered without the rich feedback from face to face interaction. If such misunderstanding (or re-interpretation) of common words used require explanation likes the above, computer-mediated messages are more likely to be mis-interpreted. If our e-learning content is solely dealing with information, that would not be much of a problem. For rich interaction like role play simulation, there is a lesson or two to be pondered carefully.

Copyright and Google Digital Library

re: Press commentary on Google's Digital Library Initiative via Auricle.

One of the press quoted was:

... we have the Sunday Times article All the world's best books at a click (Sunday Times, 19 Dec 2004) by John Sutherland, Professor of Modern English at University College London, which raises the commercial spectre:

"By the act of converting printed books to digital form Google will be creating a new copyright ... Works in the public domain will effectively be privatised. Whether or not Google chooses to exercise its rights, it and its library partners will be owners of the newly processed property. So the vast reservoir of material in the out-of-copyright public domain will become 'proprietary', or pay-per-view. If we get access, it will be because we are 'allowed', not because we have the right. Great Books will go the way of Test cricket. You don’t pay, you don ’t see. Google hasn't said it will do this; but, as far as I can make out, nor has it definitely said it won't. "

My understanding of copyright is that copyright protect the manifestation of a piece of work. While and if Google is digitising public domain material and locked them away in a pay-per-view system, it can only be charging for the manifestation it has created. Google, or in fact anyone else, has no right to forbid anyone else to digitise the work and put the work up in public domain or lock-up in yet another system. If we still believe in the "invisible hand" of the free market, the competition pressure will make the cost of digital goods to near zero because of the near-zero marginal cost of reproduction although there is the upfront cost in creating the material in the first place. The market competition will be shifted to another level (e.g. competing in the ease of locating the material) and we would be likely to pay for the convenience of finding of the content - not the content itself.

I hope the decision makers in Google (or any large data repository) will understand this economical force and adjust their business models accordingly. Otherwise, it will be just a waste of their initial investment in digitizing the material. People won't be paying the content, but will be happy to pay for the convenience of finding the material directly (which I am doubtful) or indirectly (e.g. via advertisement).

Sunday, 19 December 2004

It’s all about rich e-learning experiences

The opening paragraph (by Maish R Nichani) is (with my emphasis):

Here are my thoughts on the current discussion between focusing on tasks and focusing on information in an e-learning course. Amy Gahran points out that a task-oriented approach is more effective in most e-learning than an information oriented approach. My point is that a decision-making or an execution-based approach is even better. Decisions are what business organizations are about. The need to perform a task or to acquire information really depends on the decision you are trying to make. Thus, know-how is equally important as know-why or know-what, it really depends on the decision.

The rest of the post tells a convincing approach to more effective e-learning.

My reflection on this is why we only think in terms of tasks and information. A memorable, life-changing experience is not necessarily tasks nor information oriented. We, human, are blessed by our ability to learn from first person, simulated, second person and third person experience. The effectiveness of delivering an experience by narration depends on how well the story-teller can relate to the previous experience of the listener, in order to really triggers the links between the narrative and the existing base of experience of the listener. In many ways, narrative is still a uni-directional delivery. Tasks require operationally measurable output which may, or may not, reflect the rationale of doing the task in a certain way.

The author has used a very good title in the post "rich e-learning experiences". Rich experience implies a blended, clever and effective use of information and tasks. E-learning is about two or many directional exchange of ideas. When all the learners (or trainees) are exchanging meaningful stories related to the theme of the training, I would say we have a rich e-learning experiences.

Why am I so quiet lately?

Working from my home office for my own start-up business is no fun! Lately, we were installing Fablusi v2 for a US customer. My business partner Roni was over there and I was providing technical support from base.

During the last two weeks or more, I had been working 9-5 USA work hours, 9-5 Aussie work hours + overtime. We discussed the issues over Skype from midnight Melbourne time to about 7 am. Then I took a power snap. Got up again around 9am Melbourne time solving the issued raised aiming at delivering a solution by midnight before the USA guys got back. If I was lucky, I might take another power snap before midnight.

The technology was fantastic! Skype provided a cost-free and clear audio channel continuously during the USA 9-5 interval. We also used a number of tools: remote desktop, net-meeting, IM and video to supplement the audio channel. I must say doing things between continents have never been easier and affordable.

The cost was in my relationship with my family and my health. Working like this is NOT healthy, both biologically and psychologically. I am fortunate to have a very understanding wife who supported me all along. I really own her a lot!

Now that the pressure has ease off slightly, I am returning to my regular programming - about 12 hours daily. However, I would be taking a holiday in mid January. I am allowed to bring my laptop only for watching DVD on it. My GP advised me that if I don't do so, my life expectancy can be counted by the fingers in one hand. I don't want to see this happen!

What will happen to this blog? I will continue blogging for about 3 to 4 weeks before I take the break and will be back after that. I have opened a number of threads which I want to continue, but am afraid that I won't be able to finish before the break. I still like to write another two or three pieces on role play simulation design, another reflection on Stephen's Buntine Oration and some more on the "experience theme". I have started an open paper with only early drafts...

So, keep on reading and share your ideas with me ....

Wednesday, 15 December 2004

How to make miniature modelling clay oranges

via Boing Boing

This is an amazing photo sequence showing how to make miniature mandarins (or oranges). The Boing Boing remark:

Oranges are symbolic of gold and wealth for the Chinese, hence they're all over at the Lunar New Year

is incorrect!

Chinese has mandarins during New Year (Mandarin has the same sound as "lucky"), not oranges. But these fruits are close enough. This is why the photos show the peeled version (which is a common way to peel mandarins - we usually cut oranges!)

Warning: The advertisement links on the website are pornographic!

Tuesday, 14 December 2004

Dear IE, I'm leaving you for good

See the original, then:

ps I actually have fallen in love with Firefox. Firefox is lean, fast, responsive and understanding, just stunningly beautiful. Unlike you, Firefox surprises have been nice so far. When I needed some extra helps, there is extension around. Did I also mention that Firefox is compliant to standards? It changes its look readily, suiting my mode all the time.

pss BTW, when everyone else love Firefox, I just follow the crowd.

Monday, 13 December 2004


by Bill Pelz via Teaching and Developing Online. Original article published in Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks Volume 8, Issue 3 - June 2004.

Thanks Darren Cannell for pointing out an article which I will keep handy on my desktop.

The three principles are:

A. Principle #1: Let the students do (most of) the work.
1. Student Led Discussions
2. Students Find and Discuss Web Resources
3. Students Help Each Other Learn (Peer Assistance)
4. Students Grade Their Own Homework Assignments
5. Case Study Analysis
B. Principle #2: Interactivity is the heart and soul of effective asynchronous learning
1. Collaborative Research Paper
2. Research Proposal Team Project
C. Principle #3: Strive for presence
Social Presence
Cognitive Presence
Teaching Presence

In an earlier post: Levels of online courses; Where is yours?, I suggested that we should start looking for a level five course which achieve BOTH effective learning AND reduce workload on the part of the instructor/moderator/teacher. Bill Pelz has shown us how to create such a structure (an environment) - learners take on the responsibility of learning and do most of the work. Bill has provided the "structure", in image format, which can be used in many different types of courses verbatim. Unfortunately, I cannot find the use condition of Bill's work.

I would like to add that the "presence" of a responsible figure in the learning environment also serves two other purposes: 1. as a representation of the authority (i.e. the institute) who provided the learning environment and hence the right to provide evidence of achievement and 2. as an obligation to exercise "the duty of care". So if I may add one more sub-element to principle C, I would add "pastoral presence".

Interview of Stephen Downes by Robin Good

WOW, you can get anything better than this!

The mp3 file is waiting for curator approval. The window media is available. I have yet to listen to the interview. One of my favourite writer interviewed by one of the best reporter in the field....

What a treat!

Sunday, 12 December 2004

Piracy vs. Stealing: Teacher Fails "A" Student for Topic Choice

I am going to address two issues in this post.

The first part is about the issues of evaluation and assessment. The next part deals with lesson I learnt from an instructional design point of view.

First background (Quoting from Boing Boing):

"Sixteen year-old Steve Geluso was failed by his English teacher for choosing to distinguish piracy from stealing in an essay.


"His teacher failed him, saying there was no difference between the two and that he was "splitting hairs". Other teachers who read his essay said that he did well from an organizational and technical standpoint, but because his teacher felt that there was no difference between piracy and stealing, she gave him an 'F' because she disapproved of the content of his essay.

Steve's papers (scanned) can be found in his web blog.

On assessment

One of the first comment on assessment can be found here (THE NEW ACCOUNTABILITY). While this post initiated to discuss the new way of using the net to hold teachers accountable, the post reflects the mainstream view of assessment (evaluation of a PRODUCT as a way of evaluating the ability of the learner who produced the product, without looking into the PROCESS of how the "product" was created.):

The first scorer failed to assess the product (in this case the essay) based on the agreed* rubric.

*"agreed" may be a wrong word here. The publishing of the assessment criteria and the fact that the assessee produced a work according to the published criteria should legally form a contractual agreement which, in this case, there is no exit clause. Assessing the product in any way other than this published criteria is violating the contractual agreement under which the student took the examination.

[This point is irrelevant here: Isn't splitting hair one of the way our understanding of our world can be advanced? Most academic papers are hair splitting definition arguments! Take the definition of "Learning object" as a vivid example relevant to e-learning, or irrelevant to e-learning!]

For important assessment like this and if there is disagreement, a second assessor could be called. It is important that the second assessor is independent and have no prejudice to either parties. It seems that there is a clear case of "information cascading" happening here.

The fundamental problem with assessment based on a single end product is that it is based on an industrial age paradigm.

There is nothing wrong with such a paradigm if you are still living in developing or under-developed countries. The education system in any developed countries should start thinking seriously what kind of citizens will be required to sustain the current standard of living. "America cannot remain rich by producing pillar cases" is true for all developed countries!

One of the important corollary of the industrial age quality control (assessment) is that any product must be evaluated against an agreed set of measures. Any deviation from the measures outside the agreed tolerance is considered faulty - even if the deviation actually *improved* the product in some way.

I will leave my dear readers to ponder a better solution, because I don't have one! We know that learning is a process. What can we do to evaluation the effectiveness of the learning process? What kind, under what condition and how many evidences should we collect in order to provide us with confidence to draw the necessary conclusion? Do we evaluate the learning process (as in how it is delivered etc.) or do we evaluate the effect on the learner (as in how well a learner has mastered a certain skill or concept)? I raise this second part of the last question because I don't believe education (learning) should be a way of "sorting" people!

On lessons learnt

So far, you have been reading a story - a story told by me with a "coloured" glass put on. You may find it interesting (I assume so, since you are still reading this line.). The great question is "SO WHAT?" Have you learnt anything? Have you found anything useful? Is there any ROI for the time you have spent reading up to now?

If you have found my argument full of crap, laughing all the way thinking how silly I am. You have your reward! Entertainment!

OK, let's put on our instructional designer hard hat and assume that we want to use this story for some instructional purposes. By selecting such a story, have we done our job? My answer will be a simple NO. We are not started yet.

Our job is to induce learning, cause changes in the learners' mind. Throwing information (in this case, a story) to the learner is NOT inducing change. We should design ways to activate the change process, prompt the learner to reflect on the information, build links to his/her prior knowledge and arrive at a socially agreed view on the issue.

How can we do that? Let say this is the e-learning design challenge for this festive season.

ps BECAUSE WISDOM CAN’T BE TOLD (OR READ ONLINE) provides some fuel for thinking about this. I may write a post re: case-based learning later.

Thursday, 9 December 2004

Role play and real life

In a post called "Is humanity so easily forgotten?", Matt Mower (Curiouser and curiouser!) described a reading about

Zimbardo Prison Experiment in which Stanford students became prisoners and guards in a simulated prison environment. The article [sic] describes the aims of the experiment, how it was set up, how it operated, and how they evaluated the results.

From my reading of the article both prisoners and guards more or less internalized their roles (maybe they were already there to begin with?) by day 2. The guards also showed similar effects in how they responded to wielding power, even though they knew they were being watched, they knew it wasn't real.

While the Zimbardo Prison Experiment took place in a physical world with all the preparation procedures to "prepare the prisoners", the fact that the internalisation occurred only two days into the experiment (while no doubt there was "suspension of belief" operating), and that the randomly chosen groups behaved in the way in line with their assumed roles BOTH being watched AND in private is a powerful reminder of the intensity of role play. It is almost impossible to emphasis the moderator's duty to monitor the well being of the role players when we are dealing with emotional intense situation. Proper de role and debriefing are essential parts of using role play as a learning tool.

This also reminded me about a computerized doll, programmed to mirror the needs of a real baby, shows teens what parenting is really like. See RealCare® Baby II website. [Note: this is not a paid advertisement. I am just using it as an example of the use of real physical objects and environment.]

Using role play in training and learning, online or otherwise, has great potential and hence responsibility. More to think about. I total agree!

Monday, 6 December 2004

The voting is ON now

The EduBlog Awards is now open for voting. Please vote.

In Autralia, voting is compulsory AND my blog is written in Melbourne, Australia. You know what you should do, right?


Support this blog, vote for me in "New Comer" award category.

Sunday, 5 December 2004

Levels of online courses; Where is yours?

Darren Cannell posted four levels of online courses. The characteristics that indicate the level of courses created are:
Level One:

An attempt to recreate the textbook style of teaching.

Level Two:

The recreation of a successful face to face course online.

Level Three:

It is a level two course in which the teacher recognizes the fact that they are teaching with the largest library in the world at their fingertips and have access to technology.

Level Four:

A level three course which recognizes the student might be able to choose the questions and the teacher assist them in using the technology and the Internet to find the answers.

I am not interested in Level one and level two. So, I suggest to analysis the last two levels like this:

Level 3 recognises the vast amount of information on the web. Here, the teacher will have great difficulty in managing "duty of care" as information arriving at the learners' screen is mostly out of the control of the teacher.

Level 4 recognises that the web is a communication medium as well. Allowing the students to choose questions and communicate the choice to the teacher who will assist in finding the answer.

The investment of effort (from the teacher's point of view) obviously increases as the level advances. Level three and level four involve a continuous effort on the teacher's part as the course is run. The "instructor-less" paradigm is completely throw out of the window - which is GOOD!

One question I would like to ask is why online course. What is the benefit, if any, to both the teacher and students? If no additional benefit over face to face, why change!

No doubt my knowledgeable readers will be able to name a long list of benefits, but suspect in close examination, these are more towards the students than the teachers. Hence, I would suggest there should be a Level Five. Level Five course is not necessarily a level four course, may not even be a level three course. Level five course should have all the achievement of level three and level four course. In addition, it would reduce the workload of teachers running such courses.

What are these level five courses? Let search or create one!

What will her future be? - A Second Look

In a previous post What will her future be?, I thought all repetitive work and production of physical goods (and some digital goods) will be out-sourced to developing or under-developed countries. Because of the huge difference of living standards, there will be a continuous supply of low level skilled labour (and some sophistic skills as well) from these countries. On the other hand, we also know that our own life expectancy is increasing. Our kids need very high value jobs in order to maintain the living standards they are brought up with. My question was "what kind of jobs will be available in 2020" and how should I prepare my daughter to face this unknown future.

At that time, my suggestion was that only service industry will be left - but this will not provide the value production to sustain the living standards of the current developed countries. My search continues until...

I heard a presentation from IT conversation by Richard Florida on The Rise of the Creative Class.

We're in the midst of a fundamental economic revolution, bigger than the change from an agricultural to an industrial society. It's based on creativity including technological, economic and aesthetic creativity.

The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life by Richard Florida:

... the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues.

From a book review by P. Lozar "plozar" on

Richard Florida's study began with a rather straightforward premise: what characterizes the cities and regions that are economically successful today? His conclusions are rather controversial, but, based on the statistical evidence he presents (as well as my own experience), I found them highly convincing.

The liveliest economies, he finds, are in regions characterized by the 3 T's -- talent, technology, and tolerance. The implications are profound, to wit:

1. Conventional wisdom holds that, to boost an area's economy, it's necessary to attract large companies and thus create jobs. In fact, companies locate where the talent is; all the tax breaks in the world won't bring a large company to your area if they can't find the quality of employees they want there. Often, too, the talent itself will generate new companies and create jobs that way.

2. Urban planners assume that, to attract talent/jobs, what's important is to provide infrastructure: sports stadiums, freeways, shopping centers, etc. In fact, creative people prefer authenticity -- so making your city just like everyplace else is a sure way to kill its attractiveness.

3. The often-misunderstood "gay index" doesn't mean that gay people are more creative, or that attracting gays to a community will ipso facto boost its economy. Creative people tend to prefer gay-friendly communities because they're perceived as tolerant of anyone who isn't "mainstream"; a city that's run by a conservative good-ole-boys network isn't a good place to try to start a business unless you're one of the good ole boys.

Richard Florida looked at the problem from an American angle and provided advice to government. My interest in more about how we should prepare our kids. If he is right, I now have a direction to look for the kind of attitudes and qualities which I can help my daughter to develop.

Here are some books on the subject by Richard Florida on Amazon for your convenience:

Friday, 3 December 2004

Online security and Online teacher's duty of care

I have commented before (here, here, here and here) that as we move to e-learning, the notion of "duty of care" and cyber security for learners are difficult issues. I shifted constantly between in favour of "education" to in favour of "filtering" and back. The spam emails (mostly inappropriate for minors) take up about 95% of my incoming email. Without filters, I just cannot work. However, the recent entry of MSN into the blogosphere is another demonstration of how bad filter may be (at least as an implementation by Microsoft). See this from Boing Boing.

... from a BoingBoing reader about the fact that MSN Spaces, Microsoft's new blogging tool, censors certain words you might try to include in a blog title or url. If you can't speak freely on a blog, what's the point of having one? This demanded a full investigation.


(1) BoingBoing's readers said the title "Corporate Whore" was censored. My attempt at "Corporate Whore Chronicles" met the same result, but "Corporate Prostitute Chronicles" worked fine. Hooray for synonyms with more syllables!


(4) Uh-oh. My attempt to create an MSN Spaces blog called "Pornography and The Law" is met with rude red text advising me to can the profanity. So, if I were a law student who wanted to start a blog about the history of obscenity law in the United States, I'd be shit out of luck.


The conclusion? A mixed bag of results that manages to do what most attempts to automate censorship do -- make fools of the censors. - Xeni Jardin

Wednesday, 1 December 2004

Season Greeting

Please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, the best wishes, referred to as this greeting hereafter, for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, non-specific sexuality, celebration of the winter solstice holiday in the northern hemisphere and summer solstice holiday in the southern hemisphere, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your preference, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all and a financially successful, personally fulfilling, emotionally enchanting and stimulating, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, in a world filled with love, peace, joy, harmony, diversity, tolerant, good will and respect, and having regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith and your preference to the choice of blogging software, RSS reader, email system, Internet web browsers, including but not limited to the free Firefox and/or Internet Explorer with due considerations of their respective differences to the interpretation and implementation of W3C web standards, computer platform, brand of microprocessor, type of visual display unit, keyboard, mouse or any other pointing device, operating system, including but not limited to singular or a plurality of variations, whether for a fee or free open source, and Internet service provider connected by modem, permanent modem, broadband, or otherwise, or dietary preference of the wishee.

This greeting must not be read if you do not accept the terms and conditions of this greeting. By reading this greeting, you have indicated your explicit acknowledgement of accepting this greeting in the aforesaid manners . This greeting inclusively, exclusively and non-exclusively cover you, your spouse, whether same or different gender and/or whether such relationship is legally recognized or illegal in certain jurisdictions, including singularly and plurally, previous, present or future, your children including natural, adopted, by-law or sponsored, dead, alive, or unborn, and/or your parents, related by blood, by-laws, adopted, or sponsored dead or alive. Upon being covered by the greeting of the aforesaid greeting in the same aforesaid manner, those covered wishees will extend the aforesaid greeting to the same relates they have recursively and infinitum.

By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms:

  • This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal.

  • This manifestation of the greeting is copyleft under GNU license or other open source license similar to GNU license and or Creative Commons when and if such license(s) is/are enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or when GNU or similar open source license is not enforceable or not applicable in certain jurisdictions this greeting, and all its associated tangible and intangible good will and best wishes, is freely transferable, duplicated, distributed, copied and reproduced provided that any further addition or alternation shall not impose any limitation beyond those implicitly or explicitly expressed this clause.

  • Any alteration and addition, including but not limited to the syntactic, semantic, linguistic, artistic, aesthetic, spiritual and material improvements, shall only be made to the original greeting in the same good faith and honour of any reasonable person and that the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the intellectual and moral rights, publishing rights including but not limited to publishing via the blogosphere, by email, by web sites, on CD and/or any electronic means, and or the right to perform in private and in public to a small, medium or large group of present or remote audience and or the rights to transmit, preserve and retransmit by any physically means or electronic means of the wishor are preserved, acknowledged and/or enhanced.

  • This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes.

  • This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor.

  • This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.

  • The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor.

  • Any references in this greeting to "the Lord", "Father Christmas", "Our Saviour", "Santa" or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged.

  • Any names or terms used in this greeting, whether trademarked, copyrighted, copylefted, patented or have been placed in the open source under GNU, Creative Commons or other open source licenses belong to their respective owners and promoters.

  • The wishee expressly agrees, by the acceptance of the greeting, that the greeting is accepted and enjoyed at wishee's own risk. Neither the wishor, its affiliates, nor any of their respective employees, previous or current employers, friends, relatives, spouse past, present or future, agents, third party providers or licensor's warrant that the greeting will be uninterrupted or error free; nor do they make any warranty as to the results and effectiveness of the greeting.

Executed today and valid irrespective of any signature which may be required or not.

Signed Albert Ip
The Wishor

Signed You
The Wishee

To better enjoy this greeting, print this out, frame in a nice gold frame, hang 20 inches in front of your desk or in front of the monitor, read daily and smile.

"Practice Makes Perfect" - a follow up

Harold commented on my post with a story about a gymnastics instructor.

Her main method of teaching was to provide only positive encouragement after each attempt, without criticism. Just before the next attempt, she would give some corrective advice, like "keep your elbows tucked in this time".


I still believe that the only way to develop a skill is through practice and feedback, however when and how the feedback is given is extremely important.

(original emphasis)

It seems that we have a lot to learn from the coaches as well!

Sexual Harrassment Role Play Resource

Will the use of these mouse pads constitute a case for inappropriate behaviour in a workplace? The link is not pornographic, but may not be "workplace" safe. Be warned.

World Record

Hong Kong will achieve a new world record in 2005: the largest ever demolition of new, unused buildings.
Seven residential blocks built two years ago were never inhabited. Developers will tear them down to make way for luxury flats which will net about HK$6 billion in profits.
-Daily BWG

How does Hong Kong get to such situation? This is a separation issue. Developers' avarice aside, the courage and risk-bearing attitude is unmatched.

Most educational institutes are publicly funded. If an educational institute needs to take similar drastic action, whose interest should be served?

Some of my reflective questions (white on white, highlight to cheat)
Who are the "shareholders" of higher education?
Will "CEO" of any education institute be willing to bite the bullet even if s/he is convinced that such a decision will serve the best interest of the "shareholders"? (i.e., can it be his/her own career-promoting decision?)
Are there any such "new, unused buildings" (metaphorically speaking) which need tearing down in today's education institutions to generate even better profit for the "shareholders"? What are they, if any?