Monday, 5 March 2007

Photography Composition Guides

sxc has a wonderful guide on how to crop and/rotate your photo to be more interesting by using simple golden ratio, etc.

The result of the cropping is dramatic!

Is 17 the "most random" number?

Dave Munger in his Cognitive Daily did an interesting experiment. He asked his readers to pick a number between 1 and 20. The "random" number picked by human is biased towards 17.

Is this culture specific? If you are interested to test it and if you are a blogger in languages other than English, please repeat Dave's experiment and tag your post with human-random-generator. If you can, please also leave a comment here so that other may follow to read your result.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Ten commandments of role play simulation

I am your God because I created the virtual world you are now in.
You shall have no other Moderator before Me.
You shall not make for yourself a moderator.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your Mod.
Remember the Rest and keep it every hour. (10 minutes away from the computer every hour!)
Honor your other players. (Responds to other's actions as quickly as you can.)
You shall not kill without Moderator approval.
You shall not hack into the software of the virtual world.
You shall not steal other people's role.
You shall bear false witness when needed.
You shall covet your neighbor's wife when needed.
You shall covet your neighbor's house when needed.

Studying and Learning

What is "study"? What is "learning"? These are questions which have as many answers as the number of people you ask.

From the web, here are a few worth noting:

To apply one's mind to a subject in order to acquire knowledge and skill.

the act or process of using the mind to gain knowledge.

survey: a detailed critical inspection; applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject (especially by reading); "mastering a second language requires a lot of work"; "no schools offer graduate study in interior design"; a state of deep mental absorption; "she is in a deep study"; analyze: consider in detail and subject to an analysis in order to discover essential features or meaning; "analyze a sonnet by Shakespeare"; "analyze the evidence in a criminal trial"; "analyze your real motives"; learn: be a student of a certain subject; "She is reading for the bar exam"; someone who memorizes quickly and easily (as the lines for a part in a play); "he is a quick study"; learn by reading books; "He is studying geology in his room"; "I have an exam next week; I must hit the books now"

From the paper "What do you do when you study?" Education students define study and describe their study strategies by Alex Radloff, Barbara de la Harpe and Irene Styles

What does “study” mean? Dictionary definitions of the verb, “to study” include, take pains to investigate or acquire knowledge of (subject); read (book) attentively The Concise Oxford Dictionary) and, attend to something with intent to understand it and to improve oneself in relation to it (English and English: A comprehensive dictionary of psychological and psychoanalytic terms). In the context of university, we can efine studying as a process involving a range of appropriate cognitive and etacognitive strategies and requiring effort and personal responsibility aimed at achieving ositive learning outcomes.

On Wednesday night, I attended a session given to my daughter at her school. The presenter summarised "studying" as the process when information is flowing IN, as in reading, listening, watching. To contrast, he said "learning" is the process of information flowing OUT as in summarising notes, doing exercises, solving problems. This is a very simple and effective way of explain this to year-10 students, I guess.

When I discussed this with my business partner Roni Linser, he suggested that learning occurs between information IN and information OUT. The doing of exercises and solving problems are demonstrations of the result of the learning. To him, learning is the "reflections" that occurs between the information IN and information OUT stage. "Reflection" is the catch-all word he used to describe a process we understand little. Connectivism may suggest that learning is the building of links among nodes. My catch-all word would be "integration" of the new information into the existing world view we already have.

I would also argue that "learning" occurs both at the information IN as well as OUT stages. Experimentation typically requires creating new problem (information OUT) and observe for the result (information IN). Good experiments are those that produce results which the current theory cannot explain. Gathering such counter examples pushes the limit of the existing knowledge and provide foundation for new theory.

What is "study"? What is "learning"? The quest goes on.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

What is a rainbow?

I saw this photo on Flickr, which reminds of the physics of rainbow.

I did a quick search on the web and found this article. Should be a good read for those interested in the topic.