Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

“turn and face the strain” sings David Bowie in his brilliant Changes song. And, indeed, that’s what I did. Changes were set upon me recently, and that’s why this blog didn’t have the attention it deserves lately.

I got a new job in Paris starting on the 1st July as a web development consultant working for a large client in the financial area. The work is demanding, but fits well in my experience and knowledge, even though I come from an education background. I’m learning a lot from the experience, since it’s the first time I’m working for a large corporation and have the change to liaise with people much more knowledgeable in the are than myself.

What is mind-boggling, in reality, is how difficult it turn out to be to find a place to live in Paris. The city is crowded and the real estate is really scarce and expensive, and even trying to get any responses from people who advertise seems to be a case of extreme luck.

Oh well, all will be solved in due time.

Anúncios

My notes on the #UMinhOA

Last week (7th, 8th February 2013) I went to Braga for the UMinho Open Access Seminar & OpenAIRE workshop. I must confess I didn’t know a lot about Open Access, I was. I had some notions of repositories, data accessibility and interoperability due to my current master’s at UAb, conversations with friend researchers and my general interest in many fields of knowledge. My goal in going there was to apprehend some basic concepts that could be useful for the coming subjects of my master’s, particular when we talk about Open Educational Resources and discuss Open Access itself. In that sense, I should say it was very good to attend the seminar, although I couldn’t stay the Thursday afternoon due to professional reasons.

University of Minho is well-known for the excellence of their research output, and events like this help them cement their reputation. Everything seemed to work very well, the presentations were good, I think everyone was happy to be there. Pity I couldn’t stay for dinner on Thursday too, but I can assure the lunch on Friday was excellent. 😉

My networking was noticeable for almost not existing. I made some twitter connections, though, and talked to someone (sorry, bad memory for names L) about the possibility of packaging datasets into some format that would allow them to actively advertise where they were so as to keep coherence in large-scale databases when being moved around. Coherence of datasets is a big issue in data managgement. He replied it was a valid idea and had been proposed before, but that would mean a complete overhaul of the entire paradigm of databases in use on repositories and data centers. Oh well, don’t say I didn’t try to save the world… 😉

 

In March I’m going to attend the Digital Media and Learning conference in Chicago, USA, 14th-16th.

On the Internet, the Creator is all of us

The Internet is a new world, a new paradigm of social interaction, something that is truly unique to this age we live in. In a few years it fundamentally changed many aspects of our lives, in ways many don’t even start to suspect. It is a network of networks communicating with each other through many different protocols, in a fundamentally chaotic way, without a central, dominant node that controls it all. It resembles a neural network, a biological form of life. Information travels through it at high speeds, connecting the world.

 

Internet allowed for new forms of interaction between people. Blogs like this one, for example, are a kind of asynchronous communication that populate the Internet, are parte of the virtual reality of the digital world. This post, if you care to check, is totally original. Go on, copy and paste any part of if on Google and see if you can find any matches. I’ll wait patiently while you do it and resume my thoughts when you get back.

 

So you didn’t find anything of interest on that behemoth of search that Google is, then. That may mean this is an original work. Or it may have been copied from some place Google doesn’t have access. All the possibilities remain; doubts are always there, aren’t they?

 

Yes.

 

This could in fact be a copied text, but you’ll have to depend upon my word it isn’t, and that is the whole point. On the Internet the veracity is dependent on the goodwill of who places the information there. Ethics play a greater role than outside it (let’s call it the offline world). In the offline world ethics play their part, but it’s much easier to unveil and punish unethical behaviors.

 

Opposed to the offline world, which is humanized, the online world is human. What is the difference between the two concepts? The human beings did not create the offline world. We are here by chance (no religious flaming, please, thank you), and do our best to adapt ourselves and adapt our environment to our needs. Now, the online world is different. It is build by humans and for humans, so it could be argued than, in that way, it is more human than the offline world.

 

Moreover, everyone can contribute to it; can shape it on his/her own will, taste or need. Can create it. That why (another bombastic, flammable argument) religions have a hard time on the Internet: there is a distinctive feeling that the Creator is all of us.

 

The human nature of the online world is characterized by an amplification of the humanity within us. This means that in the Internet certain social constraints we find in the offline world, i.e., behavior rules of living in society, are more difficult to be applied and enforced, so there is a broader freedom to express individuality, and the whole range of ethics and moral is certainly present in a wider and more accentuated way. This post is an example. You cannot figure out if it’s an original work, so you’ll have to blindly accept it or deny it just based in my own word. And you can apply that principle to almost everything in the online world, because you don’t have fully foolproof ways to assess veracity.