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Standing on the shoulders of Lilliputians

October 14, 2008


Hello World!  I have been away for awhile, savouring Seattle and San Fran, and am now back in my humble abode. Since I haven’t blogged lately, I thought I best get back at it, with a recap of where I believe I stand in the ongoing Moodle Forum wars in CCK08.


Prior to my trip, I had been discussing behaviourism, eliminative materialismand a few other subjects in a dialogue with Mr. Stephen Downes, philosopher at large. I proposed that connectivism was merely a form of behaviourism, revised for the increase in technology usage. As I understand the outcome of this dialogue, Stephen has decided my questions are not worth responding too, and has refused to continue, leaving several of my unanswered questions on the table. His reasons for this are unclear, but I am feeling that he is not up for challenge, is pushing an agenda, and is a pedant at heart. He is not a professor that I would seek out. I am not sure he is even a professor. I think he is a researcher, and a part-time lecturer on web 2.0 stuff.

Next I moved into a passionate discussion wherein I made several statements in direct opposition to some of the statements made by Stephen and others in that thread. This brought on Roy, who demanded that I obey the rules of references. As I understand his version of this, my statements have no validity or utility unless I quote someone. Now, he does not always live by this rule, but demands that I do. I would label him as an academic-net-nanny, trying to impose his norms on me. Funny thing, this is unecessary, as any validity or utility of my statements/questions will not be decided by the ‘Shoulders of Lilliputians” (SOL), but on their own merit and utility to anyone who reads them.  Roy is SOL?

Over to the “Thin-Skinned Geeks” thread. In here, I incurred the wrath of Om, which included strong suggestions that I was in fact Catherine.  I confess that I have utmost respect for Catherine, and often find her to be one of the bravest and most lucid in this course. Om is facile with the english language, and I think that we are at peace in deciding that “poopy pants” was more appropriate than “Thin-Skinned Geeks”.

So, where am I today?  I am reading the latest required readings, and girding my loins for future battle in the forums.  I am very much looking forward to the ongoing debate, and hope I will be able to find the time to engage fully.  It is challenging at times, but beyond doubt, fun!  Here’s to fun to be had by all!


From → Uncategorized

  1. > Stephen has decided my questions are not worth responding too

    Having responded to 15 or 20 of them in short order, and at the end of that having heard from you nothing other than your disagreement, with no reason or foundation other than your own intuitions. I decided to wait until you were prepared to have an informed dialogue.

  2. p.s.

    > He is not a professor that I would seek out. I am not sure he is even a professor. I think he is a researcher, and a part-time lecturer on web 2.0 stuff.

    If you read any of the course materials you would know that I am an NRC researcher. I have never made any claims to qualifications I do not possess. And it is typical that you would infer from your total lack of any investigation into the matter to some sort of wrongdoing on my part.

  3. deadvocate permalink

    My, my Stephen, you do seem upset! I make no suggestion of wrongdoing, that is your inference, not mine. Btw, is this the first course you have ‘taught’?

    Anyway, welcome to my home, glad to have you here! But please, do try to be pleasant!

    While you show nothing but disdain for my intuitions, I hold you in some regard. I only wish you were more forthcoming in your views, and made the attempt to simplify things for simple folk such as I. While you may not be a professor, you are filling that function in this course, and I rely on you for help, not contempt.


  4. Have fun! And then what?

  5. You know, Mr. Downes is undoubtedly a busy man who doesn’t have time to respond to arguments all day. His qualifications really make no matter, unless you assume he is a member of a group. He is a co-learner/co-teacher like the rest of us.

  6. deadvocate permalink

    @Jorgen: Then rest, and have more fun! Spread cheer throughout the network!

    @mrsdurff: Whatever… You sound like a grouchy Mrs. Doubtfire! Lighten up!

    @clydestreet: Thanks for the connection!

  7. Your title “Standing on the shoulders of Lilliputians” is so clever that I couldn’t resist visiting, directed by none other than Stephen’s The Daily.

    As to Stephen not responding to you in person, permit me to share from experience that Stephen is not a guy to shy away from controversy. Rather, your unsupported suggestion that “connectivism was merely a form of behaviourism” is so off the wall as to not warrant serious discussion in any forum.

    For the good of the learning community here, tell us more or stop playing distracting word games. Attack the issues, not the man.

    Live long and prosper.


  8. deadvocate permalink

    Thank you Jay for your comments. You may be right, perhaps I drifted away from the issues for a time. I see it as a knee-jerk response to a dismissive approach to my suggestions.

    You and Stephen see my suggestion of connectivism = behaviourism redux as ‘off the wall’, I see it as worth a look, and find some support for this view in the literature. I have tried to demonstrate the roots in another post in this blog.

    I confess to no large scholarly ability or history. I am trying to work through the concepts. I don’t appreciate outright dismissal of my thoughts without support, anymore than your not appreciating my ‘unsupported’ ideas.

    Here’s a question, if you care to respond:

    What are the fundamental properties of behaviourism, in your words?

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