Three obstacles to getting started with programming [...]

Tony Hirst describes 3 obstacles people have to overcome when thinking about getting started with programming.

I’ve often thought that there are several obstacles to getting started with programming. Firstly, there’s the rationale or context: why bother/what could I possibly use programming for? Secondly, there are the practical difficulties: to write and execute programmes, you need to get an programming environment set up. Thirdly, there’s the so what: “okay, so I can programme now, but how do I use this in the real world?” (Source)

The 3rd - "how do I use this in the real world?" - connects with the problem of most digital technologies still being Concrete Lounges i.e. they aren't Protean Digital Technologies

The New System Will Solve Everything Disease [...]

Eventually when problems with existing organisational information systems became sufficiently troubling for sufficiently important people it is important that it get solved. The SET Mindset underpinning organisational information systems is based on the assumption that smart people can come design the solution, typically another, better system.

The problem is that many organisational problems are so complex and diverse that there is no right answer and no single system can provide that answer.

(A nascent idea)


Enabled by the tendency for people responsible for organisations and systems believe in Engineering the Right

Engineering the Right [...]

Why are so many followers of radical strains of Islam engineers? A new work searches for (and finds) some answers. Roughly, the traits of engineers and extremists overlap.

What the book finds is that engineers are also significantly represented among far right groups, while humanities and social sciences graduates dominate the far left; and the authors argue that the ideology of Islamist radicals, stripped of its religious components, overlaps far more with that of extreme right-wingers than with that of radical left-wingers.

They suggest that the traits that make Islamism attractive to some engineers could also be what makes right-wing extremism attractive to other graduates.

“Political psychology research links a number of personality traits to right-wing attitudes: a propensity to be easily disgusted, a desire to draw rigid social boundaries and a preference for order, structure, and certainty known as ‘need for cognitive closure’,” Dr Hertog said.

“We find that, on average, indicators for these traits are stronger among engineers compared with graduates in general, while they are weaker among students of humanities and social science.” (Source)


Maybe engineers just like things tidy? See The Ideology of Disgust

Belief that there is a single answer and that you have the "right answer" seem to contribute to The New System Will Solve Everything Disease

Reusability Paradox [...]

David Wiley's identification of the paradox identifying that making a learning object more re-usable, means reducing its pedagogical value

t turns out that reusability and pedagogical effectiveness are completely orthogonal to each other. Therefore, pedagogical effectiveness and potential for reuse are completely at odds with one another, unless the end user is permitted to edit the learning object. (Source)

The assumption is that pedagogical value arises from a high level of contextual knowledge.

The more context a learning object has, the more (and the more easily) a learner can learn from it. (Source)

Increasing pedagogical value reduces reusability

OER as a participatory activity | Saylor Academy [...]

If OER is participatory, then the environment should support and encourage participation

But Saylor Academy would absolutely benefit from infrastructure that would encourage us, our students, our partners, and members of the wider open community to really create the open content we need from the open content that we have. (Source)


The Moodle open book project is a small step toward that (Site)

Which in turn raises the issue of the Reusability Paradox

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