Monthly Archives: October 2011


Trying to document a very small piece of learning from my challenge to @dkernohan for our new-non-existent-but-hopefully-will-be-created-soonUPDATE: EXISTing make-a-wish-MOOC #econoMOOC.

Monetarism- fixing price deflation

Monetarism- fixing price deflation

“price deflation can be fought by dropping money out of a helicopter” Friedman, M.

money photo cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by AMagill and Helicopter from Apocalypse Now

Looking at Milton Friedman and monetarism from Wikipedia.

Friedman was the main proponent of the monetarist school of economics. He maintained that there is a close and stable association between price inflation and the money supply, mainly that price inflation should be regulated with monetary deflation and price deflation with monetary inflation. He famously quipped that price deflation can be fought by “dropping money out of a helicopter.

There were so many concepts to deconstruct that I got a bit mired. In particular, I remember our dear Canadian prime minister (before he was prime minister) giving a speech saying something to the effect of:

“Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it” – Stephen Harper (1997). Council for National Policy. Montreal.

It has been his goal to move us away from this, into a more free market economy which I think means towards a more monetarist economic model.

Now I would like someone from my #econoMOOC to look at this and tell me if I’m on the right track.

Atomic Enlightened Gadflies

When I first read Michael Feldstein’s post about DS106: Can Enlightenment Scale, I sincerely believed that when he used the term gadfly he actually meant it as a compliment.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by t_buchtele

In teacher’s college, we were asked to write a philosophy of education statement. I kid you not, this was mine:

I want to be a gadfly to help awaken the “slow and dimwitted horse”, to question the status quo, to help change the education system.

I guess the thing about DS106 (to me) is that it does not purport to be an overarching answer to everything but an invitation to start asking questions through artistic inquiry.

Feldstein writes, “I’m looking for a large enough lever to move the world” and I immediately remembered Zack Dowell’s early post about DS106 and scalability: We’re Chained to the World, and We All Gotta Pull….

While it may seem like the open participants are zealots (#4LIFE!!!), there is a lot of examination going on. The radio helped make that reflection even more fluid. It served as an open channel for ongoing external speech problem solving with multiple channels for feedback.

Hey, I work at a university, NO, of course, I don’t think we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and “walk away from a structure that has done good for over a thousand years”. I do think we owe it to ourselves to notice the gadflies disturbing the status quo and look for new solutions to old buildings.

If Plato wrote that Socrates considered himself a gadfly I dare say Jim Groom et al are in good company.

Critical reflection is scalable. Enlightened gadflies can multiply as fast as good ideas.

Do Atoms Scale? cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

Open Education

It is Open Access Week and I’ve been listening intently to the proceedings around the world. In particular, I’ve been listening to my friends and colleagues broadcast DS106Radio from the Open Education 2011 Conference in Utah. This morning Jim Groom presented #OccupyOpenEd11, a brilliant talk available in audio and video format. It highlighted the phenomenal and inspiring influence of Gardner Campbell, who also was listening in with Alan Levine.

Here are my visual notes from the session:

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

This has been an especially interesting week with so many events happening. I was also excited to listen to Cathy Davidson give a lecture at UC Davis. I am extremely flattered and honored that she likes my visual notes so much that she wrote to me to ask if she could include them in her blog post reflection on the event.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsytheas broadcasted by Zack Dowell.

Of course I told her YES! This is exactly why I share my work under Creative Commons licence share-alike! I truly believe universities should be rallying to defend this culture of open sharing!

Reverend Billy’s #contactcon choir

As Jim Groom documented, he, Grant Potter and GNA Garcia broadcasted #ds106radio from ContactCon in NYC this week.

The Free Network at ContactCon cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by grant.potter

I was reading petervan’s post Cry for Freedom and it reminded me that I had archived a bit of Reverend Billy’s “closing preach where he made 200 attendees softly sing “we are the 99%” and dubbing it with some gospell’ish sermon.”

Not seeing it online anywhere else, I figure it’s worth filling in more small gaps.

I’m not entirely sure of everything he is saying, so I took artistic license.
Reverend Billy at ContactCon – We are the 99percent

We are the 99 percent [refrain]

the children
of the children
of the children
of the children
of the children
of the children
of the children

we need to think 7 generations in the future

true tomorrow

our dreams
our thoughts
our relationships
our talking

7 generations of waiting
we’re here #4life


what do to here?

cross space time
srsly love people

we have to start doing things
new things
make projects
make drafts
make blueprints

to give to each other
give them revolujah
give them revolujah

[make art, damnit]


I wonder if the room had goosebumps?

I did.

[UPDATE: Reverend Billy is all theatrics. The religiosity seemed to sour some people but it’s parody, all parody. I remember when his film, What Would Jesus Buy came out a few years ago. He would exorcise folks in WalMarts. Just like how more “real” news is delivered through a comedy program with Jon Stewart, sometimes the only way to reach the overstimulated masses is to get them through parody and hilarity.]

StoryBox @BrockUniversity

I’m pleased as punch that I got another chance to find out What is Inside the StoryBox?


Call it an artistic provocation, call it an “expression of the copyleft impulse, great example of an ephemeral phenomenon” or just PirateBox, as its creator does.

David Darts describes it:

“Pirate Box is a self-contained mobile communication and file sharing device. Inspired by pirate radio and the free culture movement, PirateBox utilizes Free, Libre and Open Source software (FLOSS) to create mobile wireless file sharing networks where users can anonymously chat and share images, video, audio, documents, and other digital content”

We also took the opportunity to create an invitation:

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

And to leave it out in a few public places:

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Alan Levine gave a great workshop to a small group of Brock University faculty which seemed to inspire and spark many great new ideas.

My favourite part was when my associate director said that she expected a Princess Leia to pop out of the StoryBox at any moment. She is not an avid blog reader and totally did not realize how funny that statement was, since I had just interrupted @cogdog’s mission to the centre of the Internet in a strikingly similar fashion:

I am working on more StoryBox remixes and plan on uploading them asap.

This only leaves one question: WHERE ARE YOUR STORYBOX CONTRIBUTIONS?!

#ds106radio rocks NYC rocks #ds106radio

Thursday October 20 from 9pm-midnight #ds106radio was lucky to have our ears and souls rocked by a strong contingent of #ds106radio heads: @DrGarcia, @jimgroom, @grantpotter, @mikhailg, @mbransons and special guests: @boone, @polarismusic, @louiskatz

NYC #ds106radio 1st hour

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Michael Branson Smith

These folks rocked my Thursday night; they provided the soundtrack for a great evening. There are a few archives floating out there but here are mine. Thanks to Michael Branson Smith & GNA Garcia for the capturing the incredible energy in photos.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by @DrGarcia

NYC Party Jamz – 2nd hr

Really love this meta-shot. I had no idea Boone was so talented. Although cross a philosophy major with a WP developer, of course you’re going to also get a rad musician. It’s a given.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Michael Branson Smith

It’s been said before but must be said again, GNA is the BEST DJ. She never forgot about us listening in. She’d give us commentary, descriptions, shout outs and still managed to tweet and sing like a jeez-o-flippN rawK star.

NYC Party Jamz – 3rd hr

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Michael Branson Smith

Spubbly Me

While I generally do not like spending a great deal of time with photos of myself, I was compelled to try Spubble assignment because I needed a good reason to use Aviary and Picnik. If I didn’t have Photoshop I would use these for sure for Messin’ with the McGuffin assignments or Triple Troll Quotes. They were so easy and fast to use without a login. Simple!

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe
Original pic cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo by bionicteaching Edited with Aviary.

Original pic cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo by bionicteaching Edited with Picnik.

Dear Photograph

Based on the nostalgic, romantic and slightly eerie site, Dear Photograph I went back to the scene as prompted by Martha‘s submission to DS106 Assignment bank.

Dear Photograph
Dear Photograph,

Remember playing dress up on the lawn of the University of Toronto Robarts Library? Wasn’t that fun?

Dear Photograph
Dear Photograph,
I took you with my first camera, the day we moved away from Toronto. As an instant photograph, you started black and slowly shapes formed, yellowish at first, faces appeared, details emerged, colours burst.

The image was created just as the moment ended.

I moved with my mom to Welland. My brother moved with my dad to the UK. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at you wishing I had made the moment last longer, not realizing how far away my friends and family would soon become.

The camera was a Kodak Instant Camera. I received it as a birthday present when I turned 7 years old. Polaroid sued Kodak and they stopped making film for this camera and offered trade-ins for the defunct camera. I got the Kodak Disc. The disc was a decent kid’s camera. Easy to load and use but the negatives were so tiny the photos were very grainy.

I would long for the magical transformation and instant gratification that the instant photographs provided. It would not be for another 10 years that I would learn black and white developing and I would truly experience the magic of watching pictures develop before your very eyes.

I love this assignment. What could be better than taking photos? Take photos of photos!

Although, it was more difficult to do than I imagined. You need to be able to keep the camera at infinity focus (high aperature) or landscape mode but the light was waning and I didn’t want to use the flash. Lack of tripod & slow shutter speed explains the blurriness. I might try one or two more in better lighting conditions.