Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Can We Really Think out of the Box?

When I read Clay Shirky's paper,, about classifying online information, the following question pupped up to my mind "Can we really think out of the box?"

As it appears clearly from Shirky's thesis, our thinking is always bounds by the time and place we are living, so making it difficult for us to ponder a universal or a futurist system. The author provided several classification system as an example (Dewy, the Library of Congress, The Soviet Library, and Yahoo's Directory etc...). One thing in common between all these systems is they were all made for a particular user, a user in the designer's mind.

The point I would like to make, or to better put it, the questions I would like to rise:
*Can learning critical thinking makes us think in a more inclusive manner, as to provide solutions with universal application? If yes, how should we critically determine the universality of those solutions?
*And if no, what's the point of learning critical thinking?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Do We Mean by Enhancing the Quality of Higher Ed.?


Reading about Pragmatics made me revise many of the discourses I've been hearing about bettering the quality of higher education. Over the years, improving universities and scientific research have been in the spotlight. It's often advocated by politicians, often recommended by businesses and frequently urged by academics.

Saying something but meaning another makes it really hard to fathom what the advocates want to say by "Enhancing the quality of higher education". If I have a good memory, one of the major promises of Obama's campaign was improving the quality of American education. However, reducing public funding for colleges and universities makes me ask myself what Obama truly meant by enhancing education before he got into the white house.