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"Davis addresses the "screen time" debate by recognizing that children's experiences of technology and social relationships are qualitatively distinct at different stages of development"--
A comprehensive and self-contained introduction to Gaussian processes, which provide a principled, practical, probabilistic approach to learning in kernel machines.Gaussian processes (GPs) provide a principled, practical, probabilistic approach to learning in kernel machines. GPs have received increased attention in the machine-learning community over the past decade, and this book provides a long-needed systematic and unified treatment of theoretical and practical aspects of GPs in machine learning. The treatment is comprehensive and self-contained, targeted at researchers and students in machine learning and applied statistics. The book deals with the supervised-learning problem for both regression and classification, and includes detailed algorithms. A wide variety of covariance (kernel) functions are presented and their properties discussed. Model selection is discussed both from a Bayesian and a classical perspective. Many connections to other well-known techniques from machine learning and statistics are discussed, including support-vector machines, neural networks, splines, regularization networks, relevance vector machines and others. Theoretical issues including learning curves and the PAC-Bayesian framework are treated, and several approximation methods for learning with large datasets are discussed. The book contains illustrative examples and exercises, and code and datasets are available on the Web. Appendixes provide mathematical background and a discussion of Gaussian Markov processes.
Ben Shneiderman's book dramatically raises computer users' expectations of what they should get from technology. He opens their eyes to new possibilities and invites them to think freshly about future technology. He challenges developers to build products that better support human needs and that are usable at any bandwidth. Shneiderman proposes Leonardo da Vinci as an inspirational muse for the "e;new computing."e; He wonders how Leonardo would use a laptop and what applications he would create.Shneiderman shifts the focus from what computers can do to what users can do. A key transformation is to what he calls "e;universal usability,"e; enabling participation by young and old, novice and expert, able and disabled. This transformation would empower those yearning for literacy or coping with their limitations. Shneiderman proposes new computing applications in education, medicine, business, and government. He envisions a World Wide Med that delivers secure patient histories in local languages at any emergency room and thriving million-person communities for e-commerce and e-government. Raising larger questions about human relationships and society, he explores the computer's potential to support creativity, consensus-seeking, and conflict resolution. Each chapter ends with a Skeptic's Corner that challenges assumptions about trust, privacy, and digital divides.
How genomics reveals deep histories of inequality, going back many thousands of years.Inequality is an urgent global concern, with pundits, politicians, academics, and best-selling books all taking up its causes and consequences. In Inequality, Carles Lalueza-Fox offers an entirely new perspective on the subject, examining the genetic marks left by inequality on humans throughout history. Lalueza-Fox describes genetic studies, made possible by novel DNA sequencing technologies, that reveal layers of inequality in past societies, manifested in patterns of migration, social structures, and funerary practices. Through their DNA, ancient skeletons have much to tell us, yielding anonymous stories of inequality, bias, and suffering.Lalueza-Fox, a leader in paleogenomics, offers the deep history of inequality. He explores the ancestral shifts associated with migration and describes the gender bias unearthed in these migrations—the brutal sexual asymmetries, for example, between male European explorers and the women of Latin America that are revealed by DNA analysis. He considers social structures, and the evidence that high social standing was inherited—the ancient world was not a meritocracy. He untangles social and genetic factors to consider whether wealth is an advantage in reproduction, showing why we are more likely to be descended from a king than a peasant. And he explores the effects of ancient inequality on the human gene pool. Marshaling a range of evidence, Lalueza-Fox shows that understanding past inequalities is key to understanding present ones.
How Vera Rubin convinced the scientific community that dark matter might exist, persevering despite early dismissals of her work.We now know that the universe is mostly dark, made up of particles and forces that are undetectable even by our most powerful telescopes. The discovery of the possible existence of dark matter and dark energy signaled a Copernican-like revolution in astronomy: not only are we not the center of the universe, neither is the stuff of which we’re made. Astronomer Vera Rubin (1928–2016) played a pivotal role in this discovery. By showing that some astronomical objects seem to defy gravity’s grip, Rubin helped convince the scientific community of the possibility of dark matter. In Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter, and Beyond, Ashley Jean Yeager tells the story of Rubin’s life and work, recounting her persistence despite early dismissals of her work and widespread sexism in science.Yeager describes Rubin’s childhood fascination with stars, her education at Vassar and Cornell, and her marriage to a fellow scientist. At first, Rubin wasn’t taken seriously; she was a rarity, a woman in science, and her findings seemed almost incredible. Some observatories in midcentury America restricted women from using their large telescopes; Rubin was unable to collect her own data until a decade after she had earned her PhD. Still, she continued her groundbreaking work, driving a scientific revolution. She received the National Medal of Science in 1993, but never the Nobel Prize—perhaps overlooked because of her gender. She’s since been memorialized with a ridge on Mars, an asteroid, a galaxy, and most recently, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory—the first national observatory named after a woman.
A call for landscape architects to leave the office and return to the garden.Addressing one of the most repressed subjects in landscape architecture, this book could only have been written by someone who is both an experienced gardener and a landscape architect. With Overgrown, Julian Raxworthy offers a watershed work in the tradition of Ian McHarg, Anne Whiston Spirn, Kevin Lynch, and J. B. Jackson.As a discipline, landscape architecture has distanced itself from gardening, and landscape architects take pains to distinguish themselves from gardeners or landscapers. Landscape architects tend to imagine gardens from the office, representing plants with drawings or other simulations, whereas gardeners work in the dirt, in real time, planting, pruning, and maintaining. In Overgrown, Raxworthy calls for the integration of landscape architecture and gardening. Each has something to offer the other: Landscape architecture can design beautiful spaces, and gardening can enhance and deepen the beauty of garden environments over time. Growth, says Raxworthy, is the medium of garden development; landscape architects should leave the office and go into the garden in order to know growth in an organic, nonsimulated way.Raxworthy proposes a new practice for working with plant material that he terms “the viridic” (after “the tectonic” in architecture), from the Latin word for green, with its associations of spring and growth. He builds his argument for the viridic through six generously illustrated case studies of gardens that range from “formal” to “informal” approaches—from a sixteenth-century French Renaissance water garden to a Scottish poet-scientist's “marginal” garden, barely differentiated from nature. Raxworthy argues that landscape architectural practice itself needs to be “gardened,” brought back into the field. He offers a “Manifesto for the Viridic” that casts designers and plants as vegetal partners in a renewed practice of landscape gardening.
From one of the earliest feminist science fiction writers, a novel that envisions the fall of civilization—and the plight of the modern woman in a post-apocalyptic wilderness.When war breaks out in Europe, British civilization collapses overnight. The ironically named protagonist must learn to survive by his wits in a new Britain. When we first meet Savage, he is a complacent civil servant, primarily concerned with romancing his girlfriend. During the brief war, in which both sides use population displacement as a terrible strategic weapon, Savage must battle his fellow countrymen. He shacks up with an ignorant young woman in a forest hut—a kind of inverse Garden of Eden, where no one is happy. Eventually, he sets off in search of other survivors . . . only to discover a primitive society where science and technology have come to be regarded with superstitious awe and terror. A pioneering feminist, Hamilton offers a warning about the degraded state of modern women, who—being “unhandy, unresourceful, superficial”—would suffer a particularly sad fate in a postapocalyptic social order.
How ed tech was born: Twentieth-century teaching machines--from Sidney Pressey's mechanized test-giver to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box.Contrary to popular belief, ed tech did not begin with videos on the internet. The idea of technology that would allow students to "go at their own pace" did not originate in Silicon Valley. In Teaching Machines, education writer Audrey Watters offers a lively history of predigital educational technology, from Sidney Pressey's mechanized positive-reinforcement provider to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Watters shows that these machines and the pedagogy that accompanied them sprang from ideas--bite-sized content, individualized instruction--that had legs and were later picked up by textbook publishers and early advocates for computerized learning. Watters pays particular attention to the role of the media--newspapers, magazines, television, and film--in shaping people's perceptions of teaching machines as well as the psychological theories underpinning them. She considers these machines in the context of education reform, the political reverberations of Sputnik, and the rise of the testing and textbook industries. She chronicles Skinner's attempts to bring his teaching machines to market, culminating in the famous behaviorist's efforts to launch Didak 101, the "pre-verbal" machine that taught spelling. (Alternate names proposed by Skinner include "Autodidak," "Instructomat," and "Autostructor.") Telling these somewhat cautionary tales, Watters challenges what she calls "the teleology of ed tech"--the idea that not only is computerized education inevitable, but technological progress is the sole driver of events.
Why laws focused on data cannot effectively protect people-and how an approach centered on human rights offers the best hope for preserving human dignity and autonomy in a cyberphysical world.Ever-pervasive technology poses a clear and present danger to human dignity and autonomy, as many have pointed out. And yet, for the past fifty years, we have been so busy protecting data that we have failed to protect people. In Beyond Data, Elizabeth Renieris argues that laws focused on data protection, data privacy, data security and data ownership have unintentionally failed to protect core human values, including privacy. And, as our collective obsession with data has grown, we have, to our peril, lost sight of what's truly at stake in relation to technological development-our dignity and autonomy as people. Far from being inevitable, our fixation on data has been codified through decades of flawed policy. Renieris provides a comprehensive history of how both laws and corporate policies enacted in the name of data privacy have been fundamentally incapable of protecting humans. Her research identifies the inherent deficiency of making data a rallying point in itself-data is not an objective truth, and what's more, its "entirely contextual and dynamic" status makes it an unstable foundation for organizing. In proposing a human rights-based framework that would center human dignity and autonomy rather than technological abstractions, Renieris delivers a clear-eyed and radically imaginative vision of the future. At once a thorough application of legal theory to technology and a rousing call to action, Beyond Data boldly reaffirms the value of human dignity and autonomy amid widespread disregard by private enterprise at the dawn of the metaverse.
A study of the gruesome game characters we love to beat-and what they tell us about ourselves.Since the early days of video games, monsters have played pivotal roles as dangers to be avoided, level bosses to be defeated, or targets to be destroyed for extra points. But why is the figure of the monster so important in gaming, and how have video games come to shape our culture's conceptions of monstrosity? To answer these questions, Player vs. Monster explores the past half-century of monsters in games, from the dragons of early tabletop role-playing games and the pixelated aliens of Space Invaders to the malformed mutants of The Last of Us and the bizarre beasts of Bloodborne, and reveals the common threads among them.Covering examples from aliens to zombies, Jaroslav Švelch explores the art of monster design and traces its influences from mythology, visual arts, popular culture, and tabletop role-playing games. At the same time, he shows that video games follow the Cold War-era notion of clearly defined, calculable enemies, portraying monsters as figures that are irredeemably evil yet invariably vulnerable to defeat. He explains the appeal of such simplistic video game monsters, but also explores how the medium could evolve to present more nuanced depictions of monstrosity.
The play element at the heart of our interactions with computers-and how it drives the best and the worst manifestations of the information age.Whether we interact with video games or spreadsheets or social media, playing with software shapes every facet of our lives. In this book, Miguel Sicart delves into why we play with computers, how that play shapes culture and society, and the threat posed by malefactors using play to weaponize everything from conspiracy theories to extractive capitalism. Starting from the controversial idea that software is an essential agent in the information age, Sicart considers our culture in general-and our way of thinking about and creating digital technology in particular-as a consequence of interacting with software's agency through play.As Sicart shows, playing shapes software agency. In turn, software shapes our agency as we adapt and relate to it through play. That play drives the creation of new cultural, social, and political forms. Sicart also reveals the role of make-believe in driving our playful engagement with the digital sphere. From there, he discusses the cybernetic theory of digital play and what we can learn from combining it with the idea that playfulness can mean pleasurable interaction with human and nonhuman agents inside the boundaries of a computational system. Finally, he critiques the instrumentalization of play as a tool wielded by platform capitalism.
A guidebook to the institutional transformation of design theory and practice by restoring the long-excluded cultures of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities.From the excesses of world expositions to myths of better living through technology, modernist design, in its European-based guises, has excluded and oppressed the very people whose lands and lives it reshaped. Decolonizing Design first asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the genocidal project of colonization-then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories. A leading figure in the movement to decolonize design, Dori Tunstall uses hard-hitting real-life examples and case studies drawn from over fifteen years of working to transform institutions to better reflect the lived experiences of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities. Her book is at once enlightening, inspiring, and practical, interweaving her own lived experiences with extensive research to show what decolonizing design means, how it heals, and how to practice it in our institutions today. Under her guidelines, the origins, values, and methods of design move beyond the nineteenth-century European model to acknowledge and fully incorporate practices of making by peoples who predate and survive the effects of European colonization. For leaders and practitioners in design institutions and communities, Tunstall's work demonstrates how we can transform the way we imagine and remake the world, replacing pain and repression with equity, inclusion, and diversity-in short, she shows us how to realize the infinite possibilities that decolonized design represents.
From the New York Times-bestselling author, a new volume on the history of human ingenuity-and its attendant breakthroughs and busts.The world is never finished catching up with Vaclav Smil. In his latest and perhaps most readable book, Invention and Innovation, the prolific author-a favorite of Bill Gates-pens an insightful and fact-filled jaunt through the history of human invention. Impatient with the hype that so often accompanies innovation, Smil offers in this book a clear-eyed corrective to the overpromises that accompany everything from new cures for diseases to AI. He reminds us that even after we go quite far along the invention-development-application trajectory, we may never get anything real to deploy. Or worse, even after we have succeeded by introducing an invention, its future may be marked by underperformance, disappointment, demise, or outright harm.Drawing on his vast breadth of scientific and historical knowledge, Smil explains the difference between invention and innovation, and looks not only at inventions that failed to dominate as promised (such as the airship, nuclear fission, and supersonic flight), but also at those that turned disastrous (leaded gasoline, DDT, and chlorofluorocarbons). And finally, most importantly, he offers a "e;wish list"e; of inventions that we most urgently need to confront the staggering challenges of the twenty-first century.Filled with engaging examples and pragmatic approaches, this book is a sobering account of the folly that so often attends human ingenuity-and how we can, and must, better align our expectations with reality.
A concise overview of fertility technology-its history, practical applications, and ethical and social implications around the world.In the late 1850s, a physician in New York City used a syringe and glass tube to inject half a drop of sperm into a woman's uterus, marking the first recorded instance of artificial insemination. From that day forward, doctors and scientists have turned to technology in ever more innovative ways to facilitate conception. Fertility Technology surveys this history in all its medical, practical, and ethical complexity, and offers a look at state-of-the-art fertility technology in various social and political contexts around the world.Donna J. Drucker's concise and eminently readable account introduces the five principal types of fertility technologies used in human reproduction-artificial insemination; ovulation timing; sperm, egg, and embryo freezing; in vitro fertilization; and IVF in uterine transplants-discussing the development, manufacture, dispersion, and use of each. Geographically, it focuses on countries where innovations have emerged and countries where these technologies most profoundly affect individuals and population policies. Drucker's wide-ranging perspective reveals how these technologies, used for birth control as well as conception in many cases, have been critical in shaping the moral, practical, and political meaning of human life, kinship, and family in different nations and cultures since the mid-nineteenth century.
The rise of the platform economy into statelike dominance over the lives of entrepreneurs, users, and workers.The early Internet was a lawless place, populated by scam artists who made buying or selling anything online risky business. Then Amazon, eBay, Upwork, and Apple established secure digital platforms for selling physical goods, crowdsourcing labor, and downloading apps. These tech giants have gone on to rule the Internet like autocrats. How did this happen? How did users and workers become the hapless subjects of online economic empires? The Internet was supposed to liberate us from powerful institutions. In Cloud Empires, digital economy expert Vili Lehdonvirta explores the rise of the platform economy into statelike dominance over our lives and proposes a new way forward.Digital platforms create new marketplaces and prosperity on the Internet, Lehdonvirta explains, but they are ruled by Silicon Valley despots with little or no accountability. Neither workers nor users can "e;vote with their feet"e; and find another platform because in most cases there isn't one. And yet using antitrust law and decentralization to rein in the big tech companies has proven difficult. Lehdonvirta tells the stories of pioneers who helped create-or resist-the new social order established by digital platform companies. The protagonists include the usual suspects-Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Travis Kalanick of Uber, and Bitcoin's inventor Satoshi Nakamoto-as well as Kristy Milland, labor organizer of Amazon's Mechanical Turk, and GoFundMe, a crowdfunding platform that has emerged as an ersatz stand-in for the welfare state. Only if we understand digital platforms for what they are-institutions as powerful as the state-can we begin the work of democratizing them.
An alternative history of art in Berlin, detaching artistic innovation from art world narratives and connecting it instead to collective creativity and social solidarity.In pre- and post-reunification Berlin, socially engaged artists championed collective art making and creativity over individual advancement, transforming urban space and civic life in the process. During the Cold War, the city's state of exception invited artists on both sides of the Wall to detour from artistic tradition; post-Wall, art became a tool of resistance against the orthodoxy of economic growth. In Free Berlin, Briana Smith explores the everyday peculiarities, collective joys, and grassroots provocations of experimental artists in late Cold War Berlin and their legacy in today's city. These artists worked intentionally outside the art market, believing that art should be everywhere, freed from its confinement in museums and galleries. They used art as a way to imagine new forms of social and creative life. Smith introduces little-known artists including West Berlin feminist collective Black Chocolate, the artist duo paint the town red (p.t.t.r), and the Office for Unusual Events, creators of satirical urban political theater, as well as East Berlin action art and urban interventionists Erhard Monden, Kurt Buchwald, and others. Artists and artist-led urban coalitions in 1990s Berlin carried on the participatory spirit of the late Cold War, with more overt forms of protest and collaboration at the neighborhood level. The temperament lives on in twenty-first century Berlin, animating artists' resolve to work outside the market and citizens' spirited defenses of green spaces, affordable housing, and collectivist projects. With Free Berlin, Smith offers an alternative history of art in Berlin, detaching artistic innovation from art world narratives and connecting it instead to Berliners' historic embrace of care, solidarity, and cooperation.
The exhaustion, disappointment, and listlessness experienced under digital capitalism, explored through works by contemporary artists, writers, and performers.Sometimes, interacting with digital platforms, we want to be passive-in those moments of dissociation when we scroll mindlessly rather than connecting with anyone, for example, or when our only response is a shrugging "e;lol."e; Despite encouragement by these platforms to "e;be yourself,"e; we want to be anyone but ourselves. Tung-Hui Hu calls this state of exhaustion, disappointment, and listlessness digital lethargy. This condition permeates our lives under digital capitalism, whether we are "e;users,"e; who are what they click, or racialized workers in Asia and the Global South. Far from being a state of apathy, however, lethargy may hold the potential for social change.Hu explores digital lethargy through a series of works by contemporary artists, writers, and performers. These dispatches from the bleeding edge of digital culture include a fictional dystopia where low-wage Mexican workers laugh and emote for white audiences; a group that invites lazy viewers to strap their Fitbits to a swinging metronome, faking fitness and earning a discount on their health insurance premiums; and a memoir of burnout in an Amazon warehouse. These works dwell within the ordinariness and even banality of digital life, redirecting our attention toward moments of thwarted agency. Lethargy, writes Hu, is a drag: it weighs down our ability to rush to solutions and forces us to talk about the unresolved present.
How politicians' digital strategies appeal to the same fantasies of digital connection, access, and participation peddled by Silicon Valley.Smartphones and other digital devices seem to give us a direct line to politicians. But is interacting with presidential tweets really a manifestation of digital democracy? In Selfie Democracy, Elizabeth Losh examines the unintended consequences of politicians' digital strategies, from the Obama campaign's pioneering construction of an online community to Trump's Twitter dominance. She finds that politicians who use digital media appeal to the same fantasies of digital connection, access, and participation peddled by Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, smartphones and social media don't enable participatory democracy so much as they incentivize citizens to perform attention-getting acts of political expression. Losh explores presidential rhetoric casting digital media as tools of democracy, describes the conflation of gender and technology that contributed to Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016, chronicles the Biden campaign's early digital stumbles in 2020, and recounts the TikTok campaign that may have spoiled a Trump rally. She shows that although Obama and Trump may seem diametrically opposed in both style and substance, they both used mobile digital media in ways that reshaped the presidency and promised a new kind of digital democracy. Obama used data and digital media to connect to citizens without intermediaries; Trump followed this strategy to its most extreme conclusion. What were the January 6 insurrectionists doing, as they livestreamed themselves and their cohorts attacking the Capitol, but practicing their own brand of selfie democracy?
An exhilarating, genre-bending exploration of curiosity's powerful capacity to connect ideas and people.Curious about something? Google it. Look at it. Ask a question. But is curiosity simply information seeking? According to this exhilarating, genre-bending book, what's left out of the conventional understanding of curiosity are the wandering tracks, the weaving concepts, the knitting of ideas, and the thatching of knowledge systems-the networks, the relations between ideas and between people. Curiosity, say Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett, is a practice of connection: it connects ideas into networks of knowledge, and it connects knowers themselves, both to the knowledge they seek and to each other. Zurn and Bassett-identical twins who write that their book "e;represents the thought of one mind and two bodies"e;-harness their respective expertise in the humanities and the sciences to get irrepressibly curious about curiosity. Traipsing across literatures of antiquity and medieval science, Victorian poetry and nature essays, as well as work by writers from a variety of marginalized communities, they trace a multitudinous curiosity. They identify three styles of curiosity-the busybody, who collects stories, creating loose knowledge networks; the hunter, who hunts down secrets or discoveries, creating tight networks; and the dancer, who takes leaps of creative imagination, creating loopy ones. Investigating what happens in a curious brain, they offer an accessible account of the network neuroscience of curiosity. And they sketch out a new kind of curiosity-centric and inclusive education that embraces everyone's curiosity. The book performs the very curiosity that it describes, inviting readers to participate-to be curious with the book and not simply about it.
How we became so burdened by red tape and unnecessary paperwork, and why we must do better.We've all had to fight our way through administrative sludge--filling out complicated online forms, mailing in paperwork, standing in line at the motor vehicle registry. This kind of red tape is a nuisance, but, as Cass Sunstein shows in Sludge, it can also impair health, reduce growth, entrench poverty, and exacerbate inequality. Confronted by sludge, people just give up--and lose a promised outcome: a visa, a job, a permit, an educational opportunity, necessary medical help. In this lively and entertaining look at the terribleness of sludge, Sunstein explains what we can do to reduce it. Because of sludge, Sunstein, explains, too many people don't receive benefits to which they are entitled. Sludge even prevents many people from exercising their constitutional rights--when, for example, barriers to voting in an election are too high. (A Sludge Reduction Act would be a Voting Rights Act.) Sunstein takes readers on a tour of the not-so-wonderful world of sludge, describes justifications for certain kinds of sludge, and proposes "Sludge Audits" as a way to measure the effects of sludge. On balance, Sunstein argues, sludge infringes on human dignity, making people feel that their time and even their lives don't matter. We must do better.
Translation of: Dictionnaire des gestes: attitudes et mouvements expressifs en usage dans le monde entier.
Why the United States lags behind other industrialized countries in sharing the benefits of innovation with workers and how we can remedy the problem.The United States has too many low-quality, low-wage jobs. Every country has its share, but those in the United States are especially poorly paid and often without benefits. Meanwhile, overall productivity increases steadily and new technology has transformed large parts of the economy, enhancing the skills and paychecks of higher paid knowledge workers. What’s wrong with this picture? Why have so many workers benefited so little from decades of growth? The Work of the Future shows that technology is neither the problem nor the solution. We can build better jobs if we create institutions that leverage technological innovation and also support workers though long cycles of technological transformation.Building on findings from the multiyear MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, the book argues that we must foster institutional innovations that complement technological change. Skills programs that emphasize work-based and hybrid learning (in person and online), for example, empower workers to become and remain productive in a continuously evolving workplace. Industries fueled by new technology that augments workers can supply good jobs, and federal investment in R&D can help make these industries worker-friendly. We must act to ensure that the labor market of the future offers benefits, opportunity, and a measure of economic security to all.
A vision of the future of education in which the classroom experience is distributed across space and time without compromising learning.What if there were a model for learning in which the classroom experience was distributed across space and time--and students could still have the benefits of the traditional classroom, even if they can't be present physically or learn synchronously? In this book, two experts in online learning envision a future in which education from kindergarten through graduate school need not be tethered to a single physical classroom. The distributed classroom would neither sacrifice students' social learning experience nor require massive development resources. It goes beyond hybrid learning, so ubiquitous during the COVID-19 pandemic, and MOOCs, so trendy a few years ago, to reimagine the classroom itself.David Joyner and Charles Isbell, both of Georgia Tech, explain how recent developments, including distance learning and learning management systems, have paved the way for the distributed classroom. They propose that we dispense with the dichotomy between online and traditional education, and the assumption that online learning is necessarily inferior. They describe the distributed classroom's various delivery modes for in-person students, remote synchronous students, and remote asynchronous students; the goal would be a symmetry of experiences, with both students and teachers able to move from one mode to another. With The Distributed Classroom, Joyner and Isbell offer an optimistic, learner-centric view of the future of education, in which every person on earth is turned into a potential learner as barriers of cost, geography, and synchronicity disappear.
A bold, groundbreaking argument by a world-renowned expert that unless we treat free speech as the fundamental human right, there can be no others.What are human rights? Are they laid out definitively in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the US Bill of Rights? Are they items on a checklist—dignity, justice, progress, standard of living, health care, housing? In The Most Human Right, Eric Heinze explains why global human rights systems have failed. International organizations constantly report on how governments manage human goods, such as fair trials, humane conditions of detention, healthcare, or housing. But to appease autocratic regimes, experts have ignored the primacy of free speech. Heinze argues that goods become rights only when citizens can claim them publicly and fearlessly: free speech is the fundamental right, without which the very concept of a “right” makes no sense. Heinze argues that throughout history countless systems of justice have promised human goods. What, then, makes human rights different? What must human rights have that other systems have lacked? Heinze revisits the origins of the concept, exploring what it means for a nation to protect human rights, and what a citizen needs in order to pursue them. He explains how free speech distinguishes human rights from other ideas about justice, past and present.
What happened before the primordial fire of the Big Bang: a theory about the ultimate origin of the universe.In the beginning was the Big Bang: an unimaginably hot fire almost fourteen billion years ago in which the first elements were forged. The physical theory of the hot nascent universe—the Big Bang—was one of the most consequential developments in twentieth-century science. And yet it leaves many questions unanswered: Why is the universe so big? Why is it so old? What is the origin of structure in the cosmos? In An Infinity of Worlds, physicist Will Kinney explains a more recent theory that may hold the answers to these questions and even explain the ultimate origins of the universe: cosmic inflation, before the primordial fire of the Big Bang.Kinney argues that cosmic inflation is a transformational idea in cosmology, changing our picture of the basic structure of the cosmos and raising unavoidable questions about what we mean by a scientific theory. He explains that inflation is a remarkable unification of inner space and outer space, in which the physics of the very large (the cosmos) meets the physics of the very small (elementary particles and fields), closing in a full circle at the first moment of time. With quantum uncertainty its fundamental feature, this new picture of cosmic origins introduces the possibility that the origin of the universe was of a quantum nature. Kinney considers the consequences of eternal cosmic inflation. Can we come to terms with the possibility that our entire observable universe is one of infinitely many, forever hidden from our view?