Learning in an age of accelerating technological change re-visited

This week I got emails from a number of colleagues pointing me to papers, books, and startup ideas about learning, education, skills, and the future…. finally had a chance to read through some of them more carefully this Saturday morning…

Thanks for the emails from Obinna Anya, Ralph Badinelli, Bill Rouse, and just a few hours ago Ted Kahn, of DesignWorlds for Learning….

Jim’s response to Ted’s email about a new book….

Thanks Ted – seen it, but have not ordered and read it yet – I need too, so thanks for the reminder…

Also when we think about technology skills importance relative to humanities and coordination skills, check out this piece from MIT Technology Review on skills: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608707/the-myth-of-the-skills-gap/

My thoughts….  At IBM, we talk about T-shapes, with depth and breath, not just tech or humanities in isolation, hopefully we all know that the deep part (technical and problem-solving skills) and the broad part (coordination and communication skills) of the T-shape are both very important.

Nick Donofrio gets its: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMgPCW4mlVA

Jim Corgel gets its: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm3cqVuOqMQ

Have a good weekend.  I am traveling quite a bit the next two weeks, but have not forgotten that we should have lunch or afternoon coffee sometime to catch up; apologies – just still a bit too busy these days.

Post Script….

…how much of the world is two seemingly polar opposites arguing about which is more important when the dynamic balance of the two is what is needed?  In a wise society we focus on appropriate investment in both while keeping a dynamic balance, i think.  Understanding the evolving ecology of service systems entities their capabilities, constraints, rights, and responsibilities is what service science is about.

One day I got an email from an IBM executive who wanted our service professionals to have the equivalent of a super-power suit they could put on that would augment their cognitive capabilities… certainly close to what is now called the Cognitive Enterprise, and a focus of our cognitive opentech efforts today…   I almost advocated for calling “service science,” “augmentation science” in honor of Doug Engelbart, but he said call it whatever IBM would embrace best at the time, so I advocated for Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME).

Lately, I think this CSLS line of thinking gets it most “right” as a launch vector for the future – see cyber-social-learning-systems (CSLS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYKi11rUOgg ; I miss talking with Doug Engelbart and many others about these and other topics.

Perhaps we are on the verge of becoming a wiser society, as we confront the enormous responsibilities that come with so much technological capability.   We are complex systems embedded in complex systems with capabilities, constraints, rights, and responsibilities.   Learning is what we do in our quest for wisdom living first in a physical environment and now a socially constructed environment of accelerating systems change – http://service-science.info/archives/2096

All this in the context of the Atlantic article that Bill Rouse sent – How America Went Haywire – https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/

liked this summary: “The short answer is because we’re Americans—because being American means we can believe anything we want; that our beliefs are equal or superior to anyone else’s, experts be damned. Once people commit to that approach, the world turns inside out, and no cause-and-effect connection is fixed. The credible becomes incredible and the incredible credible.”

Paul Maglio, co-creator of service science at IBM wrote:

like this summary: “Mix epic individualism with extreme religion; mix show business with everything else; let all that ferment for a few centuries; then run it through the anything-goes ’60s and the internet age. The result is the America we inhabit today, with reality and fantasy weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled.”

And “the beat goes on” as creative artists embrace technology to create new entertainment realities for people to engage with and eventually populate for many, many hours every day:   http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-40656678/sir-peter-jackson-s-studio-reveals-augmented-reality-demo

See also WorldBoard: http://service-science.info/archives/2060

Collectively, our episodic dynamics memories are the world we populate.  Episodic memory is like a time machine that takes us back to any part to re-live it as a memory. We can also project into possible futures we would like to experience, public or private experiences. Our identities are strings of memories about ourselves and our interactions with others, including the imagined future possible interactions.  Some interactions are direct interactions in the physical world, but more and more we are detached, and interacting indirectly in a socio-technical world of artificial intelligences mixed with/wrapped around and augmenting natural intelligences, and it is getting harder to tell the difference.

Individually and collectively we are learning to take responsibility for all this. Civilization works because we take responsibility for our actions, and can reason about institutional facts.   See Searle’s book “The Construction of Social Reality” https://www.amazon.com/Construction-Social-Reality-John-Searle/dp/0684831791/

For a number of reasons, I think the future of learning and education is about individuals on small teams learning to rapidly rebuild everything from scratch to explore alternative futures sequentially and in parallel.  My attempt to work with some colleagues to reframe this idea about the future of learning and education in a more serious format is here: http://coevolving.com/pubs/2013_SRBSv30_n5_Spohrer_Giuiusa_Demirkan_Ing_ServiceScienceReframingProgressWithUniversities_v1001_preprint.pdf  My attempt at less serious reframing is here: http://service-science.info/archives/2189

From the more serious reframing paper:

“The world is a rich and wonderful place, full of many possibilities for how history might
have unfolded differently. Service science with its emphasis on service system entities
and value-cocreation interaction can provide perspective for attempting a new definition
of what progress is and if there is a speed limit to progress, what that speed limit is.”
From the less serious reframing blog post:
How quickly can an individual engineering student or team of students rebuild from scratch the advanced technology infrastructure of society?  From raw materials to simple tools, from simple tools and steam engines to more advanced energy systems (force multipliers), from metals and glass lenses to photography and sensors (perception multipliers), from energy systems and sensors to more precise measurement and control systems (precise production scale-up), from lithography and printing and computers and software to self-replicating machines as envisioned by John von Neumann as a real-world follow-on to the symbolic-world’s Universal Turing machines

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