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  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Metcalfe's Law is Wrong - IEEE Spectrum 32 minutes ago
    @Rita - there's a book or two's worth of answers to that! As a starting point... In itself, building something rarely achieves much, but you'll generally get more visitors if you build something in an already busy place than if you put it in the...
  • Rita Prokopetz commented on a bookmark Metcalfe's Law is Wrong - IEEE Spectrum 2 hours ago
    Very interesting... Feb 09, 2016 – your post based on an article by Bob Briscoe, Andrew Odlyzko, Benjamin Tilly from http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/networks/metcalfes-law-is-wrong  re:  "build it and they will come."  I...
  • That's alright, article-writer: no hard feelings! I've written about this many times before, most extensively in this post that provides a pretty comprehensive comparison, IMHO, so I won't reiterate the pro and con arguments again. Apparently,...
  • Compelling argument, 10 years old now, that Metcalfe's Law and Reed's Law are wrong, and that the correct value for a network should be n log (n). The reasoning is good: the problem with Metcalfe's and Reed's laws is that not all nodes in a network...
    Comments
    • Very interesting...

      Feb 09, 2016 – your post based on an article by Bob Briscoe, Andrew Odlyzko, Benjamin Tilly from http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/networks/metcalfes-law-is-wrong

       re:  "build it and they will come." 

      I welcome your view on the Landing as it relates to the statement above -- I have been wondering about this issue for a while now...

      Rita Prokopetz 2 hours ago

    • @Rita - there's a book or two's worth of answers to that! As a starting point...

      In itself, building something rarely achieves much, but you'll generally get more visitors if you build something in an already busy place than if you put it in the middle of an uncultivated forest. On the other hand, if you can tell enough people about it and there's a compelling enough reason for them to go, that uncultivated forest can quickly become a busy place, and so can the soon-to-form roads in between, so you get growth. We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape our lives: it's iterative and recursive.

      I take a lot of inspiration from Jane Jacobs, who identified short blocks, diverse primary uses, dense population and mix of old and new buildings as the essential characteristics of thriving city areas. Each of these aspects feeds the others - it's a complex adaptive system with an evolutionary dynamic.  On the web, short blocks are about quick and easy connection (we're still working on that on the Landing - a bit of a maze, with too many dead-ends). The more connection, the more people pass by and can travel between areas, allowing diverse sub-communities and uses to thrive. A mix of old and new relates to the low-threshold and high-threshold design (we could differentiate these better but there is a fair mix of quick-and-easy and carefully designed here: anyone can have a presence, but it is possible to design quite complex and elaborate spaces). That drives diversity of primary uses. A central issue is density of population - that's the big driver that drives itself once a threshold is crossed, as long as it does not become too high (Facebook and now Twitter face that problem in spades, responding with filtering algorithms that bring a whole new set of problems).  People attract people. And density of population, in turn, leads to and is driven by diverse primary uses. The more reasons you have for being somewhere, the more you will visit and the safer the place will become because there will always be others around you. It's a mix of hard (structural) and soft (social) drivers. In the case of the Landing, it is complicated by the overlaid existing structure, especially of courses, student roles and staff roles, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it creates density and provides reasons to be here, bad because it reduces diversity and can detract from agency and ownership: people see the Landing as part of a different structure, rather than a thing in itself. And ownership - perhaps more accurately, belongingness - really matters. And, as the article bookmarked above shows, the nature of the activities and connections between people makes a huge difference. That is both formed by context and forms it.

      I could write (and have written) a lot more on this! Alas, time is at a bit of a premium right now but see both my books for more. In brief, it's a complex adaptive system fed by people and set in an ecosystem that also provides inputs and receives outputs. It's pretty hard to design structures from the top down to support this kind of environment but, as long as they are flexible, adaptable,  richly connected, parcellated and a few other things (for a few more, see my paper at http://www.ifets.info/download_pdf.php?j_id=36&a_id=769)  with a bit of nurturing they can evolve to fit their communities.

      Jon Dron 32 minutes ago

  • The Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research would like to extend an invitation to our February instalment of Bannock and a Movie. Please confirm your attendance by contacting me. (To ensure there are seats available) For the staff...
  • Excellent suggestion, Dawn,  I have had students enrolled in archaeology classes at Medicine Hat College attend these workshops and they found it enormously rewarding and informative.
  • These are wonderful workshops. I definitely recommend any of our AU students (or staff) who are intersted in ancient stone working to attend. They are a lot of fun. I am unfortunately (or, fortunately) in Belize that week, so cannot attend this...
  • The Calgary Centre of the Archaeological Society of Alberta is hosting a weekend workshop on Flintknapping. The workshop is held March 5-6 at the University of Calgary.  The attachment has more information on cost, timings and how to...
    Comments
    • These are wonderful workshops. I definitely recommend any of our AU students (or staff) who are intersted in ancient stone working to attend. They are a lot of fun. I am unfortunately (or, fortunately) in Belize that week, so cannot attend this year. Have a great time!

      Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown yesterday

    • Excellent suggestion, Dawn,  I have had students enrolled in archaeology classes at Medicine Hat College attend these workshops and they found it enormously rewarding and informative.

      Laurie Milne yesterday

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More wire posts
AU’s Master of Arts – Integrated Studies (MA-IS) is pleased to announce the opening of a brand new focus area called “Canada, the North, and the Globe,” which examines the north and the near-north as it pertains to indigenous peoples, northern ecologies, and Canada. Canada is, quintessentially, a northern nation, and this focus area has […]
4 hours ago
AU is pleased to announce the availability of  new awards supporting indigenous students—both graduates and undergraduates. The awards include: The Indigenous Graduate Award – at both the doctoral and master’s level; and The Indigenous Careers Award Indigenous Graduate Award The Faculty of Graduate Studies  is pleased to pleased to announce the availability of its newest […]
yesterday
A Writer-in-Residence is a lot more than a visiting author who provides advice to students while working on their masterpieces. He or she is also a public arts ambassador and an integral teaching and research resource among faculty. Athabasca University’s Writer-in-Residence program boasts a long roster of preeminent and award-winning authors, including this year’s acclaimed […]
yesterday
By enrolling into an online course with Athabasca University, not only are you pursuing a journey that will enhance your skill set and offer you more personal and career opportunities, it can invigorate your mind in many ways. Whether you’re considering a graduate program through AU, launching an undergrad degree, or simply embarking on a […]
February 5, 2016 - 9:09am
Please be advised of upcoming upgrades that could impact your accessibility to the Moodle course delivery tool. Starting on Monday February 8, upgrades could impact students, tutors, instructors and AU support staff who support the learning environment. A detailed schedule of the planned outages and the subsequent availability forecasts can be found on the Learning Management […]
February 3, 2016 - 2:25pm
Mental health is a hot topic these days among Canadians, with research showing improved attitudes toward mental health, a decrease in related stigmas, and an overall greater awareness of mental health issues compared to previous years. The surge in social media channels and related messaging, along with widespread TV and radio advertising on the subject […]
February 3, 2016 - 9:05am
Interested in attending a free Western Hockey League game? Through a partnership with the WHL, Athabasca University offers fully accredited university courses to any player interested in further pursuing post-secondary studies while playing in the league. Given the flexibility the Athabasca University courses provide, WHL players are able combine their university course studies with a demanding hockey schedule. As […]
February 2, 2016 - 11:17am
This week Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Announcement (CME) ramped up awareness of the joint CME/Athabasca University initiative to equip Canada’s manufacturing sector with the skills needed to better compete internationally. Athabasca University’s Faculty of Business launched the national roll-out of the Manufacturing Management Certificate of completion (MMC) during an event in Saskatchewan late in 2015. […]
January 27, 2016 - 11:52am
Excerpt from Spring 2012 Open Mind Magazine It takes a Global Village How Abraham Nhial Wei arrived at AU from his hut in South Sudan In the early hours of July 9, 2011, Abraham Nhial Wei was wide awake, by choice. Like millions in South Sudan, the 29-year-old feared that if he fell asleep, he […]
January 26, 2016 - 9:35am
Have you ever heard of the musical phenomenon called the Mozart Effect? A French researcher named Dr. Alfred Tomatis introduced the concept in his 1991 book Pourquoi Mozart? (Why Mozart?), suggesting that listening to the music of Mozart can help ‘retrain’ the ear of children with learning disabilities – it can help stimulate healing of […]
January 21, 2016 - 12:51pm