Monthly Archives: December 2011

MIT launches online learning initiative – MIT News Office

MIT launches online learning initiative

MITx‘ will offer courses online and make online learning tools freely available.

This is the next step in the eventual collapse of higher education. When “name” institutions like MIT eventually get around to offering distance learning degrees, and the price of those degrees drops toward the actual cost of delivering them, students around the world will decide that a distance degree from MIT beats an in-person degree from MyBigState U.


A study on the trolley car problem

In the past I've written about the trolley car problem, where you have the opportunity to divert a runaway trolley car by throwing a switch, preventing it from killing five people, but in the process killing one person who would otherwise have lived.

A recent study indicates that most people would throw the switch, killing one to save five. I wonder if this translates to a general acceptance of torture?

A test post from Siri

This post is an experiment. I’m going to dictate this whole post using Siri on my iPhone 4S. I’m curious to see how many mistakes it makes, if any. Siri has continually impressed me with its ability to interpret my speech. I’m still getting used to speaking to my computer, especially with putting in the punctuation. But I think I’ll get used to it. I still stumble every once in a while, so Siri sometimes has problems dealing with that. Nevertheless, I often find when using my Macintosh that I wish I had Siri there as well. I think Siri is an inflection point. I’m in the process of becoming more used to using my phone as a computer than using my computer as a computer. I’ve been using Macintoshes for something like 25 years now, so this is a big transition for me. I haven’t changed the way I fundamentally use my computer in a quarter-century. So, I lied. Siri made one mistake, and I corrected it. Not bad for this much text.

Sent from my iPhone