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No Open Source for Open Courseware?

I’m actively trying to get more details, but Philip Greenspun reported yesterday in his weblog that MIT’s illustrious OpenCourseware program is not itself based on open source software. According to Greenspun, “The more sophisticated portion of ocw.mit.edu is a 100…

I’m actively trying to get more details, but Philip Greenspun
reported yesterday in his weblog that MIT’s illustrious OpenCourseware program is not itself based on open source software. According to Greenspun, “The more sophisticated portion of ocw.mit.edu is a 100 percent Microsoft show. A student asks the speakers why they chose Microsoft Content Management Server, expecting to hear a story about careful in-house technical evaluation done by people sort of like them. The answer: ‘We read a Gartner Group report that said the Microsoft system was the simplest to use among the commercial vendors and that open-source toolkits weren’t worth considering.’

Even better — the programming was “done in India, either by Sapient, MIT’s main contractor for the project, or by a handful of Microsoft India employees who helped set up the Content Management Server.”

Greenspun concludes: “Thus did students who are within months of graduating with their $160,000 computer science degrees learn how modern information systems are actually built, even by institutions that earn much of their revenue from educating American software developers.”

Philip learned this at a 6.171 lecture he attended this year.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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