Everything you didn’t want to know about MOOCs

Every few years we concoct a new iconic shorthand for the same old modernist drive to social efficiency. It wasn’t too long ago that virtual worlds were the buzz. Micro blogging has been the firm favourite for the last three or so years but we’ve got a new one; the Massive Open Online Class which has a killer mix of cyber culture, ‘gamification’, white man’s burden and push button convenience. Sounds like I’m down on it, but actually I’m in the race to win.

For the student, a MOOC is the chance to study (for example) poetry at Harvard for free. So long as you understand that (a) you are not really studying or graduating at Harvard and (b) that your assessment and feedback is going to be done by some other amateur, it’s a deal. For the university it seems a way to do all the rote teaching by the least expensive means, until they remember it’s free, and are left scrabbling for any kind of payment system.

For Pearson, a publisher in the textbook game, it’s a nice bit of roots organisation that will hand over a platter of intellectual property for them to gatekeep. Like the indie labels did for the music industry, like lonely people do for Facebook, there’s nothing like enthusiasts jumping into your fishing net.

But for teaching staff it’s what MP3 did for the music industry – good for the very top and very bottom – genocide for the middle. If you’re staff at a regional university and doing your best to teach poetry on limited means, having Harvard come to town is death. Not that anyone needed them to explain poetry, but the lure is in the brand (burned on your rear). The regional university wilts, the university town wilts, an arid patch appears with consequent economic and political damage.There will be cheer squad of course – same people that thought that transferring music rights from EMI to Apple represents some kind of progress.

For me, teaching at a GO8 University with a lab of specialised equipment and my eccentric library; not as worrying. You can’t really learn camerawork over the telephone, nor can any practitioner assess 10,000 student movies. Sure, you can have peer assessment, it’s called YouTube and no one is fooled. That’s why you come to me. I will tell you how not to suck, to your face, with examples.

I’ll state my position up front – MOOCs are the opposite of everything we’ve been told is good teaching practice. The best classes are small with a close mutuality, have a strong practical component, have a teacher that is a practitioner that provides targeted attention and feedback to the individual student. If you are unsure of something I come up to your desk, listen to your questions and provide help, often with physical demonstration. When I assess you, I do so from a rubric, my expertise and my discussions with you. Personal service – and why ANU is top Australian university every year.

It’s the same poor idea that has run over the last decade – cut the cake until you get a big crowd then obsess on the size of the crowd, not the size of the slice. Part of the advertisement is how MOOCs are great for people in extremely poor parts of the world. That’s partly true. But it’s not really contributing to their local educational structure, in fact it’s subverting the development. Harvard comes to town, everywhere.

Put it another way, I bet the idea would be less popular if the MOOC was coming from Beijing. And it will, it surely will.

No, my interest in MOOCs is purely selfish – to not have to deliver the same lectures twice a year for the rest of my life, yet to perform in front of larger circuses. Some things, like how to frame a shot – that I would like to write down once and not again. Plus as an old hand at making interactive publications it’s cute to see it bubble up again. I’ve got 20+ years of computer aided learning experience to sell. 

We had a seminar. That’s one good thing about these icons – something new to research and hold seminars about. Keeps academics fed.

Our first speaker was Curt Bonk an enthusiastic American MOOCher. A nice man who accepted that his name is a perfect shit storm in Australian slang. He should be excused for having less time than he normally needs, but the talk was a blurry top 40 of who had the most students and when, a hit parade of audience size. Perhaps he thought to demonstrate how he engages his online audience – to my eyes it was more manic than empathic. He helpfully mentioned one of his books about every 5 slides – a good demonstration of one way to monetise free teaching.

Richard Buckland was next – a home team speaker and a complete delight. I can’t do him justice, only report some of the best bits: That the least interesting part of ‘MOOC’ is the ‘M’, and that the worth is there if even one underprivileged student was empowered by it. That universities shouldn’t fear MOOCs eating into their entry level courses, because if your entry level can be taught in that way, it needs improving. That once teaching is open, we can all steal ideas from each other and get better at it. That finally you can earn praise for teaching in public, the way a researcher is praised for their publications. And so on. There wasn’t a moment that didn’t kick ass.

Simon McIntyre did an interesting report on COFA Online’s experiments with publishing teaching material and then tracing who picks it up and uses it. Without the cool animated graphics it’s not nearly as fun, so I’ll cut to the conclusion – that a different world map emerges when you trace the flows, one in which a tweeter in New Zealand may the hub of learning spokes in Europe and the USA. I didn’t find that too surprising, I was more impressed by a graphic prepared by a student of all the technologies that person used in their learning, a horrible mesh of boxes with Blackboard squeezed up into one corner. Imagine a Bosch painting made out of Applications. I wish I had that to show you.

Rick Bennett talked about RukSac which looks like a prettied up fork of the Omnium software we use for teaching. You can learn more the site than from me, although I am not sure you can just take a tool that works for 100 people and make it work for 10000 – which might be the point, although it wasn’t clear.

Plenty of questions – the ones that mattered the most to me was the business of IP. I am not going to start giving lectures on the films of Stanley Kubrick on YouTube. To that there was the usual mumbling about Creative Commons. I would have asked about how any course based around essay writing was supposed to have 10000 members. I didn’t because the answer is obvious.

More?

Lots more (MIT article).

Endlessly Connected With Everything

Last year I needed an unlocked phone and rashly went with the cheapest option that presented itself – a Huawei phone from the local Woolworths. For the price it seemed a decent smart phone and worked well enough while traipsing around Belgium. As I complained back in March the devil in the deal showed up when my least favourite ex-politician in the universe popped up to defend Huawei’s right to spy on build Australia’s IT infrastructure, and to be flying over Liberal politicians for ‘friendly’ talks.

The temptation was to use the traitor phone in ballistics testing, but I’m not that wealthy. The iPhone had gone to Her Majesty and was not coming back. Gold medal for China, until a week or so ago when Telstra sent a letter something like this:

Dear Valued Customer,

Seriously what is that shit you have hanging off our system? You been dumpster diving or what? Word up – the mutt is about to drop off the network. We are going 4G, you are going maybe .5G if the wind is blowing that direction. 3G is going bye bye, so get it put down and get your sorry ass to the mall.

Yours, the Telstra Support team.

OK, so what’s the SECOND cheapest place to go? JB HiFi. If you’re not from Australia feel free to compare to any local electronics wholesaler that uses comic sans and screaming food colours on every available surface. JB are OK, but not the place where you expect the just-out-of-school underpaid minions to care that much about your ‘shopping experience’. So I was surprised that the phone minion was a good sort that steered me to a slightly older 4G model known to not suck. Slight problem when I admitted I didn’t know my own mobile phone number.

“Do you know your home phone number?” Thank god for a question I could answer.

Furious tapping on the computer. “Right, so you have a home phone and two mobiles registered, you’re out contract, I’ve got your address, your tax file number, inside leg measurements and some photographs taken in through your eyes“. He looks at me.
“I used to work at Telstra”.

Back to the computer. Tap tap. “OK so the deal I can give you is unlimited texting and $600 of phone time a month.” How does anyone use up $600 of phone time a month? I was having trouble using up my $30 a month. “Maybe ring overseas?”

And thus it came to pass that I assisted Samsung in their epic battle with Apple.

To be fair I have assisted Apple with their epic battle with Samsung. All over the place are reviews of Mountain Lion that reach the same conclusion: it doesn’t suck as bad as Lion. I don’t know why they bother with the other 199 new features when the main one is so compelling. They could double their sales straight away with the slogan “The World’s Most Advanced Operating System That Isn’t Stoned Off Its Conk”. It’s only when you stop using Lion that you realised just how many cones that cat is pulling.

Like, am I opening a folder? That’s heavy.

Apart from that it’s a .1 upgrade that changes just enough to break compatibility with all the sound cards again. I wonder if there’s anyone still working at AVID to fix that.

There’s some kind of nagging bar down the right hand side that looks awfully like the one that Microsoft Outlook already throws at me. Fuck knows why that’s a new feature. And you can get it to tweet your trash to Facebook or something, I kind of lost interest at that point.

Time to ring overseas to try consume some of this phone contract…

Saloon and Sales

This is interesting: http://www.salon.com/2012/06/20/steal_this_album_what_happens_if_no_one_pays_for_music/singleton/

Mostly because it’s being debated with a little more intelligence than the usual ‘all musicians are lazy and rich therefore FYGM’. Salon is a funny website. Sometimes you feel so damn relieved to be reading above the usual YouTube moron level. But sometimes the USA Progressive rhetoric is clumsy and shallow. I love the old socialist banter that went with the 70’s post punk bands, but I’m well aware that it didn’t get far past the first record contract. It seems that many of the Salon writers have yet to see it in practice and still have high abstract hopes. Bless them for wanting good for all, that’s a rare thing.

Back to paid music: Curiously the switch from CD to DRM-free download has gone well for me. Sevcom shop has almost reached the point where BandCamp will take a lesser cut, and this on material that has been out and about for years. But the audience are generally sticking with what they know.

It’s good to have statistics, actually it’s disillusioning – both negative and positive meanings of that combined. Biggest seller is City Slab Horror. Biggest download is Return To Barbara Island, although it had already done over 1,000 downloads from MediaFire in the old store. Free stuff will always win. But it emboldens me to make a another new thing and give it away. I have about 9000 free downloads banked up.

In the last two months looks like I’ve had a lot of new customers show up. Again, City Slab Horror, Bigot … one thing is that not everyone buys the entire Adenoids set. True, most of the tracks are in the first package. I just thought they’d be completists.

Now, where do they come from? About half direct dial BandCamp, which shows the virtue of this site. A fifth went to sevcom.com first; would be better if I was more active there. A tenth came from FaceBook; I have no presence there. ALMOST NO SALES COME FROM YOUTUBE. Having people post my music on YouTube does not assist me in any statistically valid way. So fuck that argument. Let’s have the image…

Love it.

BandCamp allows me to download everyone’s email addresses as a spreadsheet. If I was a good marketer I’d use that to push info at people, but I think I am a better friend to people by not doing that kind of thing. At some point I’ll just send them all a present.

What about iTunes? Well I don’t get too deep into those statistics but it’s basically about a thousand bucks of Dead Eyes Opened every time I get a payment. Yay… zzzzzzzzzz. iTunes is like when you buy a greasy kebab on the way home from the pub… being Dead Eyes.

This week I have to pop down to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. to talk hosting of [H.H]. I don’t think they’ll notice the hit but sensible men want to check bandwidth. I guess if you had a couple of hundred people bashing away at it on opening night and they all tried the same tape recorder it could be nasty, but shit, it’s the ABC.

Not much development on Cavalcade so far. Looks like we don’t have the Mandala systems we thought we did. Anyone got an old Amiga Live card lying around?

For Capra, I’m trying to 3D render a night time city flyover. All those little bright windows are causing the worst Moire pattern, wasted days on that.

As for Opmitter, don’t ask. I just switched over from Jitter to Derivative TouchDesigner. The desperate move of a drowning man!

The Academic Industrial Complex

Right now: Work is renovating our curriculum. Fan shen is not the stated goal but you’d be crazy to miss the chance to scorch earth and build a new church you’d be proud of in 2016, when the first graduates come plopping out the other side. Years of frustration are bubbling up along with the usual academic flights of fantasy. Kind of like pink champagne.

The stated goal (put simply) is that students choose a more flexible structure in their degree. They choose a kind of ‘spine’, for example sound production or mathematics, then they add modular tracks that create a good collaboration. So for example Built Environment and Game Design, or Video Production and Performance, or what ever becomes useful in the years ahead. Then sprinkle Electives on top. The idea is good, but mind numbingly difficult.

Figuring out what to do with Audio is a good example. You might want to make Audio a spine to which other courses are connected. But a bit of analysis (pushing pieces of paper around in circles) makes it clear that a wide range of artforms can benefit from sound design. You’d thus place it as a secondary track. But then you have people who just want to create sound work. It has to be both a primary and a secondary track… and also an elective for people who just need basic skills in sound production – hell, put it in EVERY possible configuration. Now you have to make versions of every course for the level of specificity and your attempt to simplify everything ends up making it more complicated.

Or my area – video production. Let’s say I place their first documentary production at the start of year two. That means that they haven’t had a photography course yet, so either I move it along a bit so that photography gets them first, or I bring photography into the course as ‘cinematography’, which then duplicates some of the photography course. If I move it along, then Audio has to move along, because they’ll need to be composing later and … So maybe then I could require a photography course in year one. But year one is earmarked for conceptual learning and one of the things we want to do is have the students actually build concepts before whining about how-big-is-my-camera. And my conviction is that in 2012 anyone that needs to write an essay also needs basic camera skills – so Electives.

It’s like doing multiple jigsaw puzzle at once, where the pieces move on all of them. Which leads to…

I keep reading about how the university system is doomed. Usually the author goes on to tout some kind of ‘online revolution’. That’s a nonsense. People are still squabbling about how to provide a single course online. They are nowhere near figuring out how the hell to guide people through an entire programme of courses. Not. even. started. Go and have a look at Open University or iTunesU courses – they’re all isolated bits and pieces – hobbies and enthusiasms. Popular Mechanics. The word ‘university’ encapsulates that which online libraries cannot achieve.

It’s a good thing that we’re not relying on online teaching because it’s a toxic dump. Any time a paradigm is danger of forming you can bet on some structural weakness causing an embarrassing collapse, finger pointing & excuses. Since I’ve been at Kunst Kamp we’ve had three Learning Management Systems come and go, wasting effort and breeding more Luddites. Last time the Death Star shelled out maximum dollar trying to force some stability – but overspending has not stopped the latest tower from visibly leaning. I’ve backed down from such ideas until a system lasts more than 2 years running.

BUT: I must admit that having delivered the same lectures 7 or 8 times over the last few years, I’m ready for some other way to deliver the goods. The temptation is to change things to keep yourself from being bored, but the students are still arriving at the ideas for the first time every semester, and the Lumière Brothers still created the Cinematographe whether or not I’m over it.

I need textbooks, electronic documents, with movies and quizzes and all that. Must be the hot spot because that’s where a battle is raging: on the left are Adobe with their InDesign/Folio system, to the right Apple with iBook Author, in the middle are muddles of middleware for Moodle.

That iBooks are poison for information should be clear to anyone (even that utterly predictable shill John Gruber momentarily denounced the idea before his leash was yanked). There is NO WAY I am ever going to make a document that can only be seen on a ‘book’ sold by one publisher. People that defend this because ‘Apple doesn’t owe anything to publishing in general’ should try to remember THE ENTIRE DAMN POINT OF A TEXTBOOK. Jesus, people it’s not football.

That leaves Adobe by default. There’s been an awful lot of leaving Adobe by default recently.

I’ve peeked at InDesign and the folio format. Maybe. I think Acrobat is probably a better idea, even if it’s not designed for Pads it will run on most things and even on paper. The ambition for the coming years is to start making teaching aids that will do the lectures for me – adds work at the front, takes it away at the back. Means that I can segue from running ten tutorials a week to running a script on Mondays. And if indeed universities are going to crumble, well I’ll be on the life raft won’t I?

Pip pip!

New! VENTURESHARK 2.0.

Welcome to the VentureShark FAQ!

Who made VentureShark and why?

VentureShark was created by musicians who wanted to apply the concept of human slavery to the digital realm. The initial business model revolved around the idea that a user could make money by selling stolen goods online. This model has since been abandoned in favor of making venture capitalists and so called ‘Chief Executives’ realise that they too can be exploited for free labour and shaking them down for cash.

Do we really need another Web 2.0. startup with some Goofy Name?

Bitches and Beamers don’t pay for themselves yo.

What do I get for ‘uploading’ executives to VentureShark?

Nearly all of the CEOs and CIOs on Ventureshark has been ‘uploaded’ by users. By ‘uploading’ executive staff to Ventureshark, you share their labour with friends all over the world with the click of a button.

Why bother paying executive wages when you can have free access from any computer (or mobile phone!) with an internet connection?

Where do VentureShark’s executive slaves come from?

Nearly all of the capitalists on VentureShark are ‘uploaded’ by users like you! Visit the uploader and you can upload any CEOs, CIOs you have stashed away. After uploading and some processing time, you will be able to use them on VentureShark anywhere in the world, so long as you have a computer or smartphone with an internet connection.

Can I share the venture capitalists I find on VentureShark?

Absolutely! We have tried to make it as easy as possible to whore any slaves you find on VentureShark. First, you can open the options menu by clicking the button marked with a gear. From here, you can add the slave to a work detail, hand their ass around, dosh out some gruel , or terminate them. Once you open the ‘Share Exec’ menu, choose which medium you’d like to share them through.

My life’s work has been handed to VentureShark, who should I talk to?

VentureShark has a team that is devoted entirely to hostage negotiation. Just send us an email at slaves@ventureshark.com and we will help you with whatever you need.

If the labour you poured into that MBA was posted up without your permission and you’d like to have it removed, please click here to access our DMCA takedown form — we highly recommend, however, that you contact us first to talk about our protection payment plan. Otherwise it’ll be back up in a week.

Wait, how am I supposed to make a living if you keep giving away my work for free?

You could sell T Shirts at gigs?

– the guys at Abduction Media Group.

AMG is the owner of all intellectual property rights, including all copyrights, patents, trademarks associated with the Service, including all associated software, logos, text, and graphics, but excluding User Content (defined below). You agree not to display or use any AMG intellectual property without AMG’s prior permission.
User Content we take without prior permission. One rule for us, one for you, bitch.

Blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah iPad blah blah blah blah Apple blah blah blah Flash blah blahblah Adobe blah blah iPad blah blah blah iPad blah blah iPhone blah blah blah the cloud blah. Blah blah Apple blah blah web 2.0. blah blah blah iPad? I think that blah blah blah blah blah blah Newton blah blah Microsoft blah blahblah blah iPad blah blah Amazon. Blah blah Google blah blah iPad. Blah blah Twitter.

ipad

Blah blah iPad blah blah Apple blah blah Steve Jobs blah blahblah blah.

What do you think?


Comments.

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7. Blah blah blah blah blah this blog sucks shit blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah more of your old music. A FAN.

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12. I LIKE TITS.

Ten reasons to use Bing!

One. You are less likely to hear Google used as a verb. This one reason is enough, but I give you more!

Two. A worried company is a company that works for you. Sick of reading press about the Google Ideas Hammock hanging in the Google Moss Garden next to the Google 5 Star Staff Restaurant? Just sick of hearing about Google? Does the idea of people carrying on like it’s still the 90’s Dot Com Boom make you queasy? The moment the stock price slips the tiniest bit those dandies will be in cubicles, sweating on your whims. It’ll be a great growing up experience for them.

Three. Google has your search history for the last couple of years on file, and have some intrusive advertising they know you’ll just love. But imagine a world without Adsense. Google have many other less annoying ways to make money – via Blogger, YouTube, Picasa … but they give these away simply to destroy their competitors, who then turn into ad agencies as well. It’s like a virus or a zombie film. This is also the only reason they fund Firefox so don’t be so smug about that. They are as evil as everyone else, yet they claim to have a philosophy. They need a swift kick in the scholars.

Four. First scan everyone’s books, then negotiate a protection racket. Nice work if you’re the Mafia. Likewise for cached pages, street photos … Google doesn’t ask they just go and do it. Just like every other corporation Google uses its monopoly to force control over culture, to which people (especially the EU) are strangely blind. The antidote to monopoly is competition.

Five. Google’s taskbar is spyware crap and I don’t want it no matter how many time it’s bundled at me. Google Updater is far worse, it installs into your OS and if you try delete it, it reinstalls. That’s nasty. How did we deal with Real Networks? We stopped using them. Only by giving them hell will Google stop being the new Real Player. Can you seriously imagine the hide of these guys wanting to store your medical records? They will find a way to sell them. It’s Google.

Six. Cuil was a complete joke. Wolfram Alpha is some kind of demented pocket calculator. Bing is actually usable, which shouldn’t be surprising, but it is. I wouldn’t say it was better, but it’s not noticeably worse. I’ve been running it, no great pain involved.

Seven. In the 1968 film Bing! Richard Burton’s Angel of Death character utters this word every time he hears the waves crashing against the rocks below the cliff-side villa. He explains to Sissy Goforth at one point that “Bing!” is the sound of “the shock of each moment of still being alive”

Eight. The only way to defeat Godzilla is with Mothra. By which I mean only Microsoft is big enough to puncture Google. Stalin VS Hitler – you do not have to love either of them. Hopefully they will beat each other into submission and be so wounded as to give way to other newcomers.

Nine. Bing Crosby. Smooth.

Ten. No matter what you type in, Google will find millions of useless misleading hits. And you can’t refine the search. Millions of hits is not any better than a hundred useful links. Right now Bing seems to be less likely to throw up any damn garbage it finds. Nevertheless, if they fought it out maybe the quality would get better on both sides.

Really it comes down to this: Google is a cancer. Bing is the chemo. Losing some hair is for your own good.

Where it’s at.

I have accrued a whole bunch of half written posts. But knowing everything is meaningless sometimes makes it hard to finish something. I mean, half of meaningless is just as good as a whole.

Perhaps I should just point. Look…

This link is not safe for work and has very rude bits. It is the last 50 images uploaded to Live Journal. Clicking on this is an endless source of horror and wonderment. What film can compete with this parade of pornography, weird people and strange places? Mondo Cane maybe. But every time you click this there’s more. And more. MORE.

It’s soothingly dehumanising. At the end of a hard day you sit back with a Martini, click the button and let these artefacts ease you away from all your daily cares. If we are all going to be a cloud on the Internet surely you’d like to meet some of the other little raindrops?

Really I am wasting time while I am supposed to be getting the Virgin Mary to appear on my roof.

mrwagih1

This photograph is one of many taken of the Zeitoun Apparitions. Not only did a billowing glowing BVM climb around on the roof but blobby doves flew off in various directions. This last fact sold me on the whole thing.

miracle010

I don’t care whether the local church faked it for extra bingo chips – a glowing floating BVM with doves splurting out everywhere is cool.

I am going to have this ready for the BIG DECEMBER SUPRISE!

ratemystudent.com

king_kong_dlx-15

Student Number n324541
Called into office to discuss attendance. Handed me photographs of themselves on top of the burning World Trade Towers attacked by badly superimposed 3D models of WW2 aircraft, including a Nazi UFO. Asked if I had seen the Peter Jackson version of King Kong because ‘that shit was real I was there’. When I questioned the timing of this event said that I was being culturally insensitive.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Pass on to Head of School.

baby-eating

Student Number n213417
Pitched to make short video documentary on persons with vile eating disorders. Asked if I would agree to be interviewed.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Tell student that they are culturally insensitive.

four_poster_bed_351

Student Number n448103
Started by sleeping in lectures. Now sets up glass of water on a bedside table, places their false teeth in it, takes off their dressing gown and slippers and rolls up in four poster bed with luxurious canopy & velvet tassels. This is distracting for other students especially those that are sharing the bed.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Bring comically large mechanical alarm clock to next lecture, and wind them up.

014-2

Student Number n259182
Insists that they are actually Student Number n235620 plus Goods and Services Tax.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Reduce their results by ten percent.

elvis_pants

Student Number n673940
Serenades my office with Elvis songs such as You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel, wearing rhinestone encrusted white suit and dark glasses. Speaks with near authentic southern USA accent, however in fluent Mandarin. When I ask who he is supposed to be, says he is David Bowie.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Transfer to Audio Production class.

queen_victoria

Student Number n649174
Bears an uncanny likeness to Queen Victoria, standing on a wheeled platform. Does not speak (or move) in tutorials, but has attended every tutorial and lecture so far. Essays quite good, camera work stilted but very steady. Good group dynamics: was once seen by me being pushed into a theory class by other students.

Rating: This is a good student and will do well.

The Nine Billion Names of Blog

300px-50_meter_rifle_targetsvgThis blog is back on target. SMJ took that superglue and pumped it (laughing in a manly way) into that open source, sealing the jimjams that were doodling the ohplats or something. The useless categories are back in place, my tedious attempts at amusing tags are clouding in the etherblogcloudingscape and I can get back to avoiding part two of the synthesiser class. It’s good to be back, polluting your cyberspace.

Not that I haven’t been busy, dear no. Week two of Kunst Kamp and we have the kunstlers blogging away for dear life. Their word count threatens to smother the universe in blogmass and good riddance to all that open space, I say. When the newspapers all fold we will be ready! I feel like the guy that tied a bunch of balloons to his lawn chair. We are going up, all of us, with no plans of how to come down. Think of it – right now 150 students are typing! Soon it will be 250! Then we will link to main campus blogs and have thousands… the blogs will become sentient and launch an attack on civilisation as we know it.

Take for example categories. Now if you allow students to choose their own, how many categories will they create? As many as there are fish in the sea. Even when I said please use the course code, you can type that in an endless variety of ways – there’s soma1603 or SOMA1603 or SOMA 1603 with a gap … each is a new category. Once we connect with main campus there will be 9 Billion categories, one of which will be the name of God… and the stars will go out one by one.

On the home front I finally got around to sending up two of the Severed Heads clips as High Definition at YouTube. The HD mode is not too shabby. Certainly better than the old playback. I guess I’ll repost all of the old videos again, although most of them are standard old 4:3 format. It makes me think some day I had better get back to making some art, if there’s ever time to make art, or any audience left that wants it.

Also, for the special two people & dog that read this thing – I can preview the incomplete version of OP4 which eventually shall reside at:

http://sevcom.com/op4/

This has more holes in it than a spaghetti spoon, but over the coming weeks I’ll be fixing it as I can. Yes, the tracks are either remastered or remixed from the old multitracks. Why? Because that’s what OP was always about – keep on reworking and rerecording the tracks over and over again. Why? Because it is amusing for me to keep folding the sources in different directions – frankly I’d do that if no one was listening at all, but if somebody wants to, you are welcome.

Also busy is SMJ. You have seen these haven’t you? A very interesting development is brewing … but you will have to wait to find out …