Stonehenge, music and magic

Stonehenge from the air

A scientist says that Stonehenge was inspired by “auditory illusions,” according to a story in Guardian UK. Independent researcher Steve Waller says “the layout of the stones corresponded to the regular spacing of loud and quiet sounds created by acoustic interference when two instruments played the same note continuously.”

“If these people in the past were dancing in a circle around two pipers and were experiencing the loud and soft and loud and soft regions that happen when an interference pattern is set up, they would have felt there were these massive objects arranged in a ring. It would have been this completely baffling experience, and anything that was mysterious like that in the past was considered to be magic and supernatural.


Gothic High Tech

New short story collection from Bruce Sterling.

“He’s the legendary Cyberpunk Guru. He roams our postmodern planet, from the polychrome tinsel of Los Angeles to the chicken-fried cyberculture of Austin… From the heretical Communist slums of gritty Belgrade to the Gothic industrial castles of artsy Torino… always whipping that slider-bar between the unthinkable and the unimaginable.

“He’s a Californian design visionary. He’s an European electronic-art curator. He’s a Swiss professor of media philosophy. He’s a Prophet of Augmented Reality, even. He’s an author, journalist, editor, critic, theorist, futurist, and blogger. Obviously he’s pretty much anything that he can get his hands on.

“And he never stops typing. This sixth collection of his fantastic stories is a comic arsenal of dark euphoria. It’s even weirder, harsher and more twisted than the scary decade that inspired it. Boy, that’s saying something.”

Thinking about education

Jamais Cascio ponders education, saying first that we need more Sids than Andys, a Toy Story reference. Sid was, according to the Wikipedia article, “hyperactive” and “disturbed.” Jamais quotes another perspective. “A Sid-based education would encourage children to invent and explore, to chart their own paths, to defy conventions, to explore dead ends as well as promising boulevards.” I get the point, though I’m not sure that’s Sid… hmmm.

Later in the post, he links to a page by KnowledgeWorks Foundation and the Institute for the Future: “Creating the Future of Learning,” quoting this page:

We are seeing “educitizens” define their rights as learners and re-create the civic sphere. Networked artisans and ad hoc factories are democratizing manufacturing and catalyzing new local economies. These creators are highlighting the significance of cooperation and cross-cultural intelligence for citizenship and economic leadership.

Furthermore, advances in neuroscience are creating new notions of performance and cognition and are reshaping discussions of social justice in learning. Communities are beginning to re-create themselves as resilient systems that respond to challenges by replenishing their vital resources and creating flexible, open, and adaptive infrastructures.

Together, these forces are pushing us to create the future of learning as an ecosystem, in which we have yet to determine the role of educational institutions as we know them today.

Pondering this – it’s what we should be thinking about.