The Secret History of Hypertext

Historians of technology often cite Bush’s essay as the conceptual forerunner of the Web. And hypertext pioneers like Douglas Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and Tim Berners-Lee have all acknowledged their debt to Bush’s vision. But for all his lasting influence, Bush was not the first person to imagine something like the Web.

via The Secret History of Hypertext – Alex Wright – The Atlantic.

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Features we'd want in an Amazon used ebooks marketplace

All ebooks should retain their marginalia

via Three features we’d want in an Amazon used ebooks marketplace | Macworld.

Hmmm. I am not at all sure that I want my notes kept with the book. One of the really good features is “my notes are mine”. I can get them even if I no longer have the book (think a library book that is annotated and returned).

I like unlimited lending.

I am not at all sure about the sale of “used bits”.

I vote for unlimited lending, but not sale of used.

Can a Few Years' Data Reveal Bad Teachers? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

With years of data, it seems possible to distinguish good teachers from poor ones. Does that indicate that, after collecting two or three years’ data on each new hire, districts should be using test scores for decisions about firings, tenure and pay?

via Can a Few Years’ Data Reveal Bad Teachers? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

The debate (a loose use of the word) certainly points to two sides of an argument. I’m not sure that it has enlightened me, or pointed me toward and acceptable solution to the problem.

The Hidden Costs of Higher Ed

It’s not just the economy’s fault: even as they publicize lavish financial aid packages, colleges and universities are making it harder for average American families to afford higher education, while making it easier for the wealthy.

via The Hidden Costs of Higher Ed – NYTimes.com.

Mr. Bernstein makes a point, but provides no suggestion about how a university can reduce the opportunity cost of the funding of the college education.

The only visible solutions to making access equal and lest costly for the non-wealthy are to stop allowing credit card payments, or eliminate the fees.

Eliminating the fees costs the institution 3 percent in reduced revenue. Not a viable solution.

Who gets to bear the cost of the education? Here in Arizona the people certainly won’t.

Incompetent Research Skills

Although some analysts questioned the finding of search dominance, it’s a user behavior that gets stronger every year. Today, many users are so reliant on search that it’s undermining their problem-solving abilities. Ironically, the better search gets, the more dangerous it gets as people increasingly assume that whatever the search engine coughs up must be the answer.

via Incompetent Research Skills Curb Users’ Problem Solving (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox).

How to Raise the Status of Teachers – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

States around the country are looking to trim their budgets, and public school teachers are feeling unfairly attacked. At the same time, the United States continues to fall behind other countries in student performance rankings.

via How to Raise the Status of Teachers – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

After reading through the nine statements it’s time to scan the comments from the readers.

The autonomy arguments tend to stick.