[P2P-F] Do we know about Linked Data ? Are we interested is understanding its potentials ? Quick survey - Thanks !

June Gorman june_gorman at sbcglobal.net
Mon Dec 9 18:08:18 CET 2013

Dante -

I'm going to answer this groupwide b/c this, and related technology issues, touch on a very tricky area for me in true sustainability education, working globally on these very ideas over the past several years.

To put it simply, I have been hearing about the possibilities and world-changing hopes for the web and internet and "connecting" across it since being at Berkeley in the late 70's, with some of the first computer-techies filled with sincere, truly revolutionary fervor.  And in so many ways, the information-connecting part of their vision, came true.  Globally.  

At the same time, I would and have argued often that it is not only this very imbalanced focus on science and technology, but also the way it is learned and taught and spread, that has help to lead us to the very in-human, technologically advanced cliff of un-sustainability we are about to go over.  

Even more concerning for me as a teacher, is seeing a developing form of "metaphoric autism" in its strongest proponents and users, and now the children. In my experience, this is very related to this technology in that it not only seems to dramatically reduce the skill sets of harder, more complex interpersonal communication needed across diversity, diverse cultures and nations more than ever in true shared problem-solving, but also dangerously effects these abilities for interpersonal communication (emotional and social intelligences) in children to whom it is being introduced to as the dominant education "model" over the older more human teacher-paradigm.  This is happening worldwide, pushed by a corporate and even for-profit educational industry with very specific education agendas that this technology, taught in these ways, support and on behalf of "cutting educational costs".   There are real and significant resulting social costs, especially for
 communities and the concept of the "shared Commons". My entire forthcoming book on education tries to explain this.

At the same time, who can not see the possibilities in terms of learning with the massive information-processing applications of these technologies?  But it is not actually the area that I see of growing wariness with their increased use -- the concern and observation of actual destruction and loss of more empathetic, emotional/social interpersonal skills and community-communication dynamics (again, especially in children before the age of 10/11 years) which is my far greater educational fear.  So I am not quite the cheerleader I  might be if I hadn't seen this increasingly destructive result on other kinds of learning more critical to me, than just massive information processing.  And I have found few who do see the beauty, possibility and potential of these technologies that either fully understand or address this other, more critical potentially damaging "human relationship" learned result.

As a teacher watching it happen with children over the last 30 - 35 years, (plenty of data/research on this especially with young and adolescent boys who spent the most time online/gaming (http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge.html)), I have never seen this adequately addressed? The "TEF" has tried to do so, directly in this "Transformative Education" Principle:

TEF Principle 11: Use of Technology for Greater Connection not Alienation
Transformative education should utilize technology in a manner that does not impede but enhances the education of children and enables Transformative Education, that cannot be delivered in any other manner.

This is reiterated in the TEF Principles by the questions and concerns TEF raises about the dominating "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education focus so heavily promoted in the US over the last couple of decades, and now being exported globally by the US corporate-education sector, the World Bank and the Brookings Institute.

Short answer then:  I aminterested about learning more about "linked-date" myself, again can see its possibilities.  But not over other far more needed understanding or as a time/money/resource preference of "connectivity, skilled communication and necessary linking" in human to human relationships themselves.  

I have found these are the far more important issues to understand and resolve, especially in education.  As I have seen it's lack all over, as a primary negative effect of not having these skill sets of "connectivity and communication" understood and developed first.

Hope that answers your question, even if somewhat ambiguously? :-)

June Gorman, Educator and Educational Theorist
Co-founder, Transformative Education Forum (website in transition) 
Education Advisor, UN SafePlanet Campaign 
Board Project Director for Outreach, International Model United Nations Association 
Steering Committee, (UNESCO/Global Compact) K-12 Sector for Sustainability Education 
Member, UN Education Caucus for Sustainable Development
Member, UN Commons Cluster

 From: Dante-Gabryell Monson <dante.monson at gmail.com>
To: p2p-foundation <p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org> 
Sent: Sunday, December 8, 2013 9:50 PM
Subject: [P2P-F] Do we know about Linked Data ? Are we interested is understanding its potentials ? Quick survey - Thanks !

What would be your answer ? ( reply on this list or in private to me )

A ) Interested in ( getting to know more about ) its potentials
B ) Not interested


1 ) Never heard of Linked Data
2 ) Know about it
3 ) Actively researching Linked Data applications ( in support of p2p 4 commons ? )

( or whatever other replies you wish to give )


Context of my question :

Michel noted that in his view Linked Data has not been a topic with much interest on the p2pf related forums.

I wish to understand if this is simply because not many of us know about Linked Data, and its potentials ?

Or is it simply because it seemed too complex or technical to bring it up on this specific list ?

I know some of us are working on Linked Data applications,
including in support of Sharing Economy applications.

I personally have been interested in some of its applications for a few years, without being a programmer.  I collaborated with a programmer over the last years, to explore some of the approaches that can be taken to create certain applications.


The first aim I have with this email is to have some kind of quick , hopefully sufficiently representative set of replies.  It does not have to be on the public list - you can also reply to me in private if you like.

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