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Hiya! I'm Matías, a political scientist from Chile, dedicated to understand the intersection between social struggles, political competition and the Welfare State.
I'm also an overall urbanism nerd and a long time beginner Linux user.
Let's see how this works :)

I just read "The Charisma Machine", a postmortem anthropological field study about the one laptop per child program. The book hit home.

**That is definitely a must-read if you feel ideologically tightly bound to free software and/or the constructionism learning theory**. It's a painful albeit necessary read.

The book starts by documenting the project's inception at the MIT media lab and linking it to the wider constructionism ideology. The OLPC project's main goal is to distribute a laptop per child to third-world countries. The laptop is expected to act as a trojan horse, pushing children to learn how to program/creative endeavor home in spite of an "outdated and primitive school system". The idea is the charisma alone of the laptop's hardware would lead children to creatively explore the device without any educational help.

The second part of the book actually documents the most "successful" deployment in Paraguay through the NGO Educa Paraguay. It highlights the social and infrastructure-based shortcomings of the deployment that lead to this project being a total failure. Not only the children did not experience the expected charisma of the machine, but the school and teachers/educa educators became the project's biggest allies.

The last part show how despite this obvious failure, OLPC and Educa managed to massage the reality to make it fit the constructionism promises and make look the project like an overall success.

This summary is of course an over-simplification of the 200 pages book, you should read the whole thing.

As always with Mit press, it's impossible to get a hold of a decently priced paperback copy of the book outside of northern America. You can find the epub on zlib ;)

Texas scientists’ new Covid-19 vaccine is cheaper, easier to make and patent-free

Dr Maria Bottazzi says their vaccine, called Corbevax, is unique because they do not intend to patent it

TFW the icon designer is too young to ever have actually seen the object they're basing the icon on

Actually Koko could talk; you just have some hidden ableism – A Response to Soup Emporium’s “Why Koko couldn’t talk (sorry)|The Deep Dive”
by Inappropriate Opossum on September 20, 2021

@Gargron Hi Eugen! :nkoWave:​ Is this ever gonna get merged?

I'm sooo freaking done with all the spam accounts.. Nothing works on this issue maybe this will solve at least something but I have a feeling I'm gonna wait forever

Chinese dialects in decline as government enforces Mandarin - it's worse than that: these are fully-fledged languages that are being distinguished by cultural genocide by the Han leaders

if this is chasing you, you're done for, look at this formidable youth

From birdsite 

RT @benorlin
This game needs a rebranding.

Je (re)lis des trucs sur les mathématiques japonaises de l'ère Edo (~1600-1850), qui sont assez spécifiques (elles portent même un nom, wasan) car alors le Japon a vécu une période d'isolement assez poussée (voulue par les gouvernements de cette période), encore + que l'isolement apporté par le fait que ça soit un archipel éloigné du reste.

C'est donc une longue période où les mathématiques ont pu se développer de manière indépendante de leurs voisins chinois et coréens, ou des mathématiques européennes. Donc forcément ça apporte un regard intéressant sur "d'autres mathématiques" que les mathématiques européennes qui sont aujourd'hui les mathématiques "mondiales", en partie pour de bonnes raisons (leur efficacité et généralité) et en partie pour de mauvaises raisons (colonialisme, impérialisme...).

Ce qui est frappant je trouve, surtout quand on est en 2022 et avec des maths bien plus développées, c'est de voir comment les notations elles-mêmes façonnent la pensée.


So they are donating multiple millions of dollars to a charity that spends millions of dollars a year saying "you should probably get tested for cancer". And meanwhile, children are dying of hunger and exposure on the streets of the United States. Humans are dying from diseases that could have been treated if medical treatment weren't a for-profit industry.

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Quanto vocês tem de altura?

This is your occasional reminder that "elective", when referring to a medical procedure, does not mean "optional". It just means that you have some control over *when* it happens - there's enough lead time to do things like research your choices or argue with your insurance.

This toot brought to you by Heather Corinna's otherwise delightful book about menopause, which totally just used it as though it were an antonym to "lifesaving". And she's usually good about this sort of thing argh.

this story just got retweeted from 2019 and I was curious if anything ever got found out about what happened, and apparently they found the missing observatory on the seafloor in two parts about 700 feet away


oh god oh fuck


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