Derek being aggregated
I was born in a small town at the head of Bonavista Bay on the island of Newfoundland, and finished high school at Smallwood Academy two years after the Catholic Church decided to children of Catholic parents to attend an integrated school. In 1972, two weeks after my 17th birthday, […]

What would universities be like if they were designed for ...


The passing of a caterpillar from male to female Diederik cuckoo
A few people have asked me how to take pictures of birds, and I often get asked by casual observers how I do bird photography. Most bird people know this already, so this is really just for the people who ask me so I can point them somewhere. I often […]

Bird photography tips – what you do


theory-practice
Universities don’t like being considered businesses, but they are, like it or not. Even the public ones. And the global higher education market is non-trivial, being one of the largest market sectors in the global economy. There have been attempts to hack this market before,  and some of them are […]

The next big hack – university education



noun_12541_medgrey_tr.resized
I have been thinking of the business opportunities inherent in some of the biggest challenges that humanity faces today. One of the biggest challenges is how we feed ourselves, combined with the fact that there are just so many of us. Solving the damaging effect of livestockproduction is a worthwhile […]

Want to be a billionaire? Hack how we feed ourselves


No secret science
Today I read a Science article entitled “In dramatic statement, European leaders call for ‘immediate’ open access to all scientific papers by 2020“. I would say that it is the beginning of a dream come true for those of us who have lobbied for free and open access to Science […]

No more secret science as Europe calls for ‘immediate’ open ...


bullshit
I always thought the organised untruths were the worst that humanity had, things like religion, race, ethnicity, healthfoods, alternative medicine, but bullshit is also pretty awful. This video was made to promote philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt’s book On Bullshit published January 30, 2005. Another thing seekers of the truth needs […]

A world without bullshit would be more interesting




wasting our youth
This talk was given to the South Africa–Finland Knowledge Partnership on ICT (SAFIPA) conference held at the CSIR 19-20 October 2011. Although it was 4 years ago, it has a lot of information that relates to some of the opportunities for creating an innovation-focused institution that pays students a salary, which […]

Emerging & Future Trends in ICT: linking it to the ...


banana market
In part because of the protests of last week for zero increase in student fees, and ultimately for free education, there is a growing awareness that higher education in South Africa is in a mess. They are increasingly forced by circumstance to operate as if they were businesses, albeit ones […]

Another way to conceptualise free education: education that pays



HEI fees crisis
Today will see the Education Spring continue in South Africa. I wonder if the ANC-lead, democratically-elected government will take its people seriously at last. Or if the solutions sought will be in-the-box, and trivial. Given that the ANC, under Jacob Zuma, is not known for taking people seriously or looking […]

The higher education crisis in SA – lasting or trivial ...