Politenasty

August 14, 2014

Paul Ford has an essay up on his lifetime politeness strategy. I got to it via Daring Fireball which said of it “Such a lovely piece.” I’m slightly acquainted with Paul and like him (and often his writing). But I found this terrible. Now I have a history of, let us say, difficulties of various sorts with politeness and etiquette (for a recent example, see a not as recent as I recalled NewApps thread).

I will say upfront that my presentation to the world is not that of consistent politeness. In fact, people react to me and I react to them in a wide variety of ways. I say mean things sometimes out of respect, sometimes out of anger, and sometimes to have fun (both with and against the target). I have lots of virtues and know them, but it’s fair to say that I may be biased against politeness. I certainly have had a “thing” about etiquette for quite some time which partially comes from people lecturing me on the virtues of etiquette while being horrible to me. So, there’s probably a chip. Whether that chip guides me to truth or delusion is not for me to say. (But it’s truth. Always truth!)

Consider the lead in:

Most people don’t notice I’m polite, which is sort of the point. I don’t look polite. I am big and droopy and need a haircut. No soul would associate me with watercress sandwiches.

I found this to be a bizarre and incoherent few sentences (and profoundly irritating). The sort-of point of…his politeness?…is not to be noticed? And the way it isn’t noticed is by his physical appearance? And what on earth does politeness have to do with watercress sandwiches? I suppose the sandwiches are meant to evoke a sort of British upper class stereotype but it’s so far off I’m not actually sure. And while appropriate dress is a way to be polite (wearing shorts and sandals to a black tie affair is almost certainly a big affront, however it was meant; contrariwise, wearing your posh togs at an informal event which makes the rest of the people feel put down is equi-rude).

my officemate turned to me and said: “I thought you were a terrible ass-kisser when we started working together.”

She paused and frowned. “But it actually helped get things done. It was a strategy.” (That is how an impolite person gives a compliment. Which I gladly accepted.)

Is politeness asskissing or vice versa? Is he being grudgingly praised for his politeness or his asskissing? Can we really generalise from the effects of one to the effects of the other?

And how polite is it to publicly identify someone as impolite, esp. to your own aggrandisement?

This makes me, at best, uneasy. I won’t say whether it’s polite but it seems cold and unkind. Consider:

And in my twenties I found that I could score points with my elders by showing up and speaking respectfully. But then, suddenly — it mattered. My ability to go to a party and speak to anyone about anything, to natter and ask questions, to turn the conversation relentlessly towards the speaker, meant that I was gathering huge amounts of information about other people.

Uhm, ugh? He’s scoring points with “elders” and gathering information about people (without sharing information).

Here’s a polite person’s trick, one that has never failed me. I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely: When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”

Again, the point seems to be manipulation and not for the sake of the relationship.

A friend and I came up with a game called Raconteur. You pair up with another Raconteur at a party and talk to everyone you can. You score points by getting people to disclose something about their lives. If you dominate the conversation, you lose a point. The two raconteurs communicate using hand signals and keep a tally on a sheet of paper or in their minds. You’d think people would notice but they are so amused by the attention that the fact you’re playing Raconteur escapes their attention.

So, he invented a game that he played at parties with the other party goers as targets. These people are then mocked as oblivious narcissists.

I do agree that not touching people, esp. their hair (esp. if you are white and they are black) is an obligation so fundamental that I’m confused that it is failed so often.

The last paragraphs are sort of nice, I guess. I like love. The kid’s schtick is cute. But given what led to all these I feel like I’m probably being manipulated. It is structurally sort of nice, as Paul “disclosed” something about himself. In several places, he speaks of his audience as either polite or potentially polite or otherwise great (“I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely”) and then these disclosures (indeed, the whole “I’m polite in a sneaky way” disclosure) puts us into the position of the Raconteur player. Unwillingly in that position, but in that position nevertheless.

Perhaps it isn’t polite to voice all this. I imagine Paul won’t read this (though I don’t mind if he does; I hope he takes it in the spirit of friendship intended) and I won’t draw his attention to my response. I do agree with some aspects of what he wrote (e.g., social space being helpful and valuable). I would not be surprised at all if my reaction is idiosyncratic and, by many measures, wrong.

I say these things because they are true, as well as to be polite.


SSTiC 2014: Mark Guzdial on CS Education 3

July 14, 2014

CS Education research

Bias: US learning scientist with mostly CS degrees

1960-1970s: LOGO
1990s?: empirical worked killed LOGO
xxxx?: MIMS? Multi-institution something studies

The two cultures and the scientific revolution (CP Snow)

Computers and the world of the future
Snow: scientists and decision making
Perlis: The computer in the university
Study of process and should be ubiquitous

Elias responds: do we really need programming

2007 Economist Business by the numbers

We’re controlled by algorithms we don’t understand

Earliest attempt, BASIC in 1964

1968-1980: Logo

1984: Pea & Kurland killed Logo (perhaps not appropriately)

1990: Palumbo meta-review; no correlation between problem solving and programming

1987: Sharon Carver Dissertation

Cog model

Some evidence that programming helps student learn science and math (Idit Harel Caperton)

Yasmin Kafai replicated

1972: Dynabooks; Personal Dynamic Media; meta-medium

Squeak 1995 to Etoys to Scratch

1986: Andrea diSessa and Hal Abelson aim to support computational literacy (blend of Smalltalk and Logo ideas; Boxer)

1984: Lewis Johnson “Proust” (semantic error checker based on Rainfall Problem)

1988: Studying the Novice Programmer

1990: Jim Spohrer’s “Marcel”

Cognitive model of a student programmer

ToonTalk

John Anderson and Cognitive Tutors (Lisp and Pascal tutors)

Geometry tutor as well

Kafai tested in schools and it was a disaster (totally alien and conflict with other media)

Cog tutors work (for writing code; but nothing about debugging or design)

Are graphical languages better than textual

Petre and Green’s bottom line: every syntax highlights and obscures different pools of knowledge

1991 Petre and Green: Textual languages were easier to read

1993 Moher

2004 Moskal, Lurie, & Cooper starting wig Alice improved retention and performance

2009 Hundhuasen

Does algo viz help

2002 Hundhausen, Douglas, Stasko. Meta analysis

Not really

Building helps; not watching

Multiple symbol system hard on beginners

1993: Hundhausen: Observation-based is the way to go

2001: Kehoe, Stasko, and Taylor: viz students work longer

Not much CSED in 1990s

Sally Fincher Bootstrapping model

Weird problem: all papers rejected from biggest CSEd conference (more about teachers talking together)

John Pane 2002

Commonsense computing

ACM SIGCSE starts ICER

THEMES IN CS ED RESEARCH

discipline based education domains

No univocal evidence for success predictors

The computer boys take over — Nathan Ensmenger

What skills do CS teachers need?

Read and comment on code (but not write much)

Measure of PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge): Sadler et al

Knowing content

Knowing what students will get wrong

Few women and members of minority groups in CS: Western world phenomenon

Stuck in the Shallow End, Jane Margolis

Peak in 1983 (40%) now 12%

How do we teach everyone computing

Code.org

Raymond Lister on development path for programming

Is teaching computing more like mathematics or more like science?

Inquiry based learning?


SSTiC 2014: Mark Guzdial on CS Education 2

July 8, 2014

There was no way I was going to blog David Johnson’s lecture on the travelling salesman problem (loads of cool empirical work): Subject is hard and David talks really fast ;)

But here’s Mark part 2!

(We had a nice chat during lunch in which we poked at various things such as teaching how to teach CS esp to PhD students; various worries about peer instruction (some results show that showing the answer histograms between clicking and discussion doesn’t do a thing!; etc.)

This session is about education psych (in general).

http://www.teachingperspectives.com/drupal/take-survey

Models of teaching: surprise, cs teachers generally don’t see themselves as nurturing or engaged in social reform.

Three common models: developmental, transmission, and apprenticeship.

Brown and Cocking 2000: How People Learn

Cognitivist Theories: learning = sense making

Not transmission.

Assimilation or accommodation. Accommodation requires new definition.

Models of memory

Associative

Make sense by creating connections between things we know and creating predictive mental models

Accommodation is hard

Easier to treat conflicting info as special case or ignore it as book knowledge

Whitehead: brittle knowledge

Lecture can work if students are trying to make sense

Test driven learning

Talent is overrated (motivation is most everything)

Duuuude! Gladwell? 10,000 hours?

Type decorations are hard to learn!

Transfer is hard (ie from situation to situation)

Marsha Lin.

Reflection: “Where would I use this next?”

Could either remember meta cognitive strategies or could recognize when a metacog strat (in general) would be helpful, but couldn’t remember what they were.

John Anderson, Rules of the Mind.

Students bind programming learning closely to syntax.

Schniderman: second programming language is harder than first (learning computation!)

Novices vs experts

Experts see patterns while novices see surface features

Experts know big ideas while novices can’t distinguish details from the main proposition

Teaching people how to learn (in abstracto) has failed

Sociocognitive theories of learning

Students want to become part of a community of practice

Legitimate peripheral participation (start at edges and move to the center)

(“Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation”)

Expectancy-value theory

Eccles (1983) model of achievement-related choices

Dweck’s work on mindset

Fixed mindset vs growth mindset

Subatize?

Stereotype threat

Learning CS is hard

Rainfall problem (see Venable, Tan, and Lister, 2009)

Design of language makes a different!

Jim Spoor(?) built cognitive model for it

Proust (semantic debugging of rainfall problem)

Mike McCracken “Build a calculator”

Allison Tew (language independent validated test of intro CS knowledge)

MediaComp results are AMAZING.

Teaching computer arch on a gameboy: learning the same, but higher student liking of comp arch.


SSTiC 2014: Mark Guzdial on CS education

July 8, 2014

How better to break my blogging drought than live blogging the always awesome Mark Guzdial’ lectures at SSTiC (he is, btw, worth the trip and price of admissions).

Far more people programming as part of their job than are pro programmers.

30%-50% failure/withdrawal rate in first CS course.

I asked how do we know this is bad rather than good. Mark says there’s evidence we can did better. At next slide showed AP results for calc and CS and CS sucks and is flat in comparison. That seems like strong evidence contrary.

As expected, we’re going to use media!

And there he fires up Squeak! Yay!

A whistling demo! Fun!

Mark: it needs to be bigger and you need to slow down ;) Also, having the comparison between sounds readily available would be cool.

(Sean Bechhofer should see this!)

Calculus for digitizing sound. Someone’s theorem was critical. Fun fact about Sgt Pepper’s: they included a dog only audible sound at the end; we can hear it on the CD due to downsampling!

(Argh…connectivity killed me. Lots of cool stuff:

Peer instruction has dramatic results…in physics.

They we did a bunch of image stuff with peer instruction.)

LiveCoding: two types — demos and live algorithmic music.

Live coding is part of best practice for engaging women. Reduces fear of programming and imposter syndrome.

Spatial intelligence and learning center.

High spatial intelligence do well in CS. Low spatial intelligence goes into business and education!

Train specially low spatial intel engineering students early has great benefits with high transfer.

Kinaesthetic learning activities.

Gestures and sketches are better than premade diagrams because (from bio) incongruity between diagram and mental model inhibits learning. (Uli will love this.)

Computer science unplugged.

Jmusic.

Using music to get the idea of linked lists.

Multimodality (channels get overloaded so use multiple channels)

Important of worked examples. 7-10 examples before doing (or slightly more complicated patterns). worked examples take a third of the time.

Apprenticeship model isn’t efficient.

Labelled subgoals in worked examples.

Amazing improvement.

Parson’s problems. Give all lines of code and drag into place.


Is it irrational to think Plantinga is rational?

February 17, 2014

I’m hardly the first to respond to the Plantinga interview.

A few caveats: interviews are a terrible basis to judge a thinker or line of argument. The compression alone means that things are going to look enthymeic at best esp if you are unfamiliar with the work or hostile to the conclusions. Both if these are true for me wrt Plantinga, so my title is perhaps unfair.

OTOH, he put it out there and the title there is equi-offensive/silly so why not?!

I want to address two parts, one in a general way and one in specific detail.

To the first, I think any sort of supernatural being is necessary to fill explanatory gaps has to deal with the fact that every supernatural explanation to date has failed miserably. Our successful predictions and manipulations of the world have come entirely from naturalistic science. And it’s not even close. Given the failures to date, there should be a strong presumption against supernatural explanations going forward.

And note that if it doesn’t give us predictions or manipulations, then we really have to ask whether it is a explanation at all.

Until some reason for thinking this time is different is forthcoming, I think fine tuning arguments should be regarded as nonsense.

Second, let’s look at the cognitive suicide argument. (It actually relates to the above argument.)

AP: Evolution will have resulted in our having beliefs that are adaptive; that is, beliefs that cause adaptive actions. But as we’ve seen, if materialism is true, the belief does not cause the adaptive action by way of its content: It causes that action by way of its neurophysiological properties. Hence it doesn’t matter what the content of the belief is, and it doesn’t matter whether that content is true or false. All that’s required is that the belief have the right neurophysiological properties. If it’s also true, that’s fine; but if false, that’s equally fine.

There are two immediate oddities: 1) why worry about true content rather than content at all and 2) why are true and false content equally fine?

The first point suggests that the argument proves too much, or, at least, one might wonder why we are focusing on true content when content itself is threatened.

The second point, I think is based on our belief content being closed under negation (in principle) and bivalence. If P is false then not P is true and, in some sense, the fact that I got a belief that P instead of that not P was a coin flip. Or maybe given bivalence, half of all possible beliefs are false (since half of all propositions are false) and since selection doesn’t select for truth (indeed, it seems that selection is wildly indifferent to truth) we are in no better position with respect to our beliefs than a uniform sampling of content. (Probably within size limits…although, why even that? If content is unmoored from its material instantiation then why can’t we have actually infinite content! I hope it’s clear from such considerations how bonkers this line is!)

But now we’re just into brute skepticism aren’t we? If naturalism and evolution require the idea that content is completely unmoored from our evolution and material basis, then why assume we aren’t zombies (ok, we perceive that we aren’t….but <i>how do we know?!?!?</i>) or generally quite wrong?

Evolution will select for belief-producing processes that produce beliefs with adaptive neurophysiological properties, but not for belief-producing processes that produce true beliefs. Given materialism and evolution, any particular belief is as likely to be false as true.

Again, why does it produce an equal likelihood? If I select sentences for an arbitrary non-truth tracking property, how likely am I to end up with roughly half of the sentences being true (even given an underlying distribution of half true/half false)? Well, consider the property of “sounding like it was something written by Shakespeare”. My guess is that Shakespeare wrote a lot more affirmative sentences than denying sentences so I doubt we’re going to get an equal number of negated and un-negated sentences. So, I don’t see that we’re going to end up with sets that are half P and half not P. Indeed, given that a big chunk of folks he wrote about are fictional, it seems regardless, I’m going to end up with false sentences. (It’s really a big deal, as Pigliucci emphasises, that the example specifies independent beliefs and defines reliability as “being true”.)

GG: So your claim is that if materialism is true, evolution doesn’t lead to most of our beliefs being true.

AP: Right. In fact, given materialism and evolution, it follows that our belief-producing faculties are not reliable.

Here’s why. If a belief is as likely to be false as to be true, we’d have to say the probability that any particular belief is true is about 50 percent. Now suppose we had a total of 100 independent beliefs (of course, we have many more). Remember that the probability that all of a group of beliefs are true is the multiplication of all their individual probabilities. Even if we set a fairly low bar for reliability — say, that at least two-thirds (67 percent) of our beliefs are true — our overall reliability, given materialism and evolution, is exceedingly low: something like .0004. So if you accept both materialism and evolution, you have good reason to believe that your belief-producing faculties are not reliable.

Ok, I keep screwing this up (e.g., on FaceBook). It’s true that if getting true beliefs is like getting heads by flipping a fair coin, that the probability of getting 67 out of 100 (or even 67 or more out of 100) is very low. Of course, the probability of us getting very few beliefs being true (say, 33 or less) is also wildly improbable. But, so exactly what? Let us even grant the skepticism, i.e., that for any given belief (knowing nothing else about it!) it’s as likely to be true as false. This doesn’t tell us anything about whether we are, indeed, in that situation. In fact, there’s plenty of reason to think that we are in that situation! (Consider John Ioannidis’ famous paper, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False“.)

But to believe that is to fall into a total skepticism, which leaves you with no reason to accept any of your beliefs (including your beliefs in materialism and evolution!). The only sensible course is to give up the claim leading to this conclusion: that both materialism and evolution are true. Maybe you can hold one or the other, but not both.

Given that we know lots of our faculties and belief forming processes are wildly unreliable, why is believing that a fall into total skepticism? The not entirely hidden premise is that our belief forming processes are reliable in this way (i.e., generate far more truths than falsities). But is that true? Can it not be true without total skepticism? Well, I don’t feel like a total skeptic, and I’m pretty convinced by Ioannidis. Of course, a key features of Ioannidis is having a more sophisticated analysis of belief such that beliefs are not all of a piece. Within naturalistic science, evolution and materialism have tremendous weight of evidence. Essentially, all the evidence points that way at every level. And we can distinguish between people who are essentially indifferent to evidence and those who are not. Astrologers do a crappy job of making concrete predictions. Creationists have produced no scientific discoveries. Etc. etc. Theologians have made predictions about the world (and the sort of explanation we will find) and have been wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Why would this metaconsideration make us feel otherwise? Isn’t more likely, ex ante, to be wrong, yet again?

(This needs tightening. Grr.)

(Update: PZ Myers has, I think, a similar set of considerations. Unsurprisingly, he’s not as charitable to Plantinga’s argument. But the core bit is similar: Our brains and senses are unreliable! That’s why we put so much effort into knowing! This doesn’t defeat Plantinga’s argument in detail, but one does have to wonder why we need to do that.)


Thinking critically about critical reasoning

February 10, 2014

After observing a comment exchange with a classic (to my eye) misuse of an ad hominem accusation, I was moved to ask whether there were critical reasoning classes that looked at more than good vs. fallacious arguments and took a more dialectical or even broader view. This got turned into a NewAPPS post by Ed Kazarian. There are some interested suggestions for books in the comments, and I hope to follow up on them. There is a ton of work and books on things like cognitive blindnesses, discussion, etc. but I don’t know if there’s a good text/hand book on, well, roughly, being a good (in a general sense) cognitively driven social being. Let me try an example. What’s wrong with:

If the moon is made of cheese, then its delicious.
The moon is made of cheese.
Therefore it is delicious.

If I think to my very old critical reasoning days, the diagnosis would be that this is valid but unsound with the second premise being definitely false and the first being dubious (but it might be hard to articulate exactly what’s dubious about it). But let’s compare it to:

We all agree, I’m sure, that if the moon is made of cheese, then its delicious
As everyone knows, the moon is made of cheese.
Therefore it is delicious.

This version is somehow worse, though the logic is probably the same. It depends a bit on the reading of “We all agree, I’m sure” and the “As everyone knows”. It might be false that we all agree, that I’m sure we do, and that everyone knows without the core argument being either unsound or invalid. None of these decorations alter the logical force or truth status of the moon/cheese argument. Yet, the second could be much worse, or, at least, irritating to me. The decorations are designed to incline us against questioning the premises. This could be good if it would be a waste of time to investigate them, or a big problem if they are in contention. They could be a problem just by triggering a lot of discussion about the truth (or appropriateness) of the decorations and thus potentially derailing the discussion.

After observing a comment exchange with a classic (to my eye) misuse of an ad hominem accusation, I was moved to ask whether there were critical reasoning classes that looked at more than good vs. fallacious arguments and took a more dialectical or even broader view. This got turned into a NewAPPS post by Ed Kazarian. There are some interested suggestions for books in the comments, and I hope to follow up on them. There is a ton of work and books on things like cognitive blindnesses, discussion, etc. but I don’t know if there’s a good text/hand book on, well, roughly, being a good (in a general sense) cognitively driven social being. Let me try an example. What’s wrong with:

If the moon is made of cheese, then its delicious.

The moon is made of cheese.

Therefore it is delicious.

If I think to my very old critical reasoning days, the diagnosis would be that this is valid but unsound with the second premise being definitely false and the first being dubious (but it might be hard to articulate exactly what’s dubious about it). But let’s compare it to:

We all agree, I’m sure, that if the moon is made of cheese,

As everyone knows, the moon is made of cheese.

Therefore it is delicious.

Consider:

Look you fatuous idiot, if the moon is made of cheese, then its delicious.
Even a monster asshole like you knows that the moon is made of cheese.
Therefore it is delicious. I also hate you and all your works.

Of course, this does not instantiate the ad hominem fallacy. Indeed, there is no attempt at refutation. There is a lot of insult and denigration in this presentation, however. The first (“Look you fatuous idiot” speaks against the intellect of the interlocutor; the second speaks against their character; and the third just expresses what we might have figured out from the first two, i.e., that the speaker has a wee touch of animosity toward the listener.
But from what I recall of a standard critical reasoning perspective, the main thing you can say about this is that it’s a bit obscure and perhaps inciting. But these things might have a dialectical or community oriented focus. They may even, perhaps, be appropriate (it at least partially depends on 1) whether it is and taken as ironic and even friendly or 2) whether the hearer “deserves” it or 3) whether the overall effect is positive).
There are clearly some dialectical considerations in standard critical reasoning disucssions. Burden of proof is a dialectical notion. But consider this (glib) presentation of the related “fallacy“:

The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove. The inability, or disinclination, to disprove a claim does not render that claim valid, nor give it any credence whatsoever. However it is important to note that we can never be certain of anything, and so we must assign value to any claim based on the available evidence, and to dismiss something on the basis that it hasn’t been proven beyond all doubt is also fallacious reasoning.

This does not take into account anything about the relative positions of the discussants, the prima facie nature of the claims, or the ways that demands might be unfair, or otherwise problematic (except to point out that demand for conclusiveness is another fallacy).

In fact, we often do earn a presumptive credibility for unsupported claims and can lose the benefit of presumptive credibility for unsupported doubts. We can get or lose these credibilities unjustly or ineffectively (e.g., many problematic uses of authority involve giving too much presumptive credibility).
I feel that a lot of the philosophising I’ve encountered (and promulgated!) is not very sensitive to important aspects of individual and joint cognition over the mid to long haul. (Lots of people have observed this, cf. for example, loads of feminist critiques, among others.)

This makes me sad. When I was a brash young philosopher major, I said to people that I liked philosophy because it was the best way to learn how to think. This is so obviously bonkers, I’m rather ashamed to have thought it. This attitude doesn’t seem that uncommon.


Sabbatical reports

January 7, 2014

I’m going to start the series fresh, probably on Friday. I want to make a more sustainable and interesting format.


2013 in review

January 6, 2014

Well, WordPress wanted to post something silly an annoying. But I highjacked it!

Not that I’m planning on writing much in this post!

So, some highlights:

  1. The three musketeers (Chiara, Samantha, and Rafael (dang! Raf spiffed up his page!) all successfully (with minor corrections) defended their theses and both Chiara and Samantha graduated per se. They all started together in 2009 and were co-supervised by Uli and me. This makes 5 new PhDs in toto for the UB team. Not bad! I do hope to write up summaries of their reseach in due course (yeah, ha).
  2. I got a sabbatical! This is what I’m doing right now. I can now claim to have resided in Swarthmore. I have not yet written a letter to the Swarthmorean.
  3. I got shingles! I am not doing that right now and, I hope, never again.
  4. The Publications were not wretched, though I still must up the journal endgame. I did a lot of empirical work and laid the groundwork for more.
  5. We got ORE on track. This was enabled by our empirical work. Big kudos to Samantha and Rafael.
  6. The WoDOOM and OWLED trains keep a rolling. Oy! I’ve some stuff to do!

These are all professional highlights. I’m not sure what personal highlights I have. It was sorta a meh year in that respect. Oh, well, except for the 30th anniversary of meeting Zoe and the 10th anniversary of marrying her for insurance purposes!

I do want a fire shooting unicorn.

Sabbatical update later today!


Sabbatical Report: Week 12 & 13

December 10, 2013

I’m back in Manchester for the week: Rafael’s viva and Samantha‘s graduation are this Friday (the second Friday the 13th of the year; the first being my birthday).

I went to my first AIMA Annual Symposium. It was interesting enough. Bigger and richer than most conference I’ve been to. I wasn’t hugely impressed by the scientific quality, but it’s hard to say from first exposure. I may have learned enough to make my next attempt at submission successful, but we’ll see.

I clearly haven’t solved my “How to achieve my sabbatical goals” problem. The blogging is just one example.

OTOH, we’re inching to a new contract between Manchester and Siemens. We’re also making some progress on the work itself. These are good things. Hopefully, I can achieve a reasonable balance between that and my other sabbatical goals in the coming months


Sabbatical Report: Week 10 & 11

November 19, 2013

So tired!

That’s my summery.

I’ve been (or am in) two new conferences for me NERFA (which I was the spouse of the attendee) and AMIA.

I’m sad that my only blog posts are sabbatical reports and they themselves are erratic and not very interesting. I shall aim to do better!

Two out of three papers were accepted for SWAT4LS: One on using SPARQL to represent Clinical Assessment Scales and one on measuring coordination in terminologies. (Earlier drafts were rejected from AIMA…I do feel the irony.)

My current paper writing is…not going well. I’m way way way behind! Sigh.

As Boxer said, “I will work harder!”


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