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Chris Aldrich

Resilience and Complexity

1 min read

I was interested to see a recent interview of Dr. Rodin in conjunction with her recent book on resilience. I've ordered a copy as I'm surprised to hear how some of the principles she discussed were related to my own research in the areas of Complexity Theory and particularly the overlap of information theory and molecular biology. The science underpinning all of this is truly fascinating. 


For those unfamiliar with these areas, I'd recommend also taking a look at Melanie Mitchell's Complexity: A Guided Tour and Nicholas Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable which do a reasonable job of giving the idea of how these areas all inter-relate with little or no mathematics. In particular Taleb discusses the concept of "too big to fail" from a probabilistic and an evolutionary standpoint, which can easily be applied to the potential fragility of institutions which underpin cities and will help to make them more resilient.

(In reply to And the Next 35 Resilient Cities Are...)

Chris Aldrich

Chris Aldrich

IndieWebCamp for Education

2 min read

I ran across a good, short video the other day related particularly to success in MOOCs, though I feel it's fairly applicable to many classroom situations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8avYQ5ZqM0

Parts of it made me think back to some of the guiding principles about personal websites and interactivity stated on IndieWebCamp which have direct application to flexible learning environments that allow student interaction as well as the ability for students to "own" their own data and interactions about the content they're creating as they learn.  Though I've built some of this type of infrastructure for myself on the WordPress platform in conjunction with some indiewebcamp plug-ins as well as Brid.gy(all for free), the technological hurdles can potentially be daunting for some.  

For those with tech-fear, I might suggest looking at WithKnown's Education landing page which uses these same types of guiding principles and is geared particularly to the education space.  Their corporate structure is very similar to that of WordPress in that they give away everything as free opensource advocates, but also provide hosted and paid subscription services for those who prefer the help and additional support. If nothing, their website has lots of interesting stories and use-cases which can give teachers a variety of ideas on how they can use the web in their classes.

For educational use, some of my favorite functionality is that a teacher can make an initial post with information/questions to which the students can reply to on their own sites. The technology is set up so that the reply appears on the teacher's site (for grading) as well as on the student's own site where they'll "own" that work for perpetuity rather than relying it to live on the teacher's site. These types of functionalities assist in threaded commenting that all sides can keep for themselves as journals of their work during the class as well as long afterwards. Additionally, there are plugins so that comments on students' content that is shared on social media is back-fed to their original post - for example if their blog post is cross-posted to Facebook, all of their friends' likes and comments are posted back on their own site as native content.

Chris Aldrich

Book stores are scared!

1 min read


See it here,

Buy it here,

Keep us here.

Chris Aldrich

Brahams' Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77 vs Andrew Lloyd Webber's Don't Cry for Me Argentina

1 min read

Is it me, or does Brahams' Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77: III. Allegro giocoso, ma non vivace sound like the inspiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Don't Cry for Me Argentina? 

Hilary Hahn – Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 77: III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace

Madonna – Don't Cry For Me Argentina

Chris Aldrich

Chris Aldrich

The Shroud Of Turin Takes A Liturgical Turn

1 min read

I've seen and read a fair amount on the Shroud of Turin, but never knew that this much scholarship was missing from the fray:

...the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), which examined the Shroud in 1978, when it was still owned by the Savoy family, did not have a single expert in the history of relic cults, techniques of ancient weaving or the iconography of medieval painting on its team. No one appears to have investigated the kinds of loom, ancient or medieval, on which a cloth of this size may have been woven. Nor has anyone closely examined the many early depictions and descriptions of the Shroud that illustrate features now lost. 


via @JohnWFarrell on Forbes.com

Chris Aldrich