Mark Molaro interviews Jimmy Wales

Thanks to a post on the Association of Internet Researchers mailing list yesterday I discovered a series of interviews on YouTube “The Alcove” conducted and co-produced by Mark Molaro.


To date there are 46 interviews covering a wide range of topics.

As an example I’ve chosen Molaro’s most recent interview which is with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. In the interview Molaro and Wales discuss the origin of Wikipedia, the community’s core values, credibility, Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and the future of Wikipedia, incl. the Wikia project.

Despite the fact that I don’t agree on the objectivist epistemology, I appreciate Wikipedia very much and use it on a regular basis, mainly when I come across new concepts and/or people and especially when I need to refresh my memory. There has been a lot of debate regarding the credibility of Wikipedia and especially as an educator and researcher I find this issue important though it’s not a topic I want to cover in this post.  Suffice to say that personally I would be very reluctant to use Wikipedia as primary source and for sure I would not use it as the only source, but this I wouldn’t do with any source anyway…


Iterative thinking, teaching and learning in SL

One of my favorite SL friends, Terry Beaubois has been interviewed about his use of  SL by Heather Livingston from the AIArchitect.


Terry is a RL architect and has been teaching especially, but not exclusively architectural students in-world for four years now, so the interview quite naturally focuses on architecture, but I do think the interview is worth reading even if you don’t teach architecture.  Terry elaborates on the following questions:

  1. Why did you begin teaching in Second Life?
  2. How does the class work?
  3. What’s the benefit of using the virtual environment of Second Life versus a 3D modeling program?
  4. What lessons from Second Life can be translated into architecture practice?
  5. How have your students responded to the experiences?
  6. What advice would you offer young architects?
  7. Final thoughts?

Terry is a wise man which truly shows from the interview. What I especially appreciate about Terry is his positive and open-minded attitude. For sure there are constraints in using SL, but Terry has an important point about SL/VW’s:

I would continue to encourage a relationship with virtual environments. We don’t have to make all the conclusions now. We don’t have to judge it based on its current level of capabilities. It’s going to get better in the future. It’s not the be-all, end-all for everything, but it’s also not to be disregarded as a contributing technology to architecture.

I agree totally, and I think this applies for any subject matter and any emerging technology :-)


Read the full interview here

ScienceRoll – a new blog to explore

I just discovered a blogger named, Bertalan Meskóa last year medical student at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, who is exploring and blogging about medicine, especially genetics in relation to web 2.0.


Even though medicine really isn’t my field of research a glance through Meskó’s posts promise interesting reading. Meskó has done interviews with a number of designers responsible for some of the great medical islands in-world – e.g. I’m looking forward to reading the interview with Dr. James Kinross who is working at the Imperial College of London (Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics) and is a pioneer in conducting medical simulations in SL. I’ve visisted Imperial College of London’s loaction in-world several times, and of course it’ll be interesting to learn what one of the founders has to say.

Another great medical place in-world is the Genome Island, and Meskó also has an interview and a video on this. Interested in in-world educational design and research methods (e.g. interviews) as I am,  this blog really looks promising :-)