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Purpose of In Person Teaching


With the internet literally at the tips of our fingers and the rise of educational blogs, videos, and online courses, the purpose of in-person teaching is changing.  It is arrogant and naive to assume that any one of us is the best in the world at explaining a particular concept and as more explanations become available online, what is the purpose of the in-person teacher.

I see 2 purposes to in-person teaching, curation and support.  Good modern teachers should curate the internet to make finding the right information easier for their students.  They should also support their students.  This can take many different forms including academic (answer questions), emotional (encouragement), or directive (you should look into X).  I do not think the internet will remove in-person teaching, but how it is done can and should change for maximum effectiveness

Whats the secondary market of Fantasy Sports


Fantasy Sports is a multi billion dollar industry and yet the businesses around it are pretty limited.  You are basically either a platform to play the game from or a analyst who covers the game, but with the amount of interest it feels like there should be more.  Personal team analysis, merchandise (both physical and digital), as well as additional forms of the game.  There are some attempts around this right now but it feels like we are still in the early days.

Automated meta research


With the growth of the internet, the ability to search and access academic literature has increased dramatically.  however, all we have done is make the same papers available online, there are so many other options to improve our communication of science.

One I am particularly interested in is the sharing and aggregating of data and code. Meta-Analyses are one way of statistically synthesizing multiple scientific studies around a single topic, allowing for broader comparisons and stronger claims.  However, the process of producing these is still mostly manual, with humans going through each paper and copying the relevant details for their analysis.  If these were made machine-readable, this process could be expedited and automated.  One great example of this has been done with research on cooperation, but expanding this to all fields of science would greatly improve the scientific process.

Physical Digital Bookcase


Historically, educated individuals maintained vast libraries.  These acted both as a reference point for information and as an symbol of the information and topics from which to make pleasant conversation.  This method of displaying media continued with vinyl records, CDs, and DVDs, allowing for guests to peruse titles in books, music, and movies from which to begin a conversation.  However with the shift towards the cloud for all three forms of media has left us without a means to display what topics we care about.  What does the next version of the personal library look like? 

Check out my blog post on the physical digital bookcase for more

©2020 by Alexander Cates.