19,796 research outputs found

    Matthew Lipman: testimonies and homages

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    We lead off this issue of Childhood and Philosophy with a collection of testimonies, homages, and brief memoirs offered from around the world in response to the death of the founder of Philosophy for Children, Matthew Lipman on December 26, 2010, at the age of 87. To characterize Lipman as “founder” is completely accurate, but barely evokes the role he played in conceiving, giving birth to, and nurturing this curriculum cum pedagogy that became a movement, and which has taken root in over 40 countries, from Iceland to Nigeria to Taiwan to Chile and everywhere in between. The movement itself is broader than the program, which has in fact experienced multiple transformations in multiple contexts over its half-century of life. In fact, as many of the testimonies below either state outright or imply, the movement is an emancipatory one and thus implicitly political, infused with all the long-suffering hope for our species inspired in us by the fact of natality, and by our own intuitive faith in the transformative power of reason—or as Lipman came to call it, “reasonableness.” For those seized by its educational possibilities, it presents a sudden influx of sunlight and fresh air into an institution long stultified by its own rigid habitus, and promises the reconstruction of schooling in the image of authentic democratic practice that recognizes and honors the unique capacities of children. As Philosophy in the Classroom—Lipman’s first and now classic statement of educational philosophy--puts it, the movement promises a re-orientation of the goal of education from information (or “learning”) to meaning, and inaugurates the dialogue with childhood and children that follows from that. Lipman was not just founder of this movement but creator, inventor, developer, convener, organizer, faithful soldier, ambassador, apologist, polemicist, propagandist, and, finally, undying optimist

    A contrasting look at self-organization in the Internet and next-generation communication networks

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    This article examines contrasting notions of self-organization in the Internet and next-generation communication networks, by reviewing in some detail recent evidence regarding several of the more popular attempts to explain prominent features of Internet structure and behavior as "emergent phenomena." In these examples, what might appear to the nonexpert as "emergent self-organization" in the Internet actually results from well conceived (albeit perhaps ad hoc) design, with explanations that are mathematically rigorous, in agreement with engineering reality, and fully consistent with network measurements. These examples serve as concrete starting points from which networking researchers can assess whether or not explanations involving self-organization are relevant or appropriate in the context of next-generation communication networks, while also highlighting the main differences between approaches to self-organization that are rooted in engineering design vs. those inspired by statistical physics

    Philosophy for Children in China:: A Late Preliminary Anti-Report

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    At the very least, even though Chinese schools do not look very different from those in the West, China offers an opportunity for Philosophy for Children to question its basis, its methodology, its aims. It seems to be expressing a different cultural voice, and to be disposed to the kind of dialogue we are more used to claiming than practicing. Both Kunming and Shanghai provide, in their own ways, formidable contexts: the deep, strong and disciplined educators of Railway Station School of Kunming and the scholarly, sophisticated and committed members of the Shanghai institute for Research in the Human Sciences seem determined to take Philosophy for Children, not just beyond their own limits as Chinese, but beyond the limits Philosophy for Children has already established for itself in the West. Philosophy for Children in China, then, looks like a wonderful opportunity to think ourselves--what we are as educators engaged in the practice of philosophy--again. An invitation to think ourselves again. Is this not what dialogue and philosophy are about? It’s up to us to accept the invitation

    Arsenic contamination in groundwater : some analytical considerations

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    For countries such as Bangladesh with a significant groundwater arsenic problem, there is an urgent need for the arsenic-contaminated wells to be identified as soon as possible and for appropriate action to be taken. This will involve the testing of a large number of wells, potentially up to 11 million in Bangladesh alone. Field-test kits offer the only practical way forward in the timescale required. The classic field method for detecting arsenic (the ‘Gutzeit’ method) is based on the reaction of arsine gas with mercuric bromide and remains the best practical approach. It can in principle achieve a detection limit of about 10 μg l−1 by visual comparison of the coloured stain against a colour calibration chart. A more objective result can be achieved when the colour is measured by an electronic instrument. Attention has to be paid to interferences mainly from hydrogen sulfide. Due to analytical errors, both from the field-test kits and from laboratory analysis, some misclassification of wells is inevitable, even under ideal conditions. The extent of misclassification depends on the magnitude of the errors of analysis and the frequency distribution of arsenic observed, but is in principle predictable before an extensive survey is undertaken. For a country with an arsenic distribution similar to that of Bangladesh, providing care is taken to avoid sources of bias during testing, modern field-test kits should be able to reduce this misclassification to under 5% overall

    Schur-Weyl Duality for the Clifford Group with Applications: Property Testing, a Robust Hudson Theorem, and de Finetti Representations

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    Schur-Weyl duality is a ubiquitous tool in quantum information. At its heart is the statement that the space of operators that commute with the tensor powers of all unitaries is spanned by the permutations of the tensor factors. In this work, we describe a similar duality theory for tensor powers of Clifford unitaries. The Clifford group is a central object in many subfields of quantum information, most prominently in the theory of fault-tolerance. The duality theory has a simple and clean description in terms of finite geometries. We demonstrate its effectiveness in several applications: (1) We resolve an open problem in quantum property testing by showing that "stabilizerness" is efficiently testable: There is a protocol that, given access to six copies of an unknown state, can determine whether it is a stabilizer state, or whether it is far away from the set of stabilizer states. We give a related membership test for the Clifford group. (2) We find that tensor powers of stabilizer states have an increased symmetry group. We provide corresponding de Finetti theorems, showing that the reductions of arbitrary states with this symmetry are well-approximated by mixtures of stabilizer tensor powers (in some cases, exponentially well). (3) We show that the distance of a pure state to the set of stabilizers can be lower-bounded in terms of the sum-negativity of its Wigner function. This gives a new quantitative meaning to the sum-negativity (and the related mana) -- a measure relevant to fault-tolerant quantum computation. The result constitutes a robust generalization of the discrete Hudson theorem. (4) We show that complex projective designs of arbitrary order can be obtained from a finite number (independent of the number of qudits) of Clifford orbits. To prove this result, we give explicit formulas for arbitrary moments of random stabilizer states.Comment: 60 pages, 2 figure

    Cost of Services and Incentives in the UK Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Demonstration: Preliminary Analysis

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    This report presents a preliminary analysis of the cost of operating Britain's Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) demonstration, which is being evaluated though a large-scale randomised control trial. This assessment of costs will become an important element of the full cost-benefit analysis to be presented in future ERA reports. Aimed at helping low-income individuals sustain employment and progress in work, ERA is distinguished by a combination of job coaching and financial incentives that it offers to participants once they are working. The ERA demonstration project began operations in late 2003 as a pilot programme administered by Jobcentre Plus in six regions of the country