This BOOK is a MOOC

What is a MOOC?

What is normally meant by a ‘Massive On-line Open Course’ is a sequence of on-line videos that convey the content of a series of lectures in a university course. There is little or no interaction with a teacher, nor are there instructor-marked assignments, tests or exams and, therefore, there are no credits towards a degree. In compensation, the courses cost nothing and are open to anyone, so a lot of people may sign up and there are no limits to class size, hence the ‘Massive’. Nine out of ten who enrol drop out or only pick the parts that interest them, but not everyone wants to know everything in a course. MOOCs make it possible for anyone at any time to access the knowledge they want when they want it.

What is this MOOC?

This MOOC is similar, but instead of delivering the course content by video it uses eTexts like this one to simulate a seminar. It does this with Socratic dialogue between reader and writer. Open-ended questions, usually related to a picture, put a pause in the flow of reading. You think through your answer before turning the page to see my answers. These questions are intended to provoke discussion on the course blog site.

Who is it for?

  • Everyone concerned with the big issues of our time and the nature of knowledge.
  • Post-grad students in any discipline. All academic subjects are paradigms.
  • Anyone who questions knowledge, no matter their discipline or profession or age or whether or not they come from an academic background. It is for lovers of knowledge and doubters of beliefs. It is not an easy read and it is not for people who are content with what they already know. Or maybe it is, but it will annoy the hell out of them.

How is it referenced?

I assume you can use Wikipedia as well as I can and there is no need to reference what you can garner from Wikipedia for yourself. I only reference what is not obviously accessible.

Six shades of paradigms

Charles Dickens published each chapter of his books one at a time as a magazine so that he could work on the next chapter with the feedback he got on the previous one. I am trying something similar in publishing Paradigm Theory in six parts. The first one is an introduction. The next one is about the antecedents of paradigm theory in systems theory. The third concerns the evolution of paradigms. The fourth addresses the way we acquire paradigms and the fifth is a summary that enables you to analyse any paradigm either as part of the paradigm or as a visiting Martian. The last part applies paradigm theory to the future of our species and the question as to whether we are in the mother of all paradigm shifts. I hope these six eTexts will attract constant readers, but they are sufficiently modular to be read by themselves.

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