Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Monday, July 2, 2007day link 

 Green hotel built in a Chinese quarry
picture Inhabitat:
Near Shanghai, the Songjiang district has become a popular weekend destination for many tourists with its natural beauty and sprawling landscapes. And now the Songjiang Hotel might just become the newest and greenest attraction. While it may look a bit sci-fi, this hotel was designed for the real (green) world, with many sustainable features in mind.

This proposed hotel was designed by the firm Atkins, the same firm which has brought us buildings such as Tianjin’s Pile of Boxes and the Bahrain World Trade Center. The 400-bed resort will be located in a 100-meter-deep quarry located in the province and will contain restaurants, cafes, sport facilities, and even underwater public areas and guestrooms. Water will play an important part in the design, featured in many areas around the hotel. Waterfalls, underwater aquariums, and green areas will be integrated into the design to match the existing facing of the quarry.

The reuse of an already existing site means that the environmental impact will hopefully be smaller. The entire hotel is to be covered in a green roof, while the building will use geothermal energy for it’s electrical supply and heating. The quarry will also provide a good source of heat control and shelter from the environment.

The design of the building is meant to reflect the natural landscape of the quarry. “We drew our inspiration from the quarry setting itself, adopting the image of a green hill cascading down the natural rock face as a series of terraced landscaped hanging gardens.” said Martin Jochman. Needless to say, with such a cool looking site, you’d expect to get a design which will take advantages of it’s very extreme location, and you’d be correct. The hotel, will feature amongst other things: bungee jumping.

[ | 2007-07-02 21:55 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Acquiring knowledge by interaction
A statement from an anti-Web2.0 piece by Michael Gorman, former head of the American Library Association.
"Human beings learn, essentially, in only two ways. They learn from experience—the oldest and earliest type of learning—and they learn from people who know more than they do."
That can't go unchallenged, of course, so here by Tim Spalding of LibraryThing, "Libraries as Conversations":
There is something attractive about this conception. Some people have experiences, and they pass it on, directly or through writing. Knowledge happens. We get it one way or the other.

But this has never been quite right. Learning and knowledge, at least important learning and knowledge, are a conversation.
And, about conversations:
Conversations work because, at their best, they know more and produce more than their members. They work because the knowledge is in the conversation. It happens in the very interplay of ideas—asserting, contesting, extending, simplifying and complexifying the dizzying whirl of fact and opinion, creative and synthetic, smart and dumb, right and wrong, from this angle and that. Literature works like this too, but can be even more meaningless without "conversational" context—genre, alusion and immitation and so forth.
Mention of this is via David Weinberger.

Yes, of course conversation is part of it. Maybe we learn more and better that way than simply by individual experience and listening to people who're smarter than us. But it isn't just conversation, it is interaction. We get something out of interacting with others and with situations, and learning emerges from what happens. Incidentally, the next item in my blog aggregator, from Nancy White, had this item, quoted from a thread about knowledge sharing:
In Bahasa Indonesia people say 'socialisasi' which means to make people aware of something through interaction - I've always wished there was an English equivalent!"
It might be the traditional view that knowledge and learning is about transferring abstract facts. But conversation and interaction in general is likely to plug into something deeper and wider than mere facts. People don't learn just because you give them a lot of facts.
[ | 2007-07-02 22:13 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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