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Tuesday, 16 October


Howard Zinn on Supreme Court vs. the Power of the People Zinn Education Project

Howard Zinn speaking at a protest of the Vietnam War at MIT, 1967. Source: Associated Press.

As you know, the Senate just confirmed a new Supreme Court Justice, hand-picked by the far-right Federalist Society. For hope and solace, activists have turned once again to the words of Howard Zinn  to remind us that in the end, it is the power of the people that leads to real change. In his 2005 essay after the confirmation of Justice John Roberts, Howard wrote:

It would be naive to depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds. Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice.

This comes just two weeks after an attack on Howard Zinn and peoples history teachers by Sam Wineburg, the prominent Stanford history educator.

Wineburg argued that Howard Zinns approach to history is dangerous beca...


10 New Specializations & Courses in Blockchain, Cybersecurity, and More Coursera Blog

Heres a list of 10 new courses and Specializations on Coursera! Learn in-demand topics from top universities and leading companies from all over the world. Whether you want to jumpstart your career as a full-stack web developer or get up to speed on groundbreaking Blockchain technology, weve got you covered. Check out the list below and start learning today:

1. Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Learn to build complete hybrid mobile solutions and master front-end web development in this new Specialization from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Youll learn to use React Native, MongoDB, Node.js, and the Express framework. At the end of each course, youll apply the new skills you learned to build a full-fledged application.

2. Information Visualization Specialization New York University

In this new Specialization from New York Universitys Tandon School of Engineering, youll develop a strong foundation in information visualization and learn to design, evaluate, and develop advanced applications for visual data analysis. The Specialization will prepare you to work on complex data science projects that require the development of interactive visual interfaces for data analysis.

3. Blockchain: Foundations and Use Cases ConsenSys

Blockchain for everyone! This course for non-developers by ConsenSys gives anyone the opportunity to learn the basics of blockchain, with no prior experience. Like AI, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize all types o...

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Monday, 15 October


Responses to Attacks on Teaching Peoples History Zinn Education Project

In September 2018, Slate ran an excerpt of Sam Wineburgs book Why Learn History (When Its Already on Your Phone). The article was an attack on Howard Zinn and peoples history teachers. Wineburg argued that Zinns approach to history is dangerous, because Zinns power of persuasion extinguishes students ability to think and speaks directly to their hearts.

Journalist Jonathan Chait added fuel to the fire when he shared Wineburgs article and asserted that many teachers use A Peoples History as their only textbook.

Educators and activists responded to both pieces on social media. The Zinn Education Projects Ursula Wolfe-Rocca wrote an article defending the importance of teaching peoples history.

Here are many of the key exchanges.

Sunday, 14 October


Data Quality in the era of A.I. - Medium

Data quality in the era of AI

Data quality is of critical importance especially in the era of Artificial Intelligence and automated decisions. Do you have a strategy?

Database clipart from dumielauxepices.

Data-intensive projects have a single point of failure: data quality

As the director of datamine decision support systems, Ive delivered more than 80 data-intensive projects across several industries and high-profile corporations. These include data warehousing, data integration, business intelligence, content performance, and predictive models. In most cases, data quality proved to be a critical factor for the success of the project.

The obvious challenge in every single case was to effectively query heterogeneous data sources, then extract and transform data towards one or more data models.

The non-obvious challenge was the early identification of data issues, whichin most caseswere unknown to the data owners as well.

We strategically started every project with a data-quality assessment phasewhich in many cases lead to project scope modifications and even additional data cleansing initiatives and projects.

Data quality defined

There are many aspects to data quality, including consistency, integrity, accuracy, and completeness. According to Wikipedia, data is generally considered high quality if it is fit for [its] intended uses in operations, decision making and planning and data is deemed of high quality if it correctly represents the real-world construct to which it refers.

I define data quality as the level of compliance of a data set with a contextual normality.

This normality is set by user-defined rules and/or statistically derived ones. it is contextual, in the sense that rules reflect the logic of particular business processes, corporate knowledge, environmental, social or other conditions. For example, a property of the same entity could have different validation rules in different companies, markets, languages, or currencies.

Modern systems need to become aware of the quality in data I/O. They must instantly identify potential issues and avoid exposing dirty, inaccurate or incomplete data to connected production components/ clients.

This implies that, even if there is a sudden problematic situation resulting in poor-data quality entries, the system wi...

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