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Western Philosophy Intro Reader (the 10 [20] mintue version)

2 min read

Irwin DeVries tweeted about looking for a Western Philosophy Intro Reader. This is a ten minute start on that.

From an Open Yale syllabus let's take an initial set of readings "PLSC 114: Introduction to Political Philosophy (Fall, 2006) Steven B. Smith,"


Plato, Trial and Death of Socrates
Plato, Republic
Aristotle, Politics
Machiavelli, The Prince
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political Writings
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


Yale University 2008. Some rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated on this page or on the Open Yale Courses website, all content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0)
I'm not sure how copyrightable that list of text is [I doubt is is these are pretty standard/ common knowledge/ but let's cite the above as a starting point]. If we compare the wikipedia article on Political Philosophy. one thing that I notice is that Aquinas and Marx are missing (I can't judge if David Hume should be there as well John Stuart Mill).
Project Gutenberg offers us a bookshelf

but also has available Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes .

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America is at project gutenberg but also at or

An editable version of Rousseau in English seems trickier there's but it's a mess of ads and unclear rights.

Any how that's been 20 minutes and I've a meeting, hopefully this will save someone some time ... this of course isn't the hard part. that comes with selecting and introducing the texts, struggling with old / biased translations, and having enough subject knoweldge to know how to frame the whole thing.


Why come to a library space?

1 min read

[A placeholder for thoughts]

What do you offer that they can't get via wifi?

Space? (role of 3rd place)

3d Printing?

Data vizualisation? And VR...


Relationship with wider fac dev / PD ? local?

Relationship with IT?

Research consult?

What do the physical (not yet digital ) resources offer? why?

Budget? Flexibility of space?

Outreach? Community Engagement?

How can you showcase what they do?


St. Patrick's Day

1 min read

A few DH-ish resources for today

"So I am first of all a simple country person, a refugee, and unlearned. I do not know how to provide for the future. "

St . Patrick's Confession . 12 from .


Data visualization of names form 1890 census

And Mapping the Emerald Isle: a geo-genealogy of Irish surnames


A day or two in Edinburgh?

3 min read

I've a couple of friends heading to conferences in Edinburgh this year who have asked what I would suggest they do. This is constrained by the 'adding a few days to a conference' scenario and the no car scenario. and the coming from North America scenario. These are ideas to start your thinking. Google streetview is your friend in thinking about planning this.

Top picks

  • Hop on hop off Bus Tour - (this company or another) it took me years before I actually took this tour. the commentary and elevated view (sit upstairs ) are great. Seeing the architecture above the shopfronts is great. It's also an effective way to get around without navigating the normal bus system (good for transit; less good for tourism).
  • Museum of Scotland (actually a two for one; one is a classic 'victorian' museum of everything, the other a museum of Scottish history - both free)
  • Scottish National Gallery & National Portrait Gallery or Modern Art Galllery (i've never been ;-( ; all free)
  • Edinburgh Castle (ok so, it's expensive to get into but it's a castle )

Other stuff

(in the less important but close ):

By the Museum(s) on George IV bridge

  • Greyfrairs bobby - [yes it is just a small unnoticed statue, despite what Holywood might say ;-) ]
  • Elephant House (on George IV bridge, good coffee and where JKR wrote 1st Harry Potter)

Royal Mile-ish

form the top (Castle)

  • Whisky Experience ...
  • St Giles Cathedral (Many old churches will be worth a look, this one is on the Royal Mile)
  • John Knox's house (never visited walked past)
  • Museum of Childhood
  • World's End (pub)
  • Holyrood Palace
  • Scottish Parliment
  • Living Earth

Out of town

  • Glasgow [that's a whole other entry] ;-)
  • Loch Lomond (organised trip to Lomondside or Luss - it doesn't totally seem worth it but it's a good way to tackle a number experiences at once in a relatively short time)
  • Loch Ness (organised trip?)


  • Full Scottish Breakfast or fish/ veggie equivalent 
  • Haggis (whether as part of the breakfast, as a proper meal, or battered and fried from a chip shop)
  • Afternoon Tea (try one of the central hotels, $$ but very pleasant)
  • Indian Curry (UK's other national dish)
  • it's worth knowing that sandwiches in the UK are generally a lot more interesting.
  • Boots is a national drugstore/ chemist but it also has a take out lunch meal deal that has some good options and is cheap
  • Deep -fried mars bar [ok, i don't actually think this is a good idea ]


You may wsh to take a minute to review:

and please endeavour to go with a short Edinbruh not a long Edinboro



#OLCInnovate2016 Games and Networking - Volunteers and Event Making

3 min read

Boardgame, Lords of Waterdeep. Quest card pile in foreground, meeples in backgroundIntroduction

For the Games networking session I’m hoping to focus on the what makes a game fun or enjoyable side of things and to introduce some different ways that games get people to interact. I'm hoping that the session will be a relaxed way to get to know people and that our understanding and expectations of educational games will improve.

By presenting a range of games across platforms I'm hoping to avoid it’s “shiny” reaction to video games or the “real gamer” reaction to games in education. We'll see if this works...

For any game we need someone to teach it and manage it and so we're looking for volunteers.

This is my work in progress list. This list is influenced by the time available (1 hour), portability (I'm flying...), easy of understanding and a variety of accessible experiences.


Suggestions include:

  • Timeline (sequencing; history)
  • No Thanks (probability; bluffing)
  • 10 Days in ... (Route-building/ planning/ geography)
  • High Society (auction;  innovative win/lose; probabilty)
  • Hey That’s My Fish (planning)
  • Perudo (probablility)
  • Pandemic (co-op)
  • Sushi Go (drafting)
  • Dixit Jinx (communication)
  • Coup (unsure?)
  • Bananagrams (vocab; spatial thinking)
  • Tsuro (Route-building/ unintended consequences; Kyle)

I don’t have but am debating :

  • A Fake Artist goes to New York
  • Snake Oil
  • For Sale
  • Codenames

Hybrid Games

Suggestions include:

  • Keeping Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steam; multiple stations option)
  • Artemis: starship bridge simulator (Planning to purchase the bridge version and install at event)


A few folk have volunteered to help but we'd like more volunteers to help teach and run games. We'll provide advice to help teach games. Get in touch!

Remote participation.

This is where it gets interesting...

We'd like to involve the wider community in this session. Thus far I think we can do this with:

  • Keeping Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • A Fake Artist goes to New York (if i buy a copy; running as collaborative [paint])

But I'm not sure this scales (moderation and number of devices with copies of KT&NE).

We could also, in theory, run some boardgames remotely with hangouts but I'm not sure that it works for these options (experience for participants within time constraints/ suitabiltiy for hybrid).

Any ideas?

Reflections so far

I've taught /run boardgames at events but not in this sort of context - any advice and discussion about choices would be welcome. For example - what's missing? are there any potential pitfalls in the chosen games?

  • I'm aware that Artemis is geeky and it'll be tight to run it in the time but it's an interesting communication/ team exercise.
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is in some ways an ideal game to explore communication and works across medium (online/ f2f/ hybrid) - however, it does involve defusing things...
  • There's a balance between having fun, networking, and learning about games. I think we're doing ok but there's potential for this to go sideways if we oversell it as too much of any one of those

Interested in helping? comment / email [ john . robertson ] / or tweet


OLC Innovate 2016 - Games, Safaris, & Networking

2 min read

At OLC Innovate this year during one of the networking breaks we're inviting you to take part in a photo safari or to explore some games. You don't need to be at Innovate to take part. (Although offsite participation in the games session may have limited numbers - I'm thinking through how to make this work).

Below is some basic information from the inestimable Laura Gogia (@googlegaucamole ):

I'll follow up on this post with another about Activity 2 and information for for volunteers.

Activity 1: Capture Innovation Photo Safari.
Engage with conference themes and each other through a creative and reflective lens! After a brief introduction to photo safaris (including a short brainstorming session around how you might "capture innovation"), you will set out in informal small groups across the conference venue and nearby environs to capture innovation through the lens of your mobile device or camera.  Volunteers who have scouted the area in advance will be available to lead some groups.  Once taken, upload your images to Twitter or Instagram using hashtag. We'll debrief once you return from your trip and celebrate the surprising and diverse ways innovation was represented through your eyes.  

Activity 2: Gaming Session.

Gaming is fun, social, and educational. However, the "fun" and "learning" qualities of games are often held in tension by learners and educators alike. Join us in the PlugIn Lounge to explore how fun and learning can work together in the context of gaming. Board, hybrid, and online games are available for you to try. Table facilitators will get you started and help you talk through some of the learning opportunities that are unfolding even as you kick back and relax with your peers.