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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Excellent and Varied Educational Video Collection on YouTube: The Floating University

The Floating University.  Right at that YouTube link, I just spent about an hour and a half watching the 30 videos uploaded by this organization.  Quite stimulating, the videos are each 2-4 minutes long, covering topics that range from physics to biology, economics to psychology, sociology, investments, problems we'll face in the future, stem cells, the arts, attributes for what makes a "classic", religion...
This really runs the gamut.  Instead of 3 TV shows, maybe a mediocre movie, treat yourself to a viewing of this collection.  I'm highly impressed, and I was very entertained.

Who are these people and why should I take them seriously?
"The Floating University is a joint venture between The Jack Parker Corporation and Big Think, a knowledge forum where the world's top experts engage the thinking public to explore the big ideas and core skills defining the 21st century."

Big Think's website provides a ton of articles, some of which have videos along with the content.  I just discovered this resource today, so I can't vouch for a damn thing.  What I can say is that their list of experts they draw upon is very very impressive.  Have a quick look here.

"Every idea on Big Think comes from our ever-growing network of 2,000 Big Think fellows and guest speakers, who comprise the top thinkers and doers from around the globe. Our editorial team regularly sources ideas from these experts, asking them about the most important ideas in their respective fields. Our editors then sift through the submitted ideas and determine which qualify to appear on Big Think, subjecting each to our simple, three-pronged standard geared to your interests:

a) significance — how will this idea change the world and impact your life?

b) relevance — what groups and individuals does this idea most affect?

c) application — how can this idea change the way you think or act?

Big Think's editorial team then packages and presents these ideas to you, our users, using the range of multimedia tools the Internet makes possible, with the aim of distilling each idea to its essence. "

This seems more than reasonable, an admirable project.

The Jack Parker Corporation however...
Is a real estate company...
Their website is sleek but overbearing and too "in your face" for my liking.

There, nothing involved with academia is mentioned.  Their involvement in this "joint venture" then, I assume, is financial only.  I don't like that, but oh well.

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