Friday, July 25, 2014

Academic Units with Mildly Amusing Names, #7 in a very sparse series

Calming Technology Lab, Stanford

OK, calm has some value. I've been employing some calming technologies myself lately. But something about this project, especially in the context of Silicon Valley's academic division, seems slightly creepy. Frankly, as a citizen I would rather not be calmed, and I really don't want technology trying to calm me. It brings to mind Temple Grandin's work on slaughterhouses that were carefully designed to keep the cattle from being agitated as they are led down the chute.

It seems like a more proper and traditional role for academia would be to work on getting people outraged. Call me old-fashioned. And speaking of that, I notice that one of the members of this lab is Roy Pea who used to work with Roger Schank, who now runs the Education Outrage blog.

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