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July 03, 2007


Steve Hargadon

You are going to laugh, since this makes two interview connections today. I interviewed Marc last month, and just haven't gotten to posting it yet. He covers this in the interview, which is on education, and is prompted by my question of what he is looking for as an employer--if we're going to consider that as a guide for education.

Since I just spent the last ten minutes correcting my post today on Danah Boyd to spell her name correctly, worth noting it's "Marc" with a "c." :)


Christian Long

Steve --

Okay, the stars are aligning in odd ways...but I'm digging it!

First, thanks for the help on spelling. Just went back and corrected the 'should be a C' issue. I was so happy to get his last name spelled correctly, that I defaulted to the more common spelling of his first. Hope all is well in the universe again -- and thanks!

Second, crazy timing on your conversation with Marc. Look forward to the recording. You are quickly becoming 'the guy' when it comes to grabbing air time with the big brains in the universe. Can imagine you working for Wired one day. Don't forget the wee people who knew you when (he smiles).

Cheers...and do let me know when you'll be posting the Andreesson podcast!



Funny how synchronicity seems to work: today I'm doing a quasi-interview/screening at the last minute for a position a won't even be working with. Aside from a handful of generic tech questions, I really had a hard time figuring out how to do a good job on this screening...until I read this entry and the corresponding article. Now I have some very general, yet very important targets to consider.

Great synopsis of the article too, btw. I will say that the one weakness I see in this tact is that individual knowledge seems to be underrated--a trend that can not be fully unknown to current ed-tech theorists/practitioners.

I'll be the first to admit that I favor candidates who are passionate--a term I use to encompass both drive and curiosity--but a broad base knowledge of the data of the field is also huge. Yes, having knowledge is useless if you can't apply it, but I worry how many prominent individuals in our field seem to undervalue knowledge (perhaps undermining it with a "knowledge for knowledge's sake" mentality). It's almost as if, now that we have google and wikipedia, knowledge is something that is simply a series of artifacts found in the public repository, and not a necessary part of the individual intellect's toolset.

Am I reading too much into this?

Christian Long

5tein: Love your questions.

My quick take says that it's not a matter of one vs. the other. Nor that there is one type of intelligence. But the debate? Ancient.

What Andreesson discusses has more to do with developing teams (why we hire in the first place) than it does with what is more important on an individual level. Yes, interviewing a candidate is very individual, and he makes his points as to what matters. But one can safely assume he's only interviewing intelligence candidates in the first place, so he's looking for the 'difference-maker' characteristics that will positively impact his team's ability over time.

Ethics, curiosity, and drive combined certainly offer a team something vital, especially when 'knowledge' can be discovered on a multiplicity of levels. Especially in a world where there is no previous answer to discover, but patterns to contemplate...that require curiosity and drive to discover, and ethics to pursue and manage in the most appropriate way.

Thanks for swinging by and sharing your take on the post. Cheers, Christian

Steve Hargadon

The interview is up:


Marc is an amazing guy.


Christian Long

Steve -- Great to hear that the podcast with Andreesson is up and running on your site. Look forward to catching a listen in the coming days/week. Thanks for letting us know. Cheers, Christian


Christian, yeah I think you and I can agree on those matter, but I _do_ hear quite a number of "futurist" educators/educational thinkers espousing a "tools _rather than_ knowledge philosophy", not a "tools _plus_ knowledge" strategy. In fact, right after I read your comments I stumbled across another 'blog which quite clearly disparaged rote memorization as completely unnecessary in the modern technology-imbued age in which we live.

This tact points my attention back to the study of memory for the second time this week, where researchers recognize that while efficient application of one's working memory is essential for learning and effective practice, experts are defined by long-term memory and the quantity of information and past experiences, that all-important prior knowledge, that informs and provides context for new experiences.

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