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Stephen Downes
Works at National Research Council
Attended University of Alberta
Lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
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Stephen Downes

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These are great. Keep them coming.
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A bakers' dozen in...

Responding to http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/4/15/5617388/2014-blue-jays-marlins-trade-dickey-syndergaard

A lot of people look at the best case alternative reality. I’d like to look at a medium-case alternative reality, one where they haven’t made the two trades, and where things work out in the alternative reality the way they have in real life.

d’Arnaud hit .202 in 31 plate appearances last season and is hitting .162 so far this year. Henderson Alvarez went 5-6 in Florida last year and is already 0-2 this year, .359 in 2013 with a respectable 3.59 but nothing to write home about. Yunel Escobar is being Yunel Escobar, .256 last season, a slow .191 so far this season. Adeiny Hechavarria hit .227 last season though he’s having a hot start this season, a ray of sunshine. Noah Syndergaard still hasn’t broken in. Four players in the minors. And Jeff Mathis is still Jeff Mathis, though with his 2013 .181 batting average might have ended up as the Jays’ starting catcher.

That’s what we would have. Now think about what our starting rotation would look like this year. Opening the season and the Blue Jays ace would be Brandon Morrow. 5.63 ERA last year, 5.73 so far this year. Hutch comes back and impresses. McGowan comes out and impresses. Then what? Romero is still a flame-out. Maybe Happ hides his injury and starts anyways, getting blown out? Maybe Esmil Rogers? Maybe we push Drabek or Redmond in there? We wouldn’t be talking about the weak bat at second, we would be talking about the pitching crisis. Oh, and the weak bats in the infield generally.

Instead, this year we have what looks to be pretty solid starting pitching. Touch wood. It’s a good start, compared to the unmitigated disaster we would have faced with the alternative pitching lineup and most of the team batting sub-200. We still have an excellent relief corps; we didn’t give any of that up. Yes, Izturus and Reyes are out right now, the former for the season, but maybe we lose a couple starters off this not-so-stellar alternative lineup. We have a team that out of the gate at least can compete; we wouldn’t have that without the trade, and what’s worse, we would know we wouldn’t have that. No new fans in the stands, no excitement, no buzz.

I would say that as of right now we’re well ahead of where we would be without the trade. Maybe in a few years we’ll re-evaluate. But maybe in a few years we’ll have some prospects pushing at the gates as well. For right now – for last year, despite the disappointment, and this year – we have some excitement, some sense that management is trying, and enough of a sense that the team can win. That’s good enough for a bakers’ dozen in. Probably good enough to carry us up to the trade deadline.
It's still too early to think the Blue Jays can't still make lemonade out of the Mets' and Marlins' lemons.
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Here's the information I sent Steve Kolowsich for his Chronicle article on the (possible?) decline of MOOC mentions in the media: My data measures news articles from selected (and reasonably representative) sources (includin...
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Welcoming Intro Ezekiel Emmanue</b>l - MOOCs 'democratizing' education? (vs? 'socializing')     - but - access, language, etc - MOOCs - equalize opportunity for elites in developing countries     - may widen inequality in dev...
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Transcript of my talk in Valencia a week or so ago.
I want to talk about the MOOC of one. What I mean by that is I want to talk about the development of the MOOC or the Massive Open Online Course. I'm one of the people who designed the concept originally in 2008. I want to exp...
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Ida Brandão's profile photoGeorge Station's profile photoMatthew Armstrong's profile photoCelia Ruiz's profile photo
 
Nice post/intervention (as usual). Liked, in particular, the paragraph: «What makes the MOOCs special is that each person taking the MOOCs makes it their own. They create and shape their own learning according to their own needs and their own interests, their own values, their own objectives. And that to me is what learning and education is all about.»
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Stephen Downes

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Still messing around with statistics. Here's the graph of the production of posts on OLDaily over the years since the first posts in 1995: Until 1999 the only posts produced are my articles. Subsequently, as I began the ...
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The Challenge of MOOCs Panel Stephen Downes Please see my presentation and audio here: http://www.downes.ca/presentation/339 N.V. Varghese - view from developing countries     - largest expansion of the system in this century...
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I think a lot of people expected a lot from last year and were sorely disappointed, and so have really scaled back their expectations for this year. But last year wasn't a fluke or an accident - it's what happens when you pull a bunch of players together for the first time, have an uneven spring (with the World Baseball classic in the way) and then hit some adversity. What people should have been looking at was that AA was building a team for a 2 or 3 year run, not a single season, because it generally takes some time for these things to come together.

But today I'm sitting in my office with my Blue Jays jersey on, watching an ice storm apocalypse outside (yes, it's still the dead of winter here in Moncton) and thinking, maybe this is the year. Because, for the most part, this is the team everyone thought would win it all last year (minus some deadweight in the form of Johnson and Bonafacio). It's not that everything must go exactly right - that goes without saying, and is true for every team - it's that this team actually is good enough to win it all.

How good? Could be, very good.
- even a healthy J.A. Happ probably couldn't crack this year's starting rotation, plus there's good talent in the minors, and should Romero put it together the starting pitchers could be dominant
- best relief corps in the majors
- our fourth outfielder Sierra would start on most teams
- Lawrie-Reyes-Goins-Encarnacion (or Lind) could be one of the toughest infields in the league
- and if Goins could start to hit (and this year we have a decent hhitting coach) wouldn't that be something?
- definite upgrade behind the plate, and a very able Kratz waiting in Buffalo
- Joey and EE two of the top sluggers in the game

I think that AA didn't do a lot this winter because he looked at the lineup and decided that he didn't need to do a lot. Let's let the team be a team, he may have thought. There's time to adjust and adapt before the trade deadline. Sure we could tweak but let's see how it functions when put together properly from the get-go.

I feel very good about this team. This is not a last place team, nor even a fourth place team. If people play like they did last year, they could be a third place team. But I think you'll find people are not playing the way they did last year. For the Blue Jay players, standing there at Fenway and watching the Red Sox take the division, watching them celebrate in front of you - that's a memory that doesn't go away.

The Blue Jays will be very very difficult to play this year. They're going to win their 90 games, perhaps more, they're going to be in a playoff race, and they might win it.
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Maybe, just maybe, the AL East will beat each other up and keep any single team from running away with the division. Ah, hope!
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I've stated this in many times in talks and interviews, but I can't find it anywhere in my actual text-based materials, so let's get it on the record so people can have something to cite, should they want to. It has to do wit...
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Have him in circles
7,753 people
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Researcher
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  • National Research Council
    Researcher, present
  • Athabasca University, Assiniboine Community College, Grande Prairie Regional College, University of Alberta, Texas Instruments, Versa Foods
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Currently
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Previously
Metcalfe, Ontario, Canada - Brandon, Manitoba, Canada - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada - Eaglesham, Alberta, Canada - Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Candiac, Quebec, Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Austin, Texas
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Free Learning
Introduction
Stephen Downes
Moncton's most prominent cyber-citizen. See also my main website at http://www.downes.ca
Education
  • University of Alberta
    Philosophy, 1987 - 1993
  • University of Calgary
    Philosophy, 1981 - 1987
  • SAIT
    Computer Science, 1980 - 1981
  • Algonquin College
    Computer Science, 1979 - 1980
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Stephen Downes's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Why Numbers Exist
halfanhour.blogspot.com

by Stephen Downes One exists to show us the way It is the self, it is today It is the place where we departed It is the one to get us starte

Half an Hour
halfanhour.blogspot.com - written by Stephen Downes

This is a summary of theexpert discussion at the conclusion of Day One of the International Monitoring Organization conference Each paragraph denotes a ...

» How I ended up leaving Poynter JIMROMENESKO.COM
jimromenesko.com

How I ended up leaving Poynter. “How did this go off the rails?” Poynter&#39;s attorney asked me during a Nov. 12 phone conversation about m

Half an Hour: October 2011
halfanhour.blogspot.com - written by Stephen Downes

This is a summary of theexpert discussion at the conclusion of Day One of the International Monitoring Organization conference Each paragraph denotes a ...

Half an Hour: A Conversation on Innovation
halfanhour.blogspot.com - written by Stephen Downes

A Conversation on Innovation. This is a summary of theexpert discussion at the conclusion of Day One of the International Monitoring Organization conference

Support Pussy Riot’s appeal for justice
action.amnesty.org.uk

Pussy Riot appeal in court next week. We need your help to defend free speech - ask the Russian authorities to stop their persecution of the

They gave me mountains of very good food, making it the only place in Oslo I could afford to eat while I was visiting there! My only regret is that I didn't find the place sooner. Seriously, if you're in the city on a budget, take the short walk from downtown and eat here.
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