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Eric Martindale
Works at BitPay
Attended Oak Hill Academy
Lives in Atlanta, GA
38,942 followers|515,247 views
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Education is Curiosity, Enabled
I'm of the opinion that we could teach our young children subjects like calculus, if only we had mechanisms through which to empower those with curiosity to play with them.  Then, the application of the effort to teach becomes one of rewarding knowledge, rather than repetitive structures of memorization and batteries of tests.

Take, for example, these visualizations of various concepts in mathematics.  How enlightening would it be if we could play with these as we work through the process of learning the equations that describe them, letting our brain form the map between the system's description, its properties, and its behavior?
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It's beautiful. I want this animation showing on my ceiling when I try to sleep at night.
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“It’s uncomfortable to focus so intensely on what you’re bad at.”
Great story on learning how to think–perhaps the single most important thing we should be teaching [not only our children, but ourselves].  If you can learn to think, you can conquer almost anything.
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It's how to focus, not how to think. At least as important, but not the same at all.

The parts about focusing on what you're bad at hit home for me as a rock wall  climber. The climbing ethos involves challenging yourself and falling off the wall a lot, but in a friendly and supportive environment. You develop persistence and work on skills that you're currently bad at, mixing it up with stuff you can do better. I often wonder about how to create that kind of environment in a classroom.
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Onward, and Ever Upward
2013 was an amazing year; between founding +Coursefork, building soundtrack.io and para.io, working with several amazing startups [1], and being allowed to call myself a peer to some of the smartest people I know all throughout, it has been a year of both great achievement and personal growth.  This sets an incredibly compelling stage for 2014 and everything to come therein.

Today, I'm excited to announce that I'll be joining the likes of Jeff Garzik [2], Patrick Nagurny, and Ian Patton under the leadership of CTO Stephen Pair at +Bitpay, which allows anyone to quickly and seamlessly accept Bitcoin as payment, settling immediately in any currency, including USD.

Bitcoin has become one of the biggest stories of 2013, having grown over 9000% in value [3] and even surpassing Western Union in transaction volume [4].  As potentially the most counterfeit-proof form of payment in history, Bitcoin is poised to become one of the most disruptive technologies since the invention of the Internet as society moves increasingly into decentralized systems in an era of waning trust and increasing technological awareness by growing economies like China, India, and Brazil [5].

Taking advantage of this trend of decentralization, BitPay is perfectly positioned to serve as the mechanism for BitCoin's mass-adoption as massive merchants such as +Overstock.com move to accept this new form of payment.  It's exciting to be involved with a company in this position at such an early stage, and expand the breadth of my experience to include another decentralized system, and especially to be holding the responsibility of expanding the company's open-source initiatives and engaging the developer community in a meaningful way.

After parting ways with Coursefork late last year, I've taken a seat on the Board of Advisors, allowing the amazing team we built to realize the vision of open-sourcing the world of education [6] under the leadership of CTO +Brian Marks.  Brian was previously the CTO of successful education startup WebAssign [7], and will be an excellent steward of Coursefork's team and technology as they move towards the much-needed decentralization and open-sourcing of the education industry.  My best wishes to the team as they endeavor to do so!

Exciting times all around, and I'm truly lucky to be a part of it in so many ways.  Now let's go make the world a better place.

[1]: One of which, DigaForce, was just acquired: http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2014/01/02/apex-tech-firm-strategic-link-partners.html?page=all — congratulations to +Anthony Pompliano and +Matthew Cotter!
[2]: Jeff is one of the core developers of Bitcoin and a former +Red Hat team member from Raleigh.  How's that for the Triangle Company Family tree, +Derrick Minor?!
[3]: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/29/which-currency-is-up-over-9000-this-year-and-sells-for-almost-as-much-as-an-ounce-of-gold/
[4]: http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-can-be-the-new-western-union-2013-12
[5]: You might recall that in March of 2013, the Cypriot government restricted withdrawals and then utilized citizens' bank accounts directly to bail out their banking system, resulting in a surge in Bitcoin prices as individuals fled the fiat currency: http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/28/investing/bitcoin-cyprus/
[6]: Here's an interview I did while CTO of Coursefork with +Jason Hibbets from +Opensource.com that explains the vision: http://opensource.com/education/13/9/coursefork-education-tool
[7]: As a cofounder and CTO at WebAssign for 13 years, Brian took the education company from zero to over $30M in yearly revenue before becoming my co-founder at Coursefork.
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Congrats to you, Eric! 
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Why isn't education open-source in the first place?
I recently gave a talk at +The Research Triangle Park about education and open source, and how the freedoms that are necessary for a healthy education system were systematically removed over time.  While the slides aren't available in the video, I've uploaded them to +Coursefork [1].

It's incredibly powerful to lay out the data and show how increased spending and manpower has impacted the quality of education over time: aptitude measurements have stayed flat (or negative!) while test scores and grades continue to inflate.  It seems as if we've built a system of education that is extremely good at—wait for it—_getting people to pass standardized tests_.

Companies like +Khan Academy and +Coursera are really chipping away at the problem of making the resources available, both content and services (i.e., actual teaching), but making the content interchangeable and hackable is of critical importance to building the healthy open source ecosystem that we've seen emerge in the software community (a la +GitHub) within the world of education.

One day, we'll see the equivalent of the pull request in education.  I'm hoping to build it with +Coursefork.

[1]:  http://coursefork.org/martindale/open-freedom-and-education
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Yes I am also agreed with this post that “Education must be Open source and Free for all”; there are many potential students who are not able to get proper education because of high Tuition fees. However recently one of my friend got online Life experience degree from his professional Experience , This Good thing which universities have started to offer. You can more info here http://www.usauniversitiesonline.com/degree/awarding-honorary-doctorate-degree/  or you can Google it about online life experience degree.
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Open Source is the Future of Education
If you're familiar with coding, chances are you've seen how the open source software landscape has changed over the past few years with the advent of +GitHub.  With my new company +Coursefork, I'm hoping to incite the same kind of change in the world of #education .

+Jason Hibbets from +Opensource.com interviewed me recently about how we're building a better education, but it can't stop with us—he correctly identifies that the most important ingredient is the community of people who will be a part of the social fabric of education as we move forward.

Check out the interview and let me know your thoughts.
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+James McGoram has it right, +fan tai!  When there's a[n effectively] unlimited supply (near-zero access/duplication cost) but a finite demand, we can assume that the value is close to zero.  We have to focus on the finite resources; people and services.
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BitPay Expands, Fueled By Bitcoin Demand
Yes, we're expanding.  While +Wells Fargo [1] and +Wikipedia [2] start exploring    #cryptofinance  , we're also moving full steam ahead towards getting every company in the world to accept  #bitcoin   as a payment option.

Not only have we hired the best from companies like +Red Hat+IBM, and Visa into our senior leadership, but we've established a firm position in the marketplace–we're now performing over $1,000,000 per day in transactions with Bitcoin, and there are now over 1,000 new businesses accepting Bitcoin every week.  Now, we're hiring to support this investment in the community.

If you're interested in building anything related to  #cryptofinance  , give me a shout.  We're extremely focused on  #OpenSource   and  #cryptography  , and will be spending a lot of our time [3] participating in the support of developers building applications in the space.  If you want to build something that will shape the future of the world,  #cryptofinance   is the right space to be in.

[1]: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/14/us-wellsfargo-bitcoin-idUSBREA0D1LL20140114
[2]: https://twitter.com/jimmy_wales/status/441632741352681472 and http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/201fa6/hello_from_jimmy_wales_of_wikipedia/ !
[3]: We've already released Bitcore (see bitcore.io for more information), but we'll be a major presence in number of events in the coming year (not the least of which was +LAUNCH most recently!).  We're on a tear to support engineers building new projects with  #bitcoin  , so feel free to reach out and let me know what you're working on.
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Congrats!
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Today, +Bitpay is excited to announce the general availability of Bitcore, an open-source library to interact directly with #bitcoin .  If you're building anything related to #cryptofinance , I'm happy to answer questions.  Happy Valentine's Day hacking, crypto-lovers!
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Give me affs! I'm headed up to the bay this week. Be ready.
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Coursefork Among Top 10 Open Source Projects of 2013
I'm so pleased that +Coursefork made +Opensource.com's list of the top 10 open-source projects for 2013... this puts us alongside +Docker and +OpenStack, a true honor in my book.

If you haven't heard what the team has been working on, Coursefork is building an open-source collaboration tool for educators.  In the same way software creators can re-use open-source resources to get ahead in the development cycle, we want to enable teachers to re-use materials and improvements thereof to allow for the accretion of teaching techniques in place of continual re-invention.

“We're creating the pull request for courses, and the process of getting there means creating the tools necessary to support the community of a new open future for education.”

Learn more in this interview on OpenSource.com: http://opensource.com/education/13/9/coursefork-education-tool
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Congrats!
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Startup Founders: Donate Equity to Charity!
+Coursefork is happy to announce the Startup Giveback, an initiative for entrepreneurs to donate equity instead of cash to social initiatives, in partnership with +Shoeboxed and the +American Underground.  All are welcome to our first event, which will be hosted at the Shoeboxed HQ in Durham, NC.  100% of equity will go directly to Startup Endowment, while cash donations at the door of the event will go to the Triangle Community Foundation.

Donations of all sorts, not just equity, are welcome!  While we're aiming for a 1% equity donation from each participating company, you're welcome to donate cash either online or at the door of the event.  Feel free to leave comments if you have questions!  I hope to see you there.
The Startup Giveback Cookout
Sat, November 16, 2013, 1:00 PM
Shoeboxed

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How did it go? Sorry I couldn't make it...recovering from two molar extractions...
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Open Source ALL the Things!
I'll be speaking next week at +The Research Triangle Park about #OpenSource , #education , and +Coursefork.  I'm extremely excited (and humbled!) to be a part of an event that includes speakers from +Red Hat and +IBM, especially to speak on a topic that I'm so passionate about. See the full speaker list at the official site!

I hope to see you there. :)

About the Event
Open source. It's faster, cleaner, and more accurate than traditional methodologies -- and it's the culture the Triangle is fast-becoming known for. There's a reason that Red Hat, the first billion-dollar open source company, has built its headquarters here.

For September's “RTP 180," we're celebrating our region's fondness for open source with a speaker series that pulls from our three founding universities (NC State, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill), companies and communities. On September 17, we hope you will join us from 6:00-7:30, at RTP’s headquarters (12 Davis Drive, Durham, NC), for "RTP 180: Open Source All the Things.”

Our doors open at 5:00 so you can stop in right after work to grab a snack; a reception will follow after the event. We hear there will be tacos and free beer.

#HackEducation   #RTP180   #Raleigh   #Durham  
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Thanks to everyone who came out! Pictures and video will be posted soon for those who weren't able to attend.
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People
Have him in circles
38,942 people
Work
Occupation
Adventurer
Employment
  • BitPay
    Wrangler of Hackers, 2014 - present
  • Coursefork
    Founder & CTO, 2013 - 2013
  • RolePlayGateway
    Founder & CEO, 2005 - 2013
  • LocalSense
    Cofounder & Chief Software Architect, 2011 - 2012
  • Mirascape
    Chief Software Architect, 2010 - 2011
  • PatientWorks
    Senior Software Specialist, 2007 - 2010
  • TechNoggins
    Engineer Coordinator, 2005 - 2007
  • Expy Inc.
    Lead Engineer
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Atlanta, GA
Previously
Cary, NC - Wendell, NC
Story
Tagline
relentless maker.
Introduction
I'm Eric.  I build things.  Here are a few things I've been working on lately...

BitPay: get every business in the world to accept Bitcoin as a payment option.
Coursefork: a platform for open-sourcing education.

Para: a client-agnostic peer-to-peer network for implementing a data layer on top of the real world.
soundtrack.io: group listening, community-managed jukebox.
aris.io: custom learning tutor, powered by machine learning.
RolePlayGateway: collaborative storytelling platform that organizes people, places, and things within a fictional world.
Bitcoin Trader: buy and sell Bitcoins via the command line.
snarl:  statistics tracking bot for plug.dj.
CodingSoundtrack: interactive statistics tracking tool for social listening site plug.dj
Geo: quick search for geolocated content.
Bragging rights
I escaped the school system.
Education
  • Oak Hill Academy
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Master, Remæus, Baeryn, martindale