[Discuss] Community-based creation of Open Hardware Knowledge

Nancy Ouyang nancy.ouyang at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 02:27:11 UTC 2015

re: "how to mobilize a community to create knowledge"

(Moving to new thread, this is a whole 'nother can of worms)...

Some notes (from a discussion today with a friend)

   - Yahoo answers is a steaming pile of -- err dung
   - Stack Overflow is better, but is still shockingly bad
      - their reward mechanism encourages participation, but does not
      correlate with expertise and helpfulness well
   - quora suffers from the same sickness as reddit
      - it has turned into storytelling somewhat
      - more like TED than expertise driven
      - it creates a positive feedback of popularity
      - a well-regarded story will dominate all others
   - wikipedia does alright
      - they compile knowledge into a single answer, rather than selecting
      the best answer

*Given that, here's an idea*

   - *stackoverflow but with git merge of answers*
   - the merged answer gives points to all contributors fairly somehow
   - people upvote / downvote changes, ala Apache +1/-1 +0/-0
   - See
      for explanation
      - and there's a mechanism to allow comments that are not part of the

Does this flag anyone as "this will fail for obvious reasons"?

If not, we could flesh this out further and then feature request this on
the Biostars github <https://github.com/ialbert/biostar-central> and maybe
someone will actually build it... potentially on a fork or something, since
there's something to be said for real-time help with a community welcoming
to "beginner questions," instead of technical manual or textbook, no matter
how well-written.

> *Biostar: Software for building Scientific Communities*

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:02 PM, timofonic timofonic <timofonic at gmail.com>

> Hello, Nancy.
> Wikibooks are great, but those documents aren't nearly as didactical and
> easier to read than these copyrighted works. Despite they aren't perfect
> and offer simplifications I don't get (I did read a free chapter from the
> author on Usenet about getting LT3086 from Linear Technology to make an
> adjustable power supply. Its okay, but those are expensive chips and I
> would prefer to use discrete electronics), they are easy to read.
> I understand writing proper books about electronics or any other technical
> stuff without being boring, having good/excellent writing, proper design
> and great explainings (so people without proper physics and/or maths are
> able to understand it and learn that missing stuff) is a total challenge
> and it would require a totally dedicated team of people. After all Newnes,
> Cambridge Press and others have tons of money to invest in writers, graphic
> artists (okay they are from India and cheap labor, but still too much to
> pay) and scientific people fixing the texts. I'm still not sure if the same
> QA could be done in a Wiki way, without a strong project management.
> Another idea I had is about didactical games for learning the core
> concepts to practical exercises without getting boring. I would like some
> kind of mix between "There are no electrons" from Kenn Amdahl, Cisco Binary
> Game, the best humour from classic adventure games (Lucas Arts, Sierra and
> such) with some kind of adult but not stupid twist, Forrest Mims way, from
> basic to intermediate about electronics (like in Art of Electronics) and
> interactive exercises from all topics. But that would require a big team of
> very dedicated people, a
> very-advanced-and-very-educational-classic-style-good-looking-good-playability-and-not-boring-at-all
> game aimed to adults is a very difficult challenge, I think.
>> Re: open books, http://en.wikibooks.org/
>> ~~~
>> narwhaledu.com, educational robots
>> <http://gfycat.com/ExcitableLeanAkitainu> [[<(._.)>]] my personal blog
>> <http://www.orangenarwhals.com>, orangenarwhals
>> arvados.org (open source software for provenance, reproducing, and
>> scaling your analyses)
>> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:06 AM, Timofonic <timofonic at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hello.
>>> I'm new at electronics, but I was thinking about it.
>>> I have some questions about Free/Open Hardware, maybe even full of
>>> radical thinking:
>>> - What about Free/Open Hardware from the ground up? High quality open
>>> learning material:
>>> --Open Books: different levels from basic for children (no idea about
>>> available material, sorry) and adults such as works from Forrest Mims to
>>> complete (think of something like Art of Electronics and Practical
>>> Electronics for Inventors) and advanced, organize translations , didactical
>>> games even for adults but not dummy ones, practices, volunteering tutors
>>> for learning aid to people interested on Free/Open hardware but having
>>> issues with the learning process and collaboration with learning centers
>>> (schools, colleges, vocational training schools, universities...).
>>> Kind regards.
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