Halfway reflections

Two of the 'big ideas' presented in the course "U810 - Continuing Professional Development in Practice" resonate with me and will continue to guide me for some time: "The unexamined life is not worth living. " (Plato, Apology, p. 55) "The illiterate of the 21st Century are not those who cannot read and write but … Continue reading Halfway reflections


Terrible advice for a professional

This week in U810 Continuing Professional Development in Practice we look at motivation for learning. There was a recommended video to watch: Emilie Wapnick: Why some of us don't have one true calling What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you're not sure you want to do just one thing … Continue reading Terrible advice for a professional

Tesler’s Law of Conservation of Complexity:

I loved this article and it inspired me to write something about IT systems integration.

Harish's Notebook - My notes... Quality, Data Science, Strategy & Lean.


In today’s post, I am looking at Tesler’s Law of Conservation of Complexity. Larry Tesler, who came up with the law, worked at Xerox PARC, Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo in different capacities. He was one of the brains behind “cut/copy and paste” functionality in word processors. The basic premise of the law is as follows:

“Every application has an inherent amount of irreducible complexity. The only question is: Who will have to deal with it—the user, the application developer, or the platform developer?”

This is an important idea in the user interaction with a software application. One of the best examples to explain this further comes from Dan Saffer’s excellent book, “Designing for Interaction.” Think of the email application. It needs a “From address” and a “To address”. Without either of these two items, the email cannot be sent. All, if not most, email applications will automatically populate…

View original post 994 more words

Constructivism, Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) and Expansive Learning

To remain employable, we need to keep learning, but need to be effective, efficient and efficacious in the way in which we go about it. (Assuming that you need to simultaneously hold down a job, learn and enjoy life.) The U810 CPD in Practice course should help achieve that and I recently read a a … Continue reading Constructivism, Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) and Expansive Learning

Engestrom – Expansive learning at Work: toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization

Disruptive Technology Enhanced Learning

Engestrom’s opening position is not controversial: who are the learners, why do they learn, what do they learn, and how do they learn? However, as he moves into analysis his position becomes more complex, and broadly Marxist.

Engestrom sees contradictions as a potential source of learning. Furthermore, he describes contradictions as ‘historically accumulating structural tensions’. This carries echoes of Marx’s idea of dialectical tension. Moreover, Engestrom seems keen to locate his analysis in economic and political contexts: ‘the primary contradiction of activities in capitalism is that between the use value and the exchange value of commodities’ (p. 137).

Engestrom directs his analysis to the impact of technology: ‘When an activity system adopts a new element from the outside (for example, a new technology or a new object), it often leads to an aggravated secondary contradiction where some old element (for example, the rules or the division of labor) collides with…

View original post 402 more words

“Acquisition & transfer” of knowledge, vs “participation, construction, becoming.”

It seems reasonable to me that our Cognition and the way that we think is shaped by the fact that we are embodied minds. Based on that I would expect that metaphor could be a useful concept when understanding the way that we learn. However, I find it implausible that members of a profession all … Continue reading “Acquisition & transfer” of knowledge, vs “participation, construction, becoming.”

The Generative Dance Between Organisational Knowledge and Organisational Knowing

Some reflections on:  Cook, S. D. N. and Brown, J. S. (1999) ‘Bridging Epistemologies: The Generative Dance Between Organizational Knowledge and Organizational Knowing’, Organization Science, INFORMS: Institute for Operations Research, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 381–400 [Online]. DOI: 10.1287/orsc.10.4.381.   Where they make two contentions: The knowledge that we  possess fits into four distinct categories … Continue reading The Generative Dance Between Organisational Knowledge and Organisational Knowing