Here is a nice long essay by Clay Shirky on the challenge the MOOC (Massively Open Online Courses) present to the structure of our current universities. I have been taking occasional courses on Udacity and Coursera, and I find these course really good.
Clay Shirky is a media professor at NYU and he writes a lot of good stuff on the possible consequences of technology.
Robert J. Sawyer’s “Triggers” is a short novel set in the near future and it begins with a bang. On a cold winter morning the President of the United States is giving a speech at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Then bang! Someone tries shoots him. While he is rushed to the a nearby hospital, a bomb is discovered on the White House roof. A bomb similar to one used in several other attacks in the United States.
While the President is being operated on, the bomb explodes destroying the White House. The radio pulse from the bomb also disturbs an experiment by a memory doctor at the same hospital where the President is being operated on.
Then things begin to go weird. Several people discover that they are able to recall other people’s memories. Something seems to have triggered these weird connections. Susan Dawson, the agent in charge of security, orders lock down of the hospital until they can figure out who can read President’s memories – as this presents a clear security thread. Especially since a big military operation is about to start.
Over the next few days the Secret Service tries to figure out who can read whose memories and what this means. As the story progresses we realize that what is happening is more extensive and far reaching than it appeared initially.
However, if you like to know what happened you will need to read the book.