An experiment in integrity

I am looking to attempt an experiment during the course I am teaching right now. The idea is to give the course participants the opportunity to examine how much personal information is available online.

To do this, participants are divided into groups. Each group is then given the name of a person and then digs up any and all information they can about that person.

The teams will have to account for:

  1. The information they find
  2. How & where they found the information
  3. Make assessment of the details of credibility.

One of the major “problems” in conducting this experiment is the selection of the person to be examined. Choosing a public figure could be an option but it is difficult to assess the credibility of information acquired. Therefore what remains is to put oneself on the line and the students study their lecturer. Which leads to a question I must ask myself – Do I have something I do not want to find out about myself…

I would really appreciate comments on this idea….

The world ends next month

CERN is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory and on Wednesday (10 September) they will make the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The first injection of the beam into the machine will be between 9:00 and 10:00 a. m.

So what is it?

Wikipedia explains: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator complex, intended to collide opposing beams of 7 TeV protons. Its main purpose is to explore the validity and limitations of the Standard Model, the current theoretical picture for particle physics. The LHC was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and lies under the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.

image from CERN

Some claim (and have attempted to use the courts to prevent the experiments) that the LHC experiments could have potentially disastrous results, in particular they could create “micro black holes”- actually the real experiments that some fear will end the world will not be carried out for another month. The fears are exaggerated and CERN says it’s all safe. This end of the world thing will play havoc with my planning but this is not the first time the end of the world threatened to ruin my plans. I suppose we should get used to this…