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Teaching Machines

A Hack Education Project

I’m going to try to write weekly updates here – sometimes chronicling what I’ve accomplished over the last seven days, sometimes working through thoughts and ideas, and sometimes showcasing discoveries that I’ve made in my research. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks going through all the notes (and photos...

It’s official. I signed the book contract late last night: the MIT Press has agreed to publish Teaching Machines. I’m over-the-moon thrilled (particularly as I’ll have a great editor), although to be honest, I’m also feeling quite overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do. I have been...

After my time at the Stanford University archives didn’t work out exactly as planned, I thought about changing my flight and heading back to New York. But a) that was too expensive and b) that seemed like too quick a surrender. So I put out some inquiries yesterday to do...

Today is my first day in Palo Alto, where I had planned to spend the next few days going to Patrick Suppes’s papers at Stanford University. It hasn’t worked out as planned. I had this suspicion, I admit, when I struggled to 1) make an appointment with Special Collections and...

Today was my last day in the archives. I had two boxes of letters to go through and three boxes of newspaper clippings. (In the week I’ve spent here, I’ve barely scratched the surface of Skinner’s papers. There are, for example, still some 23 more boxes of correspondence to go...

I’m out of the archives early today. B. F. Skinner’s papers are housed offsite, so I have to put in a request a day in advance to have materials brought to the reading room. I plowed through everything I’d requested for today in record time. There wasn’t much of interest...

Day 3 of my archival work was the hardest so far. (Here are updates from Days 1 and 2.) It is just so exhausting to sit for hours on end going through boxes and boxes of papers – trying to move as quickly as possible, trying to figure out if...

(I’m at Harvard this week, going through B. F. Skinner’s archives. You can read about Day 1 here.) So I greatly miscalculated how many boxes of materials I can get through this week. I made progress today, but I am definitely going to have to come back to Cambridge again....

I’m at Harvard all this week, which is overwhelming in its own right. I’m here to research B. F. Skinner’s papers, housed at the university archives – even more overwhelming knowing that I have 30 hours and that there are some 27+ cubic feet of materials to go through. I...

The School of Journalism is holding its commencement ceremony this week, and even though I’m not graduating I’m going – I guess it’s worth taking part in some sort of end-of-Spencer ritual. I’ll have more to say elsewhere about “what happened” and “what’s next,” but I thought I’d quickly note...