WSJ writes about a Nokia service that teaches English to China’s mobile users:
Nokia Corp. launched a service that enables Chinese to download English language lessons using their mobile phones, an effort by the world’s biggest cellphone maker to tap into a growing fascination with English in the world’s top wireless market.
Nokia plans to charge users for the new, made-for-China service, called Mobiledu, which it launched yesterday. The service, which includes both audio- and text-based lessons, aims to capitalize on China’s enormous language-learning market, which has been growing quickly as Chinese embrace global business and prepare for an influx of foreign visitors during next year’s Olympic games in Beijing.
PopMatters features an interview of Steven Johnson by Jason Jones:
This idea of the long zoom, a perspective that shifts back and forth from the macro- to the microcosm, organizes each of Steven Johnsons five books of cultural criticism and science journalism. As he explains below, Johnson deploys concepts borrowed from contemporary science and from literary theory, using these in particular to understand the way informationbiological, cultural, or otherself-organizes as it moves along networks. Its not that he has one idea and applies it indiscriminately; rather, the long zoom is a kind of method: He focuses attentively on what happens at the moments when one shifts between scalesthose moments, that is, when an explanatory vocabulary that makes sense from one point of view appears to break down. Johnson consistently shows how scientific and cultural progress happens when consilient thinkers are able to translate observations and data at one level of experience into another, making visible what had been hidden.