Opened – Week 11

I’m very sorry to be so late but I’m too busy with my students. The approach based on blogging we are using in the Open Education course and that I’m trying to apply in my courses is great but with so many students it may be difficult sometimes. By the way, it is curious to play simultaneously the student’s and the teacher’s role. I like it very much! I also like to mix posts related to both roles in this blog. Unfortunately, posts for my students are in italian, of course.

Even if it is late and I had to read classmates posts too fast, I’m posting anyway because this course is really important for me.

At the faculty of medicine in Florence, we have an experience of seven years in applying computer and internet-based technologies for a computer literacy course. The experience is relevant because it is involving about 700 students per year in more than 20 curricula. The results are good. The use of new technologies allows us to make many interesting learning experiments and the student appreciate very much the new methods: 90% declare that they would like to see these method applied in other teachings.

However, these results have nothing to do with the use of Learning Objects.

The crucial elements were

1) to let the student be more active by means of appropriate activities,

2) to propose activities, tools and environments with which students are already familiar in their life,

3) to be prompt to transform students ideas in new learning experiences,

4) to be prompt in answering their questions,

5) to improve the organization of the courses.

I would say that the didactic material, text and so on, played a secondary role with respect to the points mentioned above.

When preparing the course, I tried to find courseware to reuse but all the attempts failed and, almost always, I finished composing the material myself. Sometimes, I took relatively small pieces of information in Wikipedia or some other places.

In the beginning I even did not know what Learning Objects were. Later on, I heard of Learning Objects by people involved in the management of refreshing courses in enterprises. Soon I realized that the Learning Objects model did not fit well in my teaching practice. I felt quite uncomfortable with all the terminology around Learning Objects and even e-learning.

Reading Wiley’s chapter, The Learning Object Literature, relieved me a great deal! Learning Objects literature is too much technical, too much related to computer science instead of to fields where the learner is the main object of interest.

The question if open educational resources “fix” many of the problems experienced by those who work with learning objects is an interesting one. I do not know if, actually, the idea of open educational resources may solve the problems related to learning objects but I believe the two ideas are pretty in contrast.

Learning Objects involve control and hierarchy. These concepts are quite the opposite of open source, to which the open educational resources thinking is inspired, as far as I understand. In open source you can build something from existing software modules, by changing them and putting them together but you can also grab and reuse small pieces of code taken from many different modules. The open source programmer sees the open source software available in the public domain as a kind of continuum.

There is no doubt that the most similar thing in the field of educational resource is what we have in Wikipedia. Actually, as a former software programmer, I tend to see Wikipedia as the main source of possible chunks of didactic material.

However, the analogy between open educational resources and open source has to be taken with care. The context of open source is much more simple: to see if a piece of software works, you run it with test cases and you correct and test it again until all bugs are found. Of course, this process may be not so simple as we can describe it but the context of educational resources is hugely more complicated. How you can assess that a resource is better then another one? How can you assess that a resource is bug-free? Is this last question actually a meaningful one? Questions of such kind are even more difficult to answer because of the inherently localized nature of educational resources: a resource which is good in a certain context may be completely inadequate in another one.

So, what makes difficult a kind of natural selection of educational resources analogous to that we see in the field of open source, is the absence of a strong and immediate feedback on the quality of the resources. I believe that there may be only one kind of effective feedback: the feedback given by a massive use of the resources and, probably, this kind of massive use may take place only in context similar to Wikipedia.

In any case, I believe also that, significant progresses in the field of education are much more related to the behaviour of teachers and to learning practices instead of to the technicalities of learning objects.

Opened – Week 10

The reflection weeks are a great idea! Now we have time to read the other participants posts. I believe this is particularly appreciated by those that are not full time students; even more by those that, being involved in some kind of teaching, are very busy right in the same time period. Personally, I learn as much from posts as from assigned readings. I like this very much.
At the same time, I also appreciated the lost Inviting Someone to Participate assignments. I was looking forward to propose a couple of experiments involving free sharing of educational materials online, having this intention before attending the Open Education course. Of course, I understand it was necessary to give up to something because of time schedule. Perhaps, for those attending while being active in teaching a loose time schedule, based more on tasks instead of strict deadlines, could be more appropriate and it could lead to some fruitful results or, why not to some cooperation.

OpenEd – week 9

Wikinomics, written by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams points to a number of surprising business stories that nobody would have foreseen before 2000.

It is, in some way, on the optimistic side with respect to Thomas Friedman’s The world is flat. For instance, T&A argue that Friedman sees free software but not the multibillion-dollar ecosystem that surrounds open source. T&A’s book is enthralling but, admittedly, it may give a somewhat optimistically biased idea to many. I must say to propend for T&W vision instead of Friedmans one.

The key suggested by T&A to understand these phenomena consists in how mass collaboration may produce a vibrant business ecosystem where conventional business rules are broken apart. The authors talk in terms of a new economy where totally new organizational structures can co-create value with millions of autonomous producers to challenge traditional business designs.

Several examples in quite different context are given, so that the scope is quite large. The stories are definitely relevant and, probably, they represents the most innovative and huge success stories in the last 10 years.

Actually, we must say that each story , in its own field, represents the exception instead of the rule, even if absolutely an outstanding one.

T&W say that all these stories have four basic attributes in common, four attributes that are in sharp contrast with common enterprise wisdom:

  • Being open

  • Peering

  • Sharing

  • Acting globally

Adoption of these rules lends the leadership to give up some control and to be more confident in spontaneous phenomena that are driven by personal interest of very large masses, very often not an economic interest.

When talking about the strategy of Robert Stephens, leader of Geek Squad, 12000 employees expert in solving problems with electronic gadgetry, $1 billion in services per year, T&W tell:

When it comes to orchestrating employee collaboration, Stephens has a new rule: First observe and then implement. “I’m deathly afraid of waisting time and energy trying to get people to do something they don’t want to do.”

Tim Bray at Sun Microsystems tells us that

The technologies that come along and change the world are the simple, unplanned ones that emerge from the grassroots rather then the ones that out of the corner offices of the corporate strategists,” When talking about the new workplace, T&W say

The bottom line is that the workplace is becoming a self-organizing entity where centralized and tightly controlled processes are increasingly giving way to more spontaneous and decentralized forms and mass collaboration.

And, finally, IBM strategist Joel Cawley cautions

Keep in mind that there was no strategy to do what we did with open source. It was happenstance all the way through the journey. We started doing what made sense, and kept on doing that each step of the way.”

Whereas T&W indicate openness, peering, sharing and global action as the common denominator of the different stories, I like to see the matter in a somewhat broader perspective.

According to second law of thermodynamics, with time the Universe tends to be structure-less


when somewhere a sufficiently large number of interconnectable entities happen to be in touch, after a sufficient time lapse, something new may appear

  • bacteria from a soup of molecules -> life

  • humans from a living ecosystem -> humanity

  • thoughts from a multitude of neurons -> mind

  • shared thoughts from a loosely connected multitude of humans -> social aggregation, business, culture as we have known before 2000

  • shared thoughts from a tightly connected multitude of humans -> social aggregation 2.0, business 2.0, culture 2.0 ?

In all these cases, if one waits for a sufficient time, something completely new will arise. It is the wonder of complexity. Or a miracle if you like, anyway, it is a fact: it just happens.

In all these cases it is useless to force or to control the processes; it is not possible to control such complex environments. The savvy can hope to make a minimal set of actions to maintain the health of the environment, in some way as the ancient peasant took care of the soil to let good grass grow.

The new brave 2.0 managers described in Wikinomics stories behaved in that way. The question is: will this become common wisdom?

And what about education? Is it worthwhile to work hard to devise some clever business model to foster open education or should we just wait for the next 2.0 wiki-similar tool?

As a last point, it is worthwhile to mention the way the book was written. According to T&W’s description of Wiki workplace in a number of different context, the book itself was written by means of a wiki, Don Tapscott being in Toronto and Anthony Williams in London. They also used the wiki features to let others contribute.

The final chapter, N.11, The wikinomics playbook, has only fifteen words: “Join us in peer producing the definitive guide to twenty-first-century strategy on www.wikinomics,com”.

Actually, anyone may contribute. Quite a number of new chapters are available. In particular Beyond the classroom is pertinent to the topic of this course. As far as this specific chapter is concerned, while I share the points were the relevant role wiki could play in many aspects of education, I’m a bit perplexed with the final statement

… we have been interested in developing some classroom ‘work books’. These would not be full texts, but supplemental modules – physics, chemistry, math, computer science, history, literature and even religion and law. If someone would like to tackle a project like that with us, we would be very open to sharing IP/Revenues. We are especially interested in the high-school markets and home school demographics. Anyone want to form a team?

where it turns out that the author of the article is the president of a company. There is nothing wrong in this but it leads us on the business model issue, again. Frankly, I think that truly relevant open education realities will appear only thanks to some mass collaboration phenomenon.

OpenEd – week 8

I missed the deadline yesterday. Why? I’m too busy with my students blogs! Learning by doing, isn’t it?

They are 33 so far but potential bloggers in this class could be some 100 … will I cope with this workload? Just trying …

Economic aspects of OER. Interesting readings, useful for improving my lacking background. However, too much busy in these days to do something more than just reading here and there …

I prefer to comment on the discussion raised by Alesandro (Alex). I agree with the basic point and it is good to discuss it. However, I do not think one can solve it by means of some kind of WEB 2.0 engineering.

David is one and we are 60. If everyone produce one bit then David must digest 60 bits. Everyone has to digest the other 60 bits. Moreover, sometimes we produce true homework with very long posts. Multiply this by 60: it is simply non human.

Now there is also the meeting point: another thing to read. And perhaps something is also going on in some diingo space or what-else space …

Before going on looking for some other web device or methodology, one should change the terms of the problem quantitatively, for instance by …

1) Hiring a staff to decrease the students/teacher ratio, say a ratio fo 20?

2) Limiting the course to a max students/teacher ratio, say 20, again?

3) Asking for a different kind of homework. For instance, very short texts, just some sentences, some drawings. Perhaps, it should have been our spontaneous behaviour, after having seen the growing number of classmates?

4) Stretching time course: say two weeks per assignment?

5) …

I’d like to continue using the blogs. It is simply wonderful because is a bit like knowing the author; the blog’s appearance and the posts unrelated to the course tell you a lot about the writer.

Of course, it is frustrating to write your thoughts without having a feedback. It’s human. I was delighted in seeing that my first post turned out to be interesting for someone and I became progressively unsure with the following ones. It seems you are throwing your thoughts in a void space or in crowded space where people are saying: “This guy is crazy!”

If we are stuck to a classroom model, more or less, we can’t escape the very trivial problem: to reduce the students/teacher ratio.

PS: In any case, even in this over-crowded situation, this course turned out to be of very high value for me. I will continue reading everything and doing all I will able to do, even throwing posts in space but, of course, after having worked and blogged with my students …

OpenEd – week 7

Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong.

Albert Einstein

Copyright philosophy is deeply flawed at the very beginning.

Laws should protect our freedom to give and not our freedom to have.

Even more: we have the human right to place our creations into the Public Domain.

Society is dominated by economy, nowadays. Economy is necessary; however, ultimately, society should not be dominated by economic laws but by laws based on basic human rights.

Donation produces abundance, property produces scarcity (A Hacker Manifesto). Incidentally, this is exactly the core message of the Gospel, if one likes this perspective. At any rate, the concept is sound even without the need of a particular perspective.

Megs Planet says:

I think the problem is a culture that sees everything as enclosed property (something that CC and GFDL try to get away from)


Copyright philosophy is deeply flawed at the very beginning.

It is not true that copyright protects creativity.

Copyright protects economic exploitation of creativity.

Those that want to exploit their creativity economically are free to do it but also those that want to donate their creativity are free to do it!

Which of these options must be the default? The second one, in my opinion.

One creates something because of passion for something … because of love for something … because of love for nature … because of the joy of sharing …

All this comes before economic exploitation.

Einstein believed that, in order to be able to create, one need to be free, free from economic needs, free from academic achievements.

If you link your creativity to your economic needs or to your academic achievements or to your success, your creativity may be flawed.

Nobody liked Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings before his death. Nowadays, his paintings have extremely high values.

Do you believe that if Van Gogh would have wanted to put is works on the market, he would have painted the same things? Are we really believing this?

No, he was driven by some inner force, not by economic success, even not by the basic need of physical surviving.

I feel as if the economic system had put me in a corner. I think the economic system has put us in a corner.

An animal put in corner is forced to change his own behaviour.

So, many are struggling and asking themselves: “I want to give my work to the Public Domain, but how?”.

It seems that the most free legally recognized option is the CC-BY licence but why are we obliged to pretend something, when giving our work away? Glad to see that others, Houshuang, Greg and, I believe, Alessandro, and perhaps others, are also asking why the BY clause is mandatory.

Therefore, I agree with Greg very much:

So the value of the public domain is not 100% realized in creative commons or GFDL licensing in even the most liberal renditions.

These matters are even more difficult to understand in the educational domain. Educational acts, educational performances, educational materials should belong inherently to the Public Domain. Why to impose licensing practices that diminish the Public Domain value?

The growing number of licenses tells us that the reality is too complex to be put into words, even more into legally meaningful words. We always fail when we pretend to describe all possible cases of complex domains.

I have been told that the Italian system of laws is fairly sophisticated, more than the systems of other western countries. Is it therefore true that in Italy we have a smaller quota of crooks with respect to other countries? Well … lasciamo perdere …

No, I believe we should work to recover the Public Domain as the default option. I believe that we should privilege people instead of content, definitely. Thanks to your tiny brain, David, for this sharp insight (Noncommercial isn’t the problem, ShareAlike is, ShareAlike, the public domain, and privileging).

When coming to everyday work, I find the idea of putting access restrictions – passwords as well as restrictive licenses – on my educational creations, quite an embarrassing one. I am a very small computer science professor. There are thousands and thousands of such beings, out there. For instance, I wrote for my students what one can put in a byte in my own way. That’s good, a teacher is a human in touch with other humans. However, there are thousands of descriptions of the same thing, of the same small thing. Why should we protect these thousands of tiny objects? If I discover a better description of the byte content I would like to use it to improve my description!

A world plenty of people protecting their tiny pieces of work. A nightmare were knowledge, instead of being a vital fluid free to flow everywhere, is reduced to a mass of tiny hidden similar pieces, all stupidly similar!

When coming to everyday work, let’s use the less worst option, the CC-BY license, as it is suggested by Open educational resources and practices.

I’m very grateful to this course. I was really upset learning that what I believed to have put into the Public Domain was still in my pockets! Now I’m a little bit more aware of what is going on in this crazy world!

OpenEd – week 6

I’m a simple guy. Kind of a very basic hacker. In 1978, hanging around in the nuclear medicine lab – have been there for a thesis in physics – and trying to find a way to be useful to someone. Nuclear medicine doctors used software. It was easy to find missing features. Many nights went in browsing the department computers for software sources. Tried to improve and add features. Occasionally, doctors found a notice on the computer table: “Hello, new feature available … Andreas” …

In those years, R.M. Stallman was struggling with his famous printer beginning his adventure towards the new free software idea.

I had no idea of Stallman’s work, no idea of Internet, no idea of the possibility of sharing over the Internet, but I was hacking computers, hidden in a room in Florence. I was, again, a leave of grass of a grass-roots phenomenon. Times were just mature.

Then, whole life hacking something to give, if possible, a solution to someone’s else problems.

Very confused ideas about copyright issues. Trying to understand something, especially once discovered Stallman’s ideas, around 1990, but with poor results.

Now trying to read these papers and finding them awfully boring, except …

“Bound by law”. Thanks a lot to Keith Aoky, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins! This was affordable for an under-skilled guy as I am.
I will buy their book to say thank you!

Thanks to Elisa Spadavecchia for explaining that in Italy it is even worse: no fair use concept!

In these years, I’m producing educational stuff for my students but I’m also putting it in the public domain because it was just the obvious thing to do, I believed …

NO, POOR SILLY BOY! Reality is much more complex! Your vision is really naive, poor boy! As soon as your stuff is published in the Internet, it is fully copyrighted!


And now? Well, it seems you can use a kind of CC license to state what you want other people are allowed to do with your work. Oh fine!

But then, you discover it is not trivial. Which license? When digging to discover all the implications … oh boys! Too much time! I want to work for my student and, if possible, sometimes, to solve problems for them.

So, I put the less restrictive CC license on all my stuff, Attribution, I believe. It seems to me fair but I feel quite uncomfortable!

Anyway, thanks to this course I have some clearer ideas on the subject, perhaps. This is the good part of the story …

OpenEd – week 5

This week I had to work for my students. They come first.

So, I browsed a little bit just the MIT OCW and Connexions. Will do the rest, probably will find useful pieces …

With such a lack of time, it was very useful to exchange comments with friends in LTEver community.

Very interesting experience.

OpenEd – weeks 2-3-4


This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is

Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman

Finally, I know what I am … a leave of grass!

This is what I have to say after having read the three essays, Giving Knowledge for Free from OCDE, OLCOS Roadmap and the Review from Hewlett Foundation.

Interesting the progression: on open education resources the first, extended to open education practices the second, looking forward to a new learning culture – pardon, “a” learning culture – the last one.

It is good to feel to be a leave of grass … it is not the first time that it happens to me … I believe it is quite common, either … you have a problem and you do not know much about the context, actually, you do not see some useful existing frames that may help you, your scholastic knowledge is useless … however, you need to solve the problem and you are pushed in a direction, you just feel it.

You follow your feelings and you begin to put pieces together, carefully, accepting to try steps and step back if necessary … then something new is born … something new is born because you had to survive … but later you discover that what you have done has a place in the world, may be that what you have done is well known somewhere and belongs to a field, is described by appropriate names, belongs to a culture.

You took that direction because times were mature … because you breathed something that pushed you there instead of somewhere else … you discover to belong to a grass-roots movement … and this is fine because it gives you the feeling to have a place in the world.

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars

Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman


Seven years ago I was put in face of 700 students per year, unequally spread in 2 semesters, about 25 classes in 6 different places within 100 Kilometers … they were of the first year of various curricula at the Faculty of Medicine, medicine, odontoiatry, nursing, physiotherapy and so on … I was supposed to teach basic informatics, computer literacy plus something else, more or less specific to the curricula …

First panic, then reflection, then a basic thought: if something appears to be very frightening may be it becomes a blessing when you change perspective … 700 girls and boys per year to talk to may represent a wonderful opportunity …

Too many to teach them something? Well, it depends on who are the people you are supposed to teach, what you are supposed to teach, what you mean by teaching, how you could do it.

Computer literacy.It may be useful for some 10% of the students, useless or almost useless for the remaining 90%. There are also quite a number of geeks among them! How to conceive some 10 lessons for such a population? How is it possible to manage this number of students in a computer room with just 30 machines?

Impossible? No, it is possible but you have to change the perspective radically.


Put all the basic material as courseware in an open source LMS together with sets of tests for auto-evaluation as well as for evaluation … just one or two conventional lessons telling the students:

“Hello, now it’s different. You have the opportunity to learn something about informatics and related matters, I can try to help you if you need it or if you have some extra curiosity. The basic material is in this platform. You must register and you must use the forum for doubts and problems. We will discuss all together and, if necessary, organise lessons, seminars, lab work … when needed if needed … if you are good at something you can add or improve the courseware … you propose … we discuss … you place your contribution in the wiki … we discuss again … you will improve your final grade or, in some cases avoid the final test at all … you should propose extra new activities if you get ideas… we can create groups … this work will influence grades as well …”

Basic idea

You will find a broad distribution of skills when talking about informatics in a population of young people. About 10% need some kind of help. The rest need very little help or no help at all.

If they find what they need in the courseware you can concentrate on the 10% that really need help. Probably you have still plenty of time. Fine, you can work on those that have particular skills and those that are striving to make something new, something useful … if you work well you can extract and work with another 10% at the other side of the distribution.

It turns out to be very exciting to work that way.

Some numbers

The course has been proposed to about 2500 students so far.

I was very surprised to read about the existence of a kind of empirical law, the 1%-10% law, quoted both in the OECD report and in the OLCOS one. This is exactly my finding: if the students are free to take some initiatives, well, 1% will do something, 10% will follow and will cooperate with the first 1%, the remaining 90% will just look at what is going on and will study as usual.

I find out that the affordable challenge is to work on the 10%, trying to maintain it or to limit its fading towards the 1%.

Other very stable numbers have been found about the compliance of the students: would they like to use this system, mutatis mutandis, in other fields?

In a poll, that they were free to answer, 50% voted, 10% of these said no and the other 90% said yes. These data are incredibly stable and also the time course of the poll is very stable: students that say no tend to vote very soon while the votes of the others come later.

Did these first four weeks change something?

A lot.

First of all it is good to have a survey of available courseware. I liked the MIT courseware for the broad spectrum of materials, even if in pdf, and Connexions, a significant step towards reusability of materials. However there may be other good courseware … need some more time to browse all the references … sure to find something to reuse.

Very much influenced by OLCOS Roadmap and the Review from Hewlett Foundation, I will make blog-RSS and wiki the main communication channel within and between the classes in the next semester. Must hurry up because the semester starts on 1. October. Just working on it.


Before this summer I did not know almost anything about what I’m finding in these readings. I only knew about the existence of open source LMS and read, by chance, two books of Seymour Papert.

Thanks to Antonio Fini, another student of this course, I’m here now, glad to know to be part of a grass-roots movement and looking forward to finding friends and to improving what I’m doing.

OpenEd – week 1

The “right to education” is a basic human right because there is no way to enjoy other human rights without an appropriate education. The case of Brasil (Primer 1, Tomasevski, page 8), where “illiterate” people were not allowed to vote, was simply brutal. Glad to know from Catia that illiterates are no longer precluded from the right to vote. However, the existence of an education does not mean that people have the right to education. This is a very important point raised by Tomasevski.

It is crucial to point out that education is not a positive concept per se. One can educate kids to become soldiers. Education can be used to make proselitism. Recently, I found a school report (year 1943) of my father, 79, where, among other usual curricula, such history, math and so on, there were “cultura fascista” and “cultura militare”.

This makes me think also of Don Milani’s case. A priest active in Tuscany, next to Florence, in the sixties. He was in the church against the church, his basic point being (synthetically and in my floundering English 😦 , partly result of poor education 😉 ): “We tell people that we want to explain them the Gospel but if people are illiterate they cannot grasp the meaning of what we are trying to say. Therefore, to begin with we must give them an education, and a lay education, not a religious one. If we don’t care about people’s lay education first, then we are hypocritical.”

Don Milani was sourly accused and prosecuted by the church. Therefore, he was placed in a very small village, Barbiana, at the top of a mountain (Monte Giovi), inhabited by a handful of peasants. He did not give up. He created the “school of Barbiana” were he taught the peasants’ kids. The school became incredibly famous. Teachers, professors, journalists, politicians, intellectuals form all Italy went to visit his school. Don Milani put all of them among their young students and all these relevant people were not allowed to talk from a cattedra (chair) as they were used to do but they could only participate in the lessons together with the students.

In order to understand the work of Don Milani it is worthwhile to have a look to a book written by eight students of him, Letter to a Teacher, which became very famous. Incidentally and interestingly, I found this English translation in an Indian site, called Shikshantar, devoted to education and development in India. This book is a sharp accusation of a public compulsory school system conceived for rich people against poor people.

It is difficult to say if something has changed in Italian school after Don Milani’s experience. Of course, many things have changed because the context has changed. But Don Milani intended a high quality education, a practical education (in Italy education is too theoretical), an education able to give autonomy of thinking. In this sense, I’m afraid things are still worse.

These are relatively recent examples taken from a democratic western country. I believe that, “just” to set up an educational system is the small part of the job, the tough part is to make the educational system able to give knowledge and skills but also free thinking and autonomy.

Existing education is so often biased , so often conceived for passive being instead of human beings, that I’m quite afraid to make it compulsory. Let us make education available everywhere first, and let us improve the quality of education all over the world. Instead of making education mandatory I would make it available, free and accurately fitted to local social realities.

In my opinion, compulsory things do not work. In order to let something work it must respond to some real need of people.

Curious question posed by Karen:

Do animals have basic rights in nature?

At a first glance the question seemed to me just funny, but after some thought not that much and I discovered to have an answer: yes, I believe:

  1. Form an ethological point of view, animals have laws and they respect them. In a group, a young beta has the right to challenge the old alpha, when circumstances turn out to be appropriate. Competition is subject to strong rules, very seldom the looser looses his life. In any competition, the looser has the right to preserve his live.
  2. More generally, animals are part of humanity. We live on earth thanks to the diversity of nature. Yes, we exist also thanks to the existence of mosquitos! Animals have also “human rights” because they are important for us. Domestic animals are even more important for us, we grew together. Very interesting are the books of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman, a wonderful person, who now is a professor of animal science. I knew her reading her book: Animals in Translation.

It may sound strange to talk about animals rights after having seen the abyss between what should be done and what has been done in terms of human rights of children, all over the world. However, children and animals have this in common: they did not ask to come into this world and they cannot express their reasons among adult humans; or better said, adult humans are not able to understand the language of children and animals. To think about animal rights it helps us to see the problem in a sufficiently broad and correct perspective, perhaps.

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