[iDC] (no subject)

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Tue Feb 6 14:39:09 EST 2007

Hallo iDC'ers

I'm really not sure what has kept me away from this whole discussion 
on education -- as someone with a very broad international base of 
teaching new media at several scores of institutions across 15 
countries -- somehow I read the discussion as exclusive or missing 
something on the overall approach, something that I cannot presently 
articulate.  That's my reading, to be sure, combined with acute lack 
of time to respond to the many issues touched upon...  What to do? 
Anybody around London right now want to meet and talk about it?  Drop 
me an email...

>Besides, laying out a simple formula for a solution allows for many
>interpretations/applications.  One reason I get frustrated with philosophy and
>other academic writing is that their insistence on taxonomizing 
>every detail of
>the discussion is a very controlling way to deliver information.  If 
>I offer the
>raw materials or a general direction, it leaves it up to other folks how they
>want to live that out.  But if I'm prescribing and specifying, I start to get
>as Fascist as Henry Ford, who was big on timing how long it took to do each
>motion on the assembly line, and evaluated workers based on their ability to
>optimize efficiency as measured by him. (and yes, Ford was a Fascist, and
>donated money to the Nazis)

BRAVO -- one of the problems of academia is the (over)use/specificity 
of language (i.e., discipline-specific language use which effectively 
keeps the discussion limited to the initiated).  And the (generally) 
deep separation between the practice to text-generation and all that 
goes with it, and a sustainable life praxis...  This because of the 
social systems which give rise to language are generally built to 
sustain the social system itself, (which, in the current case, most 
of us realize as being seriously out of balance), and are not 
necessarily optimized for the individual humans within that system...

>It is not possible to break out of one's limitations when one is not 
>even aware
>of them.  In a metaphorical way of speaking, you can't keep your nose to the
>grindstone and expect to escape slavery.  The point I made about the 
>Jews: they

brilliant!  Nor can you escape grinding your face off...

>One environmental activist has said; "if we consider the Earth as alive we
>wouldn't be able to hurt her so much just to make a big building".

well, personification is problematic, but surely the simple principle 
that if one makes a change in the space-time continuum, that change 
is experienced by all points in that universal continuum 

>But the people speaking in this forum aren't addressing such a 
>major, structural
>change as taking the position that the Earth is alive.  It sounds 
>simple but if
>you think about it, accepting it as true would imply a lot of complicated
>changes for our lives!

Absolutely agree with this -- simple shifts in point-of-view have the 
power to RADICALLY shift one's daily praxis.   Assumptions implicit 
in contemporary physics, related to energy/quantum systems if adopted 
would also have radical consequences in terms of how one might 

I think perhaps that Major Structural principles-of-action need to be 
considered before the details can be hashed-out or even understood! 
I am thinking this is the part of the discussion that is missing -- 
the assumptions around what education IS, what does success mean, 
what is the price of social integration vs individual obligation...

>Which motivations?  Which actions?  We're just writing here.  I 
>don't think it's
>mistaken to say that on this list (unified group) it seems difficult to get
>people to talk about global scale concerns.  It's understandable that a group
>like this would have trouble questioning industrialized society, for example
>(for the reasons I mentioned above).  But that's exactly why it would be so

I see the primary weakness to the discussion (to over-simplify it to 
a degree) is that it appears removed from being rooted in a praxis 
other than the praxis of writing to fill pages with reflections on an 
other's writings -- where those others are often monumental writers 
with little or no connection to the daily lived lives of those who 
are doing the reflecting.

Critical Thinking?  That suggests we need to look at OUR daily lived 
praxis, share those parameters and be open to change based on an 
Other's expressed experience.

>If the global industrial infrastructure were dismantled, what would take its

unfortunately largely a theoretical question barring the case of 
major globe-spanning catastrophe which may or may not ensue in our 
lifetime...  hard to imagine a radically different form of social 
relation without a RADICAL re-adjustment of human essences!

>how would we ecologically, sustainably remain in communication with 
>one another
>around the world?

do we need to?  Isn't this a case where the local becomes the source 
for living, rather than the remote?  Problem is, when the elites 
still have a monopoly on the remote communications...  that has 
always been a precondition for conducting warfare.

>How would we visit one another?  I'm talking about, how would a 
>Swiss travel to
>Texas, for example.

by sail boat and on foot.

>Ecosystems change through a process of succession; that is, certain 
>elements are
>replaced with others as the ecosystem changes through time.  I believe human
>beings are like that as well.  So I guess what I'm suggesting is that we make
>conscious decisions about what ought to be replaced, and what do we want to
>replace it with.  Let me also say that it would be unethical to do 
>this without
>including impoverished third world people as equal partners in the discussion.

Right on...


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