[iDC] Can DIY education be crowdsourced?

Jon Ippolito jippolito at maine.edu
Thu Sep 8 00:39:22 UTC 2011

Anya Kamenetz wrote:
>> What's your project?

Brian Holmes wrote:
> http://messhall.org/?page_id=934

"The first part of each session will be a course delivered by Brian Holmes, with readings that may be done in advance or afterwards."

How is "delivering" a course based on assigned readings more exemplary of DIY education than teenagers tossing their *own* ideas back and forth, in an open-source environment they built themselves?

For all his jargon, John Hopkins offered a more meaningful critique than glib allusions to "capitalist game robots":
> There is no particular need to search externally for knowledge....A community without any f-2-f component who attempts this generation of relevant knowledge promulgates an increasing degree of deeply operating alienation.

Given the choice, I'd also rather meet over breakfast than over a BBS. But some valuable interactions require a nonlocal conversation.

Students in rural Maine can't afford to fly to Chicago for Marx at the Mess Hall, but they can afford to load The Pool in their browser and debate ideas with students participating from the other side of the nation. In 2009, Ryan Page was frustrated at a state referendum repealing the first governor-signed law recognizing same-sex marriage. The next day in The Pool, Page solicited collaborators for a campaign called Documenting Bigotry, meant to record the statements of politicians who opposed the law, so their testimony could be used against them once society got around to recognizing the rights of all genders. 

Page's proposal inspired some astute feedback from a student at UC Santa Cruz using The Pool, who was sympathetic but nevertheless argued against his idea. Adriaan Noordzij had suffered through a similar defeat in California the year before (Proposition 8), but having had more time to think over, counselled Page to engage his opponents rather than exacting revenge on them. 

It is hard for me to imagine any other way the average 20-year-old Mainer could afford to find and converse with a fellow 20-year-old political strategist 3000 miles away, in the other state of the union that had just repealed same-sex marriage.

Nicholas Mirzoeff wrote:
> Anyone that needs to ask "what has Brian Holmes done?" should go and do some research and not engage in flaming.

With due respect to Brian, that may just be the most snobbish response I have read to date on iDC. (Brian and I can remember much more offensive ones from nettime ;)


Still Water--what networks need to thrive.

More information about the iDC mailing list