December 03, 2005

Mind bloggled

Will Richardson's mind is bloggling after listening to Stephen Downes, again. Time to get radical, eh?

On the whole, I'm all for the kind of changes and innovations that Will and so many other bright minds (Dave Warlick, and so on) are writing about. But I always have a slightly niggling unease about the sense that all this enthusiasm may be partially (in some cases perhaps wholly) driven by haste and fear (I'm thinking here of a comment in one of Dave Warlick's recent posts Bits of string, but several other bloggers have mentioned Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat, which I haven't read and am frankly biassed against as I was not impressed with his previous The Lexus and the Olive Tree ). And sometimes I wonder if the rush isn't being fuelled by technology itself - because all this stuff is happening, because we can do all these things, we must otherwise we'll be left behind.
Just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should.
And secondly, my own personal leaning is towards harmonising the technology with innate human needs, and I don't mean the need to keep up with one's neighbour, but the need to learn, to grow, to communicate, to participate in and help maintain or create a community, to create/share beauty and creations of value and usefulness. If in the end the technology and all it brings just leaves us more tired, more breathless, more stressed than before, if it does not help us to relax and enjoy and feel grateful, feel wonder and suprise at this existence, what in hell good is it?

3 comments:

Brian said...

I agree with your perspective. As I have followed these conversations you mention I keep hearing the echo of, "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail." There is a great deal of technological and educational narcisism traveling around right now. So "radical" approaches ot education are new? No, they're not, but it makes for engaging propaganda. Web 2.0 - is this a solution to a problem anyone really cares about? Connective writing? To be honest, I think the idea is really a delusion.

Your perspective is very compelling:

"my own personal leaning is towards harmonising the technology with innate human needs, and I don't mean the need to keep up with one's neighbour, but the need to learn, to grow, to communicate, to participate in and help maintain or create a community, to create/share beauty and creations of value and usefulness."

I believe you have written a very important entry here - a foundational entry - and hope to read more of your thoughts and ideas along this line of thinking.

Thank-you for sharing this:-)

Will said...

Marco and Brian,

Thanks for giving me some perspective. I've tried to address it further in this post at my site.

Thanks,

Will

Miguel said...

Thanks for sharing your perspective! Everyone can certainly agree with your statement, "Just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should," I'm afraid it's just not that simple. Connected learning, the ability to create personal learning networks, is already a reality.

More online at
http://www.mguhlin.net/blog/archives/2005/12/entry_747.htm

Thanks!

Miguel Guhlin
http://www.mguhlin.net/blog