Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Open Discussions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-05-2012, 05:21 PM   #76
Tenyu
Dojo: Aikibodo
Location: Arcata CA
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 150
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

:::: Bold mine ::::

Modern schooling is a failure—or is it? That depends on the real purpose of schooling, an enormous topic that I cannot possible do justice to in these pages. Fortunately I don't have to, thanks to John Taylor Gatto's magnificent opus The Underground History of American Education, a work of prodigious scholarship, unflinching honesty, seasoned insight, and towering indignation. I will share some of his insights (and his indignation), since they illustrate so well the mentality of control, the logic of the Newtonian World-machine, the liquidation of spiritual capital, and ultimately our culture's fundamental attitudes towards nature and human nature.

Just beneath the superficial justifications for mass forced schooling lies the first level of its true motivation: to create a population suitable for the demands of the industrial economy. (That we are supposedly in a post-industrial economy today is part of the reason why school is admitted even by the elites to be "not working anymore".) School as we know it, like other applications of the technologies and mentalities of mass production, got its start in the early 19th century in the great coal powers of the period: Prussia, England, France, and then the United States.

Early industry faced a problem. Mine and factory work was dull, repetitive, arduous, and dangerous while offering wages barely high enough to sustain life. Office work—the work of clerks, scriveners, and accountants before computers—was equally dull and dehumanizing, if not so dangerous. Factory discipline was alien to the independent, self-directed farmers and artisans that made up pre-industrial society, and the question of how to instill labor discipline was discussed at length by the intellectuals of the day. One solution was outright force: the driving of peasants off the land through enclosure, the use of militias to enforce strike prohibitions, and mostly the motive of extreme economy exigency. However, the inhumanity of this solution offended the conscience and besides, it was potentially very explosive as a series of insurrections, revolutions, and bloody labor strikes throughout Europe and North America attested. Wouldn't it be better to somehow condition people from childhood to accept, and even to desire, work that was partial, trivial, mechanical, dull, repetitive, and unchallenging to thought or creativity?

Is this description already reminding you of school? Where learning arises not from curiosity but from authority's agenda; where achievement is adjudged by external standards; where human beings, like so many objects, are numbered, "class"ified, and "graded"; where knowledge is reduced to answers, right and wrong; where children are confined to a classroom or desk except when authority allows them "recess" or a pass; where problems are solved by following teacher's instructions; where free speech and free assembly are suspended—where, indeed, there are no freedoms at all but only privileges; where bells condition us to follow a regular external schedule; where fraternization is surreptitious (as my teacher once said, "You are not here to socialize!"); where none outside the hierarchical structure of authority have the power to make or change rules; where we must accept the tasks given us; where work is arbitrary and meaningless except for what external reward it brings; where resistance is proved futile in the face of a near-omniscient, omnipotent central authority. . . what better preparation for adult confinement to offices and factories could there be? What better preparation for accepting unquestioningly the lives given us? Where else can students "learn to think of themselves as employees competing for the favors of management"?[27]

Not only does school prepare us to submit to the trivialized, demeaning, dull, and unfulfilling jobs that dominate our economy to the present time, not only does it prepare us to be modern producers, it equally prepares us to be modern consumers. Consider Gatto's description:

Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, familyless, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" is worth arguing about.

The consumer model is written into the very foundations of the modern classroom. Gatto writes: "Schools build national wealth by tearing down personal sovereignty, morality, and family life." These things are precisely the social and spiritual capital whose conversion into money was discussed in Chapter Four. It is not just that the broken and stupefied child is unable to stand up for himself in the workplace or to resist his role as a standardized cog in the vast automaton of industrial society; it is that relationships themselves, and all the previously non-monetized functions and exchanges associated with them, have been objectified, depersonalized, and commoditized. When the autonomous relationships (social and spiritual) that define our humanity are stripped away, we naturally becomes consumers of them. When self-directed learning through reading is replaced by programmed teacher instruction—the dishing out of a curriculum—we become consumers and not producers of knowledge, which is reduced to measurable "information". Thus we instill in our children not only obedience—tell me what to do—but also intellectual dependency, the reliance on authority for truth. What is the difference between getting truth from books and getting truth from teacher? Reading books as part of a personal search for knowledge does not make one a mere consumer, because the search is self-directed and the information subject to independent, uncoerced selection and judgment. In school quite the opposite holds: the truth—the right answers—has already been pre-selected and pre-judged by the authorities, and the students are to accept it—are coerced into accepting it (at least to the extent that exams, grades, detentions, "permanent records" and so on are effective instruments of reward and punishment).

In other words, school is an instrument of alienation. It alienates children from their families, not only by removing them physically but by replacing and professionalizing a traditionally important sphere of interaction: education. It alienates children from communities, segregating them by age, inducing competition among them, isolating them from adult life, and feeding them a curriculum determined by distant experts. (The community-breaking function of school is especially strong after 100 years of school consolidation and state-sponsored standardization of curricula). It alienates children from nature and the outdoors, of course, simply by keeping them inside all day—surely an unprecedented condition of childhood until the last century. It alienates children from real experience by substituting for it games, simulations, and lessons, in which everything they do is, after all, only in a classroom, without real consequences, and terminating as soon as the bell rings for the next class. But most importantly, school alienates children from themselves: their own natural curiosity, inner motivation, self-reliance, and self-confidence. As Ivan Illich puts it, "Rich and poor alike depend on schools and hospitals which guide their lives, form their world view, and define for them what it legitimate and what is not. Both view doctoring oneself as irresponsible, learning on one's own as unreliable, and community organization, when not paid for by those in authority, as a form of aggression or subversion. For both groups the reliance on institutional treatment renders independent accomplishment suspect."[28]

William Torrey Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote in the last year of his tenure:

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places. . . . It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.
[29]

Gatto comments, "Nearly a hundred years ago, this schoolman thought self-alienation was the secret to industrial society. Surely he was right." This alienation is nothing else than the separation that is the theme of this book, implicit in all technology and culminating in the pinnacle of modern science, technology, and the Machine.

These features of schooling were designed into it from the very beginning, as stated very explicitly by such guiding organizations as Rockefeller's General Education Board:

In our dreams. . . people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. . . . We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple. . . we will organize children . . . and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.[30]

"A mass-production economy can neither be created nor sustained without a leveled population, one conditioned to mass habits, mass tastes, mass enthusiasms, predictable mass behavior."[31] The modern institution of school helps create the very "human nature" that is assumed in liberal economic theory, whose behavior is predictable according to deterministic laws just as are the masses of classical physics.

On a deeper level, the goal of modern education is the perfection of Lewis Mumford's megamachine—the great automaton composed of human parts—that itself provided the original model for the factory, and in which each person is reduced like a machine component to a standardized function. Just as physical machines produced unprecedented wealth and power over the environment, so it was also supposed that the sacrifices made of individual wholeness and self-determination would find compensation in the glorious onward march of science, the eventual conquest of nature, the fulfillment, in other words, of the Technological Program that would take us beyond labor, beyond suffering, beyond death, beyond planet earth across the Final Frontier of space.

The subordination of the individual to the needs of system is a key component of the ideology of "scientific management", associated with Frederick Taylor but tracing its roots back at least to Francis Bacon. Bacon believed that with the Scientific Method humanity had arrived at just that, a "method" that could be mechanically applied to achieve unlimited progress in science. No longer would individual genius be required, just the competent and correct application of method. John Raulston Saul eloquently describes the evolution of the ideology of reason, method, and system in his magnificent Voltaire's Bastards. As Taylor put it, "In the past, man has been first. In the future the system must be first." Gatto comments, "It was not sufficient to have physical movements standardized, the standardized worker 'must be happy in his work,' too, therefore his thought processes also must be standardized."[32] If you aren't happy in your work, that must imply a fault in your production process (socialization, education, training); fortunately, that can be adjusted with pharmaceutical technology. Indeed, the term "well-adjusted" implies the molding of the human being, a standardizing to the needs of system. Again the 1933 World's Fair slogan comes to mind: "Science Finds. Industry Applies. Man Conforms." School is simply part of the process of conforming man to machine, the engineering of human nature.

While correctly and compellingly identifying the true historical objectives of schooling as comprising a monstrous violation of the human spirit, Gatto sometimes leaves the impression that it was contingent on a few historical accidents and could easily have been otherwise. If only Humbolt had won the debate with Baron Vom Stein in early 19th-century Prussia, if only the Massachusetts legislature had swung by a mere 36 votes to reject Horace Mann, then the crime of mass compulsory schooling might never have happened. In fact, it was bound to happen, bound by vast historical processes that carried Vom Stein, Mann, Dewey, the Carnegie Foundation and Rockefeller Board, William Rainey Harper and the rest to victory. Even the behind-the-scenes manipulators—Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, and Morgan—who sought the creation of a docile proletariat and orderly society were themselves merely enacting roles dictated by the very processes that brought them to power.

Yes, school is an agent in the dissolution of family and community, in the conversion of citizens into subjects and creators into consumers, in the breaking of children to the demands of institutional life; school is an agent in all this, but these processes extend far beyond the institution of schooling to embed it and guide it. It was inevitable that one way or another, we would apply the same essential technologies to children as we did onto nature and everything else—and for the same basic reasons. How to "subordinate the individual to the needs of the system"? The individual must simply be made labeled, quantified, measured, graded, and standardized. That is the only way the methods of management can be applied. School is thus an outgrowth of the Mumfordian megamachine, which itself is the logical endpoint of the progressive objectification, management, and control of nature.

In taking children away from the matrix of family, nature, and social apprenticeship, mass schooling is essentially an enormous experiment in social engineering, the fruition of thousands of years of utopianism going back to Plato in which institutional training of the young was always a crucial component. Up through the Owenite and socialist experiments of the 19th and 20th centuries, children were removed, at least in part, from their families. Sorry, but the family is obsolete: henceforward we are going to raise children scientifically. Surely trained experts can do better than ignorant parents, surely science and reason can improve upon primitive, biological, emotion-driven families. The scientific laws of psychology and child behavior will replace the old irrational customs, and unclouded by parental subjectivity we will raise children for modern society. You, the modern parent, can do your best to learn about scientific parenting, but in most areas you'll have to yield to the experts.

The terminus of this trend is nothing other than Huxley's Brave New World, in which the factory method is applied to child-rearing from birth and before. All people are graded, from Alpha-plus to Delta-minus—sound familiar?—and each given the stimuli and resources appropriate to their grade.

Like all technology, the social engineering agenda of schooling involves a separation from nature, in this case the removal of children from their original biological and social habitat of family and community. The separation from the family, totalized in Brave New World, is a necessary, inevitable product of the attempt to engineer society according to the same methods and logic as we engineer the material world. In both there is a replacement of the personal, subjective, and traditional with the abstract, formal, and general. We have not yet reached Huxley's extreme, but a trend in that direction is visible wherever the Technological Program is pursued. When I was a child we listened with horror to stories of the Soviet Union, where the state was replacing the parent, replacing the very family, with mandatory "scientific" child care, youth indoctrination, and so forth. But today the same thing is happening everywhere, if not directly at the hands of the state, then with its literal license, or else at the hands of other institutions operating by the usual principles of scientific management. Whether by chance or design, today's system of infant and child care, school, organized sports, counseling, and television conspires to replace the parent and community. The same functions of socialization, education, and identity-building are being provided, but now by institutions and their functionaries who may not really care about your child at all, except that they are paid to. Moreover, there is a fundamental conflict between the social engineer's goal of adjusting the child to fit the needs of the system, and the spiritual goal of personal fulfillment. The socialization is socialization to the machine. The identity built is the identity of a consumer.

The agenda of social engineering explains the emphasis that psychology—the "science" of the mind—has always received in pedagogy (the "science" of teaching) ever since Horace Mann advocated phrenology as the key to a successful classroom. As in other realms of humanity's "ascent", we follow Galileo's prescription of applying measurement to learning in hopes of turning it into a science. We can then deploy the whole gamut of technologies based on standardization, efficiency, management, and control. The object of education—the child—becomes the object of technology. School is an aspect of a vast enterprise: the engineering of the human being, the human mind, the human psyche, the human soul. An audacious ambition indeed: not the accidental result of an historical blunder, nor the plot of an evil conspiracy, but implicit in the original audacity of technology. On the deepest level, the purpose and motivation of education is to apply the Technological Program to the ultimate frontier: society and the human being. As technology in general seeks to improve on nature, educational technology seeks to improve on human nature.

::: relevant excerpt :::: chapter beginning recommended as well
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 12:00 AM   #77
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

[insert dramatic sigh here] I just spent an hour trying to make a nice lucid description only to lose the whole thing.
I will just say that subjects are boring partly because of the expectations of those around us, although I agree there are other factors as well. There is a famous study which seems to have demonstrated that when a teacher expects a student to do well, the student actually performs better than when the teacher expects the student to do poorly. This is why I hate it when people talk about how boring something is as if it were innately so and not a function of personal state of mind and/or other factors. In my opinion, "boring" is too often a cop-out to stop engaging a situation.
I'd like to add to Tenyu, it would be very easy to overcome the schism school systems supposedly cause within familes. My parents had no problem getting me to think for myself while maintaining a strong connection to how I formed my values and habits. If more parents took a more active role, much of the article would be rendered moot, even supposing it's not a touch of hyperbole to begin with.
Psychology has the role it does because of its use of data tracking. I will happily admit the data is not the be-all end-all...largely because my education professors reinforced that idea. Coincidentally, phrenology has been debunked by the science of the mind. That makes me trust in the process a bit.
My two bits, at any rate,
Take care folks,
Matthew

Last edited by mathewjgano : 05-06-2012 at 12:15 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #78
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Hi Matthew.
Boring is a state of mind, an emotion. So even that state I would like to question first before believing it. The reason I say this is because let's call it different levels of boredom shall we. Of itself being a bit boring isn't a barrier to study however when it is a matter of apathetic type attitude then that is the barrier a nd is usually dismissed as 'boring' and assigned to the subject.

Now back to the real cause (my view) for you to contemplate if you will.

Right at the beginning of study what is there? What starts this thing called study? As I have said in past posts on education babies study and learn, it's a natural, enjoyable, enthusiastic process. Thus until this process is taken responsibility for then mad solutions will only ensue.

So now I will give you some simplicities, so simple and obvious that their import is not taken into account yet they are the foundation of the process of study or most other things in life too. FOUR factors.

1)Desire 2)Intention 3)Purpose 4)Decision

These you could look at as four pillars necessary for success or even interest but nonetheless the foundation, the first step of the process of study.

Let's take even a baby shall we? The baby desires to walk. His intention actually is to understand how to walk. His purpose is to attain, to do, to walk. The decision sets the process into action.

1)So we have the overall desire to do the process.
2)The intention to understand through close observation, study, and practice.
3)The purpose to do, to have the process end with ability.
4)The decision which starts all things.

So once this is understood we can look and see. We can see trying to force or make a person study cake making who has no desire to so do or purpose for is already a losing task, a task of failure before it starts as it breaks the fundamental principles.

Kids are not stupid so of course those teacher who operate from tnhis view would have better results than the others as you say above but the fact that that statement comes from research and seems so astounding to those educational researchers just shows me how far from reality they are in the first place.

The 'production line' model doesn't work, just like the communism model or dictator model because people, human spirit, kids, are not things. They are individual beings, lives, life with independent thought and creativity and desire. They are not cars or machines or mere pieces of clay to be shaped by some authority.

You cannot suppress or oppress the human spirit forever, eventually it will rise up and burst out, usually in anger. Like when the Berlin walls finally came down, like that which is happening in the middle east at the moment, like the riots which happened here recently by the youth. All versions of what I say above, rebelling against the oppressive ill conceived model they are forced to follow.

1)Kids desire to learn. They desire to learn how to do.
2)Kids intend to learn how to do something that they can see themselves doing in life.
3)Kids have purpose which needs recognising and validating and helping.
4)Kids decide, they are not robots.

These factors are what need to be understood first in my mind for they are fundamental to all else that follows including coming up with models that accommodate them.

Now finally before any usual naysayers try to equate this as fantasy (due to their own misunderstandings in my view) then may I say that as with Aikido, study is a discipline.

Kids have fun but boy when the desire and intention and purpose is in alignment they have willing discipline so don't need it enforced on them but merely need good help.

There again how many know what discipline is? I doubt many have really looked at that either.

O.K. Enough from me. That's basically it on that point.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 10:07 AM   #79
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Hi Graham,
learning is definately something we do from before birth; we do it without trying. I agree that as soon as you try to force something, even something fun, it can and often does invite resistance. Even 50 years ago, there were a lot of people who didn't have access to quality education; 100 years ago even more so. In many people this created the desire to learn, even if only for its own sake. One of the central themes in the teacher education courses I took is based on this idea of finding out why a student wants to learn and bringing that into the lesson. The trend is to tailor lessons to the wants of students. One of the ways we're told to do this is to give them choices. I use this with my 3 year old all the time with great success:
"Would you like to go to bed?"
"no fank-you."

"Would you like to go to bed yourself, or would you like papa to carry you in there?"
"Maybe Benjamin will do it myself."

The simple act of involving the person in even just a part of the choosing process addresses that intrinsic autonomy all beings like to express in some way. Of course, as he gets older and learns more, he begins to come up with his own "options," but it's a good rule of thumb and one current models are based around. Educators largely recognize the need for involving the student, both within the confines of options provided and in developing their own options. The older they get, the more options they tend to get.
You finish by mentioning discipline, and I would say this it the dichotomy we're discussing: freedom and discipline. On some level mentors must impose certain conditions to challenge the student in different directions; they don't get to make every choice so where do we draw the line? We can make general guidelines based on natural developmental trends typical to whatever age range and then further refine those guidelines based on individual proclivity. This is the current approach I am familiar with.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #80
Tenyu
Dojo: Aikibodo
Location: Arcata CA
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 150
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

::::

The futility of the personal and collective Technological Program of complete control finds incontrovertible demonstration in the phenomenon of boredom, which shows us the human condition when the Technological Program succeeds. What is the ground state, the default state of the human being when everything is under control, when no personal calamity imminently threatens? What happens if we just sit here, with nothing to do and nothing that needs to be done?

Boredom is so endemic to our culture, particularly among youth, that we imagine it to be a near-universal default state of human existence. In the absence of outside stimuli we are bored. Yet, as Ziauddin Sardar observes, boredom is virtually unique to Western culture (and by extension to the global culture it increasingly dominates). "Bedouins," he writes, "can sit for hours in the desert, feeling the ripples of time, without being bored."[19]

Whence comes this feeling we call boredom, the discomfort of having nothing to occupy our minds? Boredom—nothing to do—is intolerable because it puts us face to face with the wound of separation. Boredom, that yearning for stimulation and distraction, for something to pass the time, is simply how we experience any pause in the program of control that seeks to deny pain. I am not suggesting that we ignore the causes of pain. Pain is a messenger that tells us, "Don't do that," and we are wise to heed it. But we step far beyond that when we suppose, even when the wound has been inflicted and the consequent pain written into reality, that we can still somehow avoid feeling it. A saying of Chinese Buddhism goes, "A Boddhisatva avoids the causes; the ordinary person tries to avoid the results."

Apparently, boredom was not even a concept before the word was invented around 1760, along with the word "interesting".[20] The tide of boredom that has risen ever since coincides with the progress of the Industrial Revolution, hinting at a reason why it has, until recently, been an exclusively Western phenomenon. The reality that the factory system created was a mass-produced reality, a generic reality of standardized products, standardized roles, standardized tasks, and standardized lives. The more we came to live in that artificial reality, the more separate we became from the inherently fascinating realm of nature and community. Today, in a familiar pattern, we apply further technology to relieve the boredom that results from our immersion in a world of technology. We call it entertainment. Have you ever thought about that word? To entertain a guest means to bring him into your house; to entertain a thought means to bring it into your mind. To be entertained means to be brought into the television, the game, the movie. It means to be removed from your self and the real world. When a television show does this successfully, we applaud it as entertaining. Our craving for entertainment points to the impoverishment of our reality.

All the causes of boredom are permutations of the interior wound of separation. Aside from the impoverishment of our reality, we are uncomfortable doing nothing because of the relentless anxiety that dominates modern life. This in turn arises from the paradigm of competition that underlies our socioeconomic structures, which (as I will explain in Chapter Four) is written into our conception of self. Second, we desire constant stimulation and entertainment because in their absence, we are left alone with ourselves with nothing to distract us from the pain of the wound of separation. Finally, technology contributes directly to boredom by bombarding us with a constant barrage of intense stimuli, habituating our brains to a high level of stimulation. When it is removed, we suffer withdrawal. We are addicted to the artificial human realm we have created with technology. Now we are condemned to maintain it.

::::

It has been said in a Judaic-Christian-Islamic context that separation from God, the Fall, is the source of all suffering. Buddhism names attachment as the cause of suffering, but careful examination reveals its teaching to be nearly identical to that of esoteric Western religion. Attachment, to the impermanent, delusory ego self and all those things that reinforce it, maintains a separation from the rest of the universe from which we are not actually separate. Attachment is separation. As for separation from God, what is God but that which transcends our separate selves and interpenetrates all being? On the origin of suffering, Eastern and (esoteric) Western religion are in fundamental agreement.[21]

In everyday human life, happiness and security come from strong connections—to family, community, nature, place, spirit, and self—and not from "independence" whether psychological or financial. Because the story of technology is one long saga of widening separation from nature, widening separation from community (because of specialization and the mass scale of society), widening separation from place (because of our highly mobile and indoor-centered lifestyles), and widening separation from spirit (because of the dominant scientific paradigms of the Newtonian World Machine), it is no wonder that the pain of the human condition has only grown throughout the modern era. Even as outright physical hardship has declined, psychological suffering in the form of loneliness, despair, depression, anxiety, angst, and anger has grown to epidemic proportions. Even when our technology succeeds in holding off the external consequences of separation, we still internalize it as a wound, a separation from our own souls.

:::: relevant excerpt :::: chapter beginning recommended as well
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #81
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
In everyday human life, happiness and security come from strong connections—to family, community, nature, place, spirit, and self—and not from "independence" whether psychological or financial...it is no wonder that the pain of the human condition has only grown throughout the modern era. Even as outright physical hardship has declined, psychological suffering in the form of loneliness, despair, depression, anxiety, angst, and anger has grown to epidemic proportions.
It is impossible to accurately compare the rates of anger today with, say, 500 years ago. Same with depression. Just because there are more diagnoses doesn't mean there are more cases of people exhibiting depressed behavior. I would agree however, that a "soft," sedentary lifestyle creates an opening for it (it's hard to be depressed when you're driven by constant hunger, for example).
Is the case being made that boredom or depression is some manufactured concept that didn't exist prior to it being written down? You can observe depressed behavior in other primates...or does that come about because of the use of tools/technology in their lives?


Quote:
Finally, technology contributes directly to boredom by bombarding us with a constant barrage of intense stimuli, habituating our brains to a high level of stimulation. When it is removed, we suffer withdrawal. We are addicted to the artificial human realm we have created with technology. Now we are condemned to maintain it.
This seems close to the truth. However, it doesn't explain why people like me are still able to unplug and enjoy simply sitting quietly watching the clouds go by. I suffer no withdrawls, so it suggests there are other more powerful factors involved. I grew up watching tv, playing video games, and using a pc. I balanced those out with other activities. Technoloigy is less to blame than our choices in how to balance our lives is.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 05-06-2012 at 02:40 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #82
Tenyu
Dojo: Aikibodo
Location: Arcata CA
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 150
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
It is impossible to accurately compare the rates of anger today with, say, 500 years ago. Same with depression. Just because there are more diagnoses doesn't mean there are more cases of people exhibiting depressed behavior. I would agree however, that a "soft," sedentary lifestyle creates an opening for it (it's hard to be depressed when you're driven by constant hunger, for example).
False Historical Dichotomy

::::

So complete is our identification of boredom as the default state of human existence that when asked to define it, most people say, "Boredom is when there is nothing to do." That this is an unpleasant state is by no means a logical necessity. Not only pre-modern people, but the entire animal kingdom seems to be perfectly fine with inactivity. This observation calls into question one of the fundamental tenets of the conventional explanation of the history of technology, which Stephen Buhner names the "anxiety theory" in the context of the invention of brewing.i More broadly, the concept is that human technological progress in general is driven by the struggle to survive, and that this struggle, this precariousness of existence, expresses itself in the human organism's physiology and psychology as anxiety, which is eased by creating better means to survive. Anxiety, then, is the way that threats to survival are translated into action to mitigate those threats. We can restate the anxiety theory as follows: (1) life is dangerous and survival difficult; (2) this makes us feel anxious; (3) the unpleasantness of this feeling drives us to control the dangerous/difficult circumstances, for example through technology; (4) we now feel less anxious.

On an individual level, the anxiety theory purports to explain boredom as follows: we really cannot afford to sit there and do nothing. If life is a competition for survival, then our genes should drive us to make the best possible use of each moment to augment our chances of survival and reproduction. Sitting around doing nothing goes against our genetic programming, which generates feelings of discomfort that impel us to do something productive. Certainly this is what many people feel during empty moments or deliberate experiments at meditation: a churning unease that says, "I should be doing something." This cultural compulsion is so strong that even spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer are easily converted into just another thing to do, moments mortgaged to the campaign of improving life.

Is the anxiety theory true? Ask some random people on the street and you will find that most would not want to go back to a primitive life before technology. We assume a dark picture of the primitive life as an uncomfortable, never-ending struggle for existence. This assumption is at the root of our cultural belief that technology has rescued us from the caprices of nature and enabled us to develop our higher potential. Here we have, in a nutshell, "the ascent of humanity."

The main problem with this view is that life in the Stone Age was not necessarily "nasty, brutish, and short" at all. Ethnographic studies of isolated Stone Age hunter-gatherers and pre-modern agriculturalists suggest that "primitive" peoples, far from being driven by anxiety, lived lives of relative leisure and affluence. An oft-cited example is the !Kung of the Kalihari Desert in southern Africa, who were studied by the anthropologist Richard Lee.ii He followed them around for four weeks, kept a log of all their activities, and calculated an average workweek of approximately twenty hours spent in subsistence activities. This figure was confirmed by subsequent studies by Lee and other researchers in the same region. In one of the harshest climates in the world, the !Kung enjoyed a leisurely life with high nutritional intake. This compares to the modern standard of forty hours of work per week. If we add in commuting time, shopping, housework, cooking and so forth, the typical American spends about eighty hours per week aside from leisure time, eating, and sleep. The comparable figure for the !Kung is forty hours including such necessary activities as making tools and clothes.

Other studies worldwide, as well as common sense, suggest that the !Kung were not exceptional. In more lush areas life was probably even easier. Moreover, much of the "work" spent on these twenty hours of subsistence activities was by no means strenuous or burdensome. Most of the men's subsistence hours were spent hunting, something we do for recreation today, while gathering work was occasion for banter and frequent breaks.

Primitive small-scale agriculturalists enjoyed a similar unhurried pace of life. Consider Helena Norberg-Hodge's description of pre-modern Ladakh, a region in the Indian portion of the Tibetan Plateau.iii Despite a growing season only four months long, Ladakh enjoyed regular food surpluses, long and frequent festivals and celebrations, and ample leisure time (especially in winter when there was little field work to do). This, despite the harsh climate and the (proportionately) enormous population of non-working Buddhist monks in that country's numerous monasteries! More powerfully than any statistic, Norberg-Hodge's video documentary Ancient Futures conveys a sense of the leisurely pace of life there: villagers chat or sing as they work, taking plenty of long breaks even at the busiest time of the year. As the narrator says, "work and leisure are one."

Living in today's depleted world, it is hard to imagine its original bounty:

"Early European accounts of this continent's opulence border on the unbelievable. Time and again we read of "goodly woods, full of Deere, Conies, Hares, and Fowle, even in the middest of Summer, in incredible aboundance," of islands "as completely covered with birds, which nest there, as a field is covered with grass," of rivers so full of salmon that "at night one is unable to sleep, so greate is the noise they make" . . . They describe rivers so thick with fish that they "could be taken not only with a net but in baskets let down [and weighted with] a stone."iv

These and other wonders—flocks of passenger pigeons and Eskimo curlews (both now extinct) that darkened the sky for days—comprised the provenance of this continent's native inhabitants. How much of a struggle could life have been? Note as well that this cornucopia existed despite humans having inhabited the continent for at least 12,000 years. It was not as if the Native Americans hadn't sufficient time to deplete nature's resources. We cannot conclude that their attitude of easy abundance was a temporary consequence of rich natural capital; their relationship with nature also preserved and sustained that abundance.

More significant than the actual time spent on subsistence was the hunter-gatherer's attitude toward subsistence, which was generally relaxed and nonchalant. As Marshall Sahlins describes:

"[The hunter] adopts a studied unconcern, which expresses itself in two complementary economic inclinations. The first, prodigality: the propensity to eat right through all the food in the camp, even during objectively difficult times, "as if", Lillian said of the Montagnais, "the game they were to hunt was shut up in a stable". Basedow wrote of native Australians, their motto "might be interpreted in words to the effect that while there is plenty for today never care about tomorrow. On this account an Aboriginal inclined to make one feast of his supplies, in preference to a modest meal now and another by and by."

". . . . A second and complementary inclination is merely prodigality's negative side: the failure to put by food surpluses, to develop food storage. For many hunters and gatherers, it appears, food storage cannot be proved technically impossible, nor is it certain that the people are unaware of the possibility. One must investigate instead what in the situation precludes the attempt. Gusinde asked this question, and for the Yahgan found the answer in the self same justifiable optimism. Storage would be "superfluous", "because through the entire year and with almost limitless generosity the she puts all kinds of animals at the disposal of the man who hunts and the woman who gathers. Storm or accident will deprive a family of these things for no more than a few days. Generally no one need reckon with the danger of hunger, and everyone almost anywhere finds an abundance of what he needs. Why then should anyone worry about food for the future... Basically our Fuegians know that they need not fear for the future, hence they do not pile up supplies. Year in and year out they can look forward to the next day, free of care...."v

Significantly, aboriginal peoples typically refer to food as a "gift" from the land, the forest, or the sea. To us moderns it is a charming metaphor; to pre-agricultural people the providence of the earth was a living reality. The land provides all things—plants grow, animals are born—without the necessity of human effort or planning. Gifts are not something that must be earned. To see life in terms of receiving gifts bespeaks an attitude of abundance and naturally fosters a mentality of gratitude. Only with agriculture did the freely received gifts of the land become objects of exchange, first an exchange of work for harvest, and eventually the objects of commerce. In contrast, the mentality of the gift corresponds to the forager's nonchalance, which makes sense when the necessities of life are provided and not extracted.

Maybe we can still rescue the anxiety theory—what about disease? When I ask students to identify the most valuable achievements of modern technology, they invariably point to medicine, which they claim has given us levels of health, security, and longevity unprecedented in history. Such a view, however, fails to recognize the power and sophistication of traditional herbal medicine for curing the wounds and diseases common in those times. It also must contend with the observations of Weston Price, an American dentist who lived in the early twentieth century.vi Price was curious about the decline of dental health he had seen over the decades of his practice, and hypothesized that the rapid increase in the prevalence of tooth decay, crowded dentition, and a host of other, formerly rare, non-dental maladies had something to do with our diets. He quit his practice and spent many years traveling to remote corners of the world where people still lived without modern foods. The societies he visited weren't all Stone Age, but they were primitive by our standards. He went to remote Swiss villages accessible only by mule, and to the outer islands of Scotland; he lived with the Masai in Africa, the Inuit in Alaska, the aborigines in Australia, Polynesians in the Pacific. In all these places he found almost no tooth decay, no obesity, no heart disease, and no cancer. Instead he observed magnificent physical stamina, easy childbirth, and broad jaws with all 32 teeth. The diets were different everywhere but there were some things in common. People ate very few refined carbohydrates, plenty of live fermented food, and substantial quantities of fats and organ meats. Their vitamin intake was many times greater than the norm today. Price's work lends support to the contention that at least in some respects, primitive people enjoyed better health than is the norm today, even without the modern medicine that we think keeps us healthy.

:::: relevant excerpt :::: chapter ending recommended as well

Quote:
You can observe depressed behavior in other primates...or does that come about because of the use of tools/technology in their lives?
Caging a monkey in a lab or studying it behind some glass walls may have something to do with test results.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 05:45 PM   #83
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
It is impossible to accurately compare the rates of anger today with, say, 500 years ago.
Steven Pinker actually does a pretty good job of it in Better Angels of Our Nature. Worth checking out if you care about that stuff, and like to have some grounding in fact.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #84
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Hi Tenyu.
Just read your first two posts. Basically much like the video with your added historical bits. I don't disagree with most of what you have written there.

One point though on the subject of interest and boredom. Glad you mentioned the word interest because I think it fits rather well into the discussion.

You see from my view interest is real and natural and good. It is a word describing your attention going onto or towards something. That's all. It follows desire etc. So if a person is not interested or has very little interest they would thus be bored. So from that view of interest we can understand boredom.

Anyway nice to see you are taking an interest in this subject ha, ha.

Peace. G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #85
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,
learning is definately something we do from before birth; we do it without trying. I agree that as soon as you try to force something, even something fun, it can and often does invite resistance. Even 50 years ago, there were a lot of people who didn't have access to quality education; 100 years ago even more so. In many people this created the desire to learn, even if only for its own sake. One of the central themes in the teacher education courses I took is based on this idea of finding out why a student wants to learn and bringing that into the lesson. The trend is to tailor lessons to the wants of students. One of the ways we're told to do this is to give them choices. I use this with my 3 year old all the time with great success:
"Would you like to go to bed?"
"no fank-you."

"Would you like to go to bed yourself, or would you like papa to carry you in there?"
"Maybe Benjamin will do it myself."

The simple act of involving the person in even just a part of the choosing process addresses that intrinsic autonomy all beings like to express in some way. Of course, as he gets older and learns more, he begins to come up with his own "options," but it's a good rule of thumb and one current models are based around. Educators largely recognize the need for involving the student, both within the confines of options provided and in developing their own options. The older they get, the more options they tend to get.
You finish by mentioning discipline, and I would say this it the dichotomy we're discussing: freedom and discipline. On some level mentors must impose certain conditions to challenge the student in different directions; they don't get to make every choice so where do we draw the line? We can make general guidelines based on natural developmental trends typical to whatever age range and then further refine those guidelines based on individual proclivity. This is the current approach I am familiar with.
Hi Matthew.
I see you are well up with the current trends and methods and ideas being tried out within the education system and it's all interesting stuff. I've nothing against that.

I id finish by mentioning discipline but decided not to take that any further at that point. Mentors must impose certain conditions you say. Yes, and that's about how far most take the concept of discipline to unfortunately. Most would translate discipline in terms of boundaries (imposed) and following what you have been told to do.

Do you know the word discipline comes from the same root meaning as disciple? The basic concept of the word is thus to follow a set of principles without detour.

A set of principles, not man made rules or things given as principles which are in fact just other bits of data given the title principle.

Thus knowing discipline we can see that those who are seen by others as free, creative, expressive etc are actually disciplined. They are following a set of principles.

Thus if you follow a set of pertinent principles, workable principles, you will unerringly get the desired results and thus be happy. When I see a whole field or structure unerringly not turning out desired results and happy 'results' then I know straight away the principles they are basing their practice on are faulty at best.

In the fields of mechanics this is well known and well understood and well practiced.

However, in the field of humanities and people and thus schooling it is far from understood alas.

Like your example you gave of your relating to your son though, that made me smile. Good on yer Sir.

Peace. G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 07:35 PM   #86
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,766
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
To think that the use of 'my friend' could offend or even cause confusion is beyond me.
Who said that it offended or caused confusion? I didn't. I said that it's not accurate. If you care about honesty, why do you use it, and why do you want to claim that I was offended or confused by your use of it?
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 08:59 PM   #87
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Who said that it offended or caused confusion? I didn't. I said that it's not accurate. If you care about honesty, why do you use it, and why do you want to claim that I was offended or confused by your use of it?
Mary, who said? I said.

You questioned why I used the term thus implying a degree of confusion or dissatisfaction. (maybe not quite offence)

I have answered why I use it so I need not repeat. If however you don't like it or for whatever reason don't want me to use that turn of phrase when speaking to you then fine by me.

You will notice in one of my last threads addressing Matthew I ended with sir. Take it literally and you could come up with the same type of argument for he is not my boss or official senior. But it is once again a turn of phrase and actually a term of endearment in that particular sentence and respect I might add.

As I said to you before understand me and there will be less misunderstandings between us. (and vice versa by the way) I love people therefor I can say I love you too. To me that is truth and when it doesn't feel like it to me, in me, then I know I have a personal issue to handle. So I attempt to speak from this truth as much as possible and thus I say to you it is very honest for in truth we human beings are all in the same world and are in truth brothers and sisters and friends but many have yet to realize it. That is from where I speak.

Just addressing people formally all the time especially in a more cordial exchange of views relaxes and turns to mate, or my man, or other less formal terms does it not? If I remember correctly your first post (I'm not going to look it up now) had some statement about 'we like you or love you really' or some such. Should I question this by taking it literally and asking why you said it? No of course not.

Well, you're not confused and not offended so I won't apologize for it's use but I will note not to use it in any discussion with you.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 10:16 PM   #88
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Steven Pinker actually does a pretty good job of it in Better Angels of Our Nature. Worth checking out if you care about that stuff, and like to have some grounding in fact.
Thanks Hugh! I've been meaning to read that one for a while actually, now seems like a good time. Does he compare the rates of anger though? I thought the book was more about violence...although the two do tend to go hand in hand.
At any rate, I remember seeing him on the Colbert Report talking about the book, but I don't recall much beyond the gist: violence is relatively diminshed...time to check it out!


Also, Graham, in my studies there was a strong distinction made between the discipline of the "carrot or stick" and self-imposed discipline, similar to extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. The goal is to get the student to self-monitor and organize their own behavior (including discipline).
Gotta dash. Thanks folks for the comments!!!

Last edited by mathewjgano : 05-06-2012 at 10:26 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 11:13 PM   #89
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Tenyu wrote:
Caging a monkey in a lab or studying it behind some glass walls may have something to do with test results.
It surely holds some effect, but I'm thinking of a video I saw of field research wherein one primate died and the other refused to leave the body and died of exposure. I also seem to recall a description of primates low on the hierarchy exhibiting depressed behavior, but my recent searches have yielded very little.
A lack of physical activity seems to be my biggest guess for ennui and other depressed behaviors; not technology, though certainly it will play a role, particularly since technology tends to be used for the purpose of making things require less exertion.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #90
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
False Historical Dichotomy...
The degree of activity is the pertinent part, not the specific idea of being hungry and searching for food. I am aware that "primitive" people lived and live as well healthwise as any of us in the "modern" world. We do have real medical improvements despite this fact though. Technology has rescued SOME of us. Some of us have been able to do fine with only nature. To ignore either fact seems problematic or bordering on heartless in the former.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 04:24 AM   #91
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Thanks Hugh! I've been meaning to read that one for a while actually, now seems like a good time. Does he compare the rates of anger though? I thought the book was more about violence...although the two do tend to go hand in hand.
At any rate, I remember seeing him on the Colbert Report talking about the book, but I don't recall much beyond the gist: violence is relatively diminshed...time to check it out!

Also, Graham, in my studies there was a strong distinction made between the discipline of the "carrot or stick" and self-imposed discipline, similar to extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. The goal is to get the student to self-monitor and organize their own behavior (including discipline).
Gotta dash. Thanks folks for the comments!!!
Agreed on the discipline part. I would also say that it shows what a teacher really is in essence and what a student is too.

A student is one who can apply the self discipline of study which includes abiding to the principles of study ie: knowing what to do when stuck. In other words being both a student and self supervisor at the same time. This is what Asimov meant by the only real teaching is self teaching.

Then the teacher becomes not a person who 'tells' or lectures but merely a presence for when the student needs help.

This all falls down though when the student has no interest in the subject in the first place.

I still also want to make the point that I have never met a kid who doesn't have discipline, self discipline. Therefor discipline is not really the problem at all.

By this I mean take any kid and find out what they like doing and are good at. It may be computer games, it may be playing the guitar, it may be riding a bicycle, whatever. The fact is that kid applied their self to learning how to do it. That's discipline. To achievement of ability. That's perfect study.

Funny thing is when the person desires to learn because they want to achieve that ability and has the self discipline to do so then there is no carrot or stick needed by any outside force or influence.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 07:03 AM   #92
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,766
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Mary, who said? I said.
Oh, so now you're telling me what I'm thinking? Neat trick, that.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You questioned why I used the term thus implying a degree of confusion or dissatisfaction. (maybe not quite offence)
You're wrong. There's no confusion in my mind; you use the word "friend" in a false manner.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Just addressing people formally all the time especially in a more cordial exchange of views relaxes and turns to mate, or my man, or other less formal terms does it not? If I remember correctly your first post (I'm not going to look it up now) had some statement about 'we like you or love you really' or some such. Should I question this by taking it literally and asking why you said it? No of course not.
Well, first off, that's not what I said or even close to it. It was a joke. Call it a couple of failed cultural references. Google "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" and "Why do you hate freedom?" if you care to know what it means, or just take my word for it that it means nothing like your interpretation.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 09:13 AM   #93
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Oh, so now you're telling me what I'm thinking? Neat trick, that.

You're wrong. There's no confusion in my mind; you use the word "friend" in a false manner.

Well, first off, that's not what I said or even close to it. It was a joke. Call it a couple of failed cultural references. Google "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" and "Why do you hate freedom?" if you care to know what it means, or just take my word for it that it means nothing like your interpretation.
Well I don't know where you are coming from or what you are on about. I do know this thread has a topic and if all you have is personal questions then use the p.m.

Otherwise we have no common ground from which to speak so I need not do so with you from now on.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 11:46 AM   #94
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
From the talk: "I define creativity as having original ideas that have value." Emphasis mine.

Institutions have many faults, but they're also easy targets for those who are looking for a cheap copout. If your ideas fail to pass the test of intellectual rigor, it's not the fault of some educational institution.
"having original ideas that have value" is only the first half of creativity. The other is to think that thought through completely, over and over, in greater and greater detail, communicating it where necessary and adjusting it where problems are found, until the "thought" is a "thing." In other words, "thinking" of a valuable idea is half of "creativity." The other half is actually "creating" it.

Cheers.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 02:17 PM   #95
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
"having original ideas that have value" is only the first half of creativity. The other is to think that thought through completely, over and over, in greater and greater detail, communicating it where necessary and adjusting it where problems are found, until the "thought" is a "thing." In other words, "thinking" of a valuable idea is half of "creativity." The other half is actually "creating" it.

Cheers.

David
Well put! Thank you!

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 02:39 PM   #96
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,766
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Well I don't know where you are coming from or what you are on about. I do know this thread has a topic and if all you have is personal questions then use the p.m.
Personal question? You mean the honesty thing? Perhaps I should have used the word "accuracy" instead, so feel free to use that if it feels better. At the same time, I think you'll agree that it's a lot more accurate if you don't refer to me as "my friend". Not being friends isn't a bad thing, unless you insist on using the word "friend" for anyone who's not hostile toward you...that does kind of debase the meaning of "friend", though, doesn't it? Acquaintance, associate, coworker, some person I've exchanged ideas with on some forum...nothing wrong, negative or pejorative about any of those.

Sometimes I sympathize with people who call for threads to stay on topic, but sometimes I don't -- as when the topic, as expressed by the original poster, is something like, "This thread is all about how my view is the correct view", and "staying on topic" means agree with that view or get out. In your original post, I believe you misconstrued a fairly well-done, if quite soundbitey, talk and subsequently tried to use it as ammunition for a general attack on institutions of learning. If staying on topic means nodding my head and agreeing with that, I don't see how that's a reasonable expectation.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Otherwise we have no common ground from which to speak so I need not do so with you from now on.
Works for me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #97
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuQK6t2Esng

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 01:35 PM   #98
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Matthew.
I would like to end off here on this thread, which has been quite informative, with my personal summary or conclusion.

It appears we agree that basically things need improving.

I see on the whole there are two schools of thought. One which includes you and one which includes me yet with the same goal of a great education sydtem.

1) One school of thought is that the system, the model itself is based of false premises and being built like an industrial production line is unworkable. Basically that the whole system needs replacing. We could call this the school of thought of changing from the outside.

2) The other school of thought, which I believe you adhere to, is that the basic model and structure is fine and that any changes for the better is done from the inside.

It's been interesting none the less.

Peace.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #99
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,097
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Matthew.
I would like to end off here on this thread, which has been quite informative, with my personal summary or conclusion.

It appears we agree that basically things need improving.

I see on the whole there are two schools of thought. One which includes you and one which includes me yet with the same goal of a great education sydtem.

1) One school of thought is that the system, the model itself is based of false premises and being built like an industrial production line is unworkable. Basically that the whole system needs replacing. We could call this the school of thought of changing from the outside.

2) The other school of thought, which I believe you adhere to, is that the basic model and structure is fine and that any changes for the better is done from the inside.

It's been interesting none the less.

Peace.G.
Thanks, Graham, I've enjoyed it as well. It's important for me to get outside input because it helps me refine my views and look at things anew.
I believe change has to take place from both the outside and the inside. No I don't think the whole system needs changing, but a massive overhaul could also be a good thing if done right. I try not to put too many limits on it. My view tends to come down to one thing: community support. Without it, only the rarest of schools will excel...under even basically adequate conditions. It is the parents/guardians/mentors who get their kids to study; to value this or that aspect of their education, if at all. So while I tend to point out the positive changes of the system itself (partly due to what I view as a lop-sided flow of criticism), I don't believe progress can ever come about entirely from within. I believe that's how the older versions of the system were so good at stamping out (somewhat accidentally) individualism and a healthy love of learning in so many people...by thinking only of what is easiest for them in their day-to-day tasks (hence the compartmentalized regimentation of everything).
At any rate, thanks for the topic!
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #100
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: Poor old academics....... (RSA video: Ken Robinson)

Just ran across this quote: "Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning." The TED talk in the OP sorta suggests the same, at a meta-level.

Chum in the water.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ikeda's videos, my video, your video. Kuzushi on contact. JW Training 50 02-26-2011 03:49 PM
Pros and Cons of Video Buck Training 10 01-15-2009 04:03 PM
New Aikido Video Channel BritishAikido@ntlworld. General 5 02-16-2008 11:11 AM
New Video Review: Ukemi, Volume 1 AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 12-30-2002 12:54 PM
New Video Review: Oyo Henka AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 11-04-2002 03:42 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:10 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate