RE: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit of mcahistory

From: Louise Hawkins <l.hawkins who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 16:49:40 PDT


Education to allow participation is the way we approach learning at postgraduate level, we are assisting students to acquire tools with which they can problem solve, those tools that allow you to look for the solution, rather than tools for current solutions. Within Information Systems we often talk about the fact that the technologies that we are teaching today will be outdated by the time the students graduate; so it is the ability to keep on learning and functioning in a continuously changing world that we are hoping the students leave with.


-----Original Message-----
From: Wolff-Michael Roth []
Sent: Friday, 29 June 2007 12:46 AM
Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit of mcahistory

Hi Mike,
one of the problems we have both in the social sciences and in our personal lives---not all of us---is recognizing what is at stake. I view it as LIFE, and individual lives are the means by which life reproduces itself. There is no ulterior reason for individual life other than to make life and society survive. Harold Garfinkel talks about "immortal society," which contrasts our own mortality.
Individually we realize possibilities that exist at a collective, cultural level.
        Now when you think activities from the perspective of society, or rather, the dialectic of individual and collective, we no longer have to wonder about expertise in individuals but at expertise at the collective level, where it doesn't matter whether it is in this or that person, this or that individual. LIFE and society don't care, as long as the activity reproduces them.

That's why I am not concerned with where expertise resides, and therefore I argued, among others, for education to allow people not special expertise but to be able to participate in meetings that mobilize collectively available expertise (e.g., in a problem of water supply for individual homes, we draw on expertise of scientists, engineers, philosophers, politicians and the like, who need to be able to talk across the differences in their root Discourses).



On 28-Jun-07, at 7:31 AM, Mike Cole wrote:

Steve-- I believe the Googlezon film is a useful tool for thinking about the issue of changes in agency and ontology associated with massive parallel computing systems that are the media for our knowledge of thought and the world. It also overlaps the theme of data mining for inter-cultural business advertising and decision making Naeem introduced. Sure, there is a lot of hype, which includes the hype over how flat the world is, but Friedman is pointing at a real phenomenon, or part of one.

Michael. I am all for organizing activity that leads to expansive learning. But, again, going to the opposite extreme and saying that deep knowledge and skill in a domain is simply a mode of hierarchy/power creation is, in my view, not helpful. Two really friendly and cooperative peers who have no experience gardening (to pick a domain where I readily concede my dufferhood, yet try to contribute as best I can, while not hesitating to stop in at my garden store to figure out why and how I killed two fig trees in two years) might starve because they cannot expand quickly enough. By the same token. western experts who went into Liberia to "teach the farmers" how to grow rice more efficiently were, for the reasons that bother Michael and Louise. responsible for widespread misery, starvation, displacement of people from the land, etc. I am not valorizing expertise unconditionally. I do value highly taking advantage of the enormous heterogeneity of knowledge in a very heterogeneous and uncertain world. I still do not want my grand daughter piloting the next plane I ride in, even if her best friend is co pilot.


On 6/28/07, Wolff-Michael Roth <> wrote:
Hi Mike,
perhaps we have to rethink the "more knowledgeable partner" and think zpd as Yrjö suggested as a change in the activity system that leads to expansive learning, and this may happen also in the case were equally knowledgeable partners get together, or if a new tool is introduced, different forms of division of labor are evolved, etc.


On 27-Jun-07, at 7:41 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

No one picked up on this and I should probably just drop it but the

continued discussion on ZOPED prompts me to ask, could a computer

algorithm be a "more knowledgeable" partner? Adaptive testing is another

example of an artificial intelligence that tries to move people into a

zone of maximum response. If the vision in EPIC 2015 were actualized,

might not the algorithm be a sensei, showing us the way forward? I

understand that the notion of _forward_ is problematic, but is that not

also true of a human sensei......or any teacher? And why should the goal

in a zoped be the ability to act independently? Most of the things in my

life that have expanded my capabilities are things I have come to rely

on and are now a part of me. I can't imagine how I ever wrote anything

of value when I wrote in long hand, had a poor (now nearly blind thanks

to me) secretary type it up, correct, edit, repeat, and so forth. Here I

link with Donna's contribution where she mentions natural born cyborgs.

Can anyone doubt that within my lifetime (and I'm OLD) that things like

MP3's and cell phones will be available as surgical implants?

Mind you, this all scares the beejeezes out of me..........djc _______________________________________________
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