Re: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit ofmcahistory

From: Naeem Hashmi <nhashmi who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 20:49:24 PDT


Interesting observations... Today, I see no one to be an expert in
anything.. Each discipline is so huge that we always feel (at least I do),
that as soon as we learn something becomes almost obsolete before the day
ends. I recall when I was growing up in Pakistan. In our town, and still in
some villages today, a barber is also a surgeon, can perform circumcision,
can shave you while you still chewing some thing, and then can shave your
armpits as well (if you desire) and when time comes for wedding, same barber
becomes chef and come to prepare feast for the huge wedding parties....The
Barber had expertise in many disciplines with the circle of a community.
The problem here is that they have narrow-expertise in few areas and have no
opportunity to grow beyond due to lack of cross- community
information/communication exchanges. And a slightly different example. In
a village in India, a father took his newly born son to an expert
astrologist and asked for his sons' future... The astrologer, after thinking
deeply opened his eyes and said... he sees a good future for him... Your son
will be respected person and always surrounded with all sort of vehicles...
Father was very happy, since he never had imagined to be around a car other
than a bull cart in his village... So father anxiously waited till his son
grew up and went to another city to work. Later, proud father went to visit
his son and to see how his son at work... father was surprised... yes. there
were hundreds of cars around his son the entire day not because his son was
rich rather son turned out to be a traffic controller -- the police fellow
who directs the Indian traffic where every things goes on the same road but
in all directions... So sometimes the way 'experts' envision things, there
is some truth to that vision, but not exact how it is perceived by others.
Same goes in today's world. The only difference is that now we cal all
team-up (virtually - like this), collaborate and learn from our limited
knowledge (expertise) to bring new composite-knowledge which as no
boundaries and source for innovations.

Also I see kids with playstations like tools are quick learners, and adopt
to new situations quickly with good motor coordination and quick reactions
when faced with unknown situations. And many pilots are also trained in
playstation like simulators before they set foot in the cockpits.

We need to encourage and enforce our young's to bring their own strengths
and collectively learn and share their experience/knowledge among extended
communities as compared to making them 'experts' in one or another thing.
And 'epics' like thing or 'Do you know' ( ) at the YouTube are worth
showing to our Teachers and Young to prepare them with new realities.


Naeem Hashmi
Chief Research Officer
Information Frameworks
T: 603-552-5171 M: 603-661-6820
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louise Hawkins" <>
To: <>; "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" 
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:45 PM
Subject: RE: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit 
The discussion is really pointing out that an expert and a novice are both 
context dependant. Depends on the context, who is involved as to whom is the 
expert/novice, if these labels are even useful.
I watched the movie 'Snakes on a plane' - Samuel L Jackson the other day. At 
one point they need to find someone who can fly the plane - one of the 
passengers states that he has a certain number of hours.... Only after a few 
minutes in the pilots seat does he state that his experience is 2000 hours 
on a playstation!!!!!
Thank goodness for properly qualified, experienced pilots out there :)
-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Cole []
Sent: Friday, 29 June 2007 12:31 AM
To: Wolff-Michael Roth
Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit of 
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.
> Michael
> 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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Received on Thu Jun 28 20:53 PDT 2007

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