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[Xmca-l] Re: (no subject)

Doug - the entirety of your invented Plato's and Socrates' dialogue take me back to Gregory Bateson's "Why do Frenchmen",

Daughter : Daddy, why do Frenchmen wave their arms about?

with un soupçon de Montaigne.  quite delicious.

particularly this excerpt:

Soc. They say that a certain term describing one of the tools of craft to navigate on this web is called a "breadcrumb." I find this a very strange term.

Plato: So do I, Socrates. It shows that there is no narrative about "web" that traps these wise craftsmen of this modern era. But what does it mean?

Soc. I am told that this term refers to a story of these northern barbarians, called "Hansel and Gretel," about two children. These children scattered crumbs from a loaf of bread as they walked through a forest, so that they could find their way home again by returning along the path of crumbs they had left behind them.

Plato. I see. So you are telling me that the word "breadcrumb" is used to describe a way of returning on a web site to the place from which one started, and moreover, that it is the very meaning of the word in the context of this story that gives the word "breadcrumb" its particular meaning?

Soc. So I am given to understand. In fact, unless I am very much mistaken, it appears that the knowledge of this story was specifically the inspiration for crafting this particular kind of technology. What do you think "breadcrumb" means in the context of this usage?

Plato: Why, I must concede, Socrates, that it appears to be a signifier representing a pattern of thought that is embodied in this narrative of the barbarians.

Soc. Do you think that this is a form of creative thought? Or is it a case of modern craftspeople becoming imprisoned by narratives, and unable to think outside of them? Is it creative to use an idea from a story about children who never existed to craft a way of doing things? Or is this modern era filled with victims of their foolish ancestors, who filled their minds with lies and delusions?

Plato. I suppose I must regard the use of this story as a creative form of thought, because surely the people who use such tools must be able to free themselves from the limits of the story from which the word "breadcrumb" is drawn.

many thanks!


Phillip White, PhD
Urban Community Teacher Education Program
Site Coordinator
Montview Elementary, Aurora, CO
Status: O