RE: [Possible SPAM] Re: [xmca] Copernicus, Darwin and Bohr

From: Michael Glassman <MGlassman who-is-at>
Date: Tue Jun 26 2007 - 10:40:45 PDT

Perhaps the issue isn't so much literacies (of any kind), but the processes through which we learn literacies. Can't we make the argument that is literacies are important to functioning that we will learn them. The difference is whether we will be taught them. To take Asimov's post-apocolyptic world - is it really possible from an evolution of knolwedge/information perspective? You would have to make the argument that NONE of these machines broke down for at least a generation, and more important that no new problems arose for a generation that meant humans had to create new machines or at least re-calibrate old ones. What would Darwin say about such a scenario? I think the fear is that if we don't have experts teaching these ideas we lose them. It is a hierarchical model of knowledge, where there is some priest-like class that, maintains knowledge and passes it on to the rest of us so that we can be successful in the world. To challenge that knowledge is to challenge the whole idea of human exceptionality. But what it that is not actually how information/knowledge really develops - that these hierarchies of teaching are actually anti-thetical to the development of information and the use of it to improve the human condition? This maybe is the question that the internet (including internet games) may finally allow us to explore. It is a frightening argument, and the priesthood will howl, and bang their chests, and scream that this presages the end of humanity. But if this information is so important, and it exists as part of the problem solving tools of humanity, don't we trust humans to discover it through their own activities?


From: on behalf of Martin Packer
Sent: Tue 6/26/2007 12:26 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Possible SPAM] Re: [xmca] Copernicus, Darwin and Bohr

Some quick thoughts...

The "premise that persons and artifacts are equivalent actants" might be
viewed as the triumph of scientistic, materialist reductionism, no? People
are just soft machines, after all. And the insistence that "there is no
thinking without tools" is a wonderful limitation of thinking to no more
instrumental calculation.

And what better way to ensure that people really are no more than soft
machines, extensions of technology, than to deny them access to the
literacies that, one might argue, offer the possibility for freedom, for a
different kind of thinking that steps out of "the system," at least for a

What do you think? Do you think?


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Received on Tue Jun 26 10:43 PDT 2007

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