Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
I just had the dumbest fight of my professional career, which I assure you is saying something, and there’s not a day we actually disagreed. We just hadn’t talked voice.
Oh. Well then.
Talk. No really. Actually talk. Don’t play telephone. Pick up the telephone. Lunch. TALK.
Text has enough bandwidth to escalate conflict between humans, but not enough bandwidth to de-escalate. Base assumptions — what people actually want — can get wrong and stay wrong really easily, without low latency, high metadata exchange.
Never fight over text. —@dankami
@johnrobb — “Incoherence makes group decision making impossible … Incoherence arises from a distrust of information (due to misinformation/bias), a distrust of messengers (due to a loss of fictive kinship), and a distrust of the medium (due to corporate interference).”
How I met Viola Spolin: My First Encounter with the Mother of Improvisation
Solving problems on your own with an experienced eye to support you develops your talent and personal genius. Viola knew this. Put your focus on simple things – like games. State the rules and play, and all life’s lessons can be learned.
The point of this story isn’t to get everyone to pay attention to me or professors in general – it’s that I want my students to learn that attention is a skill that must be learned, shaped, practiced; this skill must evolve if we are to evolve. The technological extension of our minds and brains by chips and nets has granted great power to billions of people, but even in the early years of always-on, it is clear to even technology enthusiasts like me that this power will certainly mislead, mesmerize and distract those who haven’t learned – were never taught – how to exert some degree of mental control over our use of laptop, handheld, earbudded media.
We can’t make arguments from authority if equally authoritative people disagree.
Part of the problem is that people who enter these arguments actually come at the problems with different assumptions and understandings about what constitutes evidence, and indeed, what it means to know something. That’s most obvious when we have had very different training. Cognitive psychologists and researchers in critical theory address aspects of education that are largely non-overlapping, and you’ll find some of each these folks in most schools of education, with similar credentials.
I’ve argued elsewhere that those of us in education research would do ourselves a favor if we would make our assumptions more explicit, as well as the limitations of the tools in our analytic toolbox—what problems are our methods well suited to answer and what can’t we answer?
“Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community’s need to know. The older, traditional ideas of private, isolated thoughts and actions — the patterns of mechanistic technologies — are very seriously threatened by new methods of instantaneous electric information retrieval” —Marshall McLuhan, 1967