[Or Starting to Bring it all Together?]

I’ve just spent some Monday catch-up time listening to last weeks’ At Nick Hodge, in which @NickHodge interviewed @mpesce on the topic How does a Futurist Future? It’s a most interesting chat that I recommend checking out.

The discussion raised a couple of questions which got me thinking.  Hopefully I can keep this on a narrow couple of topics and not have it develop into another 2000+ word essay that remains unpublished.  Also, trying not to look like a member of the #CultOfMarkPesce. 😉

Anyhow, two things strike me in particular from this discussion, if only because they can be linked back to my previous posts People Behaving Badly and No Man Left Behind. (At least I think they do). My initial thought was to DM a short form of these to Mark for a response, but then I thought better of it, and posted them here so that maybe people could add their own thoughts.

First: The kiddies and their mobiles.

During the discussion, Mark related a story of a discussion he’d had recently with some teachers, the upshot of which was that all the children bar one in a particular third grade class had a mobile phone.  He also drew our attention to the fact that it’s a connection device and questioned how this will effect their learning processes.

It’s an interesting question, and I’ve no particular intention of trying to form theory’s around that.  Where I want to take the idea is slightly different.

It was once said to me that the best way to change the practices and culture of an organisation is to remove all the workers and replace them, bringing in major change as you do it.  I’ve seen it happen on small scales, and I believe it to be true, if a little unethical.  Now clearly we can’t do this to society as a whole, however if we’ve got kids growing up in this interconnected world, are we best to leave the coming fundamental shifts to them, and continue to take a revisionist approach for the time being (see No Man Left Behind)?  Or can society actually adapt in the way that means new forms that  Pesce and others are speaking of can actually come to pass sooner, rather than later?

Secondly: Smarts and Hyperconnectivity

Mark Pesce reiterated an idea I’ve seen/heard from him on a couple of occasions before:  With information sharing, anyone can potentially be as smart as the smartest person who’s written something on Wikipedia. (As least that’s a quick paraphrase – feel free to correct me)

But how do we define smart?  Looking at Wiktionary, smart is defined:


2. Exhibiting intellectual knowledge, such as that found in books.

(Edited for brevity, obviously)

So the question I have is: does access to this information allow one to “exhibit intellectual knowledge”?  Is it really the same thing?  If so, are we better to be teaching children methods to source information rather than other methods? Or do we need to ensure they are capable on analysing?

I’m not a teacher, and I have no training in any area related to teaching children.  I’m just interested is all.

And I feel the need to go back and re-read ABC of Anarchism by Alexander Berkman, which I’ve just found online at http://www.lucyparsonsproject.org/anarchism/berkman_abc_of_anarchism.html

But really, questions, comments, thoughts? Put fingers to keyboard, people! 🙂

The Lyrical Madmen – Alarm Bells
The Living End – Living In Sin
The Lyrical Madmen – All Alone
The Porkers – Aloha Steve and Danno
Area 7 – Torn Apart
The Lyrical Madmen – Tokyo Rock Explosion
Dr Octopus – Hey Boy
The Porkers – California Sun
The Allniters – Fame, Sex and Money
Weezer – Undone – the Sweater Song