Response to Diane Ravitch NPR Interview on “Reign of Error”

Please see Diane’s blog and NPR for my responses. Both are similar with some small differences. (archived below)

(From Diane’s Blog)

“I heard this broadcast this morning and was disappointed by your rationale towards technology.

What is technology? This term is often used broadly without specific consideration to what you are actually talking about. It seems you are considering that computer technology may make teachers obsolete. You may forget that the printing press is also technology, and computer technology which you are specifically referring to in the context of education is simply an evolution of the printing press. Can improved books and learning materials make teachers obsolete? If they are unwilling to change their methods then possibly some of them; yes. This will result in increased demand for teachers with the new skill set.

As someone in the education industry, you might think I would be worried about this possibility, but I am not. My reasoning is straightforward. Future computerized educational learning systems will contain thorough curriculums, and someone with expert knowledge will need to assist in the programming and updating of these curriculums, as well as the analysis of results. This demand may simply replace the in classroom demand and represents a shift from on-premise teaching to remote teaching.

So your concern Diane (and like-minded followers and teachers) should not be whether or not your time and knowledge will become obsolete.. Your concern should be whether or not you will have the skills and ability to embrace the future of delivering education.”

(From NPR)

“It seems that many share your predilection Bertis, but it is emotionally motivated and subjective.

I heard this broadcast this morning and was disappointed by Diane’s rationale towards technology.

What is technology? This term is often used broadly without specific consideration to what the conversation is actually talking about. It seems that you, Diane and many others are considering that computer technology may make teachers obsolete. We must not forget that the printing press is also technology. Computer technology, specifically referred to in this interview, in the context of education is simply an evolution of the printing press. Can improved books and learning materials make teachers obsolete? If educators are unwilling to change their methods then possibly some of them; yes. This will result in increased demand for educators with the new skill set.

As someone in the education industry, one might think I would be worried about this possibility, but I am not. My reasoning is straightforward. Future computerized educational learning systems will contain thorough curriculums, and someone with expert knowledge will need to assist in the programming and updating of these curriculums, as well as the analysis of results. This demand may simply replace the in classroom demand and represents a shift from on-premise teaching to remote teaching.

So your concern and Diane’s (as well as any other like-minded followers and teachers) should not be whether or not the time and knowledge of our teachers will become obsolete.. The concern should be whether or not we will have the skills, ability and open-mindedness to embrace the future of epistemology. This invites the question – What is the most efficient method of delivering education?”

References
NPR Interview: http://www.npr.org/2013/09/27/225748846/diane-ravitch-rebukes-education-activists-reign-of-error
Diane Ravitch Blog: http://dianeravitch.net/
Diane’s Blog re: NPR Interview: http://dianeravitch.net/2013/09/27/maybe-my-best-interview-ever-npr-morning-edition/

Did the Cold War Really End?

At risk of sounding like a conspiracy theory enthusiast, I have noticed a recent revival of Cold-War-eqsue feuds reminiscent of a past era many people thought was behind us.

It seems to me that in looking at the big picture from a timeline perspective, the cessation of the Cold War was simply due to economic conditions of that time (partly due to technological limitations IMO e.g. The Star Wars Project and its response in Russia) and much of the same philosophies that sparked and fueled the original conflict(s) still exist.

With the advent of groups such as the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), and increasing tensions with the U.S. and China (Hacking issues, Globalization issues), Russia (Snowden, LGBT), the Middle East and Arab Nations (Egypt, Syria, occupations, protests, etc) – it seems that the worldviews haven’t changed much since the Cold War Era and it is still a contest of “him vs him”.

These events all allude to escalating differences between the nations that will hopefully subside peacefully.

The realization and cooperation of achieving common goals and identifying and understanding our “human purpose” is of great importance. Until this is realized, we will always be in a circular endless loop of preparation for war, war and recovery.

(Addendum: this is starting to sound a little like 1984, “at war with eastasia, at peace with eurasia, at peace with eastasia, at war with eurasia..” :/ ).

References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Defense_Initiative
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberwarfare_in_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_economic_reform
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Russia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Spring

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Patterns of Violence

At this point in time, Federal Agencies may be compiling police reports filed across the country where officers were reported to have used excessive force or racially motivated wrongful actions. The file will come in handy if the revenge of Dorner spawns copycats.

The psychology of Dorner is not complex. After some research into his history, and reading his “manifesto”, it seems to me that he was an implosive personality and years of anger boiled deep within him before he finally exploded.

Dorner made his attempts to become a whistleblower and lost his cases, multiple times. Subsequent media frenzy and renewed interest in his case may eventually prove he was victimized but he’s already crossed the line with his actions so it doesn’t matter anymore.

One of the aspects of these recent events around Dorner that concerns me is how many other racial and vengeful motivated acts may be committed over time brought on by similar conditions.

Many people may see this as a police officer gone rogue, but they will fail to see a pattern of violence which may be dangerously increasing until it is too late.

Once again, the perception of these events creates the reality, and the probability of civil unrest only increases.

You must ask yourself, is perception reality?

References
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/10/us-usa-california-cop-idUSBRE9160SM20130210

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/09/1185809/-Christopher-Dorner-Manifesto-Uncensored

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind%E2%80%93body_problem

texas aims to protect 2nd amendment rights‏

On Wednesday, Texas freshman Rep. Steve Stockman introduced his Restore the Constitution Act in response to Obama signing a flurry of unconstitutional executive orders and actions following his anti-firearms speech last week.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor for any state or federal official to “enforce or attempt to enforce any acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, rules or regulations of any kind whatsoever of the United States government relating to confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore.”

http://marketdailynews.com/2013/01/24/senator-dianne-feinstein-unveils-her-promised-attack-against-the-second-amendment/

The Congress of Companies arrived in NY this morning

Chief executives of more than 80 big U.S. corporations, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Boeing, joined forces on Thursday to pressure Congress to reduce the federal deficit with tax reform and spending cuts.

Ahead of a gathering at the New York Stock Exchange, the U.S. corporate chiefs said it is urgent and essential to put in place a bipartisan plan to fix America’s debt.

You may already be familiar with large summits which involve corporations directly in world affairs, but this event happening right now in New York is not your usual lobbying or talk on globalization and international trade.. in my opinion, this is even bigger news..

Corporatocracy anyone?

Reference:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/25/us-congress-deficit-idUSBRE89O09U20121025

Rising tensions In Africa

Islamist radical groups are spreading faster and further than we’re being led to believe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/24/us-france-burkina-planes-idUSBRE89N1N220121024

Think this is not true? Take a look at some evidence..
http://humanpurposemachine.com/2012/10/25/terrorist-attacks-are-increasing-not-decreasing%E2%80%8F/