Ignorance and trouble

“A man may be ignorant . . . of who he is, what he is doing, what or whom he is acting on, and sometimes also what (e.g. what instrument) he is doing it with, and to what end (e.g. he may think his act will conduce to some one’s safety), and how he is doing it (e.g. whether gently or violently).”

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book III

A complex pursuit

“[Education] is not simply a technical business of well-managed information processing, nor even simply a matter of applying ‘learning theories’ to the classroom or using the results of subject-centered ‘achievement testing’. It is a complex pursuit of fitting a culture to the needs of its members and their ways of knowing to the needs of the culture.”

Jerome Bruner, The Culture of Education

Like a common cur in the street…

“If your project has real substance, ultimately the money will follow you like a common cur in the street with its tail between its legs. There is a German proverb: “Der Teufel scheisst immer auf den grössten Haufen” [“The Devil always shits on the biggest heap”]. So start heaping and have faith. Every time you make a film you should be prepared to descend into Hell and wrestle it from the claws of the Devil himself. Prepare yourself: there is never a day without a sucker punch. At the same time, be pragmatic and learn how to develop an understanding of when to abandon an idea. Follow your dreams no matter what, but reconsider if they can’t be realized in certain situations. A project can become a cul-de-sac and your life might slip through your fingers in pursuit of something that can never be realized. Know when to walk away.”

Werner Herzog, A Guide for the Perplexed

Silicon Valley Is Ruining Sharing for Everybody

“Brad Burnham, a partner at Union Square Ventures in New York, was one of the few panelists at the recent Share conference to dissent from the airy-fairy rhetoric there. ‘What we’re talking about is the natural tendency of capitalism to consistently find a more efficient way of delivering something,’ he says. ‘It’s information technology lowering transaction costs and revealing assets that can be utilized.’ If only the capitalists who run the companies, as opposed to the ones who finance them, were as clear-headed.”

Noam Scheiber, Silicon Valley Is Ruining Sharing for Everybody

Things that only games can do

“[There] are many games where what the player brings to the table is not “choice” of using a tiny set of verbs on a tiny set of largely irrelevant props, all aiming in the end towards the same predetermined authorial lesson. Systems can be designed for authorial imposition — Wordsworth’s or Horace’s intent to educate and illuminate — or for players to express, create, and even innovate. It is here where games like The Sims, Eve Online, Minecraft, Universalis, Dwarf Fortress, and even less “free” designs like Core Wars lie. And there is a case to be made that in that space are things that only games can do.”

Raph Koster, Interactivity

Best & Kellner on the “pseudo interactive” vs “new spaces for connection, freedom, and creativity.”

“The distinction between creative and empowering cybersituations vs. (pseudo)interactive and disempowering spectacle is . . . often difficult to make, but we believe that some such distinction is necessary in order to provide critical perspectives on and alternatives to the forms of interactive spectacle now evolving. While pseudo-interaction provides escape into an ersatz (virtual) reality, constructing cybersituations enable individuals to create and interact more productively with others in their everyday lives and to struggle to transform culture and society, generating new spaces of connection, freedom, and creativity. Constructing cybersituations thus provides potential articulations between cyberworld and the real world, while pseudo-interaction merely entangles one ever deeper in the matrices of escapism and corporate entertainment.”

Steve Best and Douglas Kellner, “Debord, Cybersituations, and the Interactive Spectacle”

I think it’s vital to de-professionalize the public debate…

“I think it’s vital to de-professionalize the public debate on matters that vitally affect the lives of ordinary people. It’s time to snatch our futures back from the ‘experts.’ Time to ask, in ordinary language, the public question and to demand, in ordinary language, the public answer.”

Arundhati Roy, via Nicole Ouimette, “Why Liberal Academics and Ivory Tower Radicals Make Poor Revolutionaries”