Human downgrading #etmooc #activism #cyborg


The gravest danger of offloading work is not a robot uprising but a human downgrading. Work hones skills, challenges cognition, ... It also makes the experience of genuine idling, in contrast to frenzied leisure time, even more valuable. (The Barbed Gift of Leisure By Mark Kingwell)
Some questions:

How do we educate our children to live in a world of robots, cyborgs and computer connections? A cyborg is a digital citizen 😉 In an economy where jobs appear from nowhere it’s difficult to know what training to get, though I’d guess any form of general literacy should be primary. Jobs that need to get done will get done and not necessarily by the most qualified but often by those both willing and confident to do them. (Scott Johnson). We could think of the knowmad here. ( The knowmad is mobile and learns with anybody, anywhere, anytime.  As such, the place we now know as school may be too small and perhaps unable to contain the range of learning engagements necessary for those with nomadic tendencies. )

What does this image of the near future mean to poor people, without education? People still in need of human upgrading. What kind of social action is required? Do we teach a thing called ‘social activism’? Procedo consultando su twitter l’hashtag #socialactivism; trovo significativa è l’infografica proposta «Giovani adulti: il futuro dell’attivismo sociale». (Proceed by consulting on the twitter hashtag # socialactivism, I find significant is the proposal infographic “Young adults: the future of social activism.”)
A Twitter search on “action” only gives book promotion and sales tweets.
Social activism on the internet:

2 thoughts on “Human downgrading #etmooc #activism #cyborg

  1. On the social action question I’d say our students are unaware of any history of social action, it isn’t taught here. This might be excused by the isolation of our campus and changing times. Except, our college itself exists because the students of the college occupied the campus in 1968 when the government at the time ordered it closed. They occupied the whole campus and forced the government to back down. This is part of our students direct history and the college has produced a documentary of the whole event, but there’s interest in showing it to new students and I’m not sure if they’d care.

    As a 1967 graduate of Berkeley High School in California I can’t imagine the powerlessness of having no reference to people talking back to power but I sure see it every day in the “what can you do?” attitude. How is it possible to be so comfortable? Did we train people to be this way in school? Be easy to say “yes, school failed us” but as keepers of our own selves do we dare admit we see something missing and fill it only with the fault of others? That makes us simply an expression of another person or institution’s concepts–and not even their best ones.

    This might be why we need other people to push us away from comfort and self-blindness. Machines can’t sense emptiness between the acceptable responses. Having no mechanism for caring beyond monitoring their own functioning it seems odd to consider them as replacements for even BAD teachers. (Having warning lights and a dipstick in the crankcase is about as deep as machines go in the self knowledge department).

    Liked Kingwell’s essay and will finish it tomorrow in the sun. “Five Perspectives on Teaching in Adult and Higher Education” by Daniel D. Pratt is a very good overview of different teaching philosophies. Some information here: >< started me thinking about robots as mentors to substitute for a shortage of peer tutors at our college but I'm unconvinced they would work. Plus, what happens to people who need to farm-out their most difficult problems to machines? Are we that easily defeated?

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