wij of ik

Het is opvallend hoe vaak iemand we/wij zegt als ie ik of men bedoelt.

. Je bent niet zeker van je eigen standpunt en je verschuilt je achter anonieme medestanders.
. Je meent dat (vrijwel alle) anderen jouw mening delen.

Wy stay, why not go and live in a better place?


My question is this. In the 19th century some of my mothers family went to America. They lived here in a poor and remote corner of our country. They escaped to a new country.

How come so many people do not leave the rust belt, the dying city? Why not escape from a poor and backward place?  USA has a history of immigration and going West…

Some more questions:

Do people know when they are going down the hill? You need to be aware of a threat before you even think of an escape.

Do poor circumstances and a bad  economic or political situation make people active or passive? Do some people believe in a nearb better future? Do they wait for someone to save them from poverty?

Do people know of or are aware of possibilities elsewhere?

What are costs of moving versus costs of staying? Money, emotional cost, etc.
(You will need to sell your house and nobody will buy, no money for transport and living)

Do people believe they have a change to improve, at home or elsewhere, their situation?

Look into literature about why did not the Jews escape from Germany? why do other people not escape their fate?

Are people afraid to change, afraid to live in other parts of the world, afraid to leave their family, friends, neighbors? Afraid of the unknown?





Cactus verhaal cartoon


Er was eens in het Wilde Westen een klein groen dingetje midden in de woestijn.

Once upon a time in the West a  tiny green spot could be seen in the brown desert.


Het is een kleine cactus, groen en met stekels.

It is a little cactus, green and with needles.


Kijk die cactus toch, zie je een gezicht? zie je ogen en een neus en een mond?

Watch that little cactus, is that a face? Do you see eyes and a nose and a mouth?


Op een mooie morgen met een mooie zonsopgang had de cactus twee takken. Zouden dat armen zijn?

One beautiful morning with a splendid sunrise the cactus had two branches, could that be arms?


Er kwam een vogeltje kijken naar die bijzondere cactus.

A little birdie came to see that very special little cactus.


Maar ‘s nachts kreeg de kleine cactus hoofdpijn. Er zat een dikke bult op z’n hoofd. Dat doet pijn. Wat is er aan de hand?

But that night the little cactus got a headache. A big bump on his head. That hurts. What is wrong?


Er kwam een slang langskruipen, en de cactus vroeg om hulp. Wat is dat voor ding op mijn hoofd? Maar de slang kon niets doen.

A snake came by and the cactus asked for help. What is that thing on my head. But the snake could not help.


De volgende dag was de hoofdpijn over. Nu kun je zien wat voor bult dat was.

Next day the headache was over. Now you can see what kind of bump that was!




About Marc Champgne ON Objective KNOWLEDGE.

zweden trein
Train in Ystad Sweden

Dear Marc Champagne,

Thank you for your text about EVER-PRESENT CONSTRAINTS ON KNOWLEDGE.

You EVER-PRESENT CONSTRAINTS ON KNOWLEDGE. has some stories and fables to argue in favor of your point of view.
Your first story about the human in the railroad track does illustrate the kind of knowledge a person has in daily life situations. Most people never walk on railroad tracks, and we would not encourage anybody to do so, but we do understand your point.
You write: ” … The precise terms of my example are dialectically unimportant; what matters is the extremely limited menu of options. The person on the track is, quite literally, cornered. Her train of thought is suddenly coerced by her worldly environment into taking a certain direction—in this case a step sideways. What we have here, in essence, is a case of what the novel andmovie
The Godfather immortalized as “an offer you can’t refuse.” In otherwords, “choose” to do such and such—or die. That’s arguably a peculiar sort of “choice” (in decision theory, this situation is referred to as “Hobson’s choice,” after a man who would allow his horse-renting clients to choose only the horse nearest the stable door). … ”

You give the person in your story only two possibilities. Stay or jump sideways in the right direction when the train comes. But the menu of options is not limited. Will she jump to the left, to the right? Will she try to jump on the train? Will she run forward? Will she scream and stay unmovable? Will she lay down? Will she pray and expect the train to stop? Will she take her mobile phone and message someone to help her? Will she faint? Will the train stop?

Storytelling is fun. But storytelling in a philosophical text is dangerous. We could end up in quibbling about Minnesotan weather. (Mott, P.L. (1978) Verisimilitude by means of Short Theorems. Synthese 38, p 251 and Barnes E.C. (1991) Beyond Verisimilitude a Linguistically Invariant Basis for Scientific Progress, Synthese 88, p 313)

We do agree on knowledge about simple facts of life. I am sitting here and writing this text. Almost nobody does raise questions about these simple facts about me sitting here. Those are not the facts A. Sokal & J. Bricmont do write about. Nor does David Miller, a ‘notorious’ skeptical philosopher. The great discussion on objective knowledge is not so much about these little observable facts, but the big question of the skeptic is about scientific knowledge.
The big question is about generalizing theories, inductive arguments.

Cyborgs in the classroom?

Our #ds106 friend Anna Cow did write a story about cyborgs.
She wrote:
I fear to be a cyborg. What If some nasty BigFarma or BigData or some CompuNerds made a cyborg of me? No aliens but nasty big firms trying to do something very evil? ? Think of the BigNerds trying to do nasty tests on cows and humans.

Jason Silva on a youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzFtWNOOOU is rather optimistic and jubilant about being a cyborg.
Could a cyborg be used as a soldier, or do more evil deeds because of this extra equipment?
In this world and in the future of the cyborg world would values and ethics be important in education and the curriculum, in teaching? Because of the power of cyborg possibilities?

Does the techno-realistic perspective give a better view on dangers and possibilities of technology?

Freedom and its betrayal, Isaiah Berlin

freedom and its betrayal
Helvetius, Rousseau, Fichte, Hegel, Saint-Simon, Maistre zijn de zes vijanden van de vrijheid die Berlin in dit boek bespreekt. Helvetius, Rousseau, Fichte, Hegel, Saint-Simon, Maistre are the six enemies of freedom in this book of Isaiah Berlin.
In het tweede deel van het boek staat de ontwikkeling van Berlins ideeën over vrijheid beschreven aan de hand van lezingen.
The second part of the book about lectures “Two concepts of freedom” shows a development of thought in Berlins mind.

Berlin noemt de filosofie van Hegel een mythe, gebaseerd op metafysisch inzicht en geloof. Hieronder een citaat om dat te illustreren Hegel does not provide any evidence … it turns out to be a case of metaphysical insight and an act of faith. (page 86) Next a citation as an example of this

In Phänomenologie des Geistes: ” … Allein, wie auch Aristoteles die Natur als das zweckmäßige Tun bestimmt, der Zweck ist das Unmittelbare, das Ruhende, welches selbst bewegend oder Subjekt ist. Seine abstrakte Kraft zu bewegen ist das Für-sich-sein oder die reine Negativität. Das Resultat ist nur darum dasselbe, was der Anfang, weil der Anfang Zweck ist;—oder das Wirkliche ist nur darum dasselbe, was sein Begriff, weil das Unmittelbare als Zweck das Selbst oder die reine Wirklichkeit in ihm selbst hat. Der ausgeführte Zweck oder das daseiende Wirkliche ist die Bewegung und das entfaltete Werden; eben diese Unruhe aber ist das Selbst; und jener Unmittelbarkeit und Einfachheit des Anfangs ist es darum gleich, weil es das Resultat, das in sich Zurückgekehrte, —das in sich Zurückgekehrte aber eben das Selbst, und das Selbst die sich auf sich beziehende Gleichheit und Einfachheit ist… ” (e-book from Gutenberg.org page 37,1 / 1180)
Try to translate this piece of Hegel.
Alone, as Aristotle also determines nature as purposive activity, the purpose is the immediate, which is at rest, which itself is moving or subject. To move his abstract force is the For-itself or pure negativity. The result is just about the same as the beginning because the beginning is purpose; -or the real is just about the same thing, because the immediate purpose of his term as the Self or pure act in itself. The executed purpose or existent real is the movement and the unfolded becoming; just this unrest but that’s self; and that directness and simplicity of the beginning, it is about the same, because it is the which is the result, in itself Returned, -the self Returned but just the self, and the self-relating equality and simplicity.
Vertaling: Alleen, zoals Aristoteles dus bestimmt natuur als doelgerichte activiteit, het doel is de onmiddellijke, dat is in rust, die zelf in beweging is of onderwerp. Te bewegen zijn abstracte kracht is de Voor-zelf of pure negativiteit. Het resultaat is ongeveer hetzelfde als het begin: want het begin is doel; -of de echte is zo ongeveer hetzelfde,: omdat het onmiddellijke doel van zijn termijn als het Zelf of pure daad op zich. De Uitgevoerd doel of werkelijk bestaand is de beweging en de ongevouwen worden; alleen deze onrust, maar dat is zelf; en leverde directheid en eenvoud van het begin, het is ongeveer hetzelfde,: want het is de Wat is het resultaat, op zich Terugkerende, -het zelf geretourneerd, maar gewoon het zelf, en de zelf-relateren gelijkheid en eenvoud.

The use of language in online teaching

lichaamstaalIn therapy language is very important. .
BANDLER, RICHARD & GRINDER, JOHN; SATIR, VIRGINIA & BATESON, GREGORY etc.  The Structure Of Magic I: A Book About Language And Therapy..Is an example of this connection.

In my opinion language in online courses needs a lot of thinking.

In online teaching many aspects of communication are lost. Most non-verbal communication is not possible. Even a teacher talking on video is not a quality replacement for F2F communication.
The teacher cannot watch the students, cannot see body language of students. Students cannot see each other and no teacher.

In my opinion this lack of important aspects of communication has to be taken care of. Online teaching needs careful communication.
We have to think and experiment about our language in online teaching. How could we use language to improve connections in online teaching?

Do we need to use words like: we, I or you, when we write texts for online courses?
Do we use passive or active verbal form or passive voice?

Pluralism Monism

scientificpluralismTzvetan Todorov  writes that the  most important democratic value is pluralism. Monistic societies and governments as are communism and national socialism are not democratic.  In education we should give pluralism an important place.

Maha Bali   begins her blogpost with the students need for different ways of teaching, for variety in structure of courses, and adapting to students preferences and needs.
But she the most valuable text of Maha is about cultural pluralism and respect. In Maha Bali’s blog about education she says:  But it’s in allowing the diverse voices within us to have a space (even if it’s an English-speaking space because it’s the only language we have in common) and voice, that alone helps to enrich the online space with the diversity that’s in it. Pluralism is a ways to foster learning and creativity and innovation.

Pluralism in education is a movement  that does not ask for teaching to the test and standard testing. It is about learning to live with differences in methods of teaching, about democracy and about pluralism as a key to research and learning.
Proposed Changes in Education (this is in a wiki about citizenship & diversity)

  • from formal to informal
  • from exclusive to inclusive
  • from restrictive to experiential
  • from instructionist to constructivist
  • promotion of knowledge building, lifelong learning
  • promotion of inter-generational knowledge exchange

I am not writing about religious pluralism. In the USA pluralism also is used to talk about racial matters. Both are important issues.

The end of the rhizome?

rhizome#rhizo14 has a narrow view on learning: Learning by students in school.
Learning is a human quality, and school is by far not the only place where humans do learn. In one of the first weeks the incident in Facebook about academics  was prophetic as in many blogs and facebook messages now the subject is academic.

To describe learning we do not need the Rhizome-word. Humans do learn, humans are always learning. Learning may occur consciously or without conscious awareness. One learns all kinds of things, easy, spontaneous. Where to find the coffee in the supermarket. How to find your way in your neighborhood. Humming that song. The name of your favorite people.  Humans learn, without end. This natural free style learning is connected, effortless, not determined, not voluntary,  endless.
Does the R-word add something to our understanding of learning? Or is the R-word an obstacle? Maybe the R-word was a pedagogical affordance to make teachers think about learning?

Learning is difficult, a tough job, when one wants to learn a subject or a skill , purposeful,  goal-oriented. To learn at will, we need discipline and care. We need a curriculum for this  learning, a plan and a teacher could help. Because you could learn the wrong basic skills or knowledge and never succeed. A liminal space – an in-between-space – between mastery and troublesome knowledge. This is a space of potential risk. Jenny Mackness writes in length about this risk. This risk of learning wrong is not the risk to fail. Maybe, risk is what living is about?

Is it possible to learn to be an academic without this school-learning? We banter about the term “lifelong learners” in education quite a bit. It’s a hopeful sentiment — that the learning opportunities in our space will not just spill over in the lives of our students (I teach 11 year olds) but will provide the structure for self-centered learning in unknown situations at any given time in the future (Dogtrax on P2P)

Could R-learning make a student an academic? No, because an academic is a person who learns goal directed. That is what an academic is. Is wandering around and free-learning needed for an academic? The academic does work in an academic discipline as it is sometimes called. If we do not work to form connection we may follow the wrong god home. (Danielle Paradis)  Free wandering learning could be useful even for an academic.

I do enjoy #rhizo14  because of the conversation and to meet you online.

Guerilla in #rhizo14


Rereading an old book of Umberto Eco I find an essay ‘Voor een semiotische guerrilla’ (To a semiotic guerrilla).
In this essay Umberto Eco writes about mass media and decoding.

Eco gives a short semiotic lecture about messages: The source of a message uses a code to assemble a message.
The message is transported via a channel. The reader uses code to translate, decode or read the message. (Some do not use the channel bur they use “medium”. I prefer channel)

Umberto Eco stresses the importance of decoding or reading the message with a code that is chosen by the reader. The reader should not uncritically use the code of the source.

The guerrilla is the struggle to make this critical decoding happen when someone is reading mass communication messages, newspaper or television.
In my opinion this ‘guerrilla’ should be used in education. An educational guerrilla to make the student-reader use his own codes to read mass media, books, blogs or whatever. This decoding by the student is linked to the student as producer.

Essay is in Dutch, translation in “de alledaagse onwerkelijkheid”, 1985, uitg. Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, no mention of title of source for translation. Essay was a contribution to the Congres ‘Vision ’67’ in New York oktober 1967, of Internat. Center for Communications. Art and Sciences.