— S e b l o g g i n g


“Proactively helping to shape the third digital revolution will require nothing less than a culture change in the social sciences. The dominant “positive” social science approach, which is one of path observation, will need to expand to include a much more extensive application of the “normative” approach. Positive social science focuses on explaining what has happened. A normative approach includes views on what should happen. It still must be grounded in evidence, including a clear understanding of the underlying science and the technology. By itself, normative work is often disparaged as not being science—though there are dedicated subcultures committed to what is variously termed action research, participant observation, and similar approaches. It is possible, indeed essential, to combine the positive and normative approaches by embracing and advancing bold, evidence-based analysis of accelerating technological developments and desired transformations.

The third digital revolution provides social science with a rare opportunity to engage with emerging new technologies while they are still in formation. It is a chance to look around the corner into the future implications across the many fields and disciplines—economics, sociology, political science, management science, industrial relations, and others. This will require the social sciences to shift into a more proactive stance to become path creators, not just path observers.”

Gershenfeld, N., Gershenfeld, A., & Cutcher-Gershenfeld, J. (2017). Designing Reality. New York, Basic Books.

“The essence of education is not to transfer knowledge; it is to guide the learning process, to put responsibility for study into the students—own hands. It is not the piecemeal merchandising of information; it is the bestowal of keys that allow people to unlock the vault of knowledge on their own. It does not consist of pilfering the intellectual property amassed by others through no additional effort of one’s own; it would rather place people on their own path of discovery and invention.”

Tsunesaburo Makiguchi

“The unequal treatment of our language of the arts of learning and of teaching is visible in grammar as well as in vocabulary. Think, for example, of parsing the sentence, “The teacher teaches a child.” Teacher is he active subject of the sentence; child is the passive object. The teacher does something to the learner. This grammatical form bears the stamp of school’s hierarchical ideology in representing the teaching as the active process. The teacher is in control and is therefore the one who needs skill; the learner simply has to obey instructions. This asymmetry is so deeply rooted that even the advocates of “active” or “constructivist” education find it hard to escape. There are many books and courses on the art of constructivist teaching, that talk about the art of of setting up situations in which the learner will “construct knowledge”; but I do not know of any books on what I would assume to be the more difficult art of actually constructing knowledge. The how-to-do-it literature in the constructivist subculture is almost as strongly biased to the teacher side as it is in the instructionist subculture” (p-10).

Papert, S. (1996). A word for learning. In Y. Kafai, Y. & M. Resnick (Eds.), Constructionism in practice (pp. 9-24). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

“No paradigm is ever able to imagine the next one. It’s almost impossible for one paradigm to imagine that there will even be a next one. The people of the Middle Ages didn’t think of themselves as being in the “middle” of anything at all. As far as they were concerned, the way they were living was the way people would be living till the end of time. Even if you’d managed to persuade them that a new era was just around the corner, they would’ve been unable to tell you a single thing about it—and in particular they wouldn’t have been able to tell you what was going to make it new. If they’d been able to describe the Renaissance in the fourteenth century, it would have been the Renaissance.

We’re no different. For all our blather of new paradigms and emerging paradigms, it’s an unassailable assumption among us that our distant descendants will be just exactly like us. Their gadgets, fashions, music, and so on, will surely be different, but we’re confident that their mindset will be identical—because we can imagine no other mindset for people to have. But in fact, if we actually manage to survive here, it will be because we’ve moved into a new era as different from ours as the Renaissance was from the Middle Ages—and as unimaginable to us as the Renaissance was to the Middle Ages.”

Quinn, D. (1999). Beyond Civilization: Humanity’s next big adventure. New York, River Press.

“In the framework of the technocratic interpretation of the information society, the computer technology of self-education looks different. Because technical progress and the priority of technology in all spheres of life activity (including spiritual and intellectual life) are bringing it about that humans are coming to resemble machines, functioning according to the law of efficiency and rationalizing human relations to the maximum, under the conditions of the information society self-education portends the loss of personal identity, reducing the individual to a set of roles in the system of the production, exchange, and use of knowledge” (p.76).

Shuklina, E. A. (2001). Technologies of self-education. Russian Education and Society, 43(2), 57-78.

Splitting what is into good/bad, perfect/imperfect, proper/improper, success/failure, and so on creates false dichotomies. A false dichotomy produces a perception of alternatives to what is. A belief that the reality does not have to be what it is at any given moment leads to a desire for it to be what it is not. Constant rejection of what is and a desire for what is not is the essence of perfectionistic suffering.

P. Somov (2010). Present perfect. New Harbinger Publications.

“Interessant ist dabei, dass Bürokratie vorrangig als politikveranlasste Überregulierung von außen erlebt wird. Die hausgemachte Bürokratie wird nicht thematisiert. Aber was ist mit der internen Engstirnigkeit, was ist mit der managementgetriebenen Regelungswut? Was ist mit den explodierenden Standard Operating Procedures? Was ist mit den unendlich vielen Online-Formularen und Fragebögen, all den Vorschriften und Instrumenten, die wenig mehr erzeugen als Kundenablenkungsenergie? Was ist mit den Unmengen an Sitzungen, Tools, Plänen und Kontrollsystemen? All den Transaktionskosten-Schleudern, den Budgetrunden, Controlling-Routinen, Dokumentationspflichten, Performance-Messungen, all den zeitraubenden Aufgaben, die uns von dem abhalten, was uns bei der Arbeit Freude macht? All das ist Absicherungsaktionismus, es dient der Angst vor dem Risiko, vor Macht- und Kontrollverlust. Ohne große Mühe kann man in den Unternehmen ganze Misstrauens-Abteilungen identifizieren, die ihre Zeit damit verbringen, Leute zu überwachen. Zu überprüfen, ob sie auch tun, was sie tun sollen. Und sie mit Formularen und Regularien unter neurotischen Dauerstress setzen.”

Reinhard K. Sprenger (2014). Das anständige Unternehmen.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

Charles Bukowski

“It is what you read when you don’t have to
that determines what you will be
when you can’t help it.”

Oscar Wilde

“Change that is triggered by human intention is at the heart of design. It is a hallmark of design that human intention is essential and central to the instigation of change in the real world. Human intention is, therefore, a singularly important and consequential cause of change. The idea of cause is complex but key to understanding designed change. Cause is natural (as defined by science, through the conceptualization of chance and necessity). Design, therefore, must accommodate change brought about by natural causes; but the most challenging forms of cause are those that are rooted in human agency. These intentional forms of cause are diverse. The type of intentional cause that is of particular interest here is design cause. Design cause is the consequence of human volition and the capacity for humans to be proactive and purposeful in their interaction with the real world. Design cause is essential both for initiating change that brings new things into existence and for modifying those things that are already in existence… (p. 38).”

Reference: Nelson, H. G. & Stolterman, E. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. London: MIT Press