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robertogreco : dilettante   3

A Sit-Down With Joichi Ito, The Drop-Out VC Leading MIT's Media Lab | Co. Design [Worth reading the whole thing.]
"It’s not about being a generalist. I like to go deep in a lot of things…deep enough to contribute. If I like scuba, I become an instructor…music, I become a disc jockey…movies, I want to work on a movie set. I don’t become a world class academic in that field, but I get good enough to understand the nuances. & then, because I have experience in so many fields, it gives me a pattern that other people don’t have. For me, being unique and having friends who are unique is a really important thing…

When I was in Hollywood, I realized that if I wanted to be a Hollywood producer, I’d have to spend 120% of my time talking to only Hollywood people. It’s the same in every industry or with traditional academics. But the Media Lab is a place where you can sit around & talk about everything deeply & that’s the whole point…here I’ve been stitching this thing together & being called this crazy scatterbrained ADD guy when in fact, what I’ve been trying to do already exists at the Media Lab…"
joiito  mitmedialab  generalists  dilettante  depth  dropouts  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  education  learning  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  2011  careers  optimism  leadership  administration  enthusiasm  medialab 
august 2011 by robertogreco
LeisureArts: MacGyver - Bricoleur - LeisureArts
"…pushing for re-thinking the field, finding other ways to critically negotiate, & promote work of cultural MacGyvers. Robyn Stewart, in Text [Oct 2001], writes in…"Practice vs. Praxis: Constructing Models for Practitioner Based Research:"

"It is not easy being a bricoleur. A bricoleur works w/in & btwn competing & overlapping perspectives & paradigms (& is familiar w/ these). To do so they must read widely, to become knowledgeable about variety of interpretive paradigms that can be brought to a problem, drawing on Feminism, Marxism, Cultural Studies, Constructivism, & including processes of phenomenography, grounded theory, visual analysis, narratology, ethnography, case & field study, structuralism & poststructuralism, triangulation, survey, etc."

It's not easy to write about them either…requires challenging available orthodoxies, an equally at-ease disposition w/ regard to switching conceptual domains & categories, & flexibility to leave one's critical assumptions behind…"
bricolage  bricoleur  leisurearts  generalists  arts  art  culture  reading  cv  marxism  feminism  constructivism  narratology  ethnography  casestudies  fieldstudies  aesthetics  poststructuralism  structuralism  survey  triangulation  phenomenography  groundedtheory  theory  praxis  robynstewart  macgyver  criticalthinking  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  research  claudelevi-strauss  culturehacking  hacking  tinkering  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  jacks-of-all-trades  making  doing  glvo  dilettante  bernardherman  randallszott  2006  jacquesderrida  artleisure 
april 2011 by robertogreco
"1. An academic has and wants an audience disproportionately made up of teachers and students, while an intellectual has and wants teachers and students in his audience only in proportion to their place in the general educated public. 2. An academic is a specialist who has disciplined his curiosity to operate largely within a designated area, while an intellectual is a generalist who deliberately does otherwise. 3. An academic is concerned with substance and suspicious of style, while an intellectual is suspicious of any substance that purports to transcend or defy style."

"Tenured faculty, the aristocracy of the university, have been disgracefully complicit in the creation of an academic helot class to subsidize their own upper-middle-class salaries, but the helots are progressively replacing the aristocrats as the latter retire and are replaced by helots rather than by other aristocrats. What is being phased out, in short, is the very career which tenured faculty once enjoyed and to which new Ph.D.s still vainly aspire.(5) This career, although it included teaching, was not narrowly confined to teaching in the way that the work of adjunct faculty is narrowly confined -- indeed brutally reduced -- to teaching. For a while to come, some of the many aspiring professors who enter the academic labor market each year will find tenure-track positions and be awarded tenure in due course. More, however, will fail to obtain tenure or even to be hired for a tenure-track position. Barring a labor movement of unprecedented scope, the less talented among them will then sink into academe's permanent underclass, while the more talented will leave academe and seek other employment."

"To return to my premise, if the role of academics in the preservation and propagation of liberal learning is shrinking as the liberal arts are crowded out of the university curriculum, then either the role of intellectuals -- men and women of humane learning whose gainful occupation is not teaching -- will grow, or the humane tradition will slide further into decline. If and when that compensatory growth comes about, however, there may come with it a number of now only poorly predictable changes.

As academe eliminates the liberal arts, institutions and forms of organization that are now secondary will become primary by academe's default. Peter Drucker does not predict that university libraries, museums, databases, and computer networks will be gone in thirty years when the university as we know it is gone. But if their likely survival throws their importance into relief, it does so as well for kindred institutions that have never been under university auspices at all: endowed research libraries, independent museums of various kinds, and the many voluntary associations and working groups that the Internet already makes possible. Already, a scholar in search of an out-of-the-way, out-of-print book may have better luck with, which offers "nine million used, antiquarian and rare books, periodicals and ephemera offered for sale by thousands of booksellers around the world" than with a local university library, even a large one. Whether or not venture capital invested in online education succeeds in capturing much of the revenue flow that now sustains traditional colleges and universities, the Internet stands ready as a monastery-on-demand for the dark age after the Rome that is the academic establishment has fallen. When Rome fell, the Roman Empire did not vanish. Its separate parts lived on in other forms. So it could be for the campus liberal arts empire: When it falls, it too will not vanish but live on as its separate parts assume other forms.

Academics are farmers. They have fields, and they cultivate their fields well. Intellectuals are hunters. An intellectual does not have a field but a quarry which he pursues across as many fields as necessary, often losing sight of it altogether. Hunters cannot replace farmers, or vice versa; but if liberal learning in America, hitherto mostly a farm culture, becomes progressively a hunt culture, there will surely be consequences. By the standards of farmers, what hunters do seems reckless and undisciplined, but hunting has its own interior logic, the logic of an agenda that is individually rather than collectively determined.

One cannot easily be either a farmer or a professor by avocation. The strength of these vocations is that they demand full commitment. Mirroring their strength, their great vulnerability is their inability effectively to reward and sustain partial commitment. By contrast, one may rather easily be a hunter or an intellectual by avocation. Like hunters, who join the chase when they can and leave it when they must, sharing the kill with the tribe when they are successful, so intellectuals study when they can and stop when they must, seeking ever to please themselves but sharing their intellectual pleasure, when they write, with their readers.

The agricultural revolution did not occur for no reason. Hunters are more likely to go hungry than farmers. If academics, reliably supported by their universities, are succeeded by intellectuals, only unreliably supported by the work they pick up here and there, the post- and extra-academic humanities will often go hungry and homeless. But hunting does not differ from farming only by being more hazardous and less reliable. Off campus, the liberal arts may, at least on occasion, enjoy a wild adventure and an extraordinary feast. Only time will tell -- but less time, if present trends continue, than we might think."
society  learning  education  culture  teaching  gradschool  intellectualism  academia  curiosity  dilettante  cv  generalists  jackmiles  publicintellectuals  labor  capitalism  corporatism  us  policy  helots  liberalarts  intellectuals  1999  highered  highereducation  colleges  universities  inequality  tenure  specialists  humanities 
january 2005 by robertogreco

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