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robertogreco : professions   6

////////// from “Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box,” Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman, Native, Other
"Nothing could be more normative, more logical, and more authoritarian than, for example, the (politically) revolutionary poetry or prose that speaks of revolution in the form of commands or in the well-behaved, steeped-in-convention-language of “clarity.” (”A wholesome, clear, and direct language” is said to be “the fulcrum to move the mass or to sanctify it.”) Clear expression, often equated with correct expression, has long been the criterion set forth in treatises on rhetoric, whose aim was to order discourse so as to persuade. The language of Taoism and Zen, for example, which is perfectly accessible but rife with paradox does not qualify as “clear” (paradox is “illogical” and “nonsensical” to many Westerners), for its intent lies outside the realm of persuasion. The same holds true for vernacular speech, which is not acquired through institutions — schools, churches, professions, etc. — and therefore not repressed by either grammatical rules, technical terms, or key words. Clarity as a purely rhetorical attribute serves the purpose of a classical feature in language, namely, its instrumentality. To write is to communicate, express, witness, impose, instruct, redeem, or save — at any rate to mean and to send out an unambiguous message. Writing thus reduced to a mere vehicle of thought may be used to orient toward a goal or to sustain an act, but it does not constitute an act in itself. This is how the division between the writer/the intellectual and the activists/the masses becomes possible. To use the language well, says the voice of literacy, cherish its classic form. Do not choose the offbeat at the cost of clarity. Obscurity is an imposition on the reader. True, but beware when you cross railroad tracks for one train may hide another train. Clarity is a means of subjection, a quality both of official, taught language and of correct writing, two old mates of power; together they flow, together they flower, vertically, to impose an order. Let us not forget that writers who advocate the instrumentality of language are often those who cannot or choose not to see the suchness of things — a language as language — and therefore, continue to preach conformity to the norms of well-behaved writing: principles of composition, style, genre, correction, and improvement. To write “clearly,” one must incessantly prune, eliminate, forbid, purge, purify; in other words, practice what may be called an “ablution of language” (Roland Barthes)."

— from “Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box,” Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman, Native, Other

[See also PDF of full text in a couple of places:
http://www.sjsu.edu/people/julie.hawker/courses/c1/s2/Trinh-T-Minh-ha-1989.pdf
https://lmthomasucsd.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/minh-ha-reading.pdf ]
trinhminh-ha  rolandbarthes  literacy  clarity  writing  language  taoism  zen  buddhism  persuasion  authority  authoritarianism  power  control  tradition  poetry  prose  canon  rhetoric  grammar  rules  expression  classics  communication  subjection  instrumentality  beauty  style  genre  composition  correction  improvement  purification  speech  vernacular  schools  churches  professions  professionalism  convention  conventions 
november 2017 by robertogreco
The Case Against Credentialism - James Fallows - The Atlantic
"By persuading people on the bottom of the heap that they probably can't succeed, then, the educational meritocracy destroys talent on which we might otherwise draw. By teaching people that they are struck where they deserve to be, it promotes the resentment that it so destructive to economic and democratic life. Within the past decade, as American businesses have looked with anxiety at Japan and with envious curiosity at successful domestic firms, the conventional business wisdom has emphasized the danger of creating a rigid class structure within a firm. From the Delta executives who handle baggage at Christmastime to the GM Saturn workers whose pay will depend on the plant's profitability, the anecdotes on which the new folk wisdom is based have had a Frank Capra-like democratic theme. Everyone has to feel important, has to think that his efforts are needed and will be rewarded. These days the “us-against-them” mentality of recalcitrant unions and thickheaded managers is widely denounced, but the caste system created by educational credentials has a similarly divisive effect."
credential  credentialism  qualifications  business  jamesfallow  1985  us  culture  meritocracy  risk  professions  classmobility  upwardmobility 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Whither the Liberal Arts College? Or, Why Bloom’s Critique Doesn’t Matter | Front Porch Republic
"The hallmarks of these places are professionalization and specialization, and in the process they lose sight of the one (truly liberal) question that would help make an education coherent: the question of what it is to be a human being."

"as they become more specialized and professionalized in their internal functioning, they encourage the development of a faculty who are invested in not raising the larger questions about the purpose of education, and a student- body who will increasingly mimic this professionalization and specialization in pursuit of a well- paying job."

"…Not understanding leisure, neither can we understand work"

[via: http://randallszott.org/2012/10/19/liberal-arts-uselessness-and-leisure-against-mere-work/ ]
gilmeilander  stanleyfish  allanbloom  us  militaryindustrialcomplex  cronycapitalism  authority  virtue  highereducation  highered  universities  colleges  jeantwenge  sherryturkle  josephpieper  alastairmacintyre  comfort  jeffreypolet  2012  capitalism  society  community  slowlearning  education  learning  slowness  slow  work  labor  leisurearts  leisure  values  purpose  living  life  sensemaking  meaningmaking  generalists  liberalarts  humanism  professions  professionalization  artleisure 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Change the Conversation on Teaching - Bridging Differences - Education Week
"Reading NYT Mag pieces on medicine is always intriguing. Education & medicine are often compared—in ways that remind me how little our frame for considering teaching is realistic. The other night I heard several very good "educators" on C-SPAN answering questions from the Labor & Education Committee of Senate. Both the AFT's Randi Weingarten & Michigan State's Deborah Ball were sharp, clear, & convincing. But... They, too, talked about what we can learn from other professions, focusing primarily on the preparation that law & medicine offer prospective candidates. Yes, & we can learn from the preparation of electricians & carpenters, too. But there is one very fundamental difference. Teachers must solve the problems facing anywhere btwn 20 & 35 students at a time. Not one at a time. They have at most 5 minutes to write up notes on the class that's leaving before the next one arrives. &, few students come back to us year after year, as hopefully some do with lawyers & doctors."
deborahmeier  teaching  complexity  howwework  multitasking  time  doctors  lawyers  professions  tcsnmy  classsize  reflection  looping  cv  education  schools  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  policy  administration  management  media  tv  television  politics  2010 
may 2010 by robertogreco
tiny gigantic » Blog Archive » Smart-people traps
"1. Professions...tempted by rewards...pressured by family, culture...cannot leave security of pre-defined track...unwilling to explore themselves enough to see individual course...for many there is no passion or purpose, no vision or meaning, no intuitive individual truth...soul-sucking 2. Smart people are good at school...tempted to stay...whole lives...get into spiral of irrelevance & isolation from rest of world 3. Politics...trap...in order to change world through politics, you must gain power...4. Critical thinking...spend all formative years getting rewarded for finding problems...focusing on negative...leave school thinking way to be useful & show smarts is to point out why things won’t work, rather than using smarts to find a way forward"
society  careers  culture  intelligence  education  criticalthinking  cv  work  vocation  gtd  behavior  thinking  life  yearoff  gamechanging  making  learning  deschooling  unschooling  problemsolving  creativity  professionals  professions  change  freedom  value  lcproject  usefulness  academia  intellectualism  cynicism  entrepreneurship  activism  politics  rewards  fulfillment  via:preoccupations 
august 2008 by robertogreco

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