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robertogreco : wastedtime   10

When Brian Eno met Ha-Joon Chang | Music | The Guardian
"Brian Eno: There's an issue we're both interested in – this middle ground between control and chaos. Some economists say you can only have a control model or a chaos model, that you're either a socialist or it's all about the free market. Whereas you say: "Let's find a place in between."

This happens to be an issue with the music I make. It's made for a place somewhere between architecture and gardening. It's not a situation where I'm finessing every tiny detail. I basically set a process in motion and then watch it happen. A lot of the design work is prior to the thing starting, rather than trying to keep control of it once it has started. You try to design the process carefully enough so you get the results you want and don't have to intervene. …

Ha-Joon Chang:… Central planners thought they could control everything, but there are always elements of uncertainty and surprise… The illusion that this rule-less system can organise itself has been proven completely mistaken – but we still have people wanting to believe in these extremes. …

…our black and white, dichotomous way of thinking…has really been harmful…

BE: … It turns out that anything that is called free anything isn't really. It's just constraints that you don't recognise. …

This turns out to be something that happens a lot. Once you've grown to accept something and it becomes part of the system you've inherited, you don't even notice it any longer. We don't even think that not employing children is anti-free market.

HJC: … if you try to create a world in which everything is driven by money and the market, the world will be a much poorer place.

… Human beings' capacity to "waste time" is a miracle – but that's exactly what art is for. …"

BE: It's not only money, it's also other forms of accountability. Look at education in this country. I've just had two daughters go through the system here, and nothing mattered at all, as long as they could get through their A-levels. It doesn't matter if you don't actually understand a word. I could see some of their friends who were good at remembering things, but had no clue at all about what they were talking about, who got A stars.

HJC: In that system, curiosity is actually a great disadvantage. Which means that any creativity gets lost

BE: It's to do with the act of quantification. It's part of the money thing: something that you can put a figure to immediately assumes a sort of authority, even if it doesn't deserve it.

… Quantification is a big temptation for society because it looks like control. …

BE: … Tom Wolfe says something in his book The Painted Word about how four curators, 12 collectors and six critics determine an artist's career. Something like that.

This is why the art world has such incredible inertia, because once those people have invested their highly important opinion in something, they're very unwilling to change it. Whereas if you've bought an album by a band but then you don't like their second one, you just say, fuck it, the second one isn't any good. …

HJC: … we used to call them tempura shop records – it sounded as if someone was deep-frying them.

BE: Nearly everything good starts from imitation.

HJC: It's actually a good illustration of how art can be done in a very non-hierarchical way. The success of this guy, Psy, is because he didn't try to protect his work too much: he let everyone copy and create their own versions. So you have versions with Voldemort from Harry Potter ... my children are hooked on finding Matrix versions. Some are actually brilliant!

BE: It's a brilliant idea to make something that, like a module, can be plugged into any part of the culture.

Culture does change the way we think, just not in the propagandistic way. Art can be a model of how otherwise something could be done. How else it could be? When you see a piece of art, and you think, "Wow, that's wonderful", part of you wants to know, "And how did it get to be that way? Ah, it got to be that way by that mechanism. This is how it's done."


And very often a work of art is a way of looking at the outcomes of an idea. It's very clear in novels – in fact, the most clear example is in science fiction: you describe a world, and you try to describe how if things were like that, they would turn out. That "what if?" question is a central question that makes human beings successful creatures. We are capable of saying what if this, and what if that, and comparing those outcomes. We love that question, and art is one of the ways we keep rehearsing our ability to answer it.

HJC: It's a great point. The problem is more with the way people think and not the content of it. Human beings are very prone to this black-and-white dichotomous thinking, so if you're a socialist country you allow no market and squash any dissent, if you're a capitalist country you're supposed to – although in fact, many countries don't – you're supposed to put profit and economic growth before any human values. But paradoxically, these two ways of thinking are the same, in the sense that they have this one grand principle to which they are willing to sacrifice everything. This is why when many communists give up communism, they become ardent free-market supporters.

BE: It's a cliche: the ex-Trot.

HJC: I know quite a few ex-Trots who work in the IMF. So if you understand art in the same way Brian does, it gives you the ability to think about alternatives, think about possibilities.

BE: It allows you to think about uncertainty. One of the characteristics of people, whether on the left or the right, is that they can't tolerate uncertainty. They don't want a system with any leaks in it. They want to think they're capable of battening everything down – and if only people would fucking stick to the rules, it would work. When those systems don't work, it's always because, in their opinion, somebody didn't play the game correctly.

HJC: Yes, it's never their principles that are wrong, it's the people who are the problem."

[So much more…]
creativity  tomwolfe  capitalism  socialism  dichotomy  values  pussyriot  games  rules  jacksonpollock  ex-trots  imf  modular  modularity  imitation  gangnamstyle  k-pop  artworld  inertia  culture  us  uk  a-levels  testing  quantification  time-wasting  wastedtime  inbetweeness  ambiguity  gray  grayarea  psy  interviews  conversations  2012  surprise  paradox  architecture  economics  ha-joonchang  politics  philosophy  music  uncertainty  brianeno  art  terryriley 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Millsin' About - Why do we pay attention to political campaigns?
"Has anyone with real political sensibilities ever been affected by a campaign or its media wake? Are you going to change your vote? If not, why are you reading about the campaign?… To see what “other Americans” are seeing? To make sure that if something untoward is said, you will be ready with appropriate indignation on behalf of your team? Do you worry that if you don’t pay attention to your candidate, he will vanish? Why do we fill our minds, lives with the chatter of these distant soap stars, these feuding celebrities, these mediated heroes and villains? Why do we give ourselves to all this, when we all know whom we support, all know whom we want to win, all know which policies we think are best?

The compromise between committed action & unattached awareness is agitated, inconsequential attention. Imagine how many minds are filled with thoughts of Mitt Romney & Barack Obama & the imaginary values they seem to represent, while all that is actually important in life fades."
energy  attention  time  life  wastedtime  wastedenergy  mindchanging  mindchanges  campaigns  politicalcampaigns  2012  politics  millsbaker 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Luke's Commonplace Book ["Particularly disturbing is the introduction of the PowerPoint into schools."]
"Particularly disturbing is the introduction of the PowerPoint into schools. Instead of writing reports using sentences, children learn how to decorate client pitches and infomercials, which is better than encouraging children to smoke. Student PP exercises (as seen in teacher guides and in student work posted on the internet) typically shows 5 to 20 words and a piece of clip art on each slide in a presentation consisting of 3 to 6 slides - a total of perhaps 80 words (20 seconds of silent reading) for a week of work. Rather than being trained as mini-bureaucrats in the pitch culture, students would be better off if schools closed down on PP days and everyone went to the Exploratorium. Or wrote an illustrated essay explaining something." —Edward Tufte
edwardtufte  lukeneff  powerpoint  edtech  teaching  schools  learning  writing  experience  wastedtime  pitchculture  classideas  missedopportunities 
march 2011 by robertogreco
How much time is wasted in your meetings?
"Do you feel like your life is wasted in useless meetings? No worries, just look around, count the number of people, guess the average salary (doesn't have to be that precise), type in the values and turn your laptop screen towards everyone else. For added effect, put it on the projector."
money  statistics  counter  meetings  wastedtime  wastedmoney  calculator  humor 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Thinking About Cursive | The Principal of Change
"The more education a child had been allowed to have before his/her handwriting was changed over to cursive — in other words, the fewer months and years s/he had spent learning/using cursive — the larger his or her vocabulary was (as measured by the number of different words used in the student’s writing over the course of a year). The differences were huge — the kids who’d been required to do the least cursive had vocabularies THREE TIMES the size of those who’d been required to do the most cursive…"
cursive  thinking  handwriting  education  learning  vocabulary  writing  tradition  teaching  tcsnmy  schools  policy  curriculum  language  wastedtime 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Myths Related to Learning in Schools
"This chapter focuses on the intellectual stultification of learners, the first of three fundamental problems that limit the quality of thinking and efficacy of the educational experience. Students in increasingly lower grades and educators at increasingly earlier points in their careers lose their joy for their work. They become jaded by the limitations on their imaginations, frustrated by the questions they are not allowed to pursue, and depressed by the more experienced peers around them who seem uninterested in their ideas. Somewhere along the way, we—educators, parents, and students alike—decided that schooling was supposed to feel this way, that the drudgery of school was necessary in order for learning to happen. We are all culpable for perpetuating this reality."
unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  learning  schools  education  via:hrheingold  drudgery  pedagogy  teaching  lcproject  tcsnmy  criticalthinking  curiosity  engagement  boredom  coping  wastedtime  attention  homework  superficiality  myths  grades  grading  motivation  speed  slowlearning  slowness  slowpedagogy  slow  intelligence  pace  risk  riskaversion  treadmill  treadmilleducation  racetonowhere  sageonthestage  hierarchy  freedom  autonomy  burnout  creativity  curriculum 
december 2010 by robertogreco
elearnspace › Questions I’m no Longer Asking
"I’m firmly convinced of the following:

1. Learners should be in control of their own learning. Autonomy is key. Educators can initiate, curate, and guide. But meaningful learning requires learner-driven activity

2. Learners need to experience confusion and chaos in the learning process. Clarifying this chaos is the heart of learning.

3. Openness of content and interaction increases the prospect of the random connections that drive innovation

4. Learning requires time, depth of focus, critical thinking, and reflection. Ingesting new information requires time for digestion. Too many people digitally gorge without digestion time.

5. Learning is network formation. Knowledge is distributed.

6. Creation is vital. Learners have to create artifacts to share with others and to aid in re-centering exploration beyond the artifacts the educator has provided.

7. Making sense of complexity requires social and technological systems. We do the former better than the latter." [Read on...]
georgesiemens  education  connectivism  learning  timewasted  wastedtime  do  doing  autonomy  unschooling  deschooling  theendlessdebate  lcproject  community  networks  student-centered  student-led  messiness  chaos  process  serendipity  criticalthinking  reflection  information  cv  complexity  technology 
november 2010 by robertogreco
What is Schooliness? Maxim 1: Writing Lessons | Beyond School
"School writing: Assignments by teachers who don’t want to read them, to students who don’t want to write them; a perpetual and unnecessary misery upon which hinges the student’s future, and the teacher’s present, livelihood."
clayburell  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  rules  howto  writing  teaching  learning  time  wastedtime 
february 2008 by robertogreco | Education | Homework a homewrecker: Report
"First national study on workload concludes it's burning out families and is of little value to elementary schoolkids"
education  homework  schools  schooling  families  parenting  wastedtime  unschooling  homeschool  learning  research  policy 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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