"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb disputing the outcome."
--(Attributed to) Benjamin Franklin
Saturday, January 12, 2013
The Bleat Goes On: Oracular; "Save Our Wimmin!"
are NOT "simple" things. I used to do a full, one-hour professional
presentation on the symbolic and social resonances captured in these
"simple" devices. I called them "Oracles." They occur in just about every place IN THE WORLD where "school" is done with paper and pencil. Oracles are part of what I
called a "contraband" curriculum in schools. Nobody EVER introduces
them in class. They're like cockroaches in the cafeteria. They're just always there. Most teachers confiscate them, and yet they proliferate,
from about 2nd grade through about 6th. Their character changes, over
that time, too...
They're fascinating things. They work on the same logic
as computers do. It's also a lesson in how easily assumptions can be created and manipulated by "mediating" reality. They project the promise of randomness, but it's within a tightly prescribed range.
used to assign pre-service teachers the task of constructing one, and
then describing, in their academic discourses, what it was they were
doing: what necessary skills ere involved, what knowledges were involved... I.e.: You
get geometry from the the physical construction; probability from the
questions you ask, and binary logic from the manipulation of it. If you
remember, you learned how to manipulate the outcome if you were the
"owner" or author of the device?
object itself is a statement about quality of knowledge that is
necessary to construct it, and the capacity of the makers to apply what
they know, but don't have the names for, yet. Plus
it functions as a tool in creating internal "orders" among kids.
Cooties? Remember cooties? In the earliest developmental/age level appearance of
these things, they're "cootie-catchers," long before they become
language games. They a play a game with object permanence: it was there all along. But "Cooties"
are "class" markers; they're the nits--the larval stage--of lice. Having lice sends a social signal: Lice
are not found on good, clean people, so if you have cooties, you are of a
lower social class.GIRLS have cooties, around second grade...