What are we re-defining? From my vantage point, learning fuels the economy and social networks are empowering us to connect in ways that support new paradigms and possibilities. I’ve compiled a few snippets that reveal what myself and my sources may be mulling. The basic idea is that there are “other worlds” where networked learners can solve global issues and form back-up plans while earning alternate currencies.
The DYNDY project encourages us to re-consider how we deal with and create money in our present world where financial, banking, and economic crises result from faulty top-down decision-making processes that serve the few and not the many.
“We are in a situation whereby the incapacity to re-define how we deal with money could resolve in an a severe damage to society as we commonly refer to it: contrary to what happens with information systems, there are no backups with money systems.”
It was around this time two years ago that I had begun wondering about a collaborative learning game that might involve role-playing and task completion. I suggested that the game shouldn’t preach, correct, or in any way disrespect the player’s intelligence, but rather amplify it through teaching the art of content analysis as a form of “participatory entertainment”. I was learning content analysis at the time with Open Intelligence, but lacked the tools that would accelerate the process. I was longing for something that didn’t exist and was wishing for a form of education that could provide the kind of collective intelligence I saw attainable when collaborative groups began practicing content analysis and synthesis together.
In opposition to terminal creeds, Vizenor seeks in his writing to promote the concept of “survivance.” He tells Isernhagen: “if we have dominance — in other words, a condition that’s recognizable as a world view — then surely we have survivance, we have a condition of not being a victim.”55 Like his understanding of postmodernism, survivance is for Vizenor a condition and not an object. It is a way of thinking and acting in the world that refuses domination and the position of the victim. In Fugitive Poses (1998) Vizenor writes: “[S]urvivance, in the sense of native survivance, is more than survival, more than endurance or mere response; the stories of survivance are an active presence… .”56 Survivance is not passive survival but active resistance as well; it is the refusal of the insistence upon tribal people as “Vanished,” or as tragic victims, or as ig/noble savages caught in an unchanging past, or as the vanguard of an idealized New Age future. Chris Lalonde points out that “with his fictions [Vizenor] does what Foucault argues is what makes one insane in the eyes of the community: he crosses the boundaries of the dominant bourgeois culture in order to reveal the lies upon which it is based.”57
A report from 2009, from KnowledgeWorks called 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning caught my attention. It identifies six major drivers of change that might unleash a wild world of learning quite unlike any system of schooling we’ve ever experienced. What I’m finding is that it’s increasingly a story-driven game that places students at the center of their learning experience, much like an MMORPG. In any case, the singularity is one narrative I imagine will drastically alter what it means to be a student interfacing with a world undergoing ecological and economic shifts.
In the section called Altered Bodies we’re reminded that neuroscientists have begun to design neuro-enhancements that might soon provide “customized learning experiences” that push the boundaries of ethics and cognitive rights. Learners are forecast to have “more and more options for modifying their minds and bodies in support of peak performance even as they navigate increasing levels of bio-distress.” I’m reminded of what H.G. Wells would say is urgently needed to prevent our own extinction, “the evolution of a new more powerful type of man.”
StrengthFinder2.0, by Tom Rath, recommends the following to anyone who experiences Connectedness:
Don’t spend too much time attempting to persuade others to see the world as a linked web. Be aware that your sense of connection is intuitive. If others don’t share your intuition, rational argument will not persuade them.
Jason Silva’s essay on “Intertwingularity“, begins with a quote from Ted Nelson about the term he coined to express the complexity of interrelations in human knowledge.
“EVERYTHING IS DEEPLY INTERTWINGLED. In an important sense there are no “subjects” at all; there is only all knowledge, since the cross-connections among the myriad topics of this world simply cannot be divided up neatly…”
Silva draws a connection between Nelson’s notion of “all knowledge” to Teilhard De Chardin’s “noosphere”. He’s reminded of a presentation from Chris Anderson, curator of The TED Conference, who refers to the power of imagination and he world of ideas as a kind of “life form” which has “made possible the human progress of the last 50,000 years.” Anderson is enthusiastic about imagination as key to every evolutionary step forward through countless dead ends. Anderson looks to our brains as ecosystems for “a new kind of life”.
Silva stresses the importance of our species with a quote from futurist Ray Kurzweil who said:
“…It turns out that we are central, after all. Our ability to create models–virtual realities–in our brains, combined with our modest-looking thumbs, has been sufficient to usher in another form of evolution: technology. That development enabled the persistence of the accelerating pace that started with biological evolution. It will continue until the entire universe is at our fingertips.”
Silva’s essay fuses quotes about technology as an extension of evolution, so that we might be encouraged to “step out of the familiar.” For what he sees possible is a humanity becoming immortal as we are “amplified by ourtechnologically-extended minds.“