Re: [unrev-II] Is "bootstrapping" part of the problem?

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 15:26:20 PST

  • Next message: Mark Szpakowski: "Re: [unrev-II] Is "bootstrapping" part of the problem?"

    I think the thread started by Paul is EXTREMELY important and we can clearly
    perceive that many a paradigm will need to bite the dust. I also can
    understand Paul's both-sides-of-the-brain reaction against the cerebral view
    put forth by Rod, but then again what Rod proposes is simply that we take a
    hardheaded look at things with the aid of, what he believes, is a suitable
    tool, the SDS, in order to separate the wheat (knowledge) from the chaff
    (information overload).

    My own view is that society must move educators to take a hard look at how
    best to prepare young people for a 50-year-plus horizon. Here is a snippet
    from what I am working on at the present time w.r.t. bootstrapping:

    Educators purport to prepare young people for a lifetime, i.e. with a
    horizon of more than half a century. For most of human existence, the future
    was not unlike the past. But that has changed drastically. We experience
    significant events, including dangerously critical events with shorter and
    shorter intervals between them, which begs the question just what are we
    trying to prepare young people for? Will reading, writing and 'rithmetic
    remain the constants that will serve them all their lives? What are the
    constants so we may pay especial attention to them? The closest answer I can
    come up with is: human nature. It seems to me that it is human nature and
    its culturation (notably values) that ought to be the principal focus of
    education. How will people behave in times of crisis? Who can they count on?
    What is legitimate conduct? How well are they prepared for eventualities and
    optimize their chances for survival?

    As for bootstrapping, it is obvious that with only commercial enterprises
    doing the bootstrapping, we just have our rat race exponentialized. Without
    a "speed limit." But through agglutenation -- NICs, metaNICs, etc. -- we do
    ultimately end up with the bootstrapping of society as a whole. We shall
    learn to appraise the human system as a whole with the attendant emphasis on
    co-operation. That may be the "new world order" that Rod is talking about.

    Eric's notion of rural enclaves with social centers is marvellous. Has he
    ever heard of Samba Schools? Originally, those were intended by Brazilians
    to prepare for the pre-Lent carnival, but gradually these became centers of
    socializing and learning, where people are teachers and learners at one and
    the same time. (I would like to see such places equipped with tools such as
    woodworking and metal working tools as well as computers, etc.) It wouldn't
    surprise me if eventually we go that way - once we learn to disregard the
    commercial drive to make everybody perennially dissatisfied for not owning
    everything and unable to impress everybody with our possessions..

    In conclusion, I hope this thread will continue a while yet and refine
    itself to bring forth top-quality ideas. It seems that such a critical
    contribution as the one by Gerold Johnson is most valuable because of the
    experience that has gone into it.

    Surely, this is the season for it.


    Eric Armstrong wrote:

    > Paul Fernhout wrote:
    > >
    > > If corporations now doing IT have the major goal of profit as opposed
    > > to "meeting unmet social needs" (to quote William C. Norris)
    > >
    > > then corporations whether they do IT or KM are irrelevant to human
    > > survival.
    > >
    > I really, really like that point.
    > Along with several others you've made, quite eloquently.
    > Requesting focus on goals/purpose is an extradorinarily good thing,
    > in my view. And it beggars the imagination to think that we really
    > haven't done so.
    > By way of example: I have a vision in my head of a small, virtually
    > self-supporting community that grows organic everything and has
    > streets without sidewalks that kids can play in.
    > Inside the homes in this rural paradise, there are advanced-
    > technology communication and collaboration systems, through
    > which much of the interaction with the outside world occurs.
    > In the center of the community is a dance and music hall, where
    > people get toether to entertain each other and socialize.
    > The vision doesn't go much beyond that. But it is fascinating
    > to think that if the vision for what we/I need/want is something
    > like that, then the appropriate focus for our/my efforts may
    > just be something completely different!
    > In other words, to pick the right hammer, you've got to size
    > up the nail.
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