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09/22/2008

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Khamon

People have been publishing, promoting, and profiting from verbose educational heresies for centuries.

Why are you picking on this particular scheme? Have the perps achieved federal grant status or published any books yet?

Prokofy Neva

I was asked to join it, Khamon. I even said, you know, I don't have time for this, and it seems awfully contrived and geeky, but I was encouraged to join anyway and that critics were welcome.

It's like Second Life. I like the idea of having open courses for free online that people can join to learn things. It seems like an interesting idea at first. Seeing that its execution is so propagandistic, I'm very dismayed.

It's like SL and social media, the people making the tools and doing the experiment weld in their world ideologies, usually of the leftist technocommunist or extremist Extroprian sort, and they can't let go. They can't make it for everybody. They can't tolerate diversity within it. They also can't tolerate it being critiqued or modified.

It's like Jacek and the viewer -- he can't bear the critiques of the public on the viewer changes, can't listen to them, has to go around them, and views himself as the progressive avant-garde. This is all about the orthodoxy of tool makers who can't let go.

dave cormier

I wouldn't blame George and Stephen for 'rhizomatic' anything as that is my particular complication in the mix. While I take your calling the rhizomatic bit a 'fad' as a compliment... I assure you it isn't deserved. While I am certainly not the only person to draw on the work of Deleuze and Guittari in education, their work has been out for 28 years and has been pretty consistently used.

Prokofy Neva

Well, Dave, here's what you have to realize: I'm not an educator, have not studied theories of education, and never heard of these people.

And that's ok, I still get to judge it and comment on it because...this is the free Internet. It's a massive online course open to all, and that means people like me, who are educated and intelligent and outspoken, will be showing up and commenting. And there will only be *more* of us, unless of course the edu-gurus lock the whole thing up into filtered and controlled blogs and Nings and whatnot, which is of course, what some of your other scholastics urge doing.

So, how to explain this: if these cats were writing 28 years ago, before the Internet was even a gleam in the MIT or CERN guys' eyes, how did he cook up something that somehow relates to "networks"? Could it be that in fact these theories aren't dependent on electronic networks, but relate to any human connections? Or could they be false?

Reading this, I ask that very question:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilles_Deleuze

A guy with some quirky leftist French philosophy, who got lung cancer and threw himself out of a window when the cancer took away his power of speech.

"In the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Deleuze and Guattari describe history as a congealing and regimentation of "desiring-production" (a concept combining features of Freudian drives and Marxist labor) into the modern individual (typically neurotic and repressed), the nation-state (a society of continuous control), and capitalism (an anarchy domesticated into infantilizing commodification). Deleuze, following Marx, welcomes capitalism's destruction of traditional social hierarchies as liberating, but inveighs against its homogenization of all values to the aims of the market."

But capitalism doesn't bring just homogenization; it brings us cigarettes, lung treatment, and windows.

So appearently here's what happened (we Americans are so provincial!):

"Like his contemporaries Foucault, Derrida, and Lyotard, Deleuze's influence has been most strongly felt in North American humanities departments, particularly in circles associated with literary theory. There, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus came to be seen as major statements of post-structuralism and postmodernism,[34] though neither Deleuze nor Guattari described their work in those terms. Deleuze and Guattari's work has been an important factor in these circles for a turn from a study of reality as discourse to body politics, as a result of Deleuze's epistemology being primarily focused on ontological questions.[citation needed]."

I'm sorry, deconstructivism has never appealed to me. I find it infantile and untethered to reality.

Indeed, "rhizomatic anything" is a fad.

dave cormier

ha. It is your blog... we faddist have no interest in impinging on your 'right to free speach'. It's the 'values' that Deleuze doesn't want to be homogenized... he wants you to have free speach and to have a different value structure than he does.

They could relate to any human connection. Yes. And Deleuze and Guattari certainly were suggesting that they did. I, on the other hand, am suggesting that they are a nice way to create converation about how knowledge gets created now.

With debate. and discourse. and people choosing which opinion works for them in their own context, without being some shill for a corporate sales pitch.

free.

Prokofy Neva

I'm not so sure your Deleuze really is for free speech. If he were really tolerant of free speech, he wouldn't be wailing about "homogenization" under "capitalism" (i.e. suburbia). He would let people be free, and perhaps quit smoking.

"Freedom" has to include within it acceptance that there will be "corporate shills" and "sales pitches". The worst thing I find is that people shilling for ideologies of opensource give-aways, which they are going to be using to collect consulting fees as "educational technologists," are the loudest on "capitalism" and "corporate shilling," n'est-ce pas?

I'm not so sure that your rhizoids are viable...or valuable. The idea that headless potato roots go lurching off to conquest new soils, crushing rocks in their wake, well it sounds like, oh, peasants in the Russian revolution or something.

Or, if you are going to stick to your ideology, you'd have to accept that this blog, too, is a rhizome (rhizoid? rhi-thingie), too, and not an aberration.

How do you earn a living, Dave?

dave cormier

mmm... potatoes. If I didn't think that this blog was an important part of the conversation I wouldn't be here. I actually don't spend much time 'discussing' stuff with people who agree with me... it's not very entertaining... nor very imformative. Yes... you are now part of my own knowledge creation process. part of the rhi-thingy

I'm a web dude for UPEI. I teach. I work on curriculum for some folks. And work on communities (see http://edtechtalk.com) but I'm not sure you were asking.

I'm very interested in the fact that you find Wikipedia's retelling of Deleuze's critique of capitalism as promoting 'homogeneity' irritating. I can't imagine Deleuze suggesting that people shouldn't be homogeneous, if that's what they want, but rather observing that they become that way... which they tend to.

I find it interesting that you think that I don't agree with you. At least, i don't really disagree with you. I feel the same way about capitalism that I do about democracy... not exactly perfect, but certainly better than the alternatives.

No one is saying that there shouldn't be corporate shills... but rather that, when we consider what it means to 'know' something, that's it's important to remember that they are there... and that everyone, even rhizo-marxists, have an agenda. And sometimes, like people talking about crazy open-source stuff, they do want to make money.

But, uh... i didn't talk about that.

Prokofy Neva

I refuse to think in terms of "knowledge creation processes". Knowledge just is. I think it's far more static than you and Stephen would ever admit. Your name and his name are still the same as they were yesterday, although of course we could fracture into a million pieces and call you Mad Coe River and Weed Toss Phenn.

If you're in Canada, chances are, the government pays your salary at a university. So the problems of the private sector may be remote to you.

I'm glad to hear that you feel democracy and capitalism are slightly better than the alternatives. I bet you're a wee tad bit to the left than me, however, even as an Obama voter and a registered Democrat given your unwillingness to take a weather eye to those destructive French philosophers. Akh, Parizhskaya oblast'...

I think you aren't reporting the Deleuze allergy to capitalism accurately. He's definitely irritated and alarmed. Look at the title of the book, "Capitalism and Schizophrenia" or something. Sounds pretty lurid!

What impels the Rhizoid, Dave? Or propels it? Without any head and all.

Ken Anderson

If I may take a stab at this question:

The rhizoid is a head in itself, with knowledge distributed amongst its nodes, and of course as it grows through learning (connecting) so does its knowledge. Ultimately one very large rhizoid results.

Prokofy Neva

Well, wait, Ken. First your rhizoid breaks off to function with "its own head," and now all of a sudden it's connecting again to other newheaded things and making "one large rhizoid". So, what connects it, telepathy? Or the All Hail Holy Network?

And once we have a "very large rhizoid," don't we have the same problem the rhizoids fled from in the first place, which was all these heavy orthodox institutional oppressive things crushing their green sprouts.

Ken Anderson

Hi. What connects it is a natural process of connecting through association. Not telepathy, that is a symbolic representation of an attribute potentially held by humans, not non-human appliances or rhizomes. We are seeking patterns here. So the orphan rhizomes seek and identify associated patterns and connect. Simple stuff, really.

Essentially, the nodes in the rhizomes naturally seek out association with other nodes through a process that is based on pattern seeking but anyway what really matters is the connection. Try to understand this as process, and results. Causality, much like the concept of making meaning, has no meaning in this model. Nor does it matter.

As far as the crushing concern, no the very large rhizoid is good for you, as the process is natural and anyway, large networks are best as there is more knowledge to be obtained. Individual rhizoids on their own would suffer from lack of connecting and thus their disconnect from learning. Learning is of course the process of connecting with the knowledge that resides in the nodes. If you can't connect with the nodes, you will not learn anything. So aim for rhizoidal connections, seems to be the best bet.

I have named my synthesis Connecti-Vision.

(connect and you will see)

Hope this helps.

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