robertogreco + inhibition   7

Request for Comments | Gardner Writes
"As Naughton tells the story, the young graduate students who were at the center of the Network Working Group found themselves with the future of the Internet in their hands. The big corporate brains knew about the machines that made up the network, but they didn’t know much about the network itself–it was too new, and it was an emergent phenomenon, not a thing they had built. The grad students in the NWG felt they were at great risk of offending the honchos, of overstepping their bounds as “vulnerable, insecure apprentices,” to use Naughton’s words. Crocker was especially worried they “would offend whomever the official protocol designers were….” But the work had to go forward. So Crocker invented the “Request for Comments,” what he called “humble words for our notes” that would document the discussions that would build the network.

Here’s how Crocker himself put it in this excerpt from RFC-3, “Documentation Conventions”:
Documentation of the NWG’s effort is through notes such as this. Notes may be produced at any site by anybody and included in this series…. [Content] may be any thought, suggestion, etc. related to the HOST software or other aspect of the network. Notes are encouraged to be timely rather than polished. Philosophical positions without examples or other specifics, specific suggestions or implementation techniques without introductory or background explication, and explicit questions without any attempted answers are all acceptable. The minimum length for a NWG note is one sentence.

These standards (or lack of them) are stated explicitly for two reasons. First, there is a tendency to view a written statement as ipso facto authoritative, and we hope to promote the exchange and discussion of considerably less than authoritative ideas. Second, there is a natural hesitancy to publish something unpolished, and we hope to ease this inhibition.

You can see the similarity to blogging right away. At least two primary Network Working Groups are involved: that of all the other people in the world (let’s call that civilization), and that of the network that constitutes one’s own cognition and the resulting “strange loop,” to use Douglas Hofstadter’s language. We are all of us in this macrocosm and this microcosm. Most of us will have multiple networks within these mirroring extremes, but the same principles will of course apply there as well. What is the ethos of the Network Working Group we call civilization? And for those of us engaged in the specific cognitive interventions we call education, what is the ethos of the Network Working Group we help out students to build and grow within themselves as learners? We discussed Ivan Illich in the Virginia Tech New Media Faculty-Staff Development Seminar today, and I was forcibly reminded that the NWG within sets the boundaries (and hopes) we have with which to craft our NWG without. School conditions what we expect in and from civilization.

I hope it’s also clear that these RFC-3 documentation conventions specify a praxis of intellectual discourse–indeed, I’d even say scholarly communication–that is sadly absent from most academic work today.

Would such communciation be rigorous? Academic? Worthy of tenure and promotion? What did these RFCs accomplish, and how do they figure in the human record? Naughton observes that this “Request for Comments” idea–and the title itself, now with many numerals following–has persisted as “the way the Internet discusses technical issues.” Naughton goes on to write that “it wasn’t just the title that endured … but the intelligent, friendly, co-operative, consensual attitude implied by it. With his modest, placatory style, Steve Crocker set the tone for the way the Net developed.” Naughton then quotes Katie Hafner’s and Matthew Lyon’s judgment that “the language of the RFC … was warm and welcoming. The idea was to promote cooperation, not ego.”

Naughton concludes,
The RFC archives contain an extraordinary record of thought in action, a riveting chronicle of the application of high intelligence to hard problems….

Why would we not want to produce such a record within the academy and share it with the public? Or are we content with the ordinary, forgotten, and non-riveting so long as the business model holds up?

Or have we been schooled so thoroughly that the very ambition makes no sense?

More Naughton:
The fundamental ethos of the Net was laid down in the deliberations of the Network Working Group. It was an ethos which assumed that nothing was secret, that problems existed to be solved collaboratively, that solutions emerged iteratively, and that everything which was produced should be in the public domain.

I think of the many faculty and department meetings I have been to. Some of them I have myself convened. The ethos of those Network Working Groups has varied considerably. I am disappointed to say that none of them has lived up to the fundamental ethos Naughton identifies above. I yearn for documentation conventions that will produce an extraordinary record of thought in action, with the production shared by all who work within a community of learning. And I wonder if I’m capable of Crocker’s humility or wisdom, and answerable to his invitation. I want to be."
gardnercampbell  internet  web  online  commenting  johnnaughton  2011  arpanet  stevecrocker  via:steelemaley  networks  networkworkinggroups  ivanillich  standards  content  shiftytext  networkedculture  networkedlearning  blogs  blogging  inhibition  unfinished  incomplete  cicilization  douglashofstadter  praxis  cooperation  tcsnmy  sharing  schooling  unschooling  academia  highered  highereducation  authority  humility  wisdom  collegiality  katiehafner  matthewlyon  rfc-3  rfc 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Wanna run? You can « Re-educate Seattle
"The way schools are structured teaches kids to think that anything you want to do requires asking permission first. Without that permission, we learn to sit around and wait for something to change. There’s no process in place to help kids learn how to initiate something. One of the best things we can do for kids is to help them internalize some version of these two-word messages.

Mine is, “You can.”

Clay Hebert’s is “Wanna run?”"
stevemiranda  pscs  permission  doing  cv  glvo  tcsnmy  lcproject  teaching  learning  experience  hesitance  inhibition  unschooling  deschooling  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
blueprintforabogey
"Blueprint for a Bogey (10 February – 5 June 2011) includes art work from Glasgow Museums Modern Art Collection by Paula Rego, Eduardo Paolozzi and Graham Fagen shown alongside work by Glasgow based artists David Sherry and Corin Sworn and the collaborative project Women@Play.

The exhibition explores the shift from the intrinsic nature of play in children to how, as adults, we sometimes lose confidence and neglect to play. It also looks at the boundaries that adults impose on children’s play and how they approach and judge play for themselves. Where do those boundaries exist in everyday acts between play, work and creativity?

Why is play important and can it be seen as an end in itself?"
situationist  pedagogy  play  creativity  scotland  work  children  tcsnmy  intrinsicmotivation  confidence  boundaries  rules  inhibition  art  exhibits  women  playethic  agitpropproject  the2837university  gender  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
introduction to [365 days of childhood] project - [forever young].
"(365) days of childhood.  Do something childish everyday.  Do something bold.  Do something wonderful.  Do something that evokes emotion and color back into your life.  Children have this brilliant ability to perceive luminance amid noise and darkness.  There’s something healthy about that mindset—I am going to live life as a story to be written, something unbridled and free.

There are good things about adulthood.  But oftentimes “adulthood” can blind us from the beauty in life.  This project is to help people remember what it is like to be a child.  What it is like to be human.  What it is like to experience life.

I’m going to post a challenge daily for one whole year and blog about my experiences here.  It’s not going to be something challenging or expensive.  It’s going to be simple, bold moves—things we’ve forgotten and need to be reminded of. Like, “make up your own recipe with what you have in your fridge. “ Or “fingerpaint.” Or “play dress-up.” Fun and beautiful things."
blogs  childhood  life  curiosity  inhibition  experience  wonder  adulthood  adults  daily  via:lukeneff  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Caterina.net » Tinkering as Learning
"John Seely Brown…has a new book coming out soon, The New Culture of Learning…download first 3 chapters from the site.

He talks a lot about one of my pet subjects, Community Mentoring, the apprenticeship model of education:

"Where traditionally mentoring was a means of enculturating members into a community, mentoring in the collective relies more on the sense of learning and developing temporary, peer-to-peer relationships that are fluid and impermanent. Expertise is shared openly and willingly, without regard to an institutional mission. Instead, expertise is shared conditionally and situationally, as a way to enable the agency of other members of the collective."

as well as a dozen other favorite topics of mine: play as a means of learning, constraints as a stimulus for, rather than an inhibition of, creativity, and so on. I wish I could figure out how to get my hands on the whole book. There is a great page of resources on the site as well, for further exploration."
johnseelybrown  caterinafake  tinkering  learning  mentoring  mentorship  creativity  inhibition  education  books  toread  collective  collectivism  sharing  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  community  apprenticeships  newcultureoflearning  online  web  internet  change  peer-to-peer  peers  relationships  informallearning  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Nursery school personality and political orientation two decades later - Jack and Jeanne H. Block [.pdf]
"Preschool children who 20 years later were relatively liberal were characterized as: developing close relationships, self-reliant, energetic, somewhat dominating, relatively under-controlled, and resilient. Preschool children subsequently relatively conservative at age 23 were described as: feeling easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and relatively over-controlled and vulnerable. IQ during nursery school did not relate to subsequent liberalism/conservatism but did relate in subsequent decades. Personality correlates of liberalism/conservatism for the subjects as young adults were also reported: conservatives were described in terms congruent with previous formulations in the literature; liberals displayed personality commonalities but also manifested gender differences"
politics  preschool  psychology  self-reliance  energy  relationships  liberalism  conservatism  experience  naturenurture  victimhood  personality  vulnerability  inhibition  tcsnmy  filetype:pdf  media:document 
february 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » The importance of being a dork
"my blanket prescription for making friends in other countries: Your best chances to connect with people in other cultures...eating, drinking, playing music, dancing, playing football (soccer)...“play with kids”...Are plane tickets the first ingredient in these equations? Do they need to be? I live just north of Pittsfield, MA, a city of fewer than 50,000 people. For years, the city has held an annual Ethnic Fair...My guess is that there’s an opportunity for me to learn something about Brazilian culture beyond enjoying the two Brazilian restaurants that have opened in town. I suspect it involves losing fifty pounds and playing soccer in a local league. Or putting on my best clubbing clothes and hanging out at Latin Night on Saturday at the Ecuadorian restaurant and dance club. I haven’t done either, and I find myself wondering if part of the equation is that I’m more comfortable looking like a dork in Dakar than in Pittsfield."
learning  culture  travel  ethanzuckerman  society  internet  psychology  music  communication  world  glvo  cv  local  immigration  inhibition  myexperience  sports  food  dance  children  immersion 
may 2009 by robertogreco

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