Elliot Washor's TGIF 2.03.2023
“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder New Forms, New Measures – Show Don’t Tell Video and Accountability – The Alphabet vs The Goddess From: What prompted the development of writing systems? There’s a bigger question about whether writing, the handmaiden of imperial taxation, conscription, and surveillance, is a good thing at all…..But writing has been around for only six thousand years or so, and most people didn’t see much of it—it wasn’t omnipresent in daily life—before the invention of the printing press and the rise of the modern nation-state. There is no particular reason to think it will long outlive them.” Last week, I was going to write about the article above about the development of writing systems when the story of the tragic murder of Tyre Nichols was breaking. Some may think that this article has little to do with what happened but if you look at the police report and the history of writing, you will see a connection where over the millennia written text becomes the record of what happens and image/pictures have taken a back seat at least, until videos like brutal murder of Tyre Nichols start to get released to the public. This precedent of the alphabet over the image is true in almost any system we have legal, school, medical, social…. Years ago, I wrote an article Show, Don’t Tell Video and Accountability specifically about the rise of the power of the image juxtaposed against the written word. When the police officers filed their report, did they believe their written account would stand up to a video recording of what happened? Of course they knew that their body cameras were recording what happened but they also knew the power of the written report as the coin of the realm. Hopefully, in our legal system a video will stand up to a written report. Then maybe police will think twice about what they write but more importantly think twice about what they do from the get go.
Scott sent an email to me and Danique about the growth of childhood obesity and the correlation to the processed food that is at our disposal. I asked Scott if he had more documentation. This is what he sent about the Childhood Obesity Epidemic ttps://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6203a20.htm https://cepr.org/voxeu/columns/evolution-bmi-values-us-adults-1882-1986 https://ourworldindata.org/obesity https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228640/
As I was reviewing Pam Roy’s new book, I came across this quote she had in it from Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment … all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.” You could say, Dostoyevsky had a way with words or you could say he had a way of knowing through being in the world. And once again, report after report comes out about not only the monetary rewards of being in the skilled trades but the work being meaningful to the people doing it. Check it out. Job Satisfaction and Finding Meaning and Value in Work Sweetwater School District in Chula Vista is the second largest high school district in the state of CA. Our meeting on Monday with principals and Deputy Supt Vernon Moore was about setting up work for the next 3 years around three things: B-Unbound – Out of School; developing UpStream Schools; and the potential of starting a new BPL school. Later in the week, when Anthonette, Andrew, David and I meet with the Deloitte team what struck me was that Sweetwater’s intentional transition of B-Unbound as being a way of bringing an internship program directly into the school from the outside was a similar incremental change that ImBlaze is trying to do to develop more robust internship programs in schools. Also, the contrast of planting a foot in the out of school space and one inside of school was present in both the conversation at Sweetwater and the one with Deloitte. And, at yet another meeting with Hakan Satiroglu from XR Terra, the same scenario arose. Should the work of AR/VR be done inside of school or outside? How Hakan’s platforms would be used inside or outside could look very different. Can one move the other? Black History Month Disclaimer: As most of you know I’m not a supporter of any AP courses. I have loads to say about them but I do think this story illuminates some assumptions about learning and teaching. Black History Month has started off with another controversy. It is no coincidence that Florida’s Department of Education released their rejection of the AP African American Studies course on February 1st. This story has captured the attention of the media but sometimes a little learning is a dangerous thing. If anyone really cared, they would know that the large publishing companies in order to get states like California, Texas, New York and Florida to approve their textbooks present the same historical events in different ways all the time. These state approvals are worth millions and, for the money, companies go through all sorts of contortions. Yep, you can read different histories of the same event from the same publisher: changing, eliminating or adding sections of history to get a particular state’s approval. Is there anything new here about how our education system operates with a focus on learning? Nope, sadly just a way to make history. Be well!