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Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Mar 12, 1998

Posted to WWWDEV on 13 Mar 1997

I do like to stir up a bit of controversy. Please note that I said "commercial advertising" in my message. It is fascinating how taboo it has become to criticize the world of business these days, isn't it?

Your comment touches nerves because it touches on two realities of contemporary endeavour:

1. Much business (ie.,commercial) advertising misleads. This is not an opinion: it is an easily verifiable assertion.

2. The dominant model for public enterprise today is business. Again, this is easily verifiable.

Conjoin these observations, and you obtain the assertion that:

3. The dominant model for public enterprise is one which endorses the use of misleading advertising.

When faced with this third observation, we are faced with a dilemma. We do not want to accept the third assertion, particularly in the field of education. But if we reject the third assertion, it means that we must reject one of the first two. And so the debate rages...

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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