Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
My most recent book review is of Doris Lessing's Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, and so it is appropriate that Dave Pollard brings us this post summarizing how to escape the prisons. Based on David Edwards's 1995 book, Burning All Illusions, the advice (a bit long, but worth it) is as follows:

  1. Be mindful. Watch what's happening and why.
  2. Be self-aware. Pay attention to what you're doing and why.
  3. Be open-minded. Don't prejudge. Listen.
  4. Accept responsibility. Don't blame victims.
  5. Think critically. Question what you read and hear.
  6. Refuse to self-censor.
  7. Reject simple, comforting answers.
  8. Don't compromise. The 'lesser of two evils' is a slippery slope.
  9. Refuse to hate; don't be provoked into hating or scapegoating.
  10. Reduce your dependence, so you can voice your criticisms.
  11. Disobey. Constantly challenge authority, ask questions, say and do what others fear to.
  12. Learn, especially from experience; sidestep the filters.
  13. Don't rationalize. Don't be seduced into believing something just because you want to.
  14. Celebrate your uniqueness: Don't just be everyone else.
  15. Love yourself. Don't depend on others' attention or approval.
  16. Wonder. Imagine. Be free of the need for certainty.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 22, 2021 01:24 a.m.