Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Setting the Dial On Rationality

Oct 15, 2007

This post begins by summarizing M. Mitchell Waldrop's "Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos," a worthy objective in itself, and then proceeds through an interesting discussion of modernism and technology. Doug Noon's definition of modernism will do: "progress, reason, technology, and a new world order all seem to be bundled together in it." And as Tom Hoffman says, "One thing that drives me crazy about our favorite ed-tech K-12 Web 2.0 rhetoricians is the exclusion of modernity and modernism from the discourse." Well I think I understand modernism all right; I am old enough that I was positively steeped in it when I was growing up. But, you know, I've read Kalle Lasn too. And I don't see technology as inevitable, I see the future as the result of choices, not progress, and there is no one purely rational future to choose from.


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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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