Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I'm not sure whether Annie Murphy Paul comes up with her own headlines, but if so, it should be pointed out that 'freedom' is not merely 'the absence of constraint'. Constrains come in many forms, some voluntary, which is what she is writing about here, and some involuntary, which in some cases infringe on our freedom. Now I agree that constraints are useful and even enjoyable. That's why I cycle. That's why I take my photos on manual. That's why I like the Daily Create. That's why I play No Man's Sky on the hardest setting. SAs she says, "Constraints exert a forcing function: they make us look farther afield, for solutions that will satisfy a particular set of demands. The domains in which we search for those solutions are fewer in number, and so we search those domains more deeply." Quite so. But to voluntarily accept constraints is no impingement on freedom whatsoever. Indeed, it is part of the definition of it.

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

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Last Updated: Mar 12, 2023 10:58 a.m.