Absurdum Infinitum in 3 acts

Act 1: Tommy’s Chosen Reality (4th grade Software Coding Class)

In this episode in the educational series, we are introduced to the new federally mandated computer class in the fourth grade of Cheney Elementary School. Principal Laura Cummings; the recently outsourced computer instructor Gerry Shillencamp; the precocious Haruka Kawauchi; and that rascal Tommy — combine all their madcap efforts to get through a new day at school.

Act 2: She’s So Preeeti ! (Post-Singularity Robot Sitcom)

In this episode, we are introduced to the much. . .well sort of different world that awaits us on the other side of the Singularity. Preeti Krishnamurti and Gerry Shillencamp star in Nanotech Resource Distribution Network’s popular sitcom “She’s So Preeti!”. In this, the premier episode: ‘At Home with our Molecutron’, Preeti has an epiphany as to the bold artistic choice that is sure to bring her stereotyped acting career to the next level. Not unlike how Bob Dylan once had to break free from his acoustic guitar at great risk — in this laugh-filled episode we witness Preeti contemplating similarly divergent paths in her career.

Act 3: The House of Infinite Progress (Post-Singularity Sermon)

Rise up into the post-Singularity world! In this episode sponsored by Nanotech Resources Distribution Network, and by TwittleMeet, we are welcomed into the ‘Temple in the Cloud’ where the Reverend Kenneth Whiteman preaches the word to renew our faith in progress. Whiteman is a preacher who mixes hard-hitting dictum with a penchant for kidding, to arrive at a sermon with a strangely curious odor.


Scatological Hope

A colleague from where I teach sent me an article written by one of his former colleagues. The article: Note to Educators: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete by Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade, appears in the summer 2009 edition of the Harvard Educational Review.

It opens with this quote from Paulo Freire:

“The idea that hope alone will transform the world, and action undertaken in that kind of naïveté, is an excellent route to hopelessness, pessimism, and fatalism. But the attempt to do without hope, in the struggle to improve the world, as if that struggle could be reduced to calculated acts alone, or a purely scientific approach, is a frivolous illusion.”

The piece then goes on to identify what Duncan-Andrade terms, enemies of hopeand “false hope” namely: Hokey Hope, Mythical Hope, and Hope Deferred.

Eventually, the author identifies Critical Hope as the true hope that is crucial for the betterment of lives of urban youth — inner city young people inhabiting what he terms “socially toxic environments“.

A metaphorical vehicle for the thesis stems from a quote by Tupac Shakur whereby young people, transcending such obstacles, are like that of “roses that grow from concrete” — and a perfectly fine metaphor it is for lives overcoming the obstacles of concrete, analogized as, “one of the worst imaginable surfaces in which to grow, devoid of essential nutrients and frequently contaminated by pollutants.”

Nonetheless, a glaring omission from Duncan-Andrade’s analysis is educational technology’s mix in the concrete — concrete through which Duncan-Andrade suggests we encourage cracks through “the quality of our teaching, along with the resources and networks we connect our students to.” continued here