Archive for the ‘conversations’ Category

the critique of education

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Wow! With the current Wikileaks-Cablegate affair, audiologist I am seeing a lot of venom and righteous indignation.

As ever this rests upon a heap of confusion.

Let’s clarify a few things so we can be sure we aren’t distracted. There are bigger things happening (or not happening) in the world as our attention is consumed by this latest media event.

I’ve already said that there is a big difference between Treasonous acts and Whistleblowing (whether against Government or Corporate abuse of power and the public trust). Our legal system should reflect that distinction.

I’m going to go expand that statement to include the other big “T” … Terrorism.

We don’t need to go into the details of whether this was a case of whistleblowing. It’s more like a massive data dump. But as an analogy it should be instructive. The point about whistleblowing is having a fair and impartial hearing under due process of law, whether in the corporate sphere or a matter of state. The expectation of such a hearing, a true separation of powers and a more general atmosphere of transparency would transform our political culture in the best possible ways.

Another important distinction: those who publish the material, and those who leaked it. These are very different acts, and should be regarded differently. Some have called for the “destruction” of the publisher, some are engaged in illegal activities trying to suppress the website. As for the person who leaked the material, I return to the question of due process of law.

If we speak in favor of Law and Order (upholding claims of secrecy, and the necessity of state secrets and moreover the stiff punishment of those who break the pertinent laws) then let’s set aside the vindictive calls for persecution and violence that ignores due process or makes it into a mockery.

And let’s take that notion a little further — due process is not just following the letter of the law and procedures. It involves a judicious reading of the letter of the law such that higher human values are served or weighed against each other. This sort of reading of the law can lead to a rewriting of the law that is all part of an ongoing evolution of the human spirit. It’s the basic mechanics of the common law and we should not be so quick to dismiss such deliberations as judicial activism. It was once the consensus that common law was in evolution and progressing to a higher state. There are ways in which our society has fallen, but we cannot deny the possibility of further progress of human values. The law as written and enforced is not always right.

Lastly, let’s not confuse privacy and secrecy. Secrecy is a matter of policy. No Government agent creating a document or other record in the course of their duty has any expectation of “privacy” … these documents are internal, and that’s not the same as privacy. Recognizing that secrecy is a matter of policy is to see that it’s not a right. It’s a combination of circumstance and policy, and policy can be changed at a pen stroke.

All in all most of the confusion comes down to a certain kind of authoritarianism we all to readily adopt and allow to excuse further abuse of power. Consider the lengths the Administration went to in attempts to quash the Pentagon Papers and to persecute and prosecute Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo. This is a dangerous thing. If we’re really on the side of law and order, let’s moderate the rhetoric, and let’s not be distracted.

Wow! With the current Wikileaks-Cablegate affair, audiologist I am seeing a lot of venom and righteous indignation.

As ever this rests upon a heap of confusion.

Let’s clarify a few things so we can be sure we aren’t distracted. There are bigger things happening (or not happening) in the world as our attention is consumed by this latest media event.

I’ve already said that there is a big difference between Treasonous acts and Whistleblowing (whether against Government or Corporate abuse of power and the public trust). Our legal system should reflect that distinction.

I’m going to go expand that statement to include the other big “T” … Terrorism.

We don’t need to go into the details of whether this was a case of whistleblowing. It’s more like a massive data dump. But as an analogy it should be instructive. The point about whistleblowing is having a fair and impartial hearing under due process of law, whether in the corporate sphere or a matter of state. The expectation of such a hearing, a true separation of powers and a more general atmosphere of transparency would transform our political culture in the best possible ways.

Another important distinction: those who publish the material, and those who leaked it. These are very different acts, and should be regarded differently. Some have called for the “destruction” of the publisher, some are engaged in illegal activities trying to suppress the website. As for the person who leaked the material, I return to the question of due process of law.

If we speak in favor of Law and Order (upholding claims of secrecy, and the necessity of state secrets and moreover the stiff punishment of those who break the pertinent laws) then let’s set aside the vindictive calls for persecution and violence that ignores due process or makes it into a mockery.

And let’s take that notion a little further — due process is not just following the letter of the law and procedures. It involves a judicious reading of the letter of the law such that higher human values are served or weighed against each other. This sort of reading of the law can lead to a rewriting of the law that is all part of an ongoing evolution of the human spirit. It’s the basic mechanics of the common law and we should not be so quick to dismiss such deliberations as judicial activism. It was once the consensus that common law was in evolution and progressing to a higher state. There are ways in which our society has fallen, but we cannot deny the possibility of further progress of human values. The law as written and enforced is not always right.

Lastly, let’s not confuse privacy and secrecy. Secrecy is a matter of policy. No Government agent creating a document or other record in the course of their duty has any expectation of “privacy” … these documents are internal, and that’s not the same as privacy. Recognizing that secrecy is a matter of policy is to see that it’s not a right. It’s a combination of circumstance and policy, and policy can be changed at a pen stroke.

All in all most of the confusion comes down to a certain kind of authoritarianism we all to readily adopt and allow to excuse further abuse of power. Consider the lengths the Administration went to in attempts to quash the Pentagon Papers and to persecute and prosecute Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo. This is a dangerous thing. If we’re really on the side of law and order, let’s moderate the rhetoric, and let’s not be distracted.

Wow! With the current Wikileaks-Cablegate affair, audiologist I am seeing a lot of venom and righteous indignation.

As ever this rests upon a heap of confusion.

Let’s clarify a few things so we can be sure we aren’t distracted. There are bigger things happening (or not happening) in the world as our attention is consumed by this latest media event.

I’ve already said that there is a big difference between Treasonous acts and Whistleblowing (whether against Government or Corporate abuse of power and the public trust). Our legal system should reflect that distinction.

I’m going to go expand that statement to include the other big “T” … Terrorism.

We don’t need to go into the details of whether this was a case of whistleblowing. It’s more like a massive data dump. But as an analogy it should be instructive. The point about whistleblowing is having a fair and impartial hearing under due process of law, whether in the corporate sphere or a matter of state. The expectation of such a hearing, a true separation of powers and a more general atmosphere of transparency would transform our political culture in the best possible ways.

Another important distinction: those who publish the material, and those who leaked it. These are very different acts, and should be regarded differently. Some have called for the “destruction” of the publisher, some are engaged in illegal activities trying to suppress the website. As for the person who leaked the material, I return to the question of due process of law.

If we speak in favor of Law and Order (upholding claims of secrecy, and the necessity of state secrets and moreover the stiff punishment of those who break the pertinent laws) then let’s set aside the vindictive calls for persecution and violence that ignores due process or makes it into a mockery.

And let’s take that notion a little further — due process is not just following the letter of the law and procedures. It involves a judicious reading of the letter of the law such that higher human values are served or weighed against each other. This sort of reading of the law can lead to a rewriting of the law that is all part of an ongoing evolution of the human spirit. It’s the basic mechanics of the common law and we should not be so quick to dismiss such deliberations as judicial activism. It was once the consensus that common law was in evolution and progressing to a higher state. There are ways in which our society has fallen, but we cannot deny the possibility of further progress of human values. The law as written and enforced is not always right.

Lastly, let’s not confuse privacy and secrecy. Secrecy is a matter of policy. No Government agent creating a document or other record in the course of their duty has any expectation of “privacy” … these documents are internal, and that’s not the same as privacy. Recognizing that secrecy is a matter of policy is to see that it’s not a right. It’s a combination of circumstance and policy, and policy can be changed at a pen stroke.

All in all most of the confusion comes down to a certain kind of authoritarianism we all to readily adopt and allow to excuse further abuse of power. Consider the lengths the Administration went to in attempts to quash the Pentagon Papers and to persecute and prosecute Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo. This is a dangerous thing. If we’re really on the side of law and order, let’s moderate the rhetoric, and let’s not be distracted.

We are hostile to Dogma. That is the final word. We are not hostile to Education as such, steroids
but rather to such defenses of ‘it’ which render its’ rational alteration improbable.

Dogma is singular in the abstract, approved
but in concrete it is many.

In our hostility toward Dogma we must be hostile to our own Dogma, or at least suspicious of it. In this way we will be better able to follow the Kantian maxim, if we take up this war. We must not fight this battle in such a way as to preclude a future peace.

We reject Dogma as stylized response which impairs or otherwise hinders communication. It is likely that there is something behind the Dogma.

If we are to do anything constructive we must free up the voice of that something so that it can be heard, so that it can be taken account of. What is rejected primarily in Dogma is not faith. It is a manner of presentation which is deceptive. Deception need not be intentional. Indeed we will agree with the Pragmatists’ denial of privileged access to “intent”.

If we can get behind the mask of Dogma and see the Face of the Other we will have opened channels of communication.

Dogmatic expression adds nothing, moreover it takes away. It serves as a possible model of future behavior. Can we say that it is inefficient? We must break this habit. It befuddles our thought. It hearkens back to ‘essences’. Inefficiency is not a function of Dogma or Dogmatic Expression, nor is it a feature of it, nor the essence of it. For as with Rationality, we must speak of inefficiency in terms of purposes, aims, groups.

Dogmatic Expression is related to homophilly. The Expression of attitudes, beliefs, may serve to secure and identify group boundaries. In this respect it can be considered efficient, both for the group, and for the groups it serves to contrast. And for a larger constellation of groups it may well serve the regulation of parts.

Dogma and Dogmatic Expression serve pattern maintenance. Growth within the group and under the regime is channeled along certain lines. Other possibilities for growth are circumscribed, and foregone/foreclosed, if not obstructed.

Within any group there may be forces which are held back. The group is an institution, it is an idea. Forces are held in check for the purpose of achieving other ends.

[Stability, Identity may be ends pursued.]