On ZSpace’s educational potential
We all have made the thought, many times, that the previous generation and the one before it, received a better , both political and more general, education (both mutual and self education) even through only books, newspapers, Xeroxes and surface mail; and the thought that if they had had the advantages of the web and of the alternative media they would have worked miracles about their common concerns; also we all have made, many times, the thought that the information receiving habits shaped by many present media (youtube, exchange of e-mails etc) exposes people to brainstorms of data but often watched by attentions spans accustomed to be so short that one remains almost as confused as by the chaos of uncomprehended raw facts or by its distortions by biased media. People who have the ability to form for themselves and for others pictures that are total enough to inform us about the globalized state of things are few; also, even the coherent and, in principle, graspable accounts that are the outcome of their assimilation of the vastly complicated storms of data , sound themselves like brainstorms that are still complex enough. Now, not even through planning, but through the natural course of things and flows of ideas about things, two sections of Z, ZNet and ZSpace, roughly reflect to a newcomer, respectively, the part concerning the formation of deep and total views and the part concerning their assimilation through commenting them and discussing them with their authors or their other readers. A “division” between thinkers& activist and expositors&educators about thoughts and actions is equally rough, or even impossible, but helps to outline some processes taking place both in automatic osmosis and in efforts to do better than osmosis’ almost blind shaping of the present’s brainscape: ZSpace , especially its members who are educators, expositors, presenters on web etc can help either break into smaller “chunks” and lumps, the points of big arguments that are parts of even bigger articles that frequently contain many points, or vice versa they can teach, best through mere personal example, how to creatively read those bigger articles and thus how to overcome the short attention span problems which make those bigger articles not as widely helpful as they could be; or they could help make more deeply comprehensible and more widely spreadable those ideas through the use of other vehicles (novels, films, theater plays, songs,…). If some, not so difficult to mend when seen, dysfunctions are overcome, on the one hand technical dysfunctions (e.g. the way one ZSpace commentator replies to an other, either on or not on, the article on which one of them happened to notice the other) and on the other hand dysfunctions related to communication habits, e.g. acquired through profession, or background (studies, or origin, or …) or…, then the people with related scopes and stances and abilities, regarding what must be done and regarding what they can do about it, can write to each other and exchange ideas and be, possibly, led to collaborations or to at least mutual inspirations. This, as has already been suggested in the context of avoiding e.g. “miscategorizing”, might need some more “compartmentalization” of ZSpace topics (e.g. then people who want to discuss with others of similar interests a subject, might discuss it without feeling in that period that other readers think of them as “stuck to only one issue” while hotter issues “leave them indifferent” etc; and every now and then report on the upshot of results that could interest others if they do come up with such results).
Upshot: Z-like spots on the web do help wide sections of this generation become as politically aware and involved and active as the generation of the Vietnam antiwar movement; but to now effect changes takes a critical number of such people much greater than in those times; we do hear all the time that the number of involved citizens is greater but we also witness everyday that is it still subcritical. One way it can move towards less subritical numbers is the coordination of ZSpacers related to education in the manner above.
Note 1. The above refers to thoughts made while reading the ZSpacers Raoul Martinez, Laurel Evans, Paul Brodie, Marla Renn, Eugene Brud, Crip Moorey (any inadvertent omission to be forgiven as non intended) and we refer to their recent articles and comments (reachable through looking up their ZSpaces) for fuller understanding of what we sketched here.
Note 2. To see what we mean for some of these matters through some actual instances rather than through theoretical sketch we refer the reader to our ZSpace September 16 posting One answer to the “Reimagining society project” and, for a much more detailed account, to the correspondence file at the entrance of our site www.johnalevizos.net . Comments left either here on in the comment section of other Z-postings of the present ZSpacer, or in the comment section of that site, will, periodically, be added to that correspondence file. I apologise for sending the reader from here to my site as if (s)he were a “client” but the wider discussion did involve at many points the use of photographs related to the points made and either due to my own knowhow limitations or to some still existing technical limitations of Zspace I did not manage to post photos in a text of Zspace.
Acknowledgments: To Crip Moorey among the above ZSpacers we repeat, here too, the thanks we have already expressed to him in the just mentioned correspondence place, for the alertness and directness with which he encouraged our detailed and long description of the instances that would make our above suggestions concrete and not abstract and vague.
PS: This posting was expedited to help, through being one of its possible points, a discussion that maybe will start with Alla Nikonov with whom yesterday (i.e. on October 11), in the comment space of Zinn’s article “War and peace prizes”, we had an “argument” (I call it “acquaintance argument”); of course the public discussion will equally welcome all readers who might be reading us and will also welcome the discussion of any point that might arise, not just the points related to the title of the present posting or to Obama’s Nobel that started the discussion; and if an interesting upshot comes up we may post the discussion with some more appropriate title. If the inverted chronological order format of Zcomments proves confusing I’ll reorder the comments, either in chronological order or in order of who replies to whom, and post them in a new posting etc.
Finally, like to Crip Moorey above, we also express our thanks to Alla Nikonov for the alertness and directness of her so thought provoking comments…