Listened Ep. 79 Suzanne Slomin “Feeding A Living Culture” from teamhuman.fm
Playing for Team Human today is Suzanne Slomin, founder of Green Rabbit a small solar powered bakery located in the Mad River Valley of Vermont specializing in naturally leavened breads.Suzanne wi


In the introduction, Douglas Rushkoff reflections on the blockchain. This is in contrast to the usual hype. Rushkoff questions what happens when the incentive of mining bitcoin has gone? We are then back to the traditional banking structure where we are dependent on some sort entity to provide a subscription service.

For the feature, Rushkoff talks with Suzanne Slomin about baking bread. This is an insightful conversation. It reminds me of a similar conversation on the Eat This podcast. One of the aspects that stood out was the Slomin’s discussion of her use of living culture as opposed to industrial yeast. She describes how she has to regularly feed it or else it turns in on itself. This is a fantastic metaphor for change.

Liked Want to Drive Change? Find Your California Roll by Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical)
Just because Japanese restaurants wanted to serve exotic recipes to American customers from day one doesn’t mean that American patrons were ready to eat them. Instead, attracting interest and long term commitment meant creating recipes that introduced change incrementally, one new and interesting ingredient at a time.
Replied to Is your School an X or Why School? by Richard Wells (EDUWELLS)
Students and schools focussed on why they exist develop stronger engagement in all activities and this results in making achievement in what we do much easier.
I really enjoyed Sinek’s book.

One of the interesting points that I found was that ‘why’ is not necessarily something that you just sit around and decide. It involves culture and therefore action. In some respect it reminds me of trust. You cannot necessarily create ‘trust’, instead you put in place the conditions for trust to prosper. I think that the challenge we face is creating the conditions for why to prosper. I think that your book goes some way to doing this. However, I imagine that it will always be based on context and involve idiosyncrasies.

Bookmarked Let’s Get Better at Demanding Better from Tech by Cory Doctorow (Locus Online)
You don’t have to be “protech” or “anti-tech.” Indeed, it’s hard to imagine how someone could realistically be said to be “anti-tech” – your future is going to have more technology in it, so the question isn’t, “Should we use technology?” but rather, “Which technology should we use?”
Cory Doctorow stops and reflects on technology. He argues that it is not about technology or no technology, but rather what technology. He pushes back on the argument about advertising and suggests that there are wider market forces at play:

In 2018, companies from John Deere to GM to Johnson & Johnson use digital locks and abusive license agreements to force you to submit to surveillance and control how you use their products. It’s true that if you don’t pay for the product, you’re the product – but if you’re a farmer who’s just shelled out $500,000 for a new tractor, you’re still the product.

Although it can be easy to blame the fore-fathers, Doctorow highlights how some of these concerns are not new:

The reality is that these early “techno-utopians” were keenly aware of these risks. They founded organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation, not because they were convinced that everything was going to be great – but because they were worried that everything could be terrible, and also because they saw the potential for things to be better.

He closes his piece explaining that we have to fight for and work with technologists for a better future.

Our technology can make our lives better, can give us more control, can give us more privacy – but only if we force it to live up to its promise. Any path to that better future will involve technologists, because no group of people on earth is better equipped to understand how important it is to get there.

For me, this is why I persist with the IndieWeb.

Bookmarked The Dark Arts of Our Agents of Change by Bruce Dixon (Modern Learners)
When we talk about school change, we usually refer to changeleaders, but by far the largest number of change influencers are the global tribe of curious, somewhat subversive teachers who are committed to school being a better place for their students. They are our agents of change.
Bruce Dixon reflects on the role of teachers as change agents. He identifies four tactics used:

  • Focus on learning, not on change.
  • Focus on the ‘why’ not the ‘how.’
  • See change as a journey, not a blueprint.
  • Share ideas by taking down walls not building fences.
  • Know the importance of  ‘winning the war,’ not fighting battles.

This reminds me in part of Will Richardson’s keynote for TL21C a few years ago. There Will argued for 10% at a time.

Liked Avoid Binary Thinking. Go To The Grey. by Chris Wejr (chriswejr.com)
it is EASY to tweet a dichotomous statement in a succinct manner that gets people’s attention and gets 100s of retweets; but we often lose out on the grey and miss out on the opportunity to engage.  If we do feel the need to make a polarizing statement, we need to be willing to engage when someone challenges us.  Keep the social in social media; respond when we are respectfully challenged so the conversation can move deeper and move to the heart of the statement. We need to continually reflect, be willing to be challenged and open to others’ ideas and opinions.
Read Surviving and Thriving in a VUCA World: In Consideration of Education in the Exponential Age (DCulberhouse)
David Culberhouse provides a succinct 'call to action' for leadership in the modern world.
David Culberhouse provides a succinct ‘call to action’ for the modern world.
Replied to Education and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Learning {Re}imagined – Medium by Graham Brown-Martin (Medium)
We are on the precipice of what the World Economic Forum calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial intelligence. Automation. Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self…
Graham, i understand that we are in a time of rapid change, but I am not sure how many times I can hear the case for new jobs? My concern is that new jobs implies that there are jobs today or in the past that have not changed, is that really true?

Take education, it can be so easy to make the case that education has not changed for X amount of years, but what does that actually mean? I believe that a teaches job changes every year on a number of levels — policy, classroom, values etc. To say that things do not change dumbs things down to some meaningless context. This is one of the problems with Hattie’s ignorance of outside influences (although this seems to have been covered by the new approaches to Visible Wellbeing and Visible Parenting). I would argue that if Papert were writing, thinking and educating today then his thinking might be different too? Do you agree? Teaching changes.

Let’s take this from a different perspective, say music. I remember watching Synth Britannia, a documentary following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesizer from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage. One of the things that stood out was the influence of technology (synthesizers) on the sound. It can be easy to listen to some of the music now and cringe at the lack of texture of these early synthesisers, but these artists were taking the tool to its extreme. However, this movement was as much a response to politics, to society, as it was to the tool. To do the supposed ‘same’ today would not be the same in my view. Even applying constraints to replicate the recording environment, this is always a choice which you can always escape. It was not back then. However, people still record, create, produce, play music. Has the job changed? What does it actually mean to be a musician or a producer?

Maybe I have missed something? Maybe I don’t get it. I am happy for a different perspective, but I have stopped worrying about jobs and titles, because I have always found them misleading.