In order to connect dots, one must first have the dots
via John Philpin
We might have a great idea and advanced skills at generating and developing ideas, but communicating them allows other people to access them. Two quite different skillsets, and we have to pay attention to both.
As private enterprise takes an increasingly prominent role in the creation and management of ostensibly public urban space, as neo-authoritarianism spreads unchecked, and as pervasive technology weaves itself ever more intimately into all the sites and relations of contemporary life, all of the material conditions are right for Chinese-style social credit to spread on other ground. Consider what Sidewalk Labs’ neighborhood-scale intervention in Toronto implies—or the start-up Citymapper’s experiments with privatized mass transit in London, or even Tinder’s control over access to the pool of potential romantic partners in cities around the world—and it’s easy to imagine a network of commercial partners commanding all the choke points of urban life. The freedoms that were once figured as a matter of “the right to the city” would become contingent on algorithmically determined certification of good conduct.
One of the consequences that Greenfield shares is the impact such changes would have on urban environments:
A dominant current of urbanist thought in the West sees order in cities as uncontrived—an emergent outcome of lower-level processes. Canny observers like Georg Simmel, Jane Jacobs, and Richard Sennett hold that virtually everything that makes big-city life what it is—and big-city people who they are—arises from the necessity of negotiating with the millions of others with whom city dwellers share their daily environments. In cities that are set up to afford this kind of interaction, people learn to practice what the sociologist Erving Goffman called “civil inattention.” They acknowledge the presence of others without making any particular claim on them. This creates the streetwise, broadly tolerant urban character of big, bustling cities from Istanbul to Berlin to Dakar, Senegal.
I am reminded of Steven Johnson and his discussion of where good ideas come from.
via Cory Doctorow
Right and true are formed by consensus - some will align with me, others with John, but when true consensus cannot be achieved we are left with opinion. That's fine, we seek opinions to educate ourselves and to gain affirmation of our own, but when we blindly reject those that don't provide that affirmation we tread a slippery slope.
Coming from a Literature background, so often things are structured are power and persuasion. I feel if I had (or have) my time again how I might bring some more nuanced conversations in the classroom. I think that the Visible Learning routines can be helpful in developing this.
"When we say that Keats had a strong influence on Wilde, what we really mean is that Wilde was an assiduous reader of Keats, an inquisitive reader in the service of an acquisitive writer." Ruthven
Today, value isn't created by filling a slot, it's created by connection. By the combinations created by people. By the magic that comes from diversity of opinion, background and motivation. Connection leads to ideas, to solutions, to breakthroughs.