Dear Colleagues All Around the Elephant
& Across the Curriculum: language-ers,
fictionalists, liberal artists and of course
the independent Goedel, Escher, & Bach
Give Us this Day our Daily Bench Marks
Look carefully: can you distinguish
the bench marks? Butt marks
is what they are.
Imprints of those seated before me--resting
laurels even while moving toward frontiers
GENIUS is the ENEMY of GENIUS (R.W. Emerson).
Factor this in, my inimical-ness. Resistance & Hostility.
Naught-ing by Nature.
[ Procrustes: “the perfect host,” his Welcome Inn!.
“Come in, come in:
with a little modification:
I’ve got just the right bed for you.” ]
What contexts & kinds of environmental leadership,
& shared frames of minding shift the natural process
of “learning” from individual homeland & Procrustean
security to edification & collaborative genius?
I’m asking. Call for peepers.
& what kinds of attitude sustain the difference so as not
to collapse, conflate, and confuse my natural hostility with
my other wise charitable hospitality, doing no injustice to either?
(You know: how to build an ice cream parlor in hell without
destroying the difference? So the 2 can RELATE, of course! )
Dear Colleagues & Educational-ists,
I wish I could figure out how to induce you
to entertain the following antithetical,
un-doxological heretical, challenges to
normal syllabi-driven, grade-gun
assessment-able classroom- like
standard school-daze procedures,
if you will —or can. We could
maybe put them in play.
“Clarity is not a virtue.
If everything you say is
detailed and explicit,
you won’t give your
Put ideas out there that
are half-baked, ideas
where you’re not even
sure what it means yet.
Put yourself in an
Creativity is risky;
people are also the
ones who fail the
Creativity is inefficient.
Don’t expect every idea
and every project to pan
out. Know when to cut
your losses and move on.
“Innovation emerges from the bottom up,
unpredictably, and it’s only after the
innovation has occurred that every
one realizes what’s happened.
Innovation can’t be planned;
it can’t be predicted: it has
to be allowed to emerge.
Like successful improvisation.
Key to understanding innovation: to realize that
collaborative webs are more important than
creative people. The power of this collaborative
web …is what companies must tap into if they
want to create a culture that encourages significant
AGAIN: sampling some of Keith Sawyer’s Group Genius:
The Creative Power of Collaboration
Look: everything we do in industrialized education is in
dia-bolical opposition to these notions above! Just
describing here—not condemning for crying out loud.
We teach COURSES (with token subject- object matter)
aimed at individual acquisition. Our reinforcement and
cumulative so called quality point average procedures are
the main motive and ex officio authority that compels
compliance. Docility. It’s a force-it, involuntary system.
You could string a clothes-line of T-Shirt Awareness for
months & the damage done would still be unrecognized
and acknowledged. Need we argue?.
Can we agree on how radically incommensurate the
values and aims of “creativity” are from what seem to
be Standard Common Sense Values & Aims of our
Inert Sustainability Desires?
Not that they are not related
(the creative and the consumer agendae).
But HOW? I claim the relationship always needs
to be argued out—locally again and again, like who
takes out the trash. Need we argue? Of course.
Continually. Or what’s a college for?
We might could Turn Way Up the conflict &
appropriate opposition, “hostile” really, between
these sets of values (Fooling Around///Get R Done)
before we try to integrate. So we know what we’re doing.
Ok Ok: we are not a company. Our business is not to foster
INNOVATION. Many insist Creativity can’t be taught.
Sure: not the way Consumerism can be. . .
(“Well, Mom: I’ve finally become a PhD
A Doctor of Philosophy!”
“Dear, Dear: what kind of disease is philosophy?”)