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> Content Fixation And Regressive Education, Hang Down Your Head, John Dewey, & Cry
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Jon Awbrey
post Mon 7th July 2008, 1:52am
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Forthcoming …

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This post has been edited by Jon Awbrey: Mon 7th July 2008, 1:56am
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Jon Awbrey
post Thu 12th March 2009, 2:54pm
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Sun 6th July 2008, 9:52pm) *

Forthcoming …

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Well, I won't try to cache you up on everything I did on my summer and solstice vacations, but I did just finish reading a fascinating book by Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University that bears on the general subject of this thread, so I was thinking that the eblogatory book report might be apt.

The title of the book is Proust and the Squid — now there's a hook if I ever read one — subtitled The Story and Science of the Reading Brain — still a teaser but a bit more of a clue. It's a little difficult to encompass the scope of the work in a single line, but let me give it the old collage try — Cognitive Neuroscience of Writing Systems and the Brains that Read and Misread Them, Both, with Ontogeny Recapping Phylogeny, More or Less, and Prospects for the Future of Humane Information Processing. But I still like her title better.

A lot of other hwk to do today, so I'll go collect my notes and get back to you later.

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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 21st March 2009, 2:50am
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QUOTE(Maryanne Wolf @ Proust and the Squid)

When all is said and done, of course, Socrates' worries were not so much about literacy as about what might happen to knowledge if the young had unguided, uncritical access to information. For Socrates, the search for real knowledge did not revolve around information. Rather, it was about finding the essence and purpose of life. Such a search required a lifelong commitment to developing the deepest critical and analytical skills, and to internalizing personal knowledge through the prodigious use of memory, and long effort. Only these conditions assured Socrates that a student was capable of moving from exploring knowledge in dialogue with a teacher to a path of principles that lead to action, virtue, and ultimately to a "friendship with his god." Socrates saw knowledge as a force for the higher good; anything — such as literacy — that might endanger it was anathema. (Wolf, p. 220).

Wolf, Maryanne (2007), Proust and the Squid : The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Harper Collins, New York. Paperback edition, Harper Perennial, New York, 2008.

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Milton Roe
post Sat 21st March 2009, 2:58am
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QUOTE(Jon Awbrey @ Fri 20th March 2009, 7:50pm) *

QUOTE(Maryanne Wolf @ Proust and the Squid)

When all is said and done, of course, Socrates' worries were not so much about literacy as about what might happen to knowledge if the young had unguided, uncritical access to information. For Socrates, the search for real knowledge did not revolve around information. Rather, it was about finding the essence and purpose of life. Such a search required a lifelong commitment to developing the deepest critical and analytical skills, and to internalizing personal knowledge through the prodigious use of memory, and long effort. Only these conditions assured Socrates that a student was capable of moving from exploring knowledge in dialogue with a teacher to a path of principles that lead to action, virtue, and ultimately to a "friendship with his god." Socrates saw knowledge as a force for the higher good; anything — such as literacy — that might endanger it was anathema. (Wolf, p. 220).

Wolf, Maryanne (2007), Proust and the Squid : The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Harper Collins, New York. Paperback edition, Harper Perennial, New York, 2008.



And also, it would lead to students who weren't interested anymore in having live-dialogs with lonely old men. oldtimer.gif

Haven't read the book, but the allusion in the title seems clear. Madelines and myelins.
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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 21st March 2009, 3:10am
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QUOTE(Milton Roe @ Fri 20th March 2009, 10:58pm) *

Haven't read the book, but the allusion in the title seems clear. Madelines and myelins.


No, her reference to Proust has more to do with his book On Reading.

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Jon Awbrey
post Sat 21st March 2009, 3:25pm
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QUOTE(Maryanne Wolf @ Proust and the Squid)

There are deeper meanings in these Socratic concerns, however. Throughout the story of humankind, from the Garden of Eden to the universal access provided by the Internet, questions of who should know what, when, and how remain unresolved. At a time when over a billion people have access to the most extensive expansion of information ever compiled, we need to turn our analytical skills to questions about a society's responsibility for the transmission of knowledge. Ultimately, the questions Socrates raised for Athenian youth apply equally to our own. Will unguided information lead to an illusion of knowledge, and thus curtail the more difficult, time-consuming, critical thought processes that lead to knowledge itself? Will the split-second immediacy of information gained from a search engine and the sheer volume of what is available derail the slower, more deliberative processes that deepen our understanding of complex concepts, of another's inner thought processes, and of our own consciousness? (Wolf, p. 221).

Wolf, Maryanne (2007), Proust and the Squid : The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, Harper Collins, New York. Paperback edition, Harper Perennial, New York, 2008.


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Jon Awbrey
post Fri 14th January 2011, 3:30pm
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Reviving this for the sake of a current discussion on Facebook, instigated by an Op-Ed piece by Steven Pinker in The New York Times.

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