Rob Van Kranenburg on Sat, 6 Apr 2002 06:39:09 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> New beginnings begin by ways of teaching

New beginnings begin by ways of teaching.


In the philosophy of Aristoteles there were three domains of knowledge
with three corresponding states of knowing that were deigned equally
important: Theoria, Techné and Praxis. Theoria with its domain of
knowledge epistéme, was for the Greek gods, mortals could never reach this
state of knowing. But they could try to strive for it. In Theoria and
epistéme we immediately recognize our concepts of theory and epistemology.

In Techné with its domain of knowledge počsis we can retrieve the concepts
technology and poetry. Related, for example, as follows: the poetics of
Aristotle can be seen as a catalogue of literary techniques. The original
meaning of the word 'technology' was concerned with know-how or method,
and it was only with the Great Exhibition of 1851 that the word became
overly associated with machines.

It is therefore all the more interesting that the domain of knowledge
which belonged to Praxis: phronesis has dropped out completely, not only
in our language but also in our thought and ways of thinking.

Phronesis, that knowledge that any one of us uses daily in the practice of
living his everyday existence, is no longer recognized as an important
domain of knowledge with a modern linguistic equivalent.

In reevaluating phronesis we revitalize and make political once more
structures of feeling that have capacities to bridge dichotomies.

In doing so we inevitably have to confront our praxis of teaching and even
more our praxis of being teachers, of being bound to a domain of the real
that has no current grounding in cultural theory.


It took me five years to figure out, to grasp, - understand - let me use
the word resonate - these lines of Heraclite: and I rephrase them in my
own lines - "of all that which is dispersed haphazardly, the order is most
beautiful." In the Fragments you read that these lines are
incomprehensible as far as the Heraclite scholars are concerned. They can
not link it as a line of verse with other words in other lines in verse. I
read it and reading I knew it to be true. Knowing that as experience is
not very productive in a society that has no non-iconic medium for
transmitting this kind of experience.

In order to make this experience productive; read: make it politically
viable and socially constructive - in order to find ways of transmitting,
ways of teaching experiences like this - we textualise. We find analogies,
we read initial lines as metaphor, as metonomy.

I went for a walk one day in the woods near Felenne, in the Belgian
Ardennes. A beautiful walk it was, steep down, hued autumn colours, leaves
fading into black. In the quiet meadow that we passed I saw autumn leaves,
small twigs, pebbles a few - hurdled into the most elegant of patterns by
the strenght of water moving. I looked hard and did agree realizing; there
was indeed no other way of arranging all that.

To recognize data as data

I recognized data as data, the very beginning of any educational process:
deciding what is data and what is not. As data form the keys to
information and information informs the process of creating
intersubjective knowledge communities, it is vital that the tactics and
strategies for laying bare the decisions data/not data are at the
forefront of educational issues today.

>From power to influence to resonance

What does this data do?:


"A next-generationconfigurable circuit architecture is being proposed by a
group of designers at startup Cell Matrix Corp.

The architecture goes beyond basic FPGAs by building arrays of "cells"
rather than simply reconfigurable gates. Each cell has a small amount of
logic and local memory and communicates with its nearest neighbor.

The novel aspect of the approach is the ability of cells to modify the
operation of their neighbors during run-time.

That has allowed Cell Matrix engineers to define an entire circuit by
initially configuring two or three cells on the boundary of an array and
then allowing the cells to program their neighbors. The process resembles
software bootstrapping in conventional computers, but it leads to a
hardwired circuit."


"The assembly shall be considered constituted when at least 20 neighbors
are present. All who live in the neighborhood may participate with voice
and vote," reads a woman, aided by a brand-new megaphone, on a street
corner where more than a hundred residents have gathered.

"The executive committee shall meet 15 minutes prior to the assembly to
draft the agenda with the proposals provided by the neighbors," she says,
handing the word - and the megaphone - over to the "moderator". It is
clarified repeatedly that "here, no one is in charge, we are going to take

One of the proposals made during the assembly was to set aside 15 minutes
each week on a neighborhood radio program to provide updates about the
movement. The proposal was readily accepted.

But when the moderate announced that a television news program has sent a
reporter and a camera operator, thereaction is one of absolute rejection,
with the neighbors shouting for the media representatives to leave.

The reporter is from a program whose host has supported the government's
economic reforms in the past few years and who now is seen as inciting
protest with a right-wing discourse.

The neighbors make it clear they do not want anyone to use them to advance
a cause they do not agree with.

In fact, in the assemblies and in mass e-mails, Argentines are calling not
only for the removal of the career politicians and entrenched union
leaders, but also for the rejection of the privatized entities entrusted
with public services and of the news media which, they say, are not
accurately portraying the population's suffering.

"I am very surprised because there are people participating who otherwise
never left their homes. My 70-year-old neighbor had never taken part in
anything, but now she has such an extremist stance that it is truly
astonishing," said Palermo neighborhood assembly participant Fernández.

She said one of the slogans repeated in her neighborhood is "the
politicians must go because they do not understand a thing." Fernández
explained that this reflects the sentiment that political leaders no
longer comprehend, nor can they express, the citizenry's problems because
they are too far removed from that reality.

What this data does is making very clear that our categories that once
were sufficient, derscriptive and productive: power as a concept,
influence as a concept has been outwitted by a process we might call:
resonance. Ideas resonate. Action is no longer directed from above, under,
it is in between. In between the spaces :

Each cell has a small amount of logic and local memory and communicates
with its nearest neighbor.

Each person has a small amount of logic and local memory and communicates
with its nearest neighbor.

So what can a teacher do?

The teacher


Teachers can be.

That is, in being they can occupy spaces that are not in between, that are
nodes that are linked in a network. In being nodes their first and
foremost duty is to lay bare the code that decides which functions as data
and which does not function as data in creating nodes that inform the
links and relations between links that make up the network.

This means that teachers have to make a thoroughly technologically
informed stand, a stand that is first and foremost moral in nature.

Not moral in terms of good or bad, we are beyond good and evil, but moral
in terms of protecting, guiding and make way for the learning process

In Mobile Vulgus Christian Nold reveals the "potential force a crowd of
people hold when they act as a cohesive whole."

"Music is not dangerous, itšs the people. Music can be as loud as you
like, ok you get blast effects but they canšt be worse than explosions,
and buildings are designed to withstand explosions. No, its the actual
effect that people would be able to cause.

By standing still an average person weighing around 65 kilograms exerts a
force of 650 newtons straight down onto the floor. Once mobilised into
jumping with both feet that force is multiplied almost seven times. If
fifty people jump simultaneously, this force produces 23 tonnes of
pressure which is the same weight as thirty-three cars stacked one on top
of the other. With every drum beat, these tonnes of pressure piledrive
into the ground at the resonant frequency. Seeing, hearing or feeling even
the slightest response from the structure initiates a feedback loop
between the building and its occupants which increases the feeling of
communal action. The amount of force required to cause a full structural
collapse is between ten to one hundred timesgreater than that needed to
see the first surface cracking. These warning signs are sufficient for our
purposes since they force the authorities to close down the structure.
Used in this way the tactic should pose no danger to anyone."

Used in this way the tactic should pose no danger to anyone. But we have
learned, we have learned along the way.

We learn along the way.

Ghent, april 5, Rob.

  Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002 16:28:23 -0500 From: Brian Atkins
<> Reply-To:
To: "" <>
Subject: [>Htech] True cellular automata hardware
  Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 15:51:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Clore Daniel C <>
Subject: (en) Media: Argentina's Neighborhood Assemblies
A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E's
Rebellion in the Neighborhoods  by Marcela Valente  BUENOS AIRES, Feb 13 -
Neighborhood assemblies are springing up in cities throughout Argentina,
particularly in the capital and surrounding areas, as a groundswell of
people seek to change the political landscape amidst the country's social
and economic collapse. Agencia de noticias A-INFOS. Noticias de, y de
interés para, anarquistas Suscribirse  -> email LISTS@AINFOS.CA  el
mensaje SUBSCRIBE A-INFOS Reproducción -> por favor,
incluye este pie
  Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 11:45:11 -0500 From: Announcer
<> To: Subject: <nettime>
Publications [x9]
  MOBILE VULGUS is published by Book Works. 128 pages, printed offset,
with an audio CD, 170x155mm ISBN 1870699564, price Ł7.50

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