|John Hopkins on Sat, 12 May 2012 06:00:15 +0200 (CEST)|
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|Re: <nettime> Another insult of the 1 percent: everybody does it!|
In this way you can see that the current attack on the universities is not just a caste issue for academics, it's a societal issue. The structure of society based on distinct professional fields defined and guarded by credentials is useless for the business entrepreneurs. The real question, imo, is not how to defend professional status but rather how to transform it into something that can have a positive social function for everyone. So instead of getting a degree to carve out a protected niche in the economy, you would get both a degree and a profession in order to contribute to a greater good.
My experience is exactly so, though, in my engineering education -- I learned how to extract things from the earth that were/are in high (social) demand benefiting many, so, not sure what you mean here. What I learned was a positive social function (within the functioning of the contemporary world) -- so I think you have to go beyond that step if that is possible or reasonable in the complex system we have now... which does suggest that the sheer complexity of the system is part of the problem. A simpler system (as outlined below) has more functional and less abstracted roles, to be sure, simply to ensure survival of more localized social units. when you have larger, globalized systems, there is more 'wiggle room' for useless things to be going on: more (useless) people performing more useless tasks. Maybe this is a rule: You can't do engineering that has a positive social function for *everyone.* You can engineer something that benefits a subset,but not *everyone.* Bigger/smaller subsets, but not everyone. Adam Curtis' "Pandora's Box" series dances around this -- how engineering automatically introduces segregation into a techno-social system (because of the
continuous inter-relationship between technology and society).
Sounds like sheer naivete to the cynics, I know, but wait for one degree more of civilizational collapse and these questions will start to have immense practical value.
That's because in a less organized system, multiple disciplines are necessary for survival -- killing, dressing, and eating animals, raising subsistence crops, self-protection of personal/local water/food supplies, DIY fixing of what breaks with what tools are available. But some how, I think that this is more than a single degree of collapse, but rather system-wide disorder (which, to be honest, will probably arrive as a consequence of a cascade of organizational failures (solar flare knocks out all satellites and large chunks of electric grid which knocks out gps which knocks out telecom which knocks out transport which knocks out the main structural building blocks of entire globalized system) -- which may all be a single degree, it's all relative! At any rate, much of the concept of capital investment and such abstractions lose any reason to exist without a passively operating consuming class which dominates the developed world. All that will be redundant in the face of systemic failures. Both the passive consuming class and the producing class will be rendered, literally, as so much meat, and they too shall pass away. etc... cheers, jh -- ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ John Hopkins Watching the Tao rather than watching the Dow! http://neoscenes.net/ http://tech-no-mad.net/blog/ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ # distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission # <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l # archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: firstname.lastname@example.org