Chop wood. Carry water.

I’ve been reared to go down to the well for a bucket of water, bring it back up, fill the black pot. … My baking is done on the hearth fire. I bake my own bread in my pot ovens. Perhaps it is long drawn out. But it’s all I’ve ever known. Margaret Gallagher, 1992, All I’ve Ever Known In 1992, Margaret Gallagher was turning 50. She landed her first job at 46, working as a local historian. Today she’s…

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Day to day

Currently focused on the doorway of every lecture theatre, cameras record students as they enter, matching their faces to university records. Using Hitachi Data Systems to improve student life at Curtin University,  in the black: leadership, strategy, business  I’m really stuck on this article. I’ve read it over and over. I think about the world we’re making, and the world we’re mining, and I’m trying to process something that feels like grief at the way we speak about innovation. It’s not…

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All the routine jobs

All the routine jobs will eventually be replaced. Someone talking on the radio one morning 1 It’s the morning routine. I’m driving to work, and thinking about my job, and all around me are the people doing their jobs as I’m on my way to mine. Right there in the morning traffic, there are two men laying out bollards in a row, because something’s up and today’s the day. And beyond that the freeway and all its stuff that’s only there…

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Connectedness and learning: an invitation

How much capacity for empathy do we have, for ideas and people whose worldviews are very different from our own? How much hospitality do we have in ourselves, beyond mere tolerance, for this kind of difference? Maha Bali,  ‘Whom do you listen to? And why I’m hoping to go the US this August“ At Mary Freer’s compassion lab last week I learned new things from systems researcher Fiona Kerr. Fiona advises large corporations on social neuroscience, and is a robust and articulate…

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Lenses

There’s a lot of things that we have to look at critically that might have been useful at one time that are no longer useful. Myles Horton What is the space between the orchid and the wasp? Jacques Abelman 1 In the third chapter, “Ideas”, of Myles Horton and Paolo Freire’s We Make The Road by Walking (1990), there’s a moment where the conversation suddenly looks right at us. The [electoral] system that we have in the United States was set up at…

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The roads we make

We all agreed we had to start learning from the people we were working with, and that we had to learn from each other. Myles Horton, #HortonFreire , We Make the Road by Walking So I’m in a pop-up book club, which is probably the only kind of book club I can manage, as I’m a terrible reader. I have a vision of book clubs that is part Oprah, and part my friend David the philosopher who tells me stories of Melbourne book…

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Tenet

The Latin word is from PIE root *ten- “to stretch” (source also of Sanskrit tantram “loom,” tanoti “stretches, lasts;” Persian tar “string;” Lithuanian tankus“compact,” i.e. “tightened;” Greek teinein “to stretch,” tasis “a stretching, tension,” tenos “sinew,” tetanos “stiff, rigid,” tonos “string,” hence “sound, pitch;” Latin tendere “to stretch,” tenuis “thin, rare, fine;” Old Church Slavonic tento “cord;” Old English þynne “thin”). Connecting notion between “stretch” and “hold” is “cause to maintain.” 1 What are the things that we hold to be true? What are the tenets of our time that arouse conviction, that we stretch towards, that we grab hold of and hold dear? Sometimes we hardly know what we…

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For now, our own

In open online spaces, opening doors is not enough. Maha Bali, ‘Reproducing marginality,’ September 2016 We so easily forget our bodies. Mary Freer, ‘This body goes to work,’ August 2016 Over the last week I’ve been skirting a significant conversation begun by Maha Bali (“I don’t own my domain, I rent it“) and continued by Audrey Watters (“A domain of ones own in a post-ownership society“). Never far away is Andrew Rikard’s Edsurge post “Do I own my domain if you…

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US/not us

We need to have more conversations with people who are not us. Chris Gilliard, #DigPed, August 2016 1 It’s 5am. It’s dark outside, and cold inside. My daughter’s in the kitchen banging cupboard doors and making coffee. She’s up to watch the Olympics, and she wants company. Blearily we straggle out to join her and slump on the couch under blankets, trying to figure out what’s happening. Skeet shooting, what is that? Divers fall from the sky in apparently perfect synchronisation. They enter…

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What would Stampy do?

But we desperately want live lectures to work. We’ve done them for so long now that they seem a part of who we are. And we are tantalised by the mirage of thinking that if only everyone turned up, they would be a far more efficient way of teaching than the seminar or the tutorial. Desperately. So desperately that we are prepared to ignore the prodigious financial and environmental cost of heating or cooling large empty spaces. So desperately that…

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