19 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. From the classroom, to the street, to the Internet, Eric’s voice carried, and carried within it the possibility of a kind of education–amplified with digital technologies– that enables other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.

      Sadly, we seem to have othered orality and cultural practices which don't fit into the Western literate cultural box. This prevents us from moving forward as a society and a diverse culture.

      In the 90's rap was culturally appropriated by some because of its perception as "cool" within the culture. Can this coolness be leveraged as a reintroduction of oral methods in our culture without the baggage of the appropriation? Can it be added to enhance the evolving third archive? As a legitimate teaching tool?

    2. listen deeply to Eric’s story

      Beyond Eric's words here, I'm struck by the fact that he's able to do this "feat" orally in a way that I certainly cannot. Perhaps he spent ages slowly building it up and writing it down in a literal fashion, but I suspect that part of it is not and that it is raw oral poetry in a way which requires culture and oral practice that I wholly lack, but wish I had.

      How can we better teach this?! Center this.

      Link to: - Eminem's stacking ammo

    3. For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”

      One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.

      Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?

      Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.

      Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?

      Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"


      aside on serendipity

      As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,

  2. Jun 2022
    1. It will be interesting to see where Eyler takes his scholarship post-COVID. I’ll be curious to learn how Eyler thinks of the intersection of learning science and teaching practices in an environment where face-to-face teaching is no longer the default.

      Face-to-face teaching and learning has been the majority default for nearly all of human existence. Obviously it was the case in oral cultures, and the tide has shifted a bit with the onset of literacy. However, with the advent of the Internet and the pressures of COVID-19, lots of learning has broken this mold.

      How can the affordances of literacy-only modalities be leveraged for online learning that doesn't include significant fact-to-face interaction? How might the zettelkasten method of understanding, sense-making, note taking, and idea generation be leveraged in this process?

    1. “So I’m supposed to ask the Lakota Language Consortium if I can use my own Lakota language,” Taken Alive asked in one of many TikTok posts that would come to define his social media presence. 

      Based on some beyond the average knowledge of Indigenous cultures, I'm reading some additional context into this statement that is unlikely to be seen or understood by those with Western-only cultural backgrounds who view things from an ownership and capitalistic perspective.

      There's a stronger sense of identity and ownership of language and knowledge within oral traditions than can be understood by Westerners who didn't grow up with it.

      He obviously feels like we're stealing from him all over again. We need better rules and shared definitions between Indigenous peoples and non before embarking on these sorts of projects.

    2. But the copyright on the materials still gives the organization control over how the information is used, which is what some tribal leaders find objectionable.

      Oral cultures treat information dramatically different than literate cultures, and particularly Western literate cultures within capitalism-based economies.

  3. May 2022
    1. a constellation already described in 1805 by Heinrich von Kleist in his fascinat-ing analysis of the “Midwifery of Thought”: “If you want to know something and cannotfind it through meditation, I advise you, my dear, clever friend, to speak about it withthe next acquaintance who bumps into you.” 43 The positive tension that such a conversa-tion immediately elicits through the expectations of the Other obliges one to producenew thought in the conversation. The idea develops during speech. There, the sheeravailability of such a counterpart, who must do nothing further (i.e., offer additionalstimulus through keen contradiction of the speaker) is already enough; “There is a specialsource of excitement, for him who speaks, in the human face across from him; and agaze which already announces a half-expressed thought to be understood often givesexpression to the entire other half.”44
      1. Heinrich von Kleist, “Ü ber die allm ä hliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden,” in Sämtliche Werke und Briefe. Zweiter Band, ed. Helmut Sembdner (M ü nchen: dtv, 1805/2001), 319 – 324, at 319.
      2. Ibid., 320.

      in 1805 Heinrich von Kleist noted that one can use conversation with another person, even when that person is silent, to come up with solutions or ideas they may not have done on their own.

      This phenomena is borne out in modern practices like the so-called "rubber duck debugging", where a programmer can talk to any imagined listener, often framed as a rubber duck sitting on their desk, and talk through the problem in their code. Invariably, talking through all the steps of the problem will often result in the person realizing what the problem is and allow them to fix it.

      This method of verbal "conversation" obviously was a tool which indigenous oral cultures frequently used despite the fact that they didn't have literacy as a tool to fall back on.

    1. knowledgebegins with the simple, time-honored practice of taking notes

      Definite bias for literacy here.

    2. You may find this book in the “self-improvement” category, but in adeeper sense it is the opposite of self-improvement. It is aboutoptimizing a system outside yourself, a system not subject to you

      imitations and constraints, leaving you happily unoptimized and free to roam, to wonder, to wander toward whatever makes you feel alive here and now in each moment.

      Some may categorize handbooks on note taking within the productivity space as "self-help" or "self-improvement", but still view it as something that happens outside of ones' self. Doesn't improving one's environment as a means of improving things for oneself count as self-improvement?

      Marie Kondo's minimalism techniques are all external to the body, but are wholly geared towards creating internal happiness.

      Because your external circumstances are important to your internal mental state, external environment and decoration can be considered self-improvement.


      Could note taking be considered exbodied cognition? Vannevar Bush framed the Memex as a means of showing associative trails. (Let's be honest, As We May Think used the word trail far too much.)

      How does this relate to orality vs. literacy?

      Orality requires the immediate mental work for storage while literacy removes some of the work by making the effort external and potentially giving it additional longevity.

  4. Apr 2022
    1. the brain stores social information differently thanit stores information that is non-social. Social memories are encoded in a distinctregion of the brain. What’s more, we remember social information moreaccurately, a phenomenon that psychologists call the “social encodingadvantage.” If findings like this feel unexpected, that’s because our culturelargely excludes social interaction from the realm of the intellect. Socialexchanges with others might be enjoyable or entertaining, this attitude holds, butthey’re no more than a diversion, what we do around the edges of school orwork. Serious thinking, real thinking, is done on one’s own, sequestered fromothers.

      "Social encoding advantage" is what psychologists refer to as the phenomenon of people remembering social information more accurately than other types.

      Reference to read: “social encoding advantage”: Matthew D. Lieberman, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect (New York: Crown, 2013), 284.

      It's likely that the social acts of learning and information exchange in oral societies had an additional stickiness over and beyond the additional mnemonic methods they would have used as a base.

      The Western cultural tradition doesn't value the social coding advantage because it "excludes social interaction from the realm of the intellect" (Paul, 2021). Instead it provides advantage and status to the individual thinking on their own. We greatly prefer the idea of the "lone genius" toiling on their own, when this is hardly ever the case. Our availability bias often leads us to believe it is the case because we can pull out so many famous examples, though in almost all cases these geniuses were riding on the shoulders of giants.

      Reference to read: remember social information more accurately: Jason P. Mitchell, C. Neil Macrae, and Mahzarin R. Banaji, “Encoding-Specific Effects of Social Cognition on the Neural Correlates of Subsequent Memory,” Journal of Neuroscience 24 (May 2004): 4912–17

      Reference to read: the brain stores social information: Jason P. Mitchell et al., “Thinking About Others: The Neural Substrates of Social Cognition,” in Social Neuroscience: People Thinking About Thinking People, ed. Karen T. Litfin (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 63–82.

    1. Printing made books affordable to greater numbers than before, as various humanist observers noted, whether they felt this was for the better (Andrea de Bussi, Ludovico Carbone) or for the worse (e.g., Hieronymo Squarcia- fico).17

      Example that every new technology will have its proponents and its detractors.

      link to Plato/Socrates on the use of writing as a replacement for speaking and memory.

    1. I believe we serve our students better by helping them find a note-taking system that works best for them.

      Are there other methods of encouraging context shifts that don't include note taking (or literacy-based) solutions? What would an orality focused method look like? How might we include those methods in our practices?

  5. Mar 2022
    1. Topic A topic was once a spot not a subjecttopic. to ̆p’ı ̆k. n. 1. The subject of a speech, essay, thesis, or discourse. 2. A subject of discussion or con-versation. 3. A subdivision of a theme, thesis, or outline.*With no teleprompter, index cards, or even sheets of paper at their disposal, ancient Greek and Roman orators often had to rely on their memories for holding a great deal of information. Given the limi-tations of memory, the points they chose to make had to be clustered in some meaningful way. A popular and quite reliable method for remembering information was known as loci (see Chapter 9), where loci was Latin for “place.” It involved picking a house you knew well, imagining it in your mind’s eye, and then associating the facts you wanted to recall with specifi c places inside of that house. Using this method, a skillful orator could mentally fi ll up numerous houses with the ideas he needed to recall and then simply “visit” them whenever he spoke about a particular subject. The clusters of informa-tion that speakers used routinely came to be known as commonplaces, loci communes in Latin and koinos topos in Greek. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle referred to them simply as topos, meaning “places.” And that’s how we came to use topic to refer to subject or grouping of information.**

      Even in the western tradition, the earliest methods of mnemonics tied ideas to locations, from whence we get the ideas of loci communes (in Latin) and thence commonplaces and commonplace books. The idea of loci communes was koinos topos in Greek from whence we have derived the word 'topic'.

      Was this a carryover from other local oral traditions or a new innovation? Given the prevalence of very similar Indigenous methods around the world, it was assuredly not an innovation. Perhaps it was a rediscovery after the loss of some of these traditions locally in societies that were less reliant on orality and moving towards more reliance on literacy for their memories.

    1. In 1898, Māori man Te Kōkau and his son, Rāwairi Te Kōkau,began recording traditional star knowledge in the Māori language.After 35 years, they had amassed a 400-page manuscript that

      contained over a thousand star names. Rāwairi passed the manuscript to his grandson, Timi Rāwairi. In 1995, Timi’s own grandson asked him about Matariki, a celebration that kicks off the Māori new year, heralded by the dawn rising of the Pleiades star cluster. Timi went to a cupboard, pulled out the manuscript and handed it to his grandson, Rangi Mātāmua.

      Was it partially coincidence that this knowledge was written down and passed on within the family or because of the primacy of the knowledge within the culture that helped to save in spanning from orality into literacy?

      What other examples might exist along these lines to provide evidence for the passing of knowledge at the border of orality and literacy?

      Link this to ideas about the border of orality and literacy in Welsh and Irish.

    2. Indigenous scholars conducting scientific research combine formalacademic training and a personal lived experience that bridgesIndigenous and Western ways of knowing. In the United States andCanada, this concept is called Etuaptmumk, meaning ‘Two-EyedSeeing’. Etuaptmumk comes from the Mi’kmaw language of easternCanada and Maine, and was developed by Elders Dr Albert Marshalland Murdina Marshall.

      Developed by Elders Dr. Albert Marshall and Murdina Marshall, the Mi'kmaw word Etuaptmunk describes the concept of "Two-Eyed Seeing". It is based on the lived experience of Indigenous peoples who have the ability to see the world from both the Western and Indigenous perspectives with one eye on the strengths of each practice.


      The idea behind Etuaptmunk is designed and geared toward Western thinkers who place additional value on the eyes and literacy. Perhaps a second analogy of "Two-Eared Hearing" might better center the orality techniques for the smaller number of people with lived experiences coming from the other direction?

      These ideas seem somewhat similar to that of the third culture kid.

    3. ‘Yes, ofcourse we have science! We’ve been saying that for years, but noone will listen.’

      No one has listened to Indigenous peoples when they say that they have science. The major boundary in hearing in this case is that Indigenous peoples rely on orality where as Western people rely more heavily on literacy. This barrier has obviously been a major gap between these cultures.

    4. Science is something anyone can do, and everyone has done. Theprocess on paper is simple: closely observe the world, test what you learn,and transmit it to future generations. Just because Indigenous cultureshave done this without test tubes doesn’t make them unscientific—justdifferent.

      Perhaps there's a clever dig here that she uses the phrase "on paper" here because most indigenous cultures have done these things orally!

      quote from Dr. Annette S. Lee

  6. Feb 2022
    1. Also, we shouldn’t underestimate the advantages of writing. In oralpresentations, we easily get away with unfounded claims. We candistract from argumentative gaps with confident gestures or drop acasual “you know what I mean” irrespective of whether we knowwhat we meant. In writing, these manoeuvres are a little too obvious.It is easy to check a statement like: “But that is what I said!” Themost important advantage of writing is that it helps us to confrontourselves when we do not understand something as well as wewould like to believe.

      In modern literate contexts, it is easier to establish doubletalk in oral contexts than it is in written contexts as the written is more easily reviewed for clarity and concreteness. Verbal ticks like "you know what I mean", "it's easy to see/show", and other versions of similar hand-waving arguments that indicate gaps in thinking and arguments are far easier to identify in writing than they are in speech where social pressure may cause the audience to agree without actually following the thread of the argument. Writing certainly allows for timeshiting, but it explicitly also expands time frames for grasping and understanding a full argument in a way not commonly seen in oral settings.

      Note that this may not be the case in primarily oral cultures which may take specific steps to mitigate these patterns.

      Link this to the anthropology example from Scott M. Lacy of the (Malian?) tribe that made group decisions by repeating a statement from the lowest to the highest and back again to ensure understanding and agreement.


      This difference in communication between oral and literate is one which leaders can take advantage of in leading their followers astray. An example is Donald Trump who actively eschewed written communication or even reading in general in favor of oral and highly emotional speech. This generally freed him from the need to make coherent and useful arguments.