User:Mokurai/Plans and Essays

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  • The plan: Integrate the essential elements to make Sugar work for ending poverty everywhere.
  • Another version of the Plan.
  • video of Alan Kay and Andy van Dam, moderated by Joel Orr, at the Program for the Future conference in honor of Doug Engelbart and his Mother of All Demos. This was the day before I asked Alan and Doug to join the Earth Treasury Digital Textbook project, and they both agreed. I asked a question near the end of the session, at 1:11:42 in the video. Unfortunately, there wasn't time for an answer before the break.

Hi, I’m Ed Cherlin of Earth Treasury. I just want to throw out a few observations, and ask what you think we can do about them.

The first is not mine. Eleanor Roosevelt said that first-rate minds discuss ideas; second-rate minds discuss events; third-rate minds discuss people. And our entire school system is about events and people, and not about ideas. And this is particularly true in history, and it’s true in history of science, history of just about anything.

And the second observation is that schools are organized almost entirely around the delusional notion of the Right Answer. All the important questions don’t have right answers, or don’t have known right answers. (Applause) All of the important questions of science, all of the important questions of politics and philosophy and religion, everything that actually matters to us, we need to be able to explore our ignorance in comfort, to consider alternative explanations, to ask what would count as evidence, in any domain whatsoever. We want to get to the point that Piaget talked about, in which every child is encouraged to openly create their own theory of what is real (an ontology); their own theory of how you decide what’s true, what you take as provisional, what you reject outright (an epistemology); and most of all, what you do even if you don’t want to (ethics).


Joel Orr: I think that’s a question that deserves the attention of people here, and I encourage you to seek out Ed over dinner.