Enlightened Conflict

purposeful ignorance & purposeful lack of listening

January 5th, 2017

 

genius calvin

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Calvin & Hobbes:

“Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?”

 

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Mrs. Wormwood:

“What state do you live in?”

 

Calvin:

“Denial.”

 

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Calvin & Hobbes:

 

“In my opinion, we don’t devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.”

 

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Well.

 

I am not sure there is anything worse a person can do in my eyes than to ignorance closed mindembrace purposeful ignorance. I may actually believe it is worse than lying.

 

Technically, purposeful ignorance occurs when a person knows the truth but chooses to ignore it, or the person refuses to abandon false beliefs and pursue the development of further knowledge.

 

According to the Urban Dictionary willful ignorance is: the practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs.”

 

But, to me, there are three levels of purposeful ignorance:

 

  • accepted ignorance: I have an attitude, perception or belief and I go about my life doing nothing to engage my thinking and expand what I know <unlearning avoidance is what I call this>

 

 

  • confirmed ignorance: with the intent to show everyone that I am not ignorant I actually proactively engage in news & opinion offerors … uhm … but I only do so with those who have the same attitudes, perceptions and beliefs that I do <learning how to better articulate what I already think is what I call this>.

 

 

  • ignorant ignorance: I actively engage with people who have different views and maybe even have some discussions and give the impression I am open minded … but even while nodding my head sagely I am simply building additional walls around what I already believe and think <listening without listening is what I call this>

 

The last of those three is the most heinous type of ignorance. You actually have the opportunity to learn and you choose to not learn diddleysquat.

 

It is heinous to me because there are gobs of well-intended people who are smart but just don’t actively engage in learning new shit because … well … they got shit to do.

 

Do I like that they are unengaged in learning & unlearning? No.

 

Can I see how it could happen? Yes.

 

In addition … almost every single one of us have moments of purposeful shortcuts not thereignorance.

 

At its worst it is a conscious choice to be ignorant rather than challenge themselves and acknowledge a truth about reality.

At its best we have simply bucketed some things in our minds as ‘decided’ in order to short cut some things and invest energy in others <and we all do the this>.

 

To be clear on this issue.

 

The reason I think people who do the third type of purposeful ignorance should be strapped to some pole and whipped is because they are consciously & actively being ignorant while most of us accept our ignorance because we admittedly like to think we understand things and we certainly understand that challenging what we already believe is difficult.

 

For most of us challenging what we believe is difficult because it means admitting that beliefs are subject to change and some could actually be wrong … and … well … we feel much more comfortable thinking that some things are just etched in stone.

 

This is not denial this is simply avoidance.

And we all do it on occasion.

 

But we also do not go through the motions of publicly showcasing that we are actively listening to try and challenge our beliefs.

We accept them and observe them and articulate them.

 

That’s it.

 

unlearn business tired old ideasAnd maybe this is simple laziness in not wanting to have to do the work to rethink opinions & beliefs and unlearning shit we thought we knew and then having to explain why we change dour minds and … well … you get it.

 

Our closemindedness is mostly driven by avoidance <purposeful or not>.

 

And I even give some people a break on this topic.

 

Psychological research tells us that some people are cognitively complex while others prefer cognitive simplicity, in other words, some people are open to experience while other are closed minded.

Some people are cognitively flexible while others are cognitively rigid.

 

I could suggest that those who are cognitively simple, closed minded and/or rigid are much more likely to engage in the ‘accepted ignorance’ level of purposeful ignorance that I noted earlier.

 

These are not stupid people by any stretch of the imagination and they most certainly have the ability to be ‘smart’ <or broader in thinking> … they are simply people who would rather be comfortably ignorant rather than ‘intellectually smart’.

 

In addition … Urban Dictionary suggests that some people are “cognitive misers“, i.e., they do not to examine things intellectually if they don’t feel they have to.

 

And another valid reason is … well … conformity. While this sounds ‘sheeplike’ it obvious sheep hughis not always. We all engage in some aspects of conformity because it helps us not only fit in but provide us with some daily stability which permits us to engage our energy elsewhere. That is why a shitload of people tend to believe what those around them believe because questioning those beliefs would lead to conflict, possibly rejection and … well … energy investment.

 

And, look, there are some nice benefits to conforming.

 

Conformists have the greater potential to find a mate, or mates, to climb the social ladder of “success,” to have others speak well of them and to enjoy the benefits of a social support system.

 

And, with all that said, you know what? I can live with that.

 

As much as a curious, always seeking truth, person like me finds purposeful ignorance to be an egregious & utter lack of responsibility to living Life to its fullest and being engaged in Life … in general … I accept that there are some acceptable versions of purposeful ignorance <and, yet, I will do anything I can to break thru to these people and engage in some thoughtful thinking>.

 

I absolutely believe that learning and unlearning, is a lifelong process and ultimately leads to a fuller, richer Life. I will participate in learning/unlearning through my own discussions and I will engage with anyone, anywhere, on any topic, at any time.

 

I understand that deeply ingrained purposeful ignorance is incredibly difficult to change but I also never, ever, underestimate people’s capacity for change.

 

I will continue to be interested in the views of others, even where I disagree with them, and I will always be interested in understanding why others act and think in the way that they do.

 

I believe the importance of this type of relevant knowledge mainly resides in the ultimate negotiation of ‘what will be.’ in other words … how we, as people, achieve the best possible outcomes.

 

And that is why I will end here.

 

My third level of purposeful ignorance, “Ignorant ignorance”, is evil.

hunter bad boss assholeAnd it takes an evil person to consciously commit it.

 

I cannot even attempt to understand how someone could fuck with learning & unlearning in such a purposeful manner. Faking learning, or an interest in learning … or faking sincere curiosity … is maybe the most heinous act one could commit.

 

They are jerks. And, unfortunately, we have no scientific research for a cure for jerks.

 

 

 

saying goodbye to project global generation

December 27th, 2016

gg thinker and girl

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“ I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.”

 

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Dead Poets Society

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“Teach me how to gracefully let go of things not meant for me.”

 

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via lilac-veinss

 

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Well.

 

I am saying goodbye to my project global generation education idea.

 

Project Global Generation was my global gg access tech_growthtechnology based education idea.

 

It pains me to do so as I view what is happening with regard to education and technology.

But it has been 6 years since I built out the program and initiative and shared it online and it has gone nowhere.

 

I still believe it is a good idea. No. A great idea to enhance education at younger age levels globally.

 

More often than not when technology & education is discussed it refers to university level. I do not. And I have not. My initiative has always resided at the K through 12 level.

 

<although … awhile back one of the people in my LinkedIn network recently attended a conference on technology, start ups and education which discussed investment in K-12 innovation and VC’s: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/heres-what-we-told-world-leaders-edtech-betsy-elizabeth-corcoran >

 

 

Now.

 

Before anyone completely freaks out, while I do believe classrooms will need to change shape <almost everyone agrees the common set up is less than optimal>, I do believe there will be a human teacher for a long time yet and in my initiative idea I created a concept in which the best teachers could have student access globally … anywhere <implementation and costs  >

 

But.

Something needs to change <and charter schools and privatization are simply band aids on an old wound>.

 

Worldwide, 250 million children do not have even basic numeracy and literacy skills. In some rural parts of the world only one in five children aged 10 and 11, who should have spent five years in school, have achieved minimum learning standards.

My idea can help solve that.

 

In addition, one reason why so many children spend time in school without progressing is overly ambitious and inflexible curriculum. Education interventions aimed at basic literacy and numeracy skills for children who have fallen behind curricular expectations show that they can improve rapidly with the right support.

My idea can help solve that.

 

In many countries, the best teachers often cannot help the students who need them the most holding back children’s learning.

My idea can solve that.

 

In many cases learning is less than optimal because we do not provide learning resources to help children progress at an appropriate pace. Learning materials will only be effective if they are accessible to children, are pitched at the right level and in the right language, and teachers are trained to use them. A computer-based tool in India that tailored learning materials according to children’s current learning levels increased test scores in mathematics for the average child, to exceed 69% of children in the comparison group.

My idea can help solve that.gg thinking beyond-the-box

 

Lastly.

 

It is clear that education systems require urgent reform.

My idea can help do that.

 

Online education has made incredible strides.

And it certainly hasn’t reached a point where it can completely replace physical teaching. Human beings are able to pick up on a multitude of contextual clues from students to determine and respond to the emotional states. Technology can’t detect emotional states, let alone adapt its behavior to cater accordingly.

But we would be foolish to believe that ability is not beyond the scope of what technology will be capable of at some point.

 

Anyway.

I am certainly not the only one with this vision of a technology based education platform.

 

A guy, Steve Vosloo, significantly smarter than I and in the education business has written some fabulous pieces associated with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with regard to the future of technology based education:

 

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“UNESCO studies have shown that the use of a SMS phone can help them [children in developing countries] onto the first rung of Digital Literacy by learning to read and write their first words, and subsequently creating the desire to attend school.”

 

http://edutechdebate.org/2014-ict4edu-trends/6-emerging-trends-in-education-and-mobile-learning/

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All that said.

As I say goodbye to Project Global Generation I admitI have always wanted to leave a Legacy. One which may appear to be a pretty “big hairy audacious goal”.

 

Encouraging an optimistic global generation of children having a respect for the environment and others and, ultimately, are individually and globally responsible.

 

I want to develop a children’s education global initiative that can grow the roots for a positive responsible global generation. I want to attack ignorance as if it is the enemy.

And I built it.

 

Soup to nuts I built out the concept <I have the entire table of contents below>.

 

And, suffice it to say, I believe there is a confluence of factors that make this concept a possibility. It is an idea that’s time has come. Surely, the most critical factor to this concept is the evolution of internet usage and global access.

GG platform benefitsIn addition, I thought the idea would always contribute to my larger overarching objective of Enlightened Conflict.

 

Why did I believe Enlightened Conflict an important objective?

Let’s assume Conflict will always exist – between countries, religious beliefs, ideologies, the haves and the have nots, etc. We appear to have a unique opportunity to insure conflict can be managed to some extent. Enlightening a generation to the risks of conflict without respect <the reverse would be encouraging positive conflict or conflict with rules>.

 

If we don’t attempt to place the underpinnings on the foundation of the global generation, then we risk the global house falling when they reach an age where they can dictate the outcome of whatever conflicts across the globe may be happening at that time. No one can doubt that there will be crises and conflict this generation will deal with. And none of us can imagine what they will be. But we should bear a responsibility for preparing them. And an internet education platform offers an opportunity to create a global community thread that in the end could spare us from the direst outcomes from future conflict.

 

Am I seeking a global socialism or global “mind”? Absolutely not.

In fact I would encourage embracing local culture customs but within this infrastructure of common respect. I hesitate to use the word values because so often it has religious aspects. But if I could use it without the religious attachment it is very appropriate. I do not believe we will have a global religion but I do believe we can have global respect.

I call this objective “The Global Generation and Owning a Contradiction: Community Individualism” and it was at the core of the think biggerconcept.

 

I have always believed to make this idea be its most effective, the concept has to embrace the contradiction. Community, a pluralism type idea, and Individuality of choice, a strength in “one” to make a difference type idea. Therefore this concept needs to enhance the sense of global community and encourage local individual choice to encourage belief that a global community is actually made from the strength of individual choices <and the global community respects local choices as long as it stays within an overall respect for life & environment construct>.

 

I have always believed, all the other aspects created equal, the strength of this concept lies within the circular strength of the global/local relationship.

 

Regardless.

 

I have thought out tactics, implementation and strategy. And while this is an expansive concept I didn’t want this program and creating “global balanced respect” to be so pie in the sky and “high road” it was unrealistic. Yet I also don’t want it to be so watered down children won’t be able to see the high road if they are capable of taking it. What I mean by “high road” is while a child in Siberia or the Congo is focused on having food on the table, they truly have dreams of an education to be able to be one of those people they see on TV or hear on radio. It is difficult for a “have” to totally understand a “have not” unless you have been in their shoes.

 

I believe if we build a platform that shows kids the only difference between them is actually the having or not having, it helps a lot. And then if we seek to make education <or maybe cornerstone “conflict” knowledge points> attainable for all globally that helps everyone get off on the right foot, which is where I believe it all begins.

 

So what makes this so less pie in the sky is “creating a positive global imprint for environment and individual respect” is a fairly easy concept to grasp.

 

Ok.

 

Regardless of all the big conceptual ideas I glossed over <but do have detailed thought for> the tactic plan of action is attainable. If you would like to see click here: project global generation.

 

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“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”

 

Sir Winston Churchill

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I am interested in helping be a builder of this next empire. I would drop anything I was doing to do this. So contact me if you want to hire me to make this idea happen.

 

Bruce McTague

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Here is the table of contents for all the pieces I have written from the original concept idea to specific costs and implementation tactics:

 

education civilization

–          About Project Global Generation

The welcome to the site and why I created this idea/initiative.

 

–          Table of contents and summary

If you read only one thing this would be it.  Right here (this post is the contents/summary).  A cliff notes version of everything you can find on the site.

 

–          1. global generation: dawn of enlightened individuality (the global generation)

using a variety of sources I outline what I believe the generation after the Millennials, called The Global Generation, will look like attitudinally and how they ‘fit’ in the cycle of generations.

 

–          1a. The global generation student: about their abilities & attitude

using a Fischler study and the Singapore Ministry of Education I try and overcome some misperceptions about the abilities and attitudes of a younger generation of students

 

–          2. global generation: a look at millennials (and why they are not the global generation)

in this post I take a deeper dive into why I believe the Millennials will end up facilitating the Global Generation opportunity and not be the generation that will impact education & enlightened conflict directly. 

 

–          3. global generation: sociology & the internet platform

there are some inherent sociological benefits to a we based education initiative and in this post I outline them.

 

–          4. global generation: developing critical thinking skills

in this post I outline how the Global generation, facilitated by a web based program, will be the greatest critical thinking generation we have seen.

 

–          5. global generation: education messaging underpinnings

in this article I outline the specifics of what makes up the educational aspects (and what does not).

 

–          6. global generation: learning by lurking

in addition to the sociological benefits as outlined in GG 3 we have seen some possible improvements a web based model can offer to learning/education.

 

–          7. global generation: tactics & implementation

after outlining the thinking behind the initiative in this post I outline the specific tactics & costs.

 

–          8. global generation: the role of the web (versus existing education systems)

in this post I outline the benefits of using a web based model for education trying to explain why flipping the existing education model is better and more practical for the future generations 

 

–          global generation 9: measuring the initiative impact (attitudinally and global attendance)

now that I have outlined the thinking behind the program, the specific tactics & costs to implement I suggest measurement objectives and will also using the most recent UNESCO global education report I outline how the initiative will assist in reaching the UN Millennium goals.

 

–          10. global generation: more on impact – conflict & enlightenment

Using an article from The Economist I outline how the initiative impacts value systems

 

–          11. global generation: implementing a conflict prevention program

I compare the initiative against other existing global initiatives to outline how this initiative will be more effective than most other programs because it affects ongoing behavior as a ‘preventative’ initiative rather than a ‘intervention’ type program

 

–          12. global generation: not too close a link to human rights

I outline my thoughts that this initiative is an education program and not a Human rights program and part of its challenge is to not judge different cultural/governmental/religious systems but rather through education there is a high potential for a stronger tolerance of different views as the generation moves into adulthood.

 

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Well.goodbye hand

 

Today I write about Project Global Generation for the last time.

 

Sometimes you just have to let go of things … even if you think the ‘thing’ is worthwhile and worth fighting for.

 

If no one else sees the same value you do … well … as I have written a zillion times before … sometimes you just gotta let go and move on.

 

Project Global Generation is officially signing off. Farewell my friend.

 

Enlightened Conflict