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Re: <nettime> what should be in a high school biology text?
human being on Sat, 16 Aug 2003 12:21:11 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> what should be in a high school biology text?



  when Kermit writes of Intelligent Design (ID) and Intellectual Property
  (IP) I cannot help but wonder, then, why materialist approaches to
  these issues meet with no enthusiasm, on the whole, and theory-
  logic, without the science, continues as a status quo infotainment.

  for instance, given Kevin Kelly has written the following statement:

> [The connection] between anti-materialism and anti-individualism
> is more subtle, but Kevin Kelly sums it up nicely in his 1998 book _New
> Rules for the New Economy_.  Chapter One of that book opens with these
> words: "The atom is the icon of the 20th century. The atom whirls
> alone. It is the metaphor for individuality. But the atom is the past.
> The symbol for the next century is the net" [5].
> [5] Kelly, _New Rules for the New Economy_ (New York: 1998), p.9

is it not accurate to say that, contrary to this uncommon sense, that an
atom is actually a network when intertwined in molecules of atoms?
and that, in this state, what is shared is the orbit of electrons which
hold this network together? which, in essence, is the same thing,
literally, as the internet as a medium? which, even as 'bits', these
are represented materially by these very same atoms and electrons,
if a billion dollar wire transfer or a telephone call or photons in 
fiber?

and, if these atoms have electrons, and these all have some type of
mass, that this is an actual state of matter, of the material given 
world?

so too, with aspects of intellectual property, such basic concepts that
have been in the western lexicon for a very long time, such as the basics
of 'what is public' and 'what is private' has again been over- taken by
neologistic approaches, themselves aligned very well with facilitating
anti-materialist and anti-individual approaches to ideas. for instance,
collective and group thinking based on hierarchies of private vantages as
given greater weight than empirical knowledge, and often non-mathematical
theories as supposed to carry similar weight as those of physicists, and
are composed as top-down devices to order a chaotic universe, again,
without the ability to peer-review the assumptions or data without also
destroying the self-contained (privatized) theoretical worldview, which is
based more on political- economic privilege and expediency to produce
knowledge, than to understand the material world, the public and civic
context, and it is instead a question of what worldview will be invented
and will rise to prominence due to these newly aged 'networks of
theorism'.

such as intelligent design and intellectual property, all wordage of a
type that begs some gritty deconstruction of those internal logics,
instead of focusing on the false perspectives of collective mindwash.

morality, if there were indeed a material view of knowledge, systems,
experience, need not be considered a universal public device for which all
order emanates. else, we'd be in the middle ages still. if viewed and
framed in a 'public' context, it would rest in a private realm, where
ethics would be in the collective realm. property itself is also much
different in public and private perspectives, and mind again is much like
brain sciences today, all about electrons and the information, not just
atoms (one) or networks (the other), which is a great reductionist
binarism, worthy of pre-20th century physics it would seem, in terms of
the logic being used, and as such, a type of crude processing comparable
to the elegance that could be achieved, if the material aspects of science
were at times to be respected as such, as having some standard value in
the public realm, beyond Sokal Hoaxes, else, Empire is no different in
terms of its use of language to manipulate opinion regardless of truth:
the emperor has no empire. This type of approach lessons the basic ability
of generally inquisitive people to even remotely allow themselves the
skills to challenge, debate, and possibly even defeat or refine the
questions to their proper place. but without any duty to do this, any
responsibility to own up to being part of the context that breeds this
take-over of knowledge systems, it seems not only that 'others' in the
middle class are perpetuating this new mythology, but that leading
academics are too. but of course, there can be no such analysis at present
as it calls into question the basic assumptions that the ID & IP people
are able to move beyond and upgrade their approaches to cover for their
faults, to refine their arguments, to hone them to match the environment.
something, like the Democrats and their lack of any ability to challenge
G.O.Political futures, as their methods appease and indulge in the
luxuries of corrupted information, knowledge, and a lack of a basis for
basic truths.

it is not a 'persona' individual but a collective indictment, that is up
to individuals to challenge and change, if taking on ID and IP, in
educational and other arenas. but experience seems to show that *stars*
will be brought up into showy boxing matches behind which forces will line
up, when any person with a thinking brain should be able to defeat these
same arguments, with much more veracity and power, given their own
reasoning skills and not offloading them to some superior, academician or
politician. individuals atoms sharing electronic information in new
networks. what stops this from happening? it has seemed a psychological
identification, that basic concepts such as 'public' and 'private', and
things like 'matter' and 'energy' and 'information' are not good enough
for the communitarian stage now being built out.

there is a way to co-exist with creationism, as with religion, it is not
an either-or question but one of how. how to relate the past and future
worlds in the present. it is not that everyone needs to figure out god and
be able to outpreach a preacher but to know its place in rhetoric, and to
give it some space to be what it is without having to justify it as a
public and universal belief (that a privatized world requires) that all
must equally share, thus whoever wins, everyone has to go along with an
inferior model, and the one reigning in academics is the status quo, not
some revolutionary, next 10 years and things will change type of system-
education is a sinkhole today, as are methods of teaching, sharing
knowledge, and promoting ideas over ways of organizing bureaucracies of
special interest powers.

it seems literacy is required before grand unifying theories, in order to
both grok what is at stake (science and religion, public and private
perspectives, civic and domestic values, moralism and ethics, education
and instruction, etc etc etc.) to make it more complex is to play into the
weaknesses of the current rhetorics. to make it radically simple (yet
accurate) and logically strong is to define a fundamental nature that is
able to have anomalies while maintaining a shared sense. it is not
impossible today, it is only because it is undesirable.

it is not about being smart, intelligent, perfect, and absolute, and full
of answers, as a goal for knowledge systems. it is to think, consider,
question, be wrong, learn, wonder, and find out what people have in
common, and to use this open knowledge system to challenge the closed
systems that are actively taking over every aspect of reality not already
owned. who own's one's mind? i'll bet on the individual every time. and
that we publicly exist in a shared materialistic universe.

if the individuals, as atoms, where to share some of their atoms'
electrons then networks of these revolving bits of matter, energy, and
information would enable much larger, civic, ethical, public goals to be
accomplished by groups of said individuals. but even the concept of 'being
human' is considered private today, because it is a default condition. if
people are truly concerned, it is time to overcome prejudices tied to the
most standard of words, of the most public of kinds of definitions
(morality, ethics, public, private, property, science, language, religion,
education) and go beyond the limits of the past just as 'the competition'
has done. who knows, maybe there is something cooperative in it all,
anyways, with the changing of relations to a more accurate formation. 2
cents.

else, what is _not already privatized, today?

college level biology should be available to anyone in any grade or school
with an interest in biological understanding, and it could be presented as
an experiment in media and information representation, where the same
knowledge is used and refined over time for various audiences, sharing a
core set of data upon which conclusions are reached. biology media in a
3rd grade open source PDA program, which college students from many
disciplines refine it so as to make sure that students are given the
ability to learn. not to have to genuflect and repeat truisms of
ideologues.

  bc microsite http://www.electronetwork.org/bc/
  ~e-list http://www.electronetwork.org/list/



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