What is this blog for?
It has been a long time since I have written a blog. I seem to have fallen into a well of introspection caused by this lockdown situation. Down that well I am uncertain and lacking confidence in a clear way forward. Hence the silence. I have been unsure of what to say.
There is no clear way forward, of course. There never was. I am even more deeply suspicious of the ring of certainty I hear. Social media has a certainty problem from which I have shrunk away.
Social media, for me, has two enduring challenges. One is the amplification of people who don’t know what they are talking about (we are all part of this problem, no matter what we hope). The other is the algorithmic rewarding of narcissism. These two combined contribute to so much of the pollution of ideas that dogs productive debate.
Down my well, I worry about dredging more effluent up to drop into the discussion. Two posts from my network have persuaded me to participate with a greater sense of purpose. This, from a new colleague Ashley Keenan, is a thoughtful and curious contribution on the risks of ease of access to expertise and instruction. Sometimes it’s bad and made by bad people – we need be careful and try and figure out a response. This, from Sukh Pabial, is a direct and challenging call to my industry to understand the racsim of which we are a part and to be part of a response.
They are interesting explorations of important ideas. They are really useful guides to considering what we might do. Neither are offered with cast iron certainty but they do have a clear sense of purpose. Thanks to Ashley and Sukh for their ideas.
So, I suppose, I should use the blog for what I first thought it might be good for: to explore ideas that I find interesting and useful. (They may turn out to be tedious and useless, of course, but that’s life).
In this pursuit, I might extend the topic reach from work based, digital learning stuff to other themes. It appears that digital learning is not the only interesting and useful topic available. (I know…imagine such a state of affairs).
By way of example, here are some urgently interesting and useful themes on my mind today:
- Nestled in the upper chamber of our democracy are certain hereditary peers who have inherited their seats and fortunes from a family history of imperial abuse. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/14/as-statues-of-slave-traders-are-torn-down-their-heirs-sit-untouched-in-the-lords
- The Grenfell tragedy is three years old today. Three years later, its’ causes remain for so many people. That cladding is still there in tower blocks across the UK and those lives are still at risk. This podcast contains a powerful account of the story by George the Poet who grew up on an estate in North West London. Listen to episode three, if nothing else. It is the greatest podcast episode I have heard. https://www.georgethepoet.com/podcast-library.
- Nestled in the lower chamber of our democracy are the hidden findings of a review and subsequent recommendations into the high proportion of BAME deaths from Covid 19. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53039816
[Editors notes: For those concerned about continuity of approach, there will remain a strong thread of self-indulgence through future posts, of course. The struggle with narcissism is ongoing down wells and up mountains. The examples above strike me today and their themes could well return.]