CCK11: Having a thought you can’t not think

Today’s analogy for connectivism’s view of knowledge is once you know where Waldo is means that you can’t look back at the page and not see him, you’ve found him for good.

What came up for me: racism is, for instance, the “knowledge” that one group of people with certain physical characteristics is somehow better/wiser than another group. I take that “knowledge” from my culture and then I apply it to everything, as an explanation for the world around me. But doesn’t that limit what I actually can see—or more precisely, what I create as the object of my seeing? The physicists have determined that light is both/neither a wave and a particle and that it appears as one or the other based on the viewer’s expectation, what the researcher sets up to measure or see.

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3 Responses to CCK11: Having a thought you can’t not think

  1. Simon says:

    Hi Leahgrrl,
    This is a great example of the need for ‘knowledge’ to have some kind of veracity to it, that we don’t just love ‘knowledge’ for its own sake but that we seek true knowledge, and even that we test the ethical implications of what we call knowledge. That’s why I can’t let go of the question of ‘truth’ (and why I’m deeply interested in week 8 on Authority & Power) in a Connectivist world; and why behaviorism, cognitivism & constructivism I think still have an important place in the Connectivist schema.

    I agree with Stephen Downes (when he answered my question in the first live session) that we can’t necessarily get to “Truth” in an absolute or exhaustive way, being as we are, finite, contingent beings. But your example illustrates the need to be able to test ‘true’ knowledge in the real world. “Knowledge” about the relative size of the cranium at the beginning of the last century had massive implications for thoughts, behaviors and relationships with respect to races.

    The question is how to test. I’m not persuaded so far that a network in itself will weed at that which is false or unethical or dangerous. I may be expecting too much from Connectivism, as though it’s a theory-of-everything, but these are still very important questions.

  2. Good observation!

    If Waldo has the ability to change then our knowledge of Waldo will always be a construct that may or may not be accurate. You are right about creating what we see and I wonder how we could “know” the changing Waldo except by some approximation? There has to be a better analogy for connectivism or it will be just another method of naming the world into convenient, fixed categories as if it was a museum rather than a stage populated by active and unpredictable characters.

    Maybe connectivism itself is adaptive and that Waldo analogy has already been replaced by a new version?

    Scott Johnson

  3. Pingback: Today’s Links » Collaborative Understandings

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