[p2p-research] Suggestions wanted for education to p2p practices and attitude

Ryan Lanham rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 15:11:20 CET 2009

I work in an Education Ministry and can attest that you will get 8 ideas
about how children should be educated for every 7 people.  About 1 out of 8
won't be able to make up their minds between 2.

But I think you raise a great question with no clear answers.  Here's the
general problem:  What sort of world do you want to live in?  If you can
answer that question, the follow-on question is...can people find their way
to that conclusion with logic and reason, or do they need indoctrination?

I am personally of a mind that some level of indoctrination into social
norms is inevitable.  We are social animals--and we will norm ourselves.
Grammar, driving rules, ettiquette, learning credentials, etc. are all
normative values.  In short, we govern ourselves.  Children must learn those
rules.  Many don't do so and the consequences are often tragic.

Ask any long-time teacher about kids from Montesorri or other "free form"
education models, and they'll generally paint a portrait of outlier behavior
that is very difficult to work with.  Now, outliers obviously aren't a bad
thing (most all of us on this list are probably pretty far out of the norm);
they're just not an orderly thing.  If part of your answer to the first
question is...order and discipline (e.g. most Asian cultures, Germany, etc.)
you're not going to have much luck with a Finnish system where there is
little measurement, much collaboration and a great deal of emphasis on the
group versus the individual.  I'd guess that the US offers the broadest
diversity of choices from military academies to very free-form no grades,

In general, schools around the world are well ahead of society on
social acceptance, green behavior and training and routing out bullies.
Teachers are often left-leaning, well-educated and in middling social
classes.  They indoctrinate to their own moral values.  In my view, the best
schools in the world are Finnish and Norwegian schools--but those would be
terrible models in a Singapore or Japanese cultural framework.  Cultures
establish how people want to live...not schools.

So a person it seems has to be judgmental.  You've got to decide you know
better than others and that you are going to indoctrinate to your way of
thinking.  Nation-states don't trust parents to do that well, by and large,
so they establish strong normative standards and curriculums (e.g.
Germany--where, as Paul says, homeschooling is illegal.)  Japan has the most
rigid curriculum on earth.  It is almost robotic and the students turn out
as people who tolerate intense crowds at train stations without breaking
down, etc.  Some do crash and burn.  That's true in all systems.

We have trouble in our little group here establishing P2P norms in a strong
sense, so educating people to weak norms--terribly difficult with children
in general--would be even harder.  Sharing is widely taught but one
aggressive selfish child can turn a whole group rapidly.

Learning by doing is probably the best shot--with strong oversite and
"enabling."  Explain what a P2P system is, and hope students can find
benefit in the application.  Most parents will probably reject it.
Realistically, getting along in the world requires something of a selfish
and aggressive attitude.  Much as I wish that weren't so, I don't expect
anyone to rebutt the fact that most people believe in a merit-based,
market-driven reality--even in so-called communist and socialist states.
Nationalism is, in my opinion, stronger today than it has ever been.  People
live and die by state borders and citizenships.  Changing cultures is
perhaps the most difficult process humans undertake.

So, it is a great topic, but I doubt there are answers.

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 1:48 AM, M. Fioretti <mfioretti at nexaima.net> wrote:

> Greetings,
> here's a question: if you were preparing a proposal for education in
> the 6-12 years age range, what would you write in it in order to
> educate the children to a p2p-like attitude and practice with respect
> to nutrition, (self) healthcare, protection of the environment? I
> mean, what do you think the children should learn and how? Which
> practices? Which success and failure stories (please let's keep in
> mind the age range, that is use only simple examples in limited time,
> only suggest things/activities that children that age may do
> personally, etc...!)  should they know?
> Context: I am preparing a talk which should also touch the theme
> above, and hopefully there will also be space for examples from other
> parts of the world. Right after the event the talk will be published
> with a CC license at http://mfioretti.com .
> Sorry for vagueness, but my schedule for the next days changed without
> notice this morning (nothing bad) so I have to leave the computer
> right now and don't know how much I'll be at home in the next hours/
> days.
> Thank you in advance for any feedback
>      Marco
>      http://stop.zona-m.net
> --
> Your own civil rights and the quality of your life heavily depend on how
> software is used *around* you:            http://digifreedom.net/node/84
> _______________________________________________
> p2presearch mailing list
> p2presearch at listcultures.org
> http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/p2presearch_listcultures.org

Ryan Lanham
rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Facebook: Ryan_Lanham
P.O. Box 633
Grand Cayman, KY1-1303
Cayman Islands
(345) 916-1712
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listcultures.org/pipermail/p2presearch_listcultures.org/attachments/20091029/f219919f/attachment.html>

More information about the p2presearch mailing list