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11.05.2008

Assigning reliable school work

It's possible to assign practice exercises, problems at the end of the chapter and case studies to solve -- in the midst of "business as usual". The correct answers can be identified. Empirical research can tease out the causality from the messy data to define trusted procedures. There is a enough stability in the world to assume it's valuable to learn how to do what's been done before. Studious efforts are productively applied to getting the right answer, correct methods and proven strategies. Reliable school work can be replicated.

There are times when it's no longer viable to assign school work that's predicated on "business as usual". The election last night of Barak Obama as the 44th President of the United States may be the sign of such a time. The next few years may include the transformation of the global economy, international relations, domestic industries and government services. It's very likely we are entering a time that is "far from equilibrium". Self organizing properties of our shared, resilient complexity will yield unforeseen innovations. The recent disruption of wild speculation, loan reselling and risk management schemes by financial institutions may be the tip of the iceberg. Here's ten other factors that will call upon self organizing properties of the vast diversity, complexity and inter-dependence of us all:
  • Adapting to fuel shortages in the food, manufacturing, transportation and facilities systems that all depend on oil, coal or natural gas.
  • Coping with the climate change impacts like droughts, floods, violent storms, shrinking glaciers, crop failures, ocean-life depletions, etc.
  • Replacing established, absolute authorities in print with miscellaneous, contextualized authorities in digital, tagged, searchable archives
  • Reversing the momentum of the privatized, exploitative economics of greed to embrace open sourced, collaborative economics of sharing
  • Democratizing the tools of production and distribution beyond music, video, text, photo, software, and web presence creations
  • Disrupting the value chains of industrial production, warehousing and retailing with small, local, community initiatives
  • Dismantling rewards for industry consolidation with hacker, crowdsourcing and open source rewards for free agents on call
  • Replacing acquaintances of convenience or circumstance with affinity matched networks, resource bases and subscriptions
  • Development of games to play that make menial, routine work into fun, challenging and rewarding challenges
  • Emergence of community activism, grass-roots support and bottom up initiatives to serve neglected constituencies
With so many destabilizing influences hitting Humpty Dumpty on the wall at once, reliable school work will likely be knocked from its perch of respectability too.

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