Literacy and Numeracy: Who Needs Them?

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When Plato was teaching his students he was often frustrated by their note taking and reference to written records.  Plato was of the opinion that the new technology of literacy was creating a generation that was unable to think and meditate on what they were learning because of their dependency on the written word.

Today, technology is providing us with a broad array of new media with which we record, replay, produce, publish, communicate and collaborate without using literacy or numeracy.  Academics, publishers and governments are alarmed at declines in the reading of printed publications and student’s declining performance in the classroom.  They are claiming that “computeracy” is creating a generation that cannot read, write or perform mathematical operations because of their dependency on digital communication.

The truth is literacy and numeracy are simply primitive techniques for encoding information.  Composition and mathematics are just a bag of mental tricks for processing information.  And most of us do most of it poorly anyway.

Grieving over the loss of literacy and numeracy is like grieving over the inability to weave cloth or tailor one’s own clothes.  Computers have made literacy and numeracy very much like the mechanization of textile production.

What is happening in classrooms, to publisher’s sales and bureaucracy is not a decline in the intelligence of our next generation.  It is an increasing obsolescence of traditional literacy and numeracy.

Our children are not thinking at lower levels.  Instead, they are not wasting time with the mental effort required to mechanically process at the level of traditional literacy and numeracy and applying themselves to higher level thought.

The current method of submitting papers for peer review is completely obsolete.  HTML was an attempt to take the primitive technology of the printed page, reference and citation and emulate it with the small addition of hyperlinks.

The yet to be fully realized method of academic publication will be the publication of databases containing problem and hypothesis, subjects and researchers, schemas and forms, data and queries, measures and units, amounts and currencies, results and conclusions all available for peer review and public consumption–research databases and white databases.  And beyond that entire models in common formats which we are seeing in Computer Assisted Design Systems and Geographic Information Systems, for example.

This new generation using new media is modeling the universe in ways and at scales that were impossible with pen, paper and chalkboard.  They are even beyond printing press, radio, television, recorded audio, recorded video and most physical storage.  And the new generation can already interact globally in all of these new media.

Where are the people that are supposedly preparing them for life in this new world?  Complaining that their students are not interested in reading text books.  Even pumping normal children full of Ritalin to deny they as educators are not worthy of their students’ attention.

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Listening is Inductive; Speaking is Deductive

After going over the system models in an earlier post I had to revise my thinking and conclude that the Structured Thinking Lifecycle takes on the following character:

inducededuce.jpg

What this reveals is the lifecycle of a system is about communication. It also reveals that the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is actually a continuum from Repeating Moments to Revising Motives for induction and from Revising Motives to Repeating Moments for deduction.

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This is Edward de Bono’s wisdom: “Analyze the Past, Design the Future”. That is all there is to communication. Listening is inductive; speaking is deductive.

Think about this from the perspective of the DIKW hierarchy:

dikwinterrogatives.jpg

listening is inductive; speaking is deductive listening is inductive; speaking is deductive listening is inductive; speaking is deductive

Thinking the Hexads Through

Working with the hexads and the Six Hats, Six Coats model has raised some interesting conceptual questions. This post is an incomplete attempt to address them.

 

grouppersonal.jpg

We have many personas within each of us. This is evidenced by our ExtraPersonal behaviour. Depending on the environment we interact within we present different behavior. ExtraPersonal thought manages our personas. This meets our safety need.
To satisfy our physiological needs our InterPersonal behavior is exhibited. Our personas communicate with each other. This is true internal dialog.

To engage with other systems we depend on IntraPersonal behavior. These are the sensory-motor functions as guided by a single persona.

I’m trying to think about how this hexad affects the Moffett Universe of Discourse.

Here’s the Universe before:

jamesmoffett.jpg

moffetttetrad.jpg

Here’s the Universe after:

moffetthexad02.jpg

I’m working on developing a data model to represent this new hexad structure as well:

hexaddatamodel02.jpg

I have been working on creating a new vocabulary to describe the associations in the hexads. I apologize for any terms I have had to invent, but a new concept requires new terms. The first three terms (ie. ExtraNetwork, InterNetwork, IntraNetwork) are external to the entity. The second three terms (ie. ExtraSpatia, InterSpatia, IntraSpatia) are internal to the entity.

MOTIVE
ExtraStrategy
InterStrategy
IntraStrategy
ExtraMotiva
InterMotiva
IntraMotiva

LOCALE
ExtraNetwork
InterNetwork
IntraNetwork
ExtraSpatia
InterSpatia
IntraSpatia

OBJECT
ExtraAssembly
InterAssembly
IntraAssembly
ExtraForma
InterForma
IntraForma

METHOD
ExtraProcess
InterProcess
IntraProcess
ExtraFunctiona
InterFunctiona
IntraFunctiona

PERSON
ExtraGroup
InterGroup
IntraGroup
ExtraPersona
InterPersona
IntraPersona

MOMENT
ExtraSequence
InterSequence
IntraSequence
ExtraTempora
InterTempora
IntraTempora

The gist of all these terms is that there are systems and associations without us and within us. For every level of granularity we establish there are levels of granularity above and below what is essentially an arbitrary “zero point”.

ringpersongroup.jpg

My thoughts on the hexad structure are gradually establishing themselves. There are still some incongruities that I am attempting to work out. One of them is individual and group phenomenology.  Another is how to represent the relationships above and below the person-group horizon in the person focus as well as with the other focuses.