I’m pretty happy to have gotten this website up and running. It has become a cognitive prosthetic of great value to me – first of all because I enjoy the design. The design has the effect that I like to visit the domain regularly, exposing me repeatedly to the theories, quotes and concepts I have published. That simple mechanic stabilises valuable units for thinking, in a way that other tools don’t (Mendeley, notes on the harddisk etc). Also, something interesting happens, when posts are tiled randomly: intriguing connections arise when disparate elements are shown next two each other, e.g. between Jean Piagets quote on active learning, and the “Cybernetic brain” (I suddenly see that there is a connection between swiss pedagogy and American theories of robotics, in the early 60s). Finally the way the website is (un)structured removes the stress of blogging: the imagined visitor ideally forgets to look for frequency of updates, and is instead delighted by the new constellations of pictures and words on each page load.
For the potential reader, I imagine that the format is effective at visually demonstrating the amount of diverse and fascinating theories about “the digital”, in an inviting and snack-sized aesthetic. My hope is that it satisfies the websurfers’ need and lust for inspiration, in a manner that doesn’t put too heavy a cognitive load on curiosity. Finally, the atomization of references and knowledge, makes it ideal for bookmarking, digital distribution and communication by e-mail or on social media.
Regarding understanding the digital: Yesterday I finished Dominique Cardons “Culture Numérique“. It is a sociological tour de force, serving a range of theories on digital dynamics that seem complex to all of us, in a simple and clear manner. The scope is impressive, from the intellectual origins of Silicon Valley ‘philosophy’, to how algorithms see the world. Also, there is a narrative arch in the book (from optimism to gloom), that makes it a unique reading experience, for that type of literature. I hope it gets translated to English very soon, and becomes the reference work of education in “digital literacy” and variants thereof.
Update: As it turns out, there is such a thing as cybernetic pedagogy, it’s something in the allied fields of theoretical linguistics, computer science and neurobiology.