Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Computers & children

Expand Messages
  • manju3261
    Hi group: A thought-provoking article: http://www.allianceforchildhood.net/projects/computers/computers_repor ts_fools_gold_contents.htm Best regards Manju
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 15, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi group:

      A thought-provoking article:

      http://www.allianceforchildhood.net/projects/computers/computers_repor
      ts_fools_gold_contents.htm

      Best regards
      Manju
    • Clive Elwell
      Thank you for posting this reference (btw, I had to cut and paste the URL to make it work). This organization seems an interesting one, and has much to say
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 16, 2007
      • 0 Attachment

        Thank you for posting this reference (btw, I had to cut and paste the URL to make it work). This organization seems an interesting one, and has much to say that is worth while.

         

        Yes, surely it is clear that technology, any sort of technology, will not solve the problems that beset us? And a mind that is concerned with purely technical issues – we live in a society which encourages that more and more – is an unbalanced mind, Such a mind lacks the complete understanding which only can bring about the compassion and intelligence without which live has no meaning.

         

        Of course the technical ability of the human mind is amazing. I was reading about Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn, how 10 years on it sending back incredible pictures and huge amounts of fascinating data about the moons and the rings, etc. A small probe separated from it to land on a moon ...... It is truly awe-inspiring. And yet here back on Earth mankind lives in perpetual conflict  and is destroying the very planet on which he lives.

         

        In theory mankind has the technology that is needed to provide food, shelter, medical treatment  for the all the people of the world. If we worked together, if we were truly concerned, we could solve the issue of global warming (unless, indeed, it is too late), we could clean up all the pollution, restore the Earth, solve all the technical problems we have created. Of course the technology exists to do that. But we do not do it. Why not?

         

        One can examine the “why not”, one can enquire into it. And without doing so, is it not insane to keep thinking in terms of technical solutions to the problems? And training children into being mere technocrats, who will merely serve a system that is so incredibly destructive.

         

        The scientist himself, however great his work in the laboratory, may still be a mediocre human being, one filled with personal ambition, and so using his work for his own ends. Like all specialists, because he does not understand himself, he will cause misery in himself and around him. And the “solutions” of all the specialists – scientists, technocrats, sociologists, psychologists,  the politicians, while seeming to bring benefit to a few, for a short time, always create new, more complex problems. This can easily be observed.

         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: manju3261
        Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 1:47 AM
        Subject: [alt-ed-india] Computers & children

        Hi group:

        A thought-provoking article:

        http://www.alliance forchildhood. net/projects/ computers/ computers_ repor
        ts_fools_gold_ contents. htm

        Best regards
        Manju

      • svani
        Hi Clive, I am not sure if all scientists are there for their personal ambition to preen their own feathers. I know, our family is not as we are not the
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 16, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Clive,
           
          I am not sure if all scientists are there for their personal ambition to preen their own feathers. I know, our family is not as we are not the million dollar home owners here and neither we seem to fit in the ever so developing rich community back home. I seem to not fit there anymore and seem to fit fine here very much. May be I was in the wrong side of the community as I did not get to meet folks like on this list when I was back home:-)
          But where I live,  I do see more caring folks, who really care for the world, environment, humans, values of the world, respect other cultures and belief systems and what not and act accordingly. I am among people who go every week to the homeless shelter and cook meals. I am among folks who seem to go to the old age home and sick homes and hold their hands and talk to total strangers caring words. My children play violin for those old age folks and we are not alone. There is a huge community that is involved in this. We go clean up the beaches, oceans, and take part in volunteering. We worry about Africa and worry about the wars and the aftermath. And these people I am with are from all walks of life and from all cultures, and people from here. What I see is that once awareness is created, once people are educated about the issues of the world, there *are* people actively interested in making a change.
           
          We believe to make a small difference is our own way and follow the educational practice even in our ways of living. My daughter is working on a research project to blot away CO2 from the air by using various algae. She found some preliminary results in the past year with her research and got the attention of scientists in NASA and Intel. And this year she is expanding it even more. She has some plans to work with some 60-80 different combinations of algae. She hopes to have some results positive that might have an answer to a small part of the problem. But without man's help living in this world, it is impossible to do so. What do we do as a family along with so many other families we know of? We reduce car usage and we do not even have enough of a good public transport here. We manage nevertheless by carpooling and reduce the usage of the same or we walk. We are actively thinking about the world, and this came with education and awareness and which in turn came from technology like paper and web(we have no tv):-)
           
          We recently did coastal clean up here. Meaning we went and cleaned up the creeks and picked up garbage, trash of all kinds as a family along with other volunteers. My kids learnt so much about the trash accumulation and also about plastic being a menace to the world's oceans, that they were very disturbed  by the reality that they were faced with. They have decided to take canvas bags to the stores and everywhere and avoid plastic altogether. They respect more about trash and value of recycling. Back home, I saw the amount of grabage piled up in the streets in my own neighborhood. No one cares and it hurt a lot more to see my own friends are too busy to be bothered about as they are busy making their niche in the growing economy. Cannot complain about, it as it is their chance and opportunity, but our family looked like a crazy one to them, when we talked to them about the valuable lessons we have learnt by experience.
           
          But there is still hope for future generations. Seems to me that there are quite a few of us here and in this world I am sure, who *are* thinking about it, who *are* acting on it in a small way and making others aware, who are *serious* about making it work. My children run a newsletter to their families and friends letting them know about all that they do and learn in homeschool. This following is taken from this month's newsletter, which my 7year old son has written about this very issue I have talked about above, in his own words, out of his own thoughts. I hope it is ok to share it here.
          Svani
           

          Garbage Everywhere L!
          By Nishanth J

          It was Coastal Clean up day this month!  We went to the local creek, to clean up the garbage as a whole family. We picked up some gloves, garbage bags for garbage and recycle items, and we headed to our site. There were few other volunteers working in some of the sections of the creek. It was hard work in the hot sun. However, my sister kept reminding me that we were doing a huge favor to ourselves and the environment we live in, by doing this clean up.

           

          Why do we need to clean up the creeks? Well, people throw away garbage anywhere and everywhere. Even if they throw the garbage in proper containers, wind carries the garbage to the bushes in the creeks. This garbage collects in the creeks, for weeks, months, which then clogs the waterways during the rainy season. In most occasions, the waterways carry the garbage to the oceans, which in turn affects the survival of the ocean animals. It is as simple a reason as that.

           

          Why should we clean up what others throw away? Oh well! I am not happy about it either L. But people, who trash, do not seem to care. Someone has to care. Therefore, we cared to clean up in a small way possible to keep our environment unpolluted and healthy, so other living organisms in this environment are able to survive along with us.

           

          Why do these careless people throw garbage anywhere and everywhere? Well, maybe they are plain stupid, callous, insensitive people. Maybe they are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Maybe they are uneducated to learn this lesson. No matter what, I am glad that I was educated on this valuable lesson.

           

          On our clean up day, we found so many different kinds of garbage.   The terrain was rough. We had to manage all the thorny rough bushes, and rocky areas. I got many scratches and bruises L. My socks and shoes stunk at the end of the day. I felt yuck at some of the decaying garbage and cans. I was angry with the folks who threw that garbage there. Clean up is hard work. We had to go through big slopes, which we were not able to manage without our parents help in climbing them.

           

          There were plastic bags shredded all through our site. There were soda cans, boxes, wooden boards, variety of plastic stuffs, broken decayed toys, food trays, pillows, beer bottles and cans, wine bottles etc. We found some kinds of garbage, which we would never expect to find there. People just seemed to have thought of this creek to be a place to throw items that cannot be recycled through weekly county clean up. We had to get more bags to fill up.

           

          Something about plastic bags, I learnt. They are indestructible, right! They are not bio degradable, so they stay on earth unable to disintegrate and unable to break down to something more useful. I learnt that saddest part is the wind carries these small plastic pieces to the oceans. The marine animals mistake these pieces of plastic to be planktons. There is a huge mass of plastic pieces floating on the ocean, which is the size of twice as of the state of Texas. The worst part is that people think that they are doing a good thing by recycling the plastic bags. Actually plastic is extremely expensive to recycle. Therefore, they are thrown away as garbage. They end up in landfills, which of course ends up in the oceans as shredded fragments.

           

          What do we do now? Well, we decided we would not take plastic bags from the stores. We have decided to minimize the usage of plastic. We decided that we would take our own canvas bags to the stores when we need to shop. Our parents do not take plastic bags from the grocery stores when they do their shopping. We take our own canvas or cloth bags from home to buy all the items in all the stores and also when we pick up books from the libraries.

           

          Well, one more question that I have no answer for…. I know that the plastic bags are becoming a huge trash problem in the modern world. Then why do we throw the trash in 'plastic bags' ? Well, that is really a hard and funny question and I do not have an answer to it. Actually, no one knows the answer. I have tried asking them and I believe they did not think about it until I asked them!!!

           

          Are we going to do this clean up every year? Of course we are! We are always ready volunteers for any kind of job like this one. Please take some time and read these articles. Think about our earth, and what our roles are as humans.

          http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/trashing-our-oceans

          http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Plasticizers/Out-Of-Diet-PG5nov03.htm

          http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14859155

          http://www.satyamag.com/apr07/moore.html

           

          Please check out this link if you are interested in lending a hand to keep our environment livable. There might be some similar programs in your part of city, which you can participate. http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html

          Please make sure you do not trash everywhere. Try to minimize the usage of plastic. In addition, recycle the 'right' way!



           
          On 10/16/07, Clive Elwell <
        • manju3261
          Svani, Truly inspiring post. It illustrates what a world of difference technology used as a tool skilfully, by open, free, creative, caring, learning minds,
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 17, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Svani,

            Truly inspiring post. It illustrates what a world of difference
            technology used as a tool skilfully, by open, free, creative,
            caring, learning minds, can accomplish. The real hope for the future
            lies with young people like these.

            The trend in Indian middle class metro society today - parents
            competing for admission to schools which have computer labs from the
            KG, schools teaching everything through monitors/laptops, assignments
            assigned online and completed through getting and presenting info
            from the Web. And this is in addition to the kids following a
            gruelling school/tuition/extra curricular tuition schedule.
            Introducing computers before children develop a mature thought
            process and some value systems, and in a situation where they don't
            have any time to reflect at all due to schooling pressures,I believe
            does more harm than good. I wish there were more young people like
            your children (I know there are some in India too) but a majority
            would mindlessly pass their time surfing and gaming online ending up
            with fractured personalities. We read the horrible shootout-suicide
            stories from the US education system and don't give it a second
            thought. Maybe it's time that we thought about the causes and
            wondered if we are replicating those causes here in India. Maybe we
            will have similar reports in another 10-15 years from India. Wish we
            could learn something from US and bypass these mistakes!

            Best regards,
            Manju
          • aparna pallavi
            Hi Everyone, I can t open the article that has been sent by Manju. Can anyone who might have happened to save it send me a copy? Aparna Clive Elwell
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 17, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Everyone,
               
              I can't open the article that has been sent by Manju. Can anyone who might have happened to save it send me a copy?
               
              Aparna

              Clive Elwell <clive.elwell@...> wrote:
              Thank you for posting this reference (btw, I had to cut and paste the URL to make it work). This organization seems an interesting one, and has much to say that is worth while.
              Yes, surely it is clear that technology, any sort of technology, will not solve the problems that beset us? And a mind that is concerned with purely technical issues – we live in a society which encourages that more and more – is an unbalanced mind, Such a mind lacks the complete understanding which only can bring about the compassion and intelligence without which live has no meaning.
              Of course the technical ability of the human mind is amazing. I was reading about Cassini-Huygens probe to Saturn, how 10 years on it sending back incredible pictures and huge amounts of fascinating data about the moons and the rings, etc. A small probe separated from it to land on a moon ...... It is truly awe-inspiring. And yet here back on Earth mankind lives in perpetual conflict  and is destroying the very planet on which he lives.
              In theory mankind has the technology that is needed to provide food, shelter, medical treatment  for the all the people of the world. If we worked together, if we were truly concerned, we could solve the issue of global warming (unless, indeed, it is too late), we could clean up all the pollution, restore the Earth, solve all the technical problems we have created. Of course the technology exists to do that. But we do not do it. Why not?
              One can examine the “why not”, one can enquire into it. And without doing so, is it not insane to keep thinking in terms of technical solutions to the problems? And training children into being mere technocrats, who will merely serve a system that is so incredibly destructive.
              The scientist himself, however great his work in the laboratory, may still be a mediocre human being, one filled with personal ambition, and so using his work for his own ends. Like all specialists, because he does not understand himself, he will cause misery in himself and around him. And the “solutions” of all the specialists – scientists, technocrats, sociologists, psychologists,  the politicians, while seeming to bring benefit to a few, for a short time, always create new, more complex problems. This can easily be observed.
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: manju3261
              Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 1:47 AM
              Subject: [alt-ed-india] Computers & children

              Hi group:

              A thought-provoking article:

              http://www.alliance forchildhood. net/projects/ computers/ computers_ repor
              ts_fools_gold_ contents. htm

              Best regards
              Manju



              Now you can chat without downloading messenger. Click here to know how.

            • Clive Elwell
              Tell Nishanth this: I remember the very first time I decided to take my own shopping bag to the supermarket - just like my mother used to of course. This was
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 17, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Tell Nishanth this:
                 
                I remember the very first time I decided to take my own shopping bag to the supermarket - just like my mother used to of course. This was in NZ. The check-out lady looked at it in great amazement and said in a very surprised tone:
                 
                 "Gosh, that's a good idea".
                 
                :-)
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: svani
                Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 8:18 PM
                Subject: Re: [alt-ed-india] Computers & children

                Hi Clive,
                 
                I am not sure if all scientists are there for their personal ambition to preen their own feathers. I know, our family is not as we are not the million dollar home owners here and neither we seem to fit in the ever so developing rich community back home. I seem to not fit there anymore and seem to fit fine here very much. May be I was in the wrong side of the community as I did not get to meet folks like on this list when I was back home:-)
                But where I live,  I do see more caring folks, who really care for the world, environment, humans, values of the world, respect other cultures and belief systems and what not and act accordingly. I am among people who go every week to the homeless shelter and cook meals. I am among folks who seem to go to the old age home and sick homes and hold their hands and talk to total strangers caring words. My children play violin for those old age folks and we are not alone. There is a huge community that is involved in this. We go clean up the beaches, oceans, and take part in volunteering. We worry about Africa and worry about the wars and the aftermath. And these people I am with are from all walks of life and from all cultures, and people from here. What I see is that once awareness is created, once people are educated about the issues of the world, there *are* people actively interested in making a change.
                 
                We believe to make a small difference is our own way and follow the educational practice even in our ways of living. My daughter is working on a research project to blot away CO2 from the air by using various algae. She found some preliminary results in the past year with her research and got the attention of scientists in NASA and Intel. And this year she is expanding it even more. She has some plans to work with some 60-80 different combinations of algae. She hopes to have some results positive that might have an answer to a small part of the problem. But without man's help living in this world, it is impossible to do so. What do we do as a family along with so many other families we know of? We reduce car usage and we do not even have enough of a good public transport here. We manage nevertheless by carpooling and reduce the usage of the same or we walk. We are actively thinking about the world, and this came with education and awareness and which in turn came from technology like paper and web(we have no tv):-)
                 
                We recently did coastal clean up here. Meaning we went and cleaned up the creeks and picked up garbage, trash of all kinds as a family along with other volunteers. My kids learnt so much about the trash accumulation and also about plastic being a menace to the world's oceans, that they were very disturbed  by the reality that they were faced with. They have decided to take canvas bags to the stores and everywhere and avoid plastic altogether. They respect more about trash and value of recycling. Back home, I saw the amount of grabage piled up in the streets in my own neighborhood. No one cares and it hurt a lot more to see my own friends are too busy to be bothered about as they are busy making their niche in the growing economy. Cannot complain about, it as it is their chance and opportunity, but our family looked like a crazy one to them, when we talked to them about the valuable lessons we have learnt by experience.
                 
                But there is still hope for future generations. Seems to me that there are quite a few of us here and in this world I am sure, who *are* thinking about it, who *are* acting on it in a small way and making others aware, who are *serious* about making it work. My children run a newsletter to their families and friends letting them know about all that they do and learn in homeschool. This following is taken from this month's newsletter, which my 7year old son has written about this very issue I have talked about above, in his own words, out of his own thoughts. I hope it is ok to share it here.
                Svani
                 

                Garbage Everywhere L!
                By Nishanth J

                It was Coastal Clean up day this month!  We went to the local creek, to clean up the garbage as a whole family. We picked up some gloves, garbage bags for garbage and recycle items, and we headed to our site. There were few other volunteers working in some of the sections of the creek. It was hard work in the hot sun. However, my sister kept reminding me that we were doing a huge favor to ourselves and the environment we live in, by doing this clean up.

                 

                Why do we need to clean up the creeks? Well, people throw away garbage anywhere and everywhere. Even if they throw the garbage in proper containers, wind carries the garbage to the bushes in the creeks. This garbage collects in the creeks, for weeks, months, which then clogs the waterways during the rainy season. In most occasions, the waterways carry the garbage to the oceans, which in turn affects the survival of the ocean animals. It is as simple a reason as that.

                 

                Why should we clean up what others throw away? Oh well! I am not happy about it either L. But people, who trash, do not seem to care. Someone has to care. Therefore, we cared to clean up in a small way possible to keep our environment unpolluted and healthy, so other living organisms in this environment are able to survive along with us.

                 

                Why do these careless people throw garbage anywhere and everywhere? Well, maybe they are plain stupid, callous, insensitive people. Maybe they are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Maybe they are uneducated to learn this lesson. No matter what, I am glad that I was educated on this valuable lesson.

                 

                On our clean up day, we found so many different kinds of garbage.   The terrain was rough. We had to manage all the thorny rough bushes, and rocky areas. I got many scratches and bruises L. My socks and shoes stunk at the end of the day. I felt yuck at some of the decaying garbage and cans. I was angry with the folks who threw that garbage there. Clean up is hard work. We had to go through big slopes, which we were not able to manage without our parents help in climbing them.

                 

                There were plastic bags shredded all through our site. There were soda cans, boxes, wooden boards, variety of plastic stuffs, broken decayed toys, food trays, pillows, beer bottles and cans, wine bottles etc. We found some kinds of garbage, which we would never expect to find there. People just seemed to have thought of this creek to be a place to throw items that cannot be recycled through weekly county clean up. We had to get more bags to fill up.

                 

                Something about plastic bags, I learnt. They are indestructible, right! They are not bio degradable, so they stay on earth unable to disintegrate and unable to break down to something more useful. I learnt that saddest part is the wind carries these small plastic pieces to the oceans. The marine animals mistake these pieces of plastic to be planktons. There is a huge mass of plastic pieces floating on the ocean, which is the size of twice as of the state of Texas. The worst part is that people think that they are doing a good thing by recycling the plastic bags. Actually plastic is extremely expensive to recycle. Therefore, they are thrown away as garbage. They end up in landfills, which of course ends up in the oceans as shredded fragments.

                 

                What do we do now? Well, we decided we would not take plastic bags from the stores. We have decided to minimize the usage of plastic. We decided that we would take our own canvas bags to the stores when we need to shop. Our parents do not take plastic bags from the grocery stores when they do their shopping. We take our own canvas or cloth bags from home to buy all the items in all the stores and also when we pick up books from the libraries.

                 

                Well, one more question that I have no answer for…. I know that the plastic bags are becoming a huge trash problem in the modern world. Then why do we throw the trash in 'plastic bags' ? Well, that is really a hard and funny question and I do not have an answer to it. Actually, no one knows the answer. I have tried asking them and I believe they did not think about it until I asked them!!!

                 

                Are we going to do this clean up every year? Of course we are! We are always ready volunteers for any kind of job like this one. Please take some time and read these articles. Think about our earth, and what our roles are as humans.

                http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/trashing-our-oceans

                http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Plasticizers/Out-Of-Diet-PG5nov03.htm

                http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14859155

                http://www.satyamag.com/apr07/moore.html

                 

                Please check out this link if you are interested in lending a hand to keep our environment livable. There might be some similar programs in your part of city, which you can participate. http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html

                Please make sure you do not trash everywhere. Try to minimize the usage of plastic. In addition, recycle the 'right' way!



                 
                On 10/16/07, Clive Elwell <


                No virus found in this incoming message.
                Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                Version: 7.5.488 / Virus Database: 269.14.12/1072 - Release Date: 15/10/2007 17:55
              • Clive Elwell
                Hi Svani, Well, I did not suggest that there is no caring, no sensitivity in the world. Neither am I suggesting that scientists are particular villains. In
                Message 7 of 10 , Oct 17, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Svani,
                   

                   

                  Well, I did not suggest that there is no caring, no sensitivity in the world. Neither am I suggesting that scientists are particular villains.  In fact, human consciousness is common to us all, is it not? Although some may be more clever, more capable with words, some great musicians, , we are share the same consciousness, do we not? And at the centre of that consciousness is the self, the ego, the me. Whether one is an Albert Schweizer, or an Adolph Hitler. And although people may adopt high ideals, that is still the activity of this self, in various subtle ways.

                   

                  I should emphasise again one is not making a judgement of any individual, or any group of people. This is a human problem.

                   

                  I suggest that the root cause of all mankind’s problems is that centre of thought, that ego. That includes all the trashing of the environment, which is so distasteful, and the environmental issues which threaten to make our planet uninhabitable. And all the wars, the inequality, the violence.

                   

                  So it seems reasonable to ask, why education is not (overwhelmingly) concerned with this issue of the self? And also, how education CAN meet this issue?

                   

                  As long as schools, or parents, are content to turn children into narrow specialists, who see the world only as scientists, as artists, as engineers, etc, those children cannot grow up into human beings who are concerned with the totality of human existence. And in one way or another they will contribute to the problems, the suffering of the world.

                   

                  Although it is obviously important to be educated about the issues of the whole world, and also to be concerned, and to act, in one’s own local community, I do not think this is enough to solve the problems. Does one not one need to understand one’s own relationship to the global issues, and see how one’s own mind is a microcosm of the whole of society? Does one not need to see that it is not really “us and them”; but we ourselves are the root cause of the human problem? And without transforming the mind that creates the problems, those problems will continue. Technology may solve some particular problem, but more will be created, until we understand the very root of the problem.

                   

                  Regards

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: svani
                  Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 8:18 PM
                  Subject: Re: [alt-ed-india] Computers & children

                  Hi Clive,
                   
                  I am not sure if all scientists are there for their personal ambition to preen their own feathers. I know, our family is not as we are not the million dollar home owners here and neither we seem to fit in the ever so developing rich community back home. I seem to not fit there anymore and seem to fit fine here very much. May be I was in the wrong side of the community as I did not get to meet folks like on this list when I was back home:-)
                  But where I live,  I do see more caring folks, who really care for the world, environment, humans, values of the world, respect other cultures and belief systems and what not and act accordingly. I am among people who go every week to the homeless shelter and cook meals. I am among folks who seem to go to the old age home and sick homes and hold their hands and talk to total strangers caring words. My children play violin for those old age folks and we are not alone. There is a huge community that is involved in this. We go clean up the beaches, oceans, and take part in volunteering. We worry about Africa and worry about the wars and the aftermath. And these people I am with are from all walks of life and from all cultures, and people from here. What I see is that once awareness is created, once people are educated about the issues of the world, there *are* people actively interested in making a change.
                   
                  We believe to make a small difference is our own way and follow the educational practice even in our ways of living. My daughter is working on a research project to blot away CO2 from the air by using various algae. She found some preliminary results in the past year with her research and got the attention of scientists in NASA and Intel. And this year she is expanding it even more. She has some plans to work with some 60-80 different combinations of algae. She hopes to have some results positive that might have an answer to a small part of the problem. But without man's help living in this world, it is impossible to do so. What do we do as a family along with so many other families we know of? We reduce car usage and we do not even have enough of a good public transport here. We manage nevertheless by carpooling and reduce the usage of the same or we walk. We are actively thinking about the world, and this came with education and awareness and which in turn came from technology like paper and web(we have no tv):-)
                   
                  We recently did coastal clean up here. Meaning we went and cleaned up the creeks and picked up garbage, trash of all kinds as a family along with other volunteers. My kids learnt so much about the trash accumulation and also about plastic being a menace to the world's oceans, that they were very disturbed  by the reality that they were faced with. They have decided to take canvas bags to the stores and everywhere and avoid plastic altogether. They respect more about trash and value of recycling. Back home, I saw the amount of grabage piled up in the streets in my own neighborhood. No one cares and it hurt a lot more to see my own friends are too busy to be bothered about as they are busy making their niche in the growing economy. Cannot complain about, it as it is their chance and opportunity, but our family looked like a crazy one to them, when we talked to them about the valuable lessons we have learnt by experience.
                   
                  But there is still hope for future generations. Seems to me that there are quite a few of us here and in this world I am sure, who *are* thinking about it, who *are* acting on it in a small way and making others aware, who are *serious* about making it work. My children run a newsletter to their families and friends letting them know about all that they do and learn in homeschool. This following is taken from this month's newsletter, which my 7year old son has written about this very issue I have talked about above, in his own words, out of his own thoughts. I hope it is ok to share it here.
                  Svani
                   

                  Garbage Everywhere L!
                  By Nishanth J

                  It was Coastal Clean up day this month!  We went to the local creek, to clean up the garbage as a whole family. We picked up some gloves, garbage bags for garbage and recycle items, and we headed to our site. There were few other volunteers working in some of the sections of the creek. It was hard work in the hot sun. However, my sister kept reminding me that we were doing a huge favor to ourselves and the environment we live in, by doing this clean up.

                   

                  Why do we need to clean up the creeks? Well, people throw away garbage anywhere and everywhere. Even if they throw the garbage in proper containers, wind carries the garbage to the bushes in the creeks. This garbage collects in the creeks, for weeks, months, which then clogs the waterways during the rainy season. In most occasions, the waterways carry the garbage to the oceans, which in turn affects the survival of the ocean animals. It is as simple a reason as that.

                   

                  Why should we clean up what others throw away? Oh well! I am not happy about it either L. But people, who trash, do not seem to care. Someone has to care. Therefore, we cared to clean up in a small way possible to keep our environment unpolluted and healthy, so other living organisms in this environment are able to survive along with us.

                   

                  Why do these careless people throw garbage anywhere and everywhere? Well, maybe they are plain stupid, callous, insensitive people. Maybe they are unaware of the consequences of their actions. Maybe they are uneducated to learn this lesson. No matter what, I am glad that I was educated on this valuable lesson.

                   

                  On our clean up day, we found so many different kinds of garbage.   The terrain was rough. We had to manage all the thorny rough bushes, and rocky areas. I got many scratches and bruises L. My socks and shoes stunk at the end of the day. I felt yuck at some of the decaying garbage and cans. I was angry with the folks who threw that garbage there. Clean up is hard work. We had to go through big slopes, which we were not able to manage without our parents help in climbing them.

                   

                  There were plastic bags shredded all through our site. There were soda cans, boxes, wooden boards, variety of plastic stuffs, broken decayed toys, food trays, pillows, beer bottles and cans, wine bottles etc. We found some kinds of garbage, which we would never expect to find there. People just seemed to have thought of this creek to be a place to throw items that cannot be recycled through weekly county clean up. We had to get more bags to fill up.

                   

                  Something about plastic bags, I learnt. They are indestructible, right! They are not bio degradable, so they stay on earth unable to disintegrate and unable to break down to something more useful. I learnt that saddest part is the wind carries these small plastic pieces to the oceans. The marine animals mistake these pieces of plastic to be planktons. There is a huge mass of plastic pieces floating on the ocean, which is the size of twice as of the state of Texas. The worst part is that people think that they are doing a good thing by recycling the plastic bags. Actually plastic is extremely expensive to recycle. Therefore, they are thrown away as garbage. They end up in landfills, which of course ends up in the oceans as shredded fragments.

                   

                  What do we do now? Well, we decided we would not take plastic bags from the stores. We have decided to minimize the usage of plastic. We decided that we would take our own canvas bags to the stores when we need to shop. Our parents do not take plastic bags from the grocery stores when they do their shopping. We take our own canvas or cloth bags from home to buy all the items in all the stores and also when we pick up books from the libraries.

                   

                  Well, one more question that I have no answer for…. I know that the plastic bags are becoming a huge trash problem in the modern world. Then why do we throw the trash in 'plastic bags' ? Well, that is really a hard and funny question and I do not have an answer to it. Actually, no one knows the answer. I have tried asking them and I believe they did not think about it until I asked them!!!

                   

                  Are we going to do this clean up every year? Of course we are! We are always ready volunteers for any kind of job like this one. Please take some time and read these articles. Think about our earth, and what our roles are as humans.

                  http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/trashing-our-oceans

                  http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Plasticizers/Out-Of-Diet-PG5nov03.htm

                  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14859155

                  http://www.satyamag.com/apr07/moore.html

                   

                  Please check out this link if you are interested in lending a hand to keep our environment livable. There might be some similar programs in your part of city, which you can participate. http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html

                  Please make sure you do not trash everywhere. Try to minimize the usage of plastic. In addition, recycle the 'right' way!



                   
                  On 10/16/07, Clive Elwell <


                  No virus found in this incoming message.
                  Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                  Version: 7.5.488 / Virus Database: 269.14.12/1072 - Release Date: 15/10/2007 17:55
                • manju3261
                  Hi Aparna, I m sorry - that address was too long so it got split in two. You have to copy the address which is within the quotes below, and paste it into the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Oct 18, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Aparna, I'm sorry - that address was too long so it got split in
                    two. You have to copy the address which is within the quotes below, and
                    paste it into the Internet Explorer address bar. This is the link
                    within quotes:
                    "http://www.allianceforchildhood.net/projects/computers/computers_report\
                    s_fools_gold_contents.htm" Best regards, Manju
                  • Sanjay Maharishi
                    nice post by nishanth, I would lie to share here what a group of us did in Chandigarh, some time in February. The workshop was called Kabbad Se Jugaad. Kabaad
                    Message 9 of 10 , Oct 18, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      nice post by nishanth,

                      I would lie to share here what a group of us did in Chandigarh, some
                      time in February. The workshop was called Kabbad Se Jugaad. Kabaad means
                      waste and jugaad means to make some innovative and/or beautiful thing
                      out of it. As the name suggest the workshop was about making some useful
                      stuff out of waste. Please check the link

                      http://kabaadsejugaad.blogspot.com/

                      regards
                      Sanjay



                      --

                      Sanjay Maharishi
                      New Delhi India
                    • Clive Elwell
                      In a way computers are like all technology - they can be a force for good or for bad. It is hard for me now to imagine life without the internet and this email
                      Message 10 of 10 , Oct 19, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment

                        In a way computers are like all technology – they can be a force for good or for bad. It is hard for me now to imagine life without the internet and this email to communicate with people all over the world. But one knows it has been corrupted, by people, the technology is used to help people to exploit others more easily, to cheat, to abuse, to condition, to spread lies and propaganda. It is a great help to the terrorist.

                         

                        Whether young children need to be exposed to it, whether it is helpful for their whole development is extremely doubtful. It is a good tool if you want to make children more mechanical, yes. And does not sitting in front of a screen increase the alienation of young people? - something already growing apparently. What children need is direct contact with caring, intelligent human being – which admittedly is not so easily come by.

                         

                        But I suspect there is something deeper going on with computers. Our dependency on them cannot be doubted by anyone who has stood in a queue while the cashier waits helplessly for his till/pc to come on line again when it has gone down. Society has become slaves to the computer in so many ways. So many jobs entail merely feeding information into a computer, or reading from it. Bureaucracy has become even more unfeeling and inflexible when reality has to be squeezed to fit software devised by someone else, to fit all cases.

                         

                        Computers are thinking machines, and they can now out think man in almost all ways. They can work billions of times faster, they can control machines with great precision and work tirelessly; they can beat man at chess, checkers, they can compose poems – if there are any areas left where the human brain is superior, then there is a scientist working to redress that, rest assured.

                         

                        So what is the future of the human brain? Does it have one?

                         

                        Since the industrial revolution, the process of making people redundant has been going on. They are trained into jobs which suddenly disappear as technology advances. It seems computers will continue this process to a terrifying degree.

                         

                        What is even more disturbing is that now that the human brain has to be used less and less, it is deteriorating. For me the evidence is all round. At least in the UK where I am living I observe it happening. Educational standards are plummeting. People are not longer capable of doing what they have done for years. I don’t want to get lost in details here.

                         

                        So if this true, that computers can think far more efficiently than the human brain – and I welcome debate on this – what are the implications for education?

                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: manju3261
                        Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:56 AM
                        Subject: [alt-ed-india] Re: Computers & children

                        Svani,

                        Truly inspiring post. It illustrates what a world of difference
                        technology used as a tool skilfully, by open, free, creative,
                        caring, learning minds, can accomplish. The real hope for the future
                        lies with young people like these.

                        The trend in Indian middle class metro society today - parents
                        competing for admission to schools which have computer labs from the
                        KG, schools teaching everything through monitors/laptops, assignments
                        assigned online and completed through getting and presenting info
                        from the Web. And this is in addition to the kids following a
                        gruelling school/tuition/ extra curricular tuition schedule.
                        Introducing computers before children develop a mature thought
                        process and some value systems, and in a situation where they don't
                        have any time to reflect at all due to schooling pressures,I believe
                        does more harm than good. I wish there were more young people like
                        your children (I know there are some in India too) but a majority
                        would mindlessly pass their time surfing and gaming online ending up
                        with fractured personalities. We read the horrible shootout-suicide
                        stories from the US education system and don't give it a second
                        thought. Maybe it's time that we thought about the causes and
                        wondered if we are replicating those causes here in India. Maybe we
                        will have similar reports in another 10-15 years from India. Wish we
                        could learn something from US and bypass these mistakes!

                        Best regards,
                        Manju

                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.