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Life-long-learning, livelihoods and landscape of change

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  • Pamela McLean
    Hi Andrius and everyone I really miss the way that Andrius used to encourage us to think out loud in Minciu Sodas. I found that writing to
    Message 1 of 2 , May 17, 2013
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      Hi Andrius and everyone

      I really miss the way that Andrius used to encourage us to think out loud in Minciu Sodas.

      I found that writing to LearningFromEachOther in Minciu Sodas was a great place to discover what I was thinking, without worrying too much about any structure or purpose beforehand. So here I am with a whole lot of muddled thoughts, and impressions, and things that I'm doing. And I need to share them with someone to help me make sense of them all. I know Andrius won't mind if I simply write as a flow of consciousness without worrying if what I write makes sense to anyone else, and without giving all the background, or explaining why (and how) I'm currently thinking and wondering about the things that I am thinking and wondering about.

      Of course it is still to do with the impact of ICT on how we learn, and on the roles of teachers and learners. But my ideas have moved on and my "field work" has changed too. I think if I was doing a formal research degree of some kind I would be recognising a shift of focus. Instead of looking at ICT in the way I did early on I think I'd make that more incidental, and instead look at other aspects of how (and why) we learn in the 21st century.

      It is so long since I've written here that I will have to oversimplify everything in order to do an overview - so there will be no careful nuances or subtleties. For the time being these are some "facts" I'm taking as "given" and some of the areas of interest that I'm exploring:
      • We live in a time of rapid change and uncertainty
      • We need to learn new things, and keep on learning new things
      • Leaning new things is important for many reasons including earning our livings
      • We need to have up to date knowledge and skills so that we can do work that others see as valuable and thus "pay our way".
      • On a completely different level we need to learn and create new knowledge "for the sake of all of us" - because of all the challenges that are being faced globally
      • We also need to lean for reasons at every level in between the personal and the global.
      • Formulating the right questions is a key step in finding answers
      • If we are going forward in unknown territory then we cannot expect anyone to have the answers already - but we can all call on past knowledge, experiences and skills to help us along our way.
      • Finding ways to share this shared wealth of knowledge, experiences and skills is key to our future learning.
      • We are all on separate learning journeys.
      • Sometimes our learning journeys overlap, sometimes they are completely separate.
      • I find it helpful to consider us as people who are going forward into an unknown world - a landscape of change.
      • Everything that we are doing or learning is like a small exploration into this unknown landscape.
      • A mixed team of explorers and pioneers are more likely to be able to survive and thrive than a team which is too specialised - especially where very little is known about where we are going.
      • Our explorations are a mixture of practical work and theoretical work
      • In practice  - what are "we" (the people in the team of explorers and pioneers) doing?
      • What can we take from those experiences to share with each other?
      • We can share at different levels of practicality and abstraction.
      • Some levels of abstraction are very theoretical
      • There is no clear separation between theory and practice, in our learning - it is interwoven, because even when we are learning theory and tapping into "established knowledge" we are driven to learn the theory because of the practicalities of our own lives.

      ~~~~~~~~~

      I got interrupted. Its not the complete simple overview I had in mind 

      Anyhow Andrius, I'll send it.

      BTW - who do I mean by "we" - well "people like me" - people I've sometimes called "Dadamac learners"

      Pamela


      • Andrius Kulikauskas
        Pamela, I was glad to read your letter today and feel appreciated, and more than that, to feel that I have encouraged you in a lasting and positive way. Your
        Message 2 of 2 , May 17, 2013
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          Pamela,

          I was glad to read your letter today and feel appreciated, and more than
          that, to feel that I have encouraged you in a lasting and positive way.

          Your letter is timely and so I thought I should ask you and others for
          advice.

          I have some part-time work that will end, and so I will need to look for
          new income. Tomorrow I'm going to a Chicago workshop for Kickstarter
          http://www.kickstarter.com to learn how to crowdsource funds for my
          creative projects. Crowdsourcing is a way to pool donations for a
          project with a specific budget, say, $10,000, to be raised in a certain
          amount of days, say 30 days. Supporters pledge online through a website
          such as Kickstarter, and if enough pledges are garnered to fund the
          project, then everybody's credit cards are charged accordingly, and
          Kickstarter earns 5%. Otherwise, the project is canceled and nobody is
          charged.

          On Jan 11, 2011, I submitted a project to Kickstarter to fund the
          development of my phonics flash cards
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/1093
          but they rejected it
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/1099
          and I wasn't allowed to submit more projects. So I'm hoping to learn
          from the workshop how I might crowdfund.

          Kickstarter is focused on creative projects rather than causes, charity
          or "fund my life" projects. It needs to be project that produces
          something definite, such as an art work, music album, book, game, so
          that the project can be completed.

          I've heard that the project should be something that we're passionate
          about. Right now I am most passionate about writing up my philosophy as
          a book so that people could read it.

          People know me from a variety of projects. But ever since childhood I've
          been on a quest to "know everything and apply that knowledge usefully".
          From 1982, when I was 17, to 2013, when I am 48, I have been exploring
          the conceptual limits of my mind - I think, all minds - and trying to
          imagine them from God's point of view. I summarized my findings with a
          10 minute video, "I Wish to Know"
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArN-YbPlf8M and I have thousands of pages
          of notes on my wikis, for example
          http://www.worknets.org/wiki.pl?LivingByTruth/Summary It's my personal
          work as an "independent thinker". It has informed my work organizing my
          online laboratory, Minciu Sodas, and vice versa. It is an exposition of
          "absolute truth" and intensely abstract, but also, at times, very
          practical, both human and divine. This winter I spent about five weeks
          sketching out, in Lithuanian, a book to summarize my philosophy.

          It's very lonely work, independent work. Recently, though, I've found
          that if I express it through my art shows, then people will gladly have
          me talk about it for half an hour. The ideas can be very intense and
          challenging, for example, "God doesn't have to be good - life doesn't
          have to be fair - how does the 'good kid' deal with that? and how does
          the 'bad kid' deal with that?"

          These next three weeks I'm working on an art show "Think Through" to
          express my philosophy as a walk through, see-through labyrinth. Then I
          have to finish my part-time work writing research papers. I'm thinking
          that I'd like to devote half of my time in August and September to
          writing up in English an introduction to my philosophy. I should focus
          on the basics and simply note the open questions that I'm working on,
          but not worry too much about them, and save them for later writings. I
          should also include pictures of my related artwork, practical examples,
          exercises and investigations. In this way, I could start to make my
          thinking more accessible and available, so that I could build an
          audience for it, if possible. For example, I could publish the book
          electronically and sell it through various outlets. My work is in the
          Public Domain, but there may be places online where people might buy it
          for a dollar or two and that might add up over time.

          If I could raise $500 for my time, then that would be a great
          encouragement for me. I would also have to raise additional money to pay
          for whatever format I will present my book in, for example, print-on-demand.

          Pamela and all, I'm curious if there would be any interest? What would
          make it more interesting or appealing? What kind of "rewards" would be
          attractive for you or other sponsors?

          That is the project that I'm most passionate about. There are other
          projects that I'm contemplating, sooner or later, which would make sense
          to crowdsource, or perhaps to fund in some other way:
          * I'm the Resident Artist of Imagine Englewood if... My apartment and
          art studio is on the third floor of the building where their center is.
          I'd like to make use of the rest of the third floor to invite other
          artists and to do a large art show for Chicago's Artists Month, which is
          October. This would be quite a surprise because Englewood is a
          distraught neighborhood typically not included in such events.
          * Imagine Englewood if... is funding me to teach an art class to 13–20
          year olds. I will teach them to "think" through arts. In particular,
          we'll be investigating and creating "learning canvases" to hang on
          neighborhood fences and play learning games to get across deep ideas. It
          would be great to get more support for this activity and help it catch on.
          * I've been taking classes in improvisational comedy and doing quite
          well. I'd like to start a "community theatre" in Englewood. My best
          friend Rimas Morkunas in Lithuania is an inspired theatre and film
          director and actor and it would be great for him to come here for a few
          months and work on that.
          * Last summer I interacted online with a few Litvaks - Lithuanian Jews -
          about the Holocaust in Lithuania. I started on article on that topic in
          the Wikipedia in Lithuanian and uncovered a lot of material about the
          culpability of leaders in our 1941 uprising against the Soviets, which
          occurred alongside the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. My article is
          now Nr.1 on Google for "Holokaustas Lietuvoje". It would be good to
          investigate further and make everything available. I could try to find
          funding for that.

          The above projects are all meaningful to me. It would be great to find
          income that I might do them. Indeed, as I look for income, it makes
          sense to start with them and see who might fund them. In particular,
          Imagine Englewood if... is doing extremely important work in arguably
          the most distraught neighborhood in the US, and is the only independent,
          grassroots center that I know of here, but has no source for its
          operating expenses. I'm active here - I helped set up our blog
          http://www.imagineenglewoodif.org including my art blog
          http://www.imagineenglewoodif.org/programs/art/

          But the project that I'm truly passionate about is presenting my
          philosophy. If I could find an audience for that, then I could work to
          express it further in terms of art, games, projects, websites,
          databases, and ultimately, a culture of interaction, perhaps a new
          version of Minciu Sodas.

          What, if anything, do you find attractive about that? What might you
          support? How might I make it appealing?

          Thank you,

          Andrius

          Andrius Kulikauskas
          ms@...
          (773) 306-3807
          http://www.selflearners.net


          2013.05.17 18:08, Pamela McLean rašė:
          > Hi Andrius and everyone
          >
          > I really miss the way that Andrius used to encourage us to think out
          > loud in Minciu Sodas.
          >
          > I found that writing to LearningFromEachOther in Minciu Sodas was a
          > great place to discover what I was thinking, without worrying too much
          > about any structure or purpose beforehand. So here I am with a whole
          > lot of muddled thoughts, and impressions, and things that I'm doing.
          > And I need to share them with someone to help me make sense of them
          > all. I know Andrius won't mind if I simply write as a flow of
          > consciousness without worrying if what I write makes sense to anyone
          > else, and without giving all the background, or explaining why (and
          > how) I'm currently thinking and wondering about the things that I am
          > thinking and wondering about.
          >
          > Of course it is still to do with the impact of ICT on how we learn,
          > and on the roles of teachers and learners. But my ideas have moved on
          > and my "field work" has changed too. I think if I was doing a formal
          > research degree of some kind I would be recognising a shift of focus.
          > Instead of looking at ICT in the way I did early on I think I'd make
          > that more incidental, and instead look at other aspects of how (and
          > why) we learn in the 21st century.
          >
          > It is so long since I've written here that I will have to oversimplify
          > everything in order to do an overview - so there will be no careful
          > nuances or subtleties. For the time being these are some "facts" I'm
          > taking as "given" and some of the areas of interest that I'm exploring:
          >
          > * We live in a time of rapid change and uncertainty
          > * We need to learn new things, and keep on learning new things
          > * Leaning new things is important for many reasons including earning
          > our livings
          > * We need to have up to date knowledge and skills so that we can do
          > work that others see as valuable and thus "pay our way".
          > * On a completely different level we need to learn and create new
          > knowledge "for the sake of all of us" - because of all the
          > challenges that are being faced globally
          > * We also need to lean for reasons at every level in between the
          > personal and the global.
          > * Formulating the right questions is a key step in finding answers
          > * If we are going forward in unknown territory then we cannot expect
          > anyone to have the answers already - but we can all call on past
          > knowledge, experiences and skills to help us along our way.
          > * Finding ways to share this shared wealth of knowledge, experiences
          > and skills is key to our future learning.
          > * We are all on separate learning journeys.
          > * Sometimes our learning journeys overlap, sometimes they are
          > completely separate.
          > * I find it helpful to consider us as people who are going forward
          > into an unknown world - a landscape of change.
          > * Everything that we are doing or learning is like a small
          > exploration into this unknown landscape.
          > * A mixed team of explorers and pioneers are more likely to be able
          > to survive and thrive than a team which is too specialised -
          > especially where very little is known about where we are going.
          > * Our explorations are a mixture of practical work and theoretical work
          > * In practice - what are "we" (the people in the team of explorers
          > and pioneers) doing?
          > * What can we take from those experiences to share with each other?
          > * We can share at different levels of practicality and abstraction.
          > * Some levels of abstraction are very theoretical
          > * There is no clear separation between theory and practice, in our
          > learning - it is interwoven, because even when we are learning
          > theory and tapping into "established knowledge" we are driven to
          > learn the theory because of the practicalities of our own lives.
          >
          > ~~~~~~~~~
          >
          > I got interrupted. Its not the complete simple overview I had in mind
          >
          > Anyhow Andrius, I'll send it.
          >
          > BTW - who do I mean by "we" - well "people like me" - people I've
          > sometimes called "Dadamac learners"
          >
          > Pamela
          >
          >
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