A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Migrant workers in China face competition from robots

Migrant workers in China face competition from robots
Growing up, my father frequently recited Aristotle's prophecy from Politics Book 1 1253B, 322BC about future automation and the changing roles of people in society. Had I been listening more carefully to my dad while working at Allied Plywood, I would have invested in Microsoft and Apple when I was a young professional, and would now be sitting on a hoard of gold.

When I read The Age of the Spiritual Machine by Ray Kurzweill about a decade ago, I was ready to understand Kurzweill's argument that the relationship between people and machines is changing at an accelerating pace. When I reflected upon Kurweill's Law, I was puzzled by conservative mindsets I encountered as a new teacher first entering the profession as a career switcher trying to find my way at the dawn of the Accountability movement.

Sensitive observers of history like Sir Winston Churchill noted that  people often prepare themselves for past wars, for "empires of the mind." Given Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, I have often wondered why an assembly line mentality remains firmly rooted in our schools, although I too sometimes have fallen into that trap. Knowing I needed to make changes, I became more serious about my studies and learning how to differentiate instruction and make it more engaging, since as a people we are in a race against time.

In The Kinds of Schools We Need, Elliot Eisner reflected:

"It is the awareness of individual children that makes it possible for teachers to encourage the development of nascent but valuable interests and the expression of well-developed talents. (190-191)"
As I reflect upon my mission, to inspire students to want to learn, and show students how to learn  the disciplines and habits of learning, Kurzweill's article and my coming job interview have given me an added sense of urgency to prepare for individualizing instruction.