Showing posts from October, 2006

modern school reunion

Today is the 97th anniversary of the death of Francisco Ferrer, an anarchist and freethought educational pioneer whose persecution by both church and state and execution on trumped-up charges led to outrage and an international movement to emulate his ideas. Ferrer and other European educators wanted a "modern" approach to education based on freedom and reason, in place of the traditional one based on coercion, rote and indoctrination. Emma Goldman, who visited Sebastien Faure's French modern school La Ruche, conveys the atmosphere of the school in her description from her autobiography : He [Faure] had taken twenty-four orphan children and those of parents too poor to pay and was housing, feeding, and clothing them at his own expense. He had created an atmosphere at La Ruche that released the life of the child from discipline and coercion of any sort. He had discarded the old methods of education and in their place he established understanding for the needs of the chil

Transcript of Rushkoff ETFF Hanukkah show

My second transcript for Equal Time for Freethought is now online: from last year's Hanukkah season, Barry Seidman 's holiday interview with Douglas Rushkoff . The interview started off with a subversive look at the historical origins of Hanukkah, based on Rushkoff's treatment of the subject in his book Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism . The role of circumcision led to a discussion of the modern Jewish take on the practice. The holiday also led to the issues of assimilation in general, and of Passover as another holiday which Rushkoff had an alternative take on. The touchy topic of what a humanistic secular Jew should think about the Israel situation was dealt with. Even technical difficulties were an opportunity for discussion: when noise interfered with the reception as he was discussing Passover being a de-idolization of the Egyptian gods, he said "I hear strange and exciting sounds" and "It's those gods coming back at me now". Afte

fall dorkbot

Last month, dorkbot-nyc got off on a roll with its first meeting after the summer hiatus. Bret Doar showed his hybrid roboticized musical instruments including the Huffyphonic Gyrobanshee 1000 , a combination of a bicycle wheel and a guitar. Jon Lippincott demonstrated Vis Virtual Universe , which displays and navigates through a surreal 3D animated solar system, which he wrote from the ground up in C++ (which fit in with my blenderheaded fascination with all things related to 3D computer graphics). David Kareve explained his exhibit which uses freaked-out crash test dummies to explore the culture of fear reinforced by the terror alert system; I was tickled to see that his presentation of the various spoofs of the terror alert system included the Sesame Street one that I've had on my blog sidebar almost since the beginning of the blog (which I got from freeman, libertarian critter ): The next day's installment of the popular video blog Rocketboom did a segment coveri