"Q. You are skeptical of the way people protest through social media, of so-called 'armchair activism,' and say that the internet is dumbing us down with cheap entertainment. So would you say that the social networks are the new opium of the people?
A. The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren't created, and you either have one or you don't. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it's so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn't about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don't teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap."
(Ricardo de Querol, El País, 19 January 2016)
Fig.1 Stephen Downes 2009 presentation "The Role of Open Educational Resources in Personal Learning", VI International Seminar on Open Social Learning of the UOC UNESCO Chair in e–Learning.
"Blue Velvet begins with the lily–white small town of America's collective fantasies and shows us its dark underside: drugs, violence, sex, and particularly sexual perversion. Our hero, Jeffrey, hiding in the dark, peers through the slats of Dorothy Vallens' closet at Dorothy getting undressed and Frank's strange sadomasochistic sex with her. Jeffrey stands for all of us American filmgoers peering (voyeuristically!) at Evil in traditional American films. Lynch clues us as to how we should read his film when he shows us a cluster of ants under the Beaumonts' pretty lawn. This is Tennyson's nature red in tooth and claw–the underside of cutesy Lumberton with its free enterprise propensity for cutting down trees."
(Norman N. Holland)
"In their most basic form, learning communities employ a kind of co–registration or block scheduling that enables students to take courses together. The same students register for two or more courses, forming a sort of study team. In a few cases this may mean sharing the entire first–semester curriculum together so that all new students in that learning community are studying the same material. Sometimes it will link all freshmen by tying two courses together for all – most typically a course in writing with a course in selected literature, or biographies, or current social problems. In the larger universities such as the University of Oregon and the University of Washington, students in a learning community attend lectures with 200–300 other students but stay together for a smaller discussion section (Freshman Interest Group) led by a graduate student or upper division student. In a very different setting, Seattle Central Community College students in the Coordinated Studies Program take all their courses together in one block of time so that the community meets two or three times a week for four to six hours at a time."
(Vincent Tinto, 1997, p.2)
1). Vincent Tinto (1997). "Universities as Learning Organizations", About Campus 1(6) January/February 1997, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/abc.v1:6/issuetoc]
"In his installation performances such as Human Writes or Heterotopia, to which Forsythe has dedicated an increasing amount of his time in recent years, choreography becomes a social practice. Forsythe's installations are controlled test arrangements in which all the participants can observe themselves, their bodies and their movements together. When a performance like Human Writes deals in substance with the difficulties surrounding universal human rights, it becomes clear where the potential of dance and movement can lie. After all, it's not abstract universal laws alone that guarantee our co–existence. It is much more our physical actions, our daily movements that create and shape the community. Herein lies the political meaning of Forsythe's notion of dance. He creates spaces where he places people in a new, unknown relationship to themselves so that they reflect differently on their (social) spheres and in so doing explore their own potential scope for action."
(Gerald Siegmund, May 2008, Goethe–Institut)
Fig.3 Dominik Mentzos, "Human Writes", performance–Installation by William Forsythe and Kendall Thomas [http://www.theforsythecompany.com/pressphotos/humanwrites/].