Friday, September 27, 2013

0208: Remixing #Deleuze: How does this relate to #education

The following is a reading of Deleuze’s Postscript on the Societies of Control, but functions as a remix of the thoughts included in the original document with my learning injected.  There is no delineation between Deleuze’s text/thought and mine. Please refer to the above link for any clarification. I’m trying to understand, and have been, and am starting to.  Anything you can add will help - etd

Foucault located the disciplinary societies

spaces of enclosure: family, school, barracks, prison, enclosed environment

“a disciplinary society was what we already no longer were, what we had ceased to be”…. deleuze…. so were are no longer about tax, or ruling on death, rather in a “generalized crisis in relation to all environments of enclosure”… prison, hospital, factory, school, family.  “The administrations in charge never cease announcing supposedly necessary reforms: to reform schools…industries….”  Just keeping systems alive until new forces are ready… thus societies of control.  Replacing disciplinary societies.

Free floating control? replacing old disciplines operating in the time frame of a closed system….. #so systems are less and less closed and centrally controlled.  The roll of control is decentered with “free floating controls” could this be cell phones, policies, other actors within a network? “Control” … the “new monster”?

Ultrarapid forms of free-floating control… “no need here to invoke the extraordinary pharmaceutical productions, the molecular engineering, the gentic manipulations…” but they are invoked.  Why?   

Hospitals are now supplemented with neighborhood clinics, hospices, etc.  thus extending the reach of hospital (decentralized control),  so is this entanglement or interference?  “could at first express new freedom, but they could participate as well in mechanisms of control”.  #School example… homework from teachers, extending into the home lives of students, apps,  for teachers and students, testing, top down curriculum, walkthroughs, surveillance (panoptic), professional development that is limited and “generalized” to all teachers for all students, aids in massification and control, thus limiting the power of the teacher to deliver individualized help for students.  Teachers may not always know where to find outside help or individualized support, or even connection to other teachers, thus being isolated (does this identify or link teachers to the concept of dividuals?).  When teachers are isolated, overworked in a system where there is no opportunity to rest, continuous system of never ending tasks (Del. postscripts), the teacher may lose motivation to work to improve his/her practice because all improvements are passed down in the form of PD that is not customized to the schools, but functions as this algorithm of success, or external but entangled “control”.  This isolation that is natural in such societies of enclosure can prevent a teacher from helping self and class.  To overcome this, we as teachers, must transcend and work around these natural dividers.  Using the deluezean metaphor of the rhizome as a goal for teachers to understand themselves with blogging and social media as the tool or “new weapon” for achieving this… something… empowered teachers… decentralized professional development, thus teacher quality can happen?

 Just a fact of teaching… we are entangled with these surveillant “controls”.  Even social media, cell phones, email, text messages make us “available” all the time.  These are controls, yes, but can also be tools or “new weapons” (Deleuze says “There is no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.” New weapons, blogs

In logic section, what about analogical and numerical (but not necessarily binary) .  What does that mean

Enclosures are “molds”, but controls are a “modulation”, “a self-deforming cast that will continuously change from one moment to the other, or like a sieve whose mesh will transmute from point to point” (Del)…..

#so enclosures hold things in place.  They may even shape them permanently, but it is external.  It holds things together… The system is falling apart…rather, it is being modulated, just as people are.  I like the term “smear” like when you smear pastels.  They all become entangled where one neither ends or begins.  There are differences, but only seen from afar.  Another example might be one of soup… separate ingredients blended and boiled together into one contiguous existence.  Ingredients can no longer be distinguished outside their relationship to the soup as a whole.  The same is with people.  Take the classroom for instance… The classroom was once an environment of enclose, but is now opened to outside information and interference through mobile communications.  Books are static snapshots of information.  Teachers once, and in many cases, perceived as controllers of information in a classroom, are now decentralized.  A student can text in a classroom, can google information, etc.  even if there are policies that attempt to mediate this.  The same goes for internet..

And the same can and does go for teachers.  Teachers are often connected only at meeting or in the hall, sometimes a teachers lounge, but otherwise they function separately from one another.  They are busy and after school rarely get together.  They are isolated (find reference).  Like other systems and actors within these systems, schools and the teachers, students, and admins, are not impervious to outside influence for benefit and connections.  Teachers now have easy access to PD via social media, connections to a network of teachers, interaction with students if they choose (theirs or others), problems can be posted and solved with a group, teachers can seek out their own help, support, etc.  It is up to the consumer/interactor of such information to judge the “validity” of the research, interaction, etc. they are partaking of, but this is not a problem, and shouldn’t be worried with “buyer beware”.  The societies of control should be worried with this, perhaps, this positions the teacher as a more powerful being, as a consumer (ANT article), thus decentralizing power and making change/connection possible. Disturbing the ideological equillibrium.

Factory worked on bonuses (reinforcements), corporation metestability impose a modulation of salaries (step scale salary, salary scales, etc.)  Contests, experience, seniority (perhaps mediated through unions, which is an external factor, a tension against the agent of control, in order to move to the next level, get the next pay grade, etc.  A contest, humourous indeed.  Interesting about the “most idiotic television game shows…express the corporate situation”.  “Merit salary” increases competition, pits actors within the system against each other…. culture of mistrust.   

What about “perpetual training replacing the school, and continous control replacing the examination (Deleuze)”.  What of that… so this manifests itself to teachers in the form of CEUs, faculty meetings, and a series of corporate hoops to maneuver just to maintain, teachers have no control of this, just like corporate players don’t.  You wanna keep your job, you jump through the hoops.  You wanna move up, you jump through the hoops.  This has been common place for us in education, but a “weapon” such as blogging can at least enable us to resist the controls that are harmful to us, our students, our society, by circumventing them.  We can supplement and direct our own learning through simple dialogue.  We can engage and support collective action (be supported too).  We can learn about others experiences, give tips, share experiences.  We can direct our writing toward a cause, or advocacy,  we can organize.  We can support change, such as virtually supporting a community that is going through the opt out process (cooperative catalyst).  We can show solidarity and share tactics with striking teachers.  We can solve problems in the classroom together.  We can access teachers, administration, students, professors, policy makers.  We become more entangled as a global community through social media (find citation).  This should be obvious to users of social media. No hating.

Disciplinary societies always starting again “school to the barracks…” and so forth (Higher ed seems to hold onto this, a remnant from a past society).  within “societies of control one is never finished with anything”  Universal system of deformation?

To think about:

“The disciplinary societies have two poles: the signature tat designates the individual, and the number or administrative numeration that indicates his or her position within a mass.”  ….  “In societies of control, on the other hand, what is important is no longer either a signature or a number, but a code: the code is a password, while on the other hand the disciplinary societies are reglated by watchwords (as much from the point of view of integration as from that of resistance).  The numerical language of control is made of codes that mark access to information, or reject it.  We no longer find ourselves dealing with the mass/individual pair.  Individuals have become “dividuals”, and masses, samples, data, markets, or “banks.””  #think about all this… minted money vs. credit “old monetary mole is the animal of the spaces of enclosure, but the serpent is that of the societies of control.  We have passed from the mole to the serpent  #interesting language.  Serpent quite menacing and predatory, used as symbol of fear?…

Interesting thought that different machines are connected with different societies

Capitalism of higher-order production.  What it wants to sell is services and what it wants to buy is stocks.

Corruption gains a new power…  marketing has become the “soul” of the corporation.

Man in no longer man enclosed, but man in debt.

#so… control has shifted and entangled everything… power looks differently.  We have more risks.  I don’t know what I think about this yet….


Guattari’s city of access with one’s (dividual) electronic card… similar to cell phone, still happy capitalism, see Moxyland as literary example. Think also about how cell phone and constant connection influences and affects our movement and interactions, even choices through individualized marketing.  Digital double„ data double..  most interaction is digitally mediated

“It may be that older methods, borrowed from the former societies of sovereignty, will return to the fore… #because new modes of comm make us/ can make us free-er?

Corporation at all levels of schooling?

Deleuze asks if unions which had been apart of resistance to disciplinary societies can adapt to societies of control?  They may not be, but people are as a collective and through social media they are becoming one and functioning within and around barriers through the use of SM this could and should be improved for the purpose of a free society..  Given way to new forms of resistance.  Culture jamming and remixing media can threaten the power of marketing.  What is to be made of the thought of the individual functioning as a tool for marketing.  When the corporation functionally annexes the dividual?  Youtube and facebook marketing

Motivation should not be for perpetual training and internships, but to change the locus of control within the society.  It should be decenter the corporation as a means of control.  Blogging and SM, even though corporately designed and maintained can decentralize.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

0190: Collaborate, but collaborate better than thy neighbor(?).

#education #occupyedu #SOSchat #deleuze #revolution

We’ve had several meetings this year that have all had a similar message: “create a competitive environment in your classroom to motive your students”. We are told that they respond well to competition. They should always strive to do better than their neighbor. We are also expected to tell them that they are working toward a reward, even though we can’t decide what the reward will be, or even if it will exist at all. And, at the same meetings we are told to put students in groups to “work together”.

I understand what “we’re” shooting for at my school. We’re in trouble with the state—deep. Our goal, rather, our prescribed goal is to do anything we can to get the state of our asses. Administration is fumbling for any answer—little bits of 3rd hand research they’ve picked up at workshops and mashed together with whatever dung the consultants have passed down. Encouraging heavy competition between individuals and then asking for group collaboration is a bit contradictory. I understand this is an oversight. They’re worried. We fear for our jobs.

The collaboration side of this equation gets swept to the side fairly quickly unfortunately. It’s the unfed dog in the fight. Collaboration does not come naturally among my colleagues. We’ve been compared and divided by test scores, academic subject areas, grade levels, and meetings involve listening to one person ramble on about how we need to work together, but we never get the chance. So teaching collaboration is quite foreign for many—impossible for others. And, it cannot be ignored that the real goal for the higher-ups is to get the scores up to keep jobs and what-not, and I’m sure somewhere the really-higher-ups just want to keep everyone divided and on the never ending challenge of always outdoing thy neighbor (I’m sure this statement is just a mad raving of a cynical fool).

So what are we to do? What am I to do if I find encouraging brutal competition among my students unethical, cruel, counterproductive, and unfortunate? I’ve been reprimanded for not putting the sticker charts on the wall for my students to chart their progress against their neighbor. My learners happen to be working with each other—motivated as a group for the sake of the group and the learning.

Certainly, humanity first.