nora on ed change

nora on ed change

[virus noticings]

nora bateson (@NoraBateson) tweeted at 2:48 AM on Fri, Mar 20, 2020:
Education is stalled, & there is a moment to make significant inputs into the possibilities of education for the future. Every move now matters. Rapid systems change is on. Every small move is part of every long term possibility.

I published this piece in September 2018 in the World Academy of Arts and Sciences Journal special issue on education. As we enter this confusing moment of Covid-19 isolation and systems change, it seems to me to be a moment to rethink most of the ossified patterns of the last centuries, and break free. Education is certainly at the core of this change. This is a long read, but maybe you have time…

Starting Monday March 23rd, will be doing a series of calls online for parents interested in mutual learning with their kids in discovery of complexity…Since the schools are closed anyway, we might as well completely rethink what education can be.

Putting the world back together now from the fragmented, decontextualized and silo-ed bits it has been broken into is a challenge that rests on the possibility of intergenerational collaborative exploration. To form and find interconnections will require humility and a new kind of attention to interdependent processes in complex systems. New sensitivity will be needed, new perception, new language, new ideas.

ai humanity needs: augmenting interconnectedness

To discuss changes in the education system so that it might better serve the citizens of tomorrow is to discuss system change across multiple sectors, nothing else will do.. The generations need each other, if there is any hope at all it is the relationship between generations, cultures, classes, and even species.

in the city.. as the day.. has to be all of us.. a people experiment.. global systemic change

Education change is system change..t

if equity is everyone getting a go every day.. redefining public education becomes revolution of everyday life.. aka: global equity

“…the systems involved in education, including the education system itself, the political system, the economic system, and the social system, are not particularly known for being able to adapt or change quickly. In fact, these systems are resistant to change. All of these systems are deeply intertwined and interdependent that any attempt to change in one will require massive changes in all of the others.”-Jeff Bloom

There is not enough time to educate 8 billion people in complexity theory. And yet, a widespread understanding of interdependency between ecology, culture and individual well-being is necessary to ignite the collective of the humanity toward new ways of living.

perhaps that knowing is already in us.. all of us.. and we just need to provide time and space for people to listen to/for that

less of an understanding.. more of a grokking/being

The vitality of living systems is found in their interrelationships.

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman

Compartmentalized and specialized knowledge has been rewarded, while an understanding of larger contextual process has been dismissed as un-measureable, unpredictable, and impossible.

measuring things, predictable ness, things thought impossible.. not ridiculous

New communication that can hold the non-linear processes of interdependency in living systems will be a baseline for developing new forms of socio-cultural community. What sort of an education system can do that? One that is not just an education system, but one that includes the many systems of society..t

ie: cure ios city.. with 2 convers as infra.. via tech as it could be..

There is no way to make shifts in socio-cultural systems without first making them in education. There is a loop here that it is easy to get caught in. Where should the change-making originate? In the schools? Or in the culture?

ie: supposed to’s.. of school/work – killing us

To get unbroken a breakthrough is needed. Systems change will require much more than curriculum change, but it cannot be done without a deep shift in the institution of education. It will require a transcontextual understanding of how life is.

rev of everyday life et al

So many mistakes have been made by finding solutions to situations that have been decontextualized.

whales in sea world et al

taleb center of problem law

Education about systems & complexity is not the same as education within systems and complexity.

in the city.. as the day..

stop teaching

The irony that an education thread of “systemic knowledge” can all to easily become another subject in the curriculum, when what is needed is a liminal realm for the other subjects to be de-separated.

ie: cure ios city

The patterns to study now are patterns of change. It is a tricky time to enter the study of relational process, just as the rhythms and cycles are becoming more unpredictable.

so maybe we let go of all that.. of having to study/research/define/predict

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

not sure we have to teach that yearning.. we just have to let go.. trust curiosity.. et al

“Warm Data” can be defined as: Transcontextual information about the interrelationships that integrate a complex system.

warm data

Thinking in complexity requires the ability to perceive across multiple perspectives and contexts. This is not a muscle that has been trained into us in school or in the work world.

it has precisely been trained out of us..  supposed to’s.. of school/work.. keeps scrambling our natural alive/ness.. curiosities.. et al

we all need 1 yr to be 5 again.. wake ourselves up.. return out shells.. et al

no train

What if there was a time between classes to study the liminal realms?

what if we quit using terms like classes and study.. and just go with daily curiosity.. what we just let the liminal realms be the day..

What are the similarities between history and algebra?

waste of energy..

In her book, Braiding Sweetgrass Kimmerer ..comprehension of the grass that is not located in any of the particular forms of description, but is somehow in between them


To describe education through a transcontextual lens is to begin to allow the many contexts within education to surface and co-exist.

or perhaps.. we quit trying to describe Ed

How can we support health in human beings by making it possible for each person to eat healthy food, sleep well, know that their families are supported, be respected in their community, have relevant contributions (education and employment), breathe clean air, and drink clean water?

by letting go of things like ed and employ.. supposed to’s.. of school/work and just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

Ability to perceive and respond to connection in life at all levels is an important contributor to a sense of belonging, not only in society but within the biosphere.

sense of belonging is a killer.. we shouldn’t even have to be thinking about ti

brown belonging law, askew unconditional law, .. et al

let’s just focus on 2 basic needs

In so doing, can such a learning environment give strength to students’ capacity to attend to each other and their communities?

even deeper.. to find/be their fittingness.. so that the dance (undisturbed ecosystem) can dance

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows

focus on other people’s problems (in the name of care, work, whatever) has been a killer as well

 In that care there is the hope of finding new sources of our own vitality as an antidote to competition and thick-skinned cruelty.

perhaps that vitality comes simply from curiosity

The ‘my’ in my health is not mine; rather it is a consequence of my microbiome, my family, my community, and the biosphere being cared for.

but i think we miss that interconnectedness.. precisely when we focus on (observe and so mess with their  fittingness.. et al) others .. what we need is .. everybody .. listening to their daily curiosity.. and using that data to augment our interconnectedness.. get us back/to an undisturbed ecosystem

How can we interface with the complexity of our natural world so as to create less harm to the interdependence of all living things?

by trusting that what we need is already in us.. in 8b and counting.. of us.. so ie: bachelard oikos law et al.. becomes key

It is a mistake to think that young children cannot see or work with complexity. In fact, they tend to be better at it than most adults.

not yet scrambled..  1 yr to be 5 again.. no train

we need to let go of that hard won order.. entropy et al

Wilderness as a classroom is the original laboratory, playground and library of organisms in interaction..t

in the city.. as the day…. and has to be all of us.. everyone in sync

that’s why a time such as this (virus ness) .. where the supposed impossibilities (ie: people with more alone time in the day) seems a great opp.. to let go enough to re\set

How can we shift the economic system so that it is not based upon exploitation of nature and humanity –without crashing the globe into chaos? ..t

perhaps let’s try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

ie: ubi as temp placebo..

At present it is not safe for a parent to encourage their children to prepare for a life in which they are not able to be breadwinners..t

perhaps the unsafe/risky thing.. is to do just that.. making us all fragile

maté parenting lawearn a living ness & no prep ness.. et al

How do we get the policy makers of our world to mandate cross-sector information for their decision-making processes so that they have the possibility of taking into account complexity?

by making sure they also have something else to do.. (ie: the thing-s they can’t not do).. and by letting go of decision making ness.. rather go with curiosity over decision making

The will of the people, if it is to have meaning in democratic process in the coming years, needs to be informed at a deeper level. Education of concepts such as complexity and transcontextuality will help encourage a more demanding population.

that’s just a form of what we already have.. need to let go of Ed ness.. and being informed ness.. the deep level would be to just listen to and facil daily curiosity

The more important question may be how to provide them with the suspicion and careful criticism to keep from getting caught in particular algorithmic echo chambers of click bait. Being responsible surfers of the landmine of tricky and often hacked stories online is not easy at any age.

so let’s quit doing that.. gershenfeld something else law et al will keep all that too much ness from happening in the first place.. ie: quit trying to figure out how to listen better to things that wouldn’t be there if we were all free art ists

The much easier sell is the story of adversaries, controversy and polarization.

only because we’re all like whales in sea world.. so let’s get the whales (everyone) out of sea world first

A more systemic approach with more perspectives might present another form of inquiry to engage the public in new ways. But this requires an audience that has an appetite for more substantial, rigorous information. It is a circular problem.

ie: cure ios city

something every soul already craves/hungers-for

Lives are at stake. As millions of refugees are fleeing ecological and political disaster, climate conditions become increasingly extreme, the wealth gap is widening, the interlinkings between these stories is critical to the development of public opinion.

so let’s quit playing around with part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake..  there is a nother way to live

What is the approach to open the global discussion about the pending fate of humanity? What matters? What are we willing change? How can we survive together?

2 convers as infra..  makes ‘discussion about pending fate.. what are we willing to change.. how can we survive..’ et al.. irrelevant.. and becomes simply a story about people grokking what matters.. everyday

A great deal of indirect learning is taking place about how to be a good student, how to succeed in the culture, how to be liked and so on.

supposed to’s.. of school/work.. killing us

The double bind of this era is that continuance of our species requires discontinuance of current means of survival. Business as usual is a swift endgame. Yet the rent must be paid, and breakfast must be possible. To live through next week is to take part in systems that are destructive to the future.

costello screen/service law

today we can have that mech in place.. now more than ever

And the paradox or dilemma which perplexes and dismays when we contemplate correcting or fighting against obsolescence is simply the fear we must lose coherence and clarity and compatibility and even sanity, if we let go of the obsolete.” (Bateson, Mind and Nature pp 207)..t

cahart harris entropy law et al

How shall we prepare them, how shall we guide their days, what shall we feed them at the table of ideas? This is a non-trivial question upon which the entire premise of intergenerational interaction is contingent..t

precisely by letting go.. stop guiding/feeding/prepping..

the not letting go enough.. is why we haven’t yet gotten to global equity (everyone getting a go everyday)

Given the lack of change toward systems of exploitation in past decades one has to wonder if older generations have enough existing knowledge and understanding of complexity to sufficiently ‘teach’ it to their students. Somehow education of complexity must take place through a new kind of interaction in which students can find their way into new applications of complexity that their teachers will be totally unfamiliar with. .t

ie: cure ios city.. sans ‘teaching’ training.. et al

Another way of putting this is that since the older generations are not proficient enough at complexity the best thing that can be done is to create an environment for this generative study and then get out of the way.

exactly.. let’s do that.. but for all of us.. (has to be all of us or it won’t work).. in the city.. as the day..

The most concerted and heartfelt efforts to do things differently often end up being repeats of the old ways with slightly different vocabulary..t


let’s quit doing that

good bye cycle et al

A few starlings in a murmuration will have a very hard time changing the movement of the group. They will have to be out of sync, and it is incredibly difficult to actually get out of the contexts that roll us from one day to the next. The pull is strong to stay in the flow of the many existing rhythms.

everyone in sync is key for the dance to dance.. this is why we need (and are in ripe conditions) to leap.. [aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

Fissures, and confusion are needed.

carhart harris entropy law, et al

Art is especially needed, and, to be around people that do not see things as we do.


let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

We need curiosity, but we also need adventure, humor and most of all willingness to feel the pain of loss.

let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city

Sensitizing anew is like fish learning to fly, and it may seem impossible at first.

“When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” –The Queen, in Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll..t

let’s focus on 33 min a day.. ie: 2 convers as infra

via tech as it could be.. (listening to every voice first thing everyday.. and using that data to augment our interconnectedness)


virus noticings

ie: leaping to a nother way to live is possible

bartlett expo law

jordon on crisis into opp

nora on ed change