Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wikipedia is a convivial tool

Illich talked about convivial tools that supported his ideal of returning learning to its natural function dissintermediated from the control of the radical monopoly of the industrial education complex.

Looks like Wikipedia may be able to play an important role in this process. One indicator is that the Landes Bioscience journal is requiring that publication submissions be accompanied by a submission to Wikipedia.

I'm still trying to find a complete rationale for this from the journal but this article describes it in part. I can see this as an effort to ensure that new knowledge is disseminated and subjected to critical scrutiny above and beyond the traditional (and tarnished) peer-review process.

This seems to support the notion as put forward in a number of places that "Information is now validated at the point of consumption, not creation." (eLearnspace, 2008)It makes it evermore important that people develop and use critical thinking skills rather than rely on authority now matter how unimpeachable the source.

Giggling a little over an article about the Catholic church trying to whitewash its treatment of Galileo 400 years later. I love this quote, "Had Galileo been tortured, Nicolini would have reported it to his king. While instruments of torture may have been present during Galileo’s recantation (this was the custom of the legal system in Europe at that time), they definitely were not used." Kinna like the US doesn't use torture, what do they call it? Oh yeah "tactical questioning"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(Was sent here through your comment on George Siemens's post.)
Interesting take. We're agreed that this is a fascinating development. Of course, none of this is meant to say that "The Internet/Wikipedia solves everything." But it's rather easy for critical thinkers to be enthusiastic about recent developments in online writing and assessing.
Hadn't realized the "convivial tool" expression came from Illich. Makes a lot of sense. "Convivial" isn't that prominent in English but it brings about all sorts of relevant associations. In French, especially in Québécois, it has been used to refer something close to "casual" or "cozy." When I first saw your use of the expression on Siemens's blog, I got this notion of solidarity, social support, and "working together for the common good." In short, the opposite of the competitive-bend of "independence training."
From glancing at Illich's text, I get the impression that the term "convivial" might somehow relate to Spanish usage. That could make sense.

Actually, I have yet to read a full text of Illich's. Now might be the best occasion to do so.

Thanks for your post, reference, link, and inspiration!