Right Church, Wrong Pew

We’re into the homestretch of this Domain of one’s own class. There have been enlightening and bewildering moments and as Yogi would say “It ain’t over ’till its over.” But after reading the material for our last meeting I can’t connect the dots of using social media to facilitate learning for our students and polish our professional appearance available to like-minded participants.

I view myself as one of the “little” people, the users of internet. I work for a living, try to be nice (or at least polite) to the people I meet. I have very limited degrees of freedom, but when I do have choice I try to be considerate and anticipate how my actions will affect others. I am not a saint, nor am I an app builder (in either the hardware or software use of the term).

The readings this week seemed to be informing me about conditions beyond my control and probably beyond the control of any students I might teach. This is not to say that the issues presented in these readings aren’t interesting, alarming, and feed my sense of dread about the future. They play into my negative stereotypes of power and money, that these are corrupting forces. There are no longer heroes, except of the moment, and everyone who wins a moment of fame for an act or an idea is suspect for their monetary motives or their subsequent efforts to leverage money, control and power from the limelight.¬† People who work for a living have our own vices, our own reputations to polish, and our own self-delusions. But as the Golden Rule says, “The person with the gold makes the rules.”

Because I lack access, through my inability to interface with venture capitalists, and I lack scale because I’m trying to reach perhaps one hundred and fifty people, not billions, I won’t even try to explain what these readings provide me in my uncertain quest to provide a learning environment for my students. I’m anxious to read and hear where others saw revelation and empowerment.

 

2 comments

  • Gary,
    On a different note, I just read this post by Will Mackintosh and thought of you. I bet the associate professor he mentions was using the insurance database work you’ve been doing for years for some of her research on slave insurance. Fascinating
    http://www.willmackintosh.org/observations/inhabiting-fxbgs-landscape-of-slavery/

  • I don’t think so. The insurance material I have been working on, the Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia insured real property. Only in the late 18th century did it flirt with insuring contents of buildings. To my knowledge it did not engage in insuring human property. Still, this was a thriving business. Both insurance companies within the South, and in the North participated.

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