But self-respect is robust –that’s the approach of the Stoic school, which incidentally was a Phoenician movement. (If someone wonders who are the Stoics I’d say Buddhists with an attitude problem, imagine someone both very Lebanese and Buddhist). I’ve seen robust people in my village Amioun who were proud of being local citizens involved in their tribe; they go to bed proud and wake up happy. Or Russian mathematicians who, during the difficult post-Soviet transition period, were proud of making $200 a month and do work that is appreciated by twenty people –and considered that showing one’s decorations –or accepting awards –were a sign of weakness and lack of confidence in one’s contributions. And, believe it or not, some wealthy people are robust –but you just don’t hear about them because they are not socialites, live next door, and drink Arak baladi not Veuve Cliquot.
Schools are now tasked to “do more with less,” which is often code, if you will, for utilizing digital technologies to curb “inefficiencies” and to “scale” services. The application of the language and practices of scientific management to education isn’t new. Not remotely. Raymond Callahan wrote a book called Education and the Cult of Efficiency in 1962, for example, that explored the history and the shape of school administration through this very lens. Measurement. Assessment. “Outcomes.” Data. Standardization. The monitoring and control of labor. And in many ways this has been the history of, the impetus behind education technology as well. Measurement. Assessment. “Outcomes.” Data. Standardization. The monitoring and control of labor. Education technology is, despite many of our hopes for something else, for something truly transformational, often a tool designed to meet administrative goals.
The troglodyte that murdered those people in South Carolina wanted to fire the opening shots in a new race war. He is a Confederate in every sense of the word: he is a white supremacist; he is a mass murderer; he is a terrorist; he is a traitor.