Sock Puppetry at Home for Fun and Profit!

23 06 2007

New cultural concept applied by top anthropology blog to home education criticism!

Read the notable examples and see for yourself, folks, this is well-documented fact, very scientific! (If you weren’t lost in Africa during the last decade, you would know this stuff already . . .)

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49 responses

23 06 2007
Not June Cleaver

“top anthropology blog”????? You’re giving him much higher status than he’s worth.

23 06 2007
JJ

LOL – hi NotJC, just going by his-their claims on all the hsing blogs about importance! —

23 06 2007
Not June Cleaver

Just saw your other post and realized what’s up.

23 06 2007
Not June Cleaver

OMG, PTR is soooooo GL!! There’s no hiding his funky way of writing.

23 06 2007
Dawn

I really think the sock puppets are more likely to be a regular reader like CMF then Greg. But I admit that though I like Greg’s blog and continue to read and comment there I’m getting really frustrated by his tolerence for nasty comments from ‘supporters’.

We’re talking about it in the T Rax post you linked to.

23 06 2007
JJ

Hi Dawn – a whole new theory occurred to me just now, a plot worthy of Hollywood movies like the one GL hinted he was working on with famous people, at Rolfe’s — in this theory Rob Reich is the puppet master (surprise!) and GL is not puppeteer but Santa-sized sock himself, blogging and all, elaborately set up years ago to get the most jaded and determined of us to accept Rob’s criticisms of homeschooling as the very model of academic ethics and well-reasoned arguments, in comparison!

What do you think? Truth can be stranger than, well, you know . . .
😀

23 06 2007
JJ

Dawn, you are a fine example. Because of you, I just approved the PT Rax post I had TP’ed (temporarily passed, like a bill in committee) so you could see it, for a more complete picture. It’s the first comment here.

24 06 2007
Not June Cleaver

cmf is an SP too!

24 06 2007
Not June Cleaver

awaiting moderation? wassup with that?

24 06 2007
JJ

To Not JC, I just woke up and saw this, looks like using “cmf” triggered the filter in that post. More bits of theatre from the Penelope T Rax script came in too, also approved (but moderation remains on for the whole trunk of puppets)
So GL’s blogging of his own homeschooling “concerns” continue to create the opposite of what he claims to want, defend and personally stand for. If it winds up inhibiting science, reason, education and free speech, then it’s really about Tash, not Aslan.

24 06 2007
NanceConfer

Tash or trash? I’ve about had it with all of this.

Can we just put a filter on an IP address and be done with it?

Nance

24 06 2007
NanceConfer

Well, I just looked at the FAQ for WordPress and apparently the answer is no. No blocking of ISPs.

So, as I understand it, all posts will go to moderation and they’ll stay there until JJ or I release them. And if it’s me doing the releasing and I think the post is trash, I will delete it.

JJ, as always, will do as she likes. 🙂

Nance

24 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

I guess there is nothing wrong with sock-puppetry per se. It has been used well in the past. I immediately think of Kierkegaard, who used a few pseudonyms to conduct interesting dialogs with himself.

The problem with these possible puppets is that they sound inane, whether they are real or fiction. I’d much rather have false and interesting than real and boring. Oh, cruel and homophobic don’t score big points with me either.

Greg is supposed to be a smart guy. I’d hope he could do better than the T Rax and twin. I’d laugh a bit if he couldn’t.

My two cents.

24 06 2007
Not June Cleaver

T rax and janicetwin (among many others who show up regularly after JJ posts) really must be cmf. But I do sometimes wonder if cmf is gl. However, there is a distinct difference in that gl rarely makes typos. There are a few, but nowhere near the number that cmf makes. And the more I re-read some of that crap that made me say what I said above, the more I realize it was cmf I was thinking of with the weird writing style. I can never quite follow what his point is (is there a point?). Afterall, it was he who prompted my “never wrestle with a pig” comment on my own blog awhile back. Hi cmf. Are you going to come harass me on my blog now?

25 06 2007
JJ

Yeah, this is the distaff side, I guess we’re supposed to be less suspicious if it’s “females?” Cmf and the Creepuppets went too far for even GL to defend them openly, so now we get this . . .

25 06 2007
freerangelife

if i wantd to hide my identety i wuold be like sure to do some thing diffrent then i usualy do that way teh poeple reading it would like think it was some one els dont u think so???? im just sayin!!!!!!! 🙂

25 06 2007
Greg Laden

This is very interesting. You’ve put a lot more thought into this than I have (or will) but I can probably clear some things up. “Janice” has posted on my site a small number of times in the past but under a different name (not my business to say what it was) as has “CMF.” I don’t think it is my place to reveal any names or even how I know this, that’s up to the poster. I don’t have any rules about this, and I’m not sure I need them. Both of them are among about a dozen people or so who regularly send me emails that are suggestions of things to blog about …. which I appreciate, even if I rarely use these suggestions (My own methods of getting info are pretty efficient, so I usually have seen the story if it’s a major news story, but I still appreciate the effort because it is a signal from readers as to what sorts of topics they are interested in).

I can tell you with 90% certainty that CMF and Janice are not the same person! I think… I was also assuming that Penny Rex is yet another person. But, JJ, you have told me that I was wrong about similar assumptions in the past and you may well have been right. The truth is that I don’t spend much time analyzing this.

Dawn: I know, as you have expressed to me elsewhere, that you prefer that I jump in and tell people to not say certain things or to not say things in certain ways, etc., and I’ve told you that while I appreciate your position, I just don’t want to micromanage conversations at any level at all if I don’t have to. Hey, people on this blog and a couple of others have spilt many pixels calling me all sorts of bad things (the worse being stupid, frankly) and I am not asking anyone to police that sort of talk.

With respect to my efforts or lack thereof regarding moderating comments, just two quick points. First, it is the case that two or three people’s comments (interesting, it’s usually Dawn and CMF) are held in moderation que for reasons that are entirely beyond me. I have just recently installed “Spam Assassin” and this appears to be a side effect. Second, it remains true that on a given day far less than 1% of the people who read my blog ever comment. While the comments are interesting and I’m glad to see them, it appears that my site is not one of those sites (compared to, say, Pharyngula, or maybe even Cocking a Snook?) where everybody seems to comment all the time.

I would be happier if we were having a conversation about education rather than CMF, Janice, and T. Rex! But don’t get me wrong! I’m not telling you what to do on your site!

Cheers,

Rob Reich… no, I mean, Greg Laden….

25 06 2007
JJ

Who are you and what have you done with the real freerangelife???

25 06 2007
JJ

Greg said:

I would be happier if we were having a conversation about education rather than CMF, Janice, and T. Rex! But don’t get me wrong! I’m not telling you what to do on your site!

Yep, that’s where I came into all this. Can we do better? (could we possibly do worse??)

Rolfe has suggested (and I find intriguing) the idea of a connected series of named posts from named posters with recognized education blogposts in the past (Rolfe, me and Greg say, and there could be others we would want to add) for some sort of linked up “blog tour” on an education reform idea or at least a foundation issue of some sort.

I can’t elaborate from where I am this week but think about it. Real education talk would be MUCH preferable to shadow-boxing with context-camouflaged strangers. . .

25 06 2007
JJ

No comments on these, I was picturing — they would be more like a series of essays that people could then discuss on THEIR blogs.

25 06 2007
JJ

And I meant everybody reading can think about it, not just Greg — and then let everyone know what you think, after you think it; feel free to post questions, needed stipulations, format ideas, interest in signing your blog up too, etc in this thread, if you want.
We found out with the Teresa Heinz Kerry blog tour that this generates a lot of new highly relevant readership to blogs they wouldn’t have found otherwise, and brings a new set of like minds to a key issue for conversation and even media attention . . .

25 06 2007
Greg Laden

JJ: Do you have any links leading to previous blog tours? I’m only vaguely familiar with the concept, it would be helpful to see an example or two. (I know I could google it, but in case you have any links handy that would be useful)

25 06 2007
Dawn

//Because of you, I just approved the PT Rax post I had TP’ed (temporarily passed, like a bill in committee) so you could see it, for a more complete picture. It’s the first comment here.//

That’s funny stuff! 🙂

25 06 2007
Dawn

//First, it is the case that two or three people’s comments (interesting, it’s usually Dawn and CMF) are held in moderation que for reasons that are entirely beyond me.//

It’s all the porn spam I try to sneak onto your blog. 😀

26 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

I like the blog tour idea. I think that a dialog of posts would allow us to carry out arguments more thoroughly, respond more carefully, and keep the conversation more focused than what we can do in the comments of random posts. I also think it would be easier for people to read and refer back to later.

I think that participant list can be fairly free-form. Anyone who has something to say can say it on their blog. We could allow trackbacks, but not comments, so that it is easy for readers to find responses. We might need a rule like “only one trackback to each post from each participating site” to prevent “spam”. I don’t think that would be too limiting.

I’d encourage participants to use the principle of charity when reading others work, and write in a way that shows it. But I don’t see how to make this a rule.

The big question is: what would the conversation be about?
My proposal: Should home education be regulated or restricted? Why? How?

26 06 2007
NanceConfer

Well, the regulation idea has been discussed so many times I think the standard would have to be if anyone has anything new to add.

Along the lines of the “Really? Is this who we are” post I put up here and the post at Tiny Cat Pants mentioned in the comments there and the urge to regulate teens ever more, now with video games (see Deanne’s comments here: http://learningalwaysandallways.blogspot.com/2007/06/nameblame-game.html) and the apparently legal beating of children (see: http://cobranchi.com/?p=7791) I wonder if we couldn’t come up with a theme centered on how we treat children in society.

Or maybe it’s all of a package. . .

Nance

26 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

Right, the regulation horse has been pretty well flogged. I get stuck on it because every discussion I’ve been in about it ends up with key questions being ignored:

What problem are you trying to solve and would the proposed regulation fix it? At what cost?

Would the regulations still be “good for society” if our government started endorsing creationism?

Do homeschoolers need to prove their innocence to avoid restrictions? Or do regulators need to prove the net value of their restrictions before they can be accepted?

Is fear of regulation proof of guilt?

Do parents have the right to tell their children that the world is 5000 years old?

Asking any of these questions seems to be a conversation killer, and that frustrates me. So I wanted to vent. I’m done.

The last question touches on the broader issue you mentioned. What rights do children have? What is their role in society? What rights do parents have? What responsibilities? These are the real questions.

I think this is a good direction to go.

26 06 2007
NanceConfer

In this country, yes, they do. Have the right to tell their children any fantabulous tale they want.

So where does that get us?

Beat the kids with a mail-order board? Sounds evil to me but apparently not against the law.

Concentrate on any difference and call it a flaw and disregard any cruelty we endured and accept and expect and institutionalize that? Again, sounds like you’ll reap what you sow.

As Tiny Cat Pants mentioned when talking about the racism already being pounded into her nephews’ heads.

She was, as I recall, most interested in their welfare and their futures. What kind of happiness can you have if you only know meanness of spirit?

Is it a matter of rights and laws or knowing what is right and wrong? My version or yours? 🙂

Nance

26 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

Rolfe:

Do parents have the right to tell their children that the world is 5000 years old?

Nance:

In this country, yes, they do. Have the right to tell their children any fantabulous tale they want.

I don’t think this should be controversial, but some people would disagree with you about this. I can’t wait to see where they stand on Santa Claus! Those that disagree probably have some good idea down below, even if I laugh at the way they say it. Those good ideas are relevant to the bigger discussion of how we treat kids in society.

I think the examples you’re bringing up show that there are much more important questions than whether kids get “abused” by not being taught about evolution.

I am mostly interested in the ethical question: how should we treat our kids? how do we even think about answering this kind of question? Where should the state fit in to the parent-child relationship? In this sense I like what Rob Reich is doing. He is asking an important question, but maybe he didn’t get the final answer on the first pass.

I’m only interested in the legal questions when someone starts trying to use the law against me. Or when they make an absurd statement like “parents don’t have the right to tell their children that the world was created 5000 years ago”.

26 06 2007
NanceConfer

RR, imo, had his answer all picked out ahead of time. Maybe we all do.

“how should we treat our kids? how do we even think about answering this kind of question? ”

Maybe we are getting somewhere with these questions.

Nance

27 06 2007
NanceConfer

http://www.wmcstations.com/Global/story.asp?S=6711999
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/26/13397/3409

Links to a story on skateboarders being abused by a policeman. For whatever we get up to here.

Nance

27 06 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

Wow. I got harassed a bit by police back when I rode a skateboard, but nothing like that. You mean parents aren’t the only people that abuse kids?

I think you’re right about RR, but a little charity doesn’t hurt now and then. I know my mind is pretty well made up about a number of things, including:

– Child abuse warrants intervention
– Nothing I’m doing as a parent warrants intervention

Where I get confused is trying to define the terms and say why I can definitively hold these two beliefs.

27 06 2007
28 06 2007
JJ

How about something like:
RESOLVED, that what children learn to think and believe is sufficiently important to our common welfare as a nation to justify “prior restraint” on parenting and education the State deems may threaten the optimizing of its human capital (future citizens) —

29 06 2007
NanceConfer

How about. . . not.

It’s that part where “the State deems” anything or anybody else individually wants to tell me how to raise my kids, that I object to. I’m picky that way. 🙂

Nance

29 06 2007
NanceConfer

And I think we are talking about a much broader attitude. More about a general coarse, ungentle, disrespectful attitude toward treatment of children, than about what are strictly education or even the usual parenting issues. . .

Posting in between waves of rain and electricity being in and out. . . and the local TV news has already lost its ability to broadcast news and is rerunning segments from last night. Which doesn’t bode well if we get any hurricanes this season. . .

Ah well, life in the Sunshine State. 🙂

Nance

29 06 2007
JJ

(chuckling at Nance) I thought that would get you. Obviously I would have argued the negative of that! My main thought was that we do some kind of “resolution” like a formal debate, whatever it says, and it seemed like the prior restraint thing is what people struggle with, like Rolfe and all of us against hitting babies and children, for example. Stopping them even with prior restraint gets tempting.
None of us wants parents to hurt their own kids or anyone else’s. OTOH I’ve been traveling through three or fours states all week, just got home a few minutes ago. I thought several times along the way about how different we are as a “village” when it comes to schooling and medical care for example, or smoking and cooking beef (I mentioned that in another comment, at Daryl’s I think.)

30 06 2007
NanceConfer

My main thought was that we do some kind of “resolution” like a formal debate,
******
RESOLVED, children should not be treated badly because adults are bigger or older than them.

Or should we go with:

RESOLVED, children should be treated however adults like.

Pick a side, any side. 🙂

Nance

30 06 2007
JJ

I think you’re onto something there. How about:

RESOLVED, treatment of children must evolve for the human race to evolve.

1 07 2007
NanceConfer

RESOLVED, treatment of children must evolve for the human race to evolve.

***

I like it. It assumes the participants can talk about evolution without having their heads explode. But I like it.

Nance

2 07 2007
JJ

A new unlinked anonymous commenter showed up at that science education blog with all the other problem commenters, in a thread about commercial sale of child-abuse paddles as God’s will and a civil liberty we should defend, rather than defending the kids.

Google does show a recent comment history for this “Grantu8” at random news and entertainment sites, apparently a very conservative married woman without her own blog and watching a lot of tv, in the Washington-Oregon area.

But real person or not, is this the level of discourse any Thinking Parent wants to wade through and sort out, much less get sucked down the rabbit hole by? It’s not why I blog.

Grantu8
http://762justice.com/2007/03/16/rosie-terrorist-apologist-911-truther/
I sent an email to the head of ABC, letting them know that I will NOT be watching “ANY” show on this network as long as Rosie is on The View, and allowed to trash pretty much everyone, including her own co-host, sweet Elizabeth, who is treated like she’s not a part of the show any longer! I’m discusted with her (Rosie), and am shocked that Barbara seems to enjoy Rosie’s the garbage that comes out of her mouth!!! One day she stretched her hand out toward Elizabeth, telling her to be quiet, and that she made it appear that Elizabeth didn’t know what she was talking about.
I have noticed that we never see Bill Gedde anymore. He used to sit in the very front row, and was always included in a few of the discussions just about every day. Maybe he’s ashamed of what’s going on!!! Could it be? 🙂

Barbara has lost all of her credibility as far as I’m concerned…I’ll never believe anything she says again!

Grantu8
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2006/09/tv_bounty_hunte.html
I have a very hard time understanding how the government in the “UNITED STATES of AMERICA” can ignore this “piece of work” involving the “Mexican **government**” & the United States “marshalls”!?!? It seems hard to fatham that they would even agree to be a part of arresting Dwayne Chapman? This is one of the biggest wastes of AMERICAN taxpayer money I have ever seen!!!! RIDICULUS!!!!
Somehow I feel that the government and US Marshall services have “CREATED” a new “ALL TIME LOW” for themselves!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
PLEASE make this “wrong” RIGHT” and SPEAK UP for the “REAL MEN” here….DWayne “Dog” Chapman & his son Leland and his brother Tim!!!!!
Grantu8

2 07 2007
NanceConfer

No, but we weren’t thinking of inviting her here, were we? 🙂

Aside from her or anyone else’s head exploding from the idea of human evolution, it occurred to me driving along (in the car and in the shower — good thinking spots — what IS all that honking?? it’s much quieter in the shower! 🙂 ) . . . anyway I had the thought that this will not be much of a debate.

Because the folks who know that humans need to evolve are, perhaps in ways we might disagree with and maybe that’s the only thing left to debate, trying to do their best.

And the folks who think people are just fine and dandy and made the way we are supposed to be now and forever — well, they aren’t trying to change and may not see any need. May be opposed to it as a matter of fact.

So we’ll end up preaching to the choir, in some respects. Unless we want to include people like this Grantu8 person you stumbled across, and I don’t.

Or am I wrong and there are a lot of smart people out there beating their kids and otherwise treating them like crap?

Nance

2 07 2007
JJ

You must be very clean by now, to have these showers of thoughts! 🙂

What about the education ecology discusison then? I really wanted us to get back to that, and I think it DOES offer the potential of reaching evolved and progressive folk who do want to do their best and just haven’t thought about some of the perspective we would bring to it.

Education Ecology Has Its Own Climate Crisis”
RESOLVED, that Thinking Parents can create healthier education environments for ourselves, for our own children and families, for our neighbors and communities by thinking outside the school box.

3 07 2007
JJ
3 07 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

I am still around, just busy.

I like this direction too, I think we’ll see more intelligent disagreement here rather than just some people saying they have mandates from God to paddle, stone, or otherwise care for their children.

I also like the idea of making this a discussion of education, not just homeschooling. Freedom of education will allow innovation, and it will allow very different individuals to learn in the way that suits them best. Freedom of education will allow unqualified educators to harm children’s intellectual development. And so on.

I still think Rob Reich raises a good question (even if he was asking it disingenuously): what rights do kids have? But focusing on education may give us a better discussion, at least to start.

3 07 2007
JJ

Hi Rolfe – something new at TCRecord!
“The Cultural Myths and Realities of Classroom Teaching and Learning”
will only be openly accessible for a few days and it’s long, full of references, so you might want to go print it out now and then consider it at your leisure. (I did)

About Rob Reich, disingenousness is one problem he doesn’t seem to have, unlike most liberal critics of home education. I really do believe he believes it is an ethical problem to teach any captive audience, and if he would extend that to all education — as we propose to do here — instead of limiting it to homeschooling, it could be a GREAT discussion, maybe groundbreaking.
Have you ever read theologian Ann Foerst’s writing about the human ethics of teaching robots, for example? Illuminating stuff indeed. There’s a chapter or two dedicated to this in the book I offered up in comments to your “radical” post, The Playful World by Mark Pesce.

From one of its reviews:

I am not sure how the schools of today handle children who are building robots and playing with toys that they can not only interact with, but ones which can learn and change as they are interacted with.

Do we need to change the way we approach education? Instead of complaining that children have MTV (Short) attention spans, we should be creating an education system that can cope with the speed at which these young minds are working at. I think we should be encouraging children to be thinking faster and day dreaming and using their imaginations, instead of trying to get them to fit an out dated model that will leave them totally unprepared for an ever more complex world.

3 07 2007
JJ

Much more from and about Anne Foerst here (alphabetically) — whose name btw I mispell above and can’t fix without having to redo all the links, darn wordpress comment editing.

3 07 2007
JJ

While you’re over at TCRecord, here’s another book review to print and save:
“Ethical Visions of Education: Philosophy in Practice”

. . .Questions about the role of spiritual life in educational practice lead to even more difficult questions about the relationship between education and politics, specifically about the role of private education in the context of a democratic polity.

In his Foreword to the book, Daisaku Ikeda states that, “Education must never be subservient to the demands of the state or its ideology” (p. ix). Having come of age during the period of Japan’s aggressive militarism prior to World War II, and having spent much of his life opposing state-sponsored violence and war, Ikeda’s assertions on this subject are understandable.

But what if the “ideology” of the state is at least nominally a democratic ideology? In that case, is it not a legitimate function of “state” education to equip future citizens with the habits of sound judgment, social responsibility, and global vision necessary to support that ideology?

One of the ironies of this thought-provoking book is that the luminous philosophies of education for public service it describes have, for the most part, resulted in the founding of private schools (e.g., Dewey’s Laboratory School, Tagore’s Santiniketan, Montessori schools, Waldorf schools, Soka schools).

Our awareness of this irony should first of all make us grateful that the ethical visions of these exemplary educators are now embodied in institutions that will perpetuate their legacies. However, such awareness should also make us realize that it is time to get back to work on NCLB.

25 08 2007
Back to School Take-Home Quiz: Is Teaching A Captive Ethical? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] that to all education — as we propose to do here — instead of limiting it to homeschooling, it could be a GREAT discussion, maybe groundbreaking. Have you ever read theologian Ann Foerst’s writing about the human ethics of teaching robots, […]

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