A fertile breeding ground for the hive mind.

It seems to me that it's precisely here that Lanier's piece holds the most importance for educators. Certainly pupils must be stimulated to try ideas on and see if they fit. We have to encourage them to take chances with the world, since only through action can they really learn how things work and their place in those workings. (That's perhaps a different sort of Maoism that I can agree with.) But we have to be diligent in reminding ourselves that generating more and more texts isn't synonymous with generating more and more information (or worthwhile information) which in itself is only tangentially related to generating more and more knowledge. It's not only a case of quantity having no direct relationship to quality, but also of how the hive mind seems especially adept at congregating around a particularly low common denominator. Dare I write that children are in school in order for them to learn? Certainly there's no truth (nor pedagogical logic) in telling them that they don't know anything, or that everything that they know is false. It doesn't, however, follow that whatever they know is tenable and should be distributed, free of charge and in bulk, to the world.

Go to: A magic strand?