Monday, 31 August 2015
Critical Dialogue and the Beginning of Infinity
I am just preparing a blog item on a long-standing area of interest around machine learning and the distribution of information/knowledge. In preparing for this I reflected on the purpose and value of this blog. I occasionally come across people who have read posts, but I must admit that I have no contact whatsoever (comments are rarely left and I'm not sure why this is the case) with the vast bulk of those who visit the blog, a large number of whom are in the US, with a healthy sprinkling of interest in Russia, the EU and Australia (so, an appeal for readers to leave comment please).
On looking at the data on who reads what the greatest interest historically (sometimes nudging 600+ page views) has been around posts which combine a discussion of educational methods/pedagogy in the context of labour movement/adult education. This short piece on the 2014 event in Bridgewater, Somerset on the future of workers' education is a prime example of blog interest notching up 544 page views: http://ianmanborde.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/education-as-practice-of-freedom.html
There is also significant interest in the general coverage of how labour movements fare globally - one of the principal reasons why I write the blog - with, for example, two articles I wrote combining Ruskin's historic connections with South Africa's labour movement, latest developments there and the launch of a new scholarship both topping 600+ page views each: http://ianmanborde.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/south-africa-battle-for-ideas.html and http://ianmanborde.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/oxford-ruskin-college-south-african.html
I'd like to think that this blog contributes - in some form of Freirean style - to a wider discussion/analyses of how the values, interests, concerns and needs of organised labour, particularly from an educational perspective, can be progressed. That really is for others to say though, so another appeal then for more comments in relation to posts, and in particular of how we can pursue further analysis, dialogue around the items posted here, not least in the pursuit of transformative change in the workplace and wider society.
Ultimately what I am aiming form is some (even if minor and partial) contribution to the comprehensibility of the future of organised labour in its myriad form, 'trade unionism' being one of these. In the spirit of David Deutch's The Beginning of Infinity I aim to work with others in "the quest for good explanations" in this case around how organised labour might evolve globally to respond to the major challenges it faces, and doing so rationally and optimistically.
Whilst reviewing the 300+ posts written since I started this blog in 2007 I was able to capture an image of what some of these posts look like when viewed using one of the images/pictures used in the post - below are a few hundred of these. Personally, they represent a significant number of hours of thinking/analysis/writing, but more importantly they reflect an attempt so support a critical pedagogy in trade union education, and, as the new academic year kicks off at Ruskin College, I look forward to a further year of discussion/debate in the classroom with trade unionists and the opportunity to examine this experience further here.