Ferocity (or what this site is really about)

I ‘ve added a blog to the site. I need to have some space to post my thoughts about this issue because a lot has happened since I set this site up less than 2 weeks ago that needs to be addressed.

The past week has been terribly difficult for me as I truly underestimated the ferocity of attack that has been hurled at me and (worse) at my employer. I have spent countless hours responding, defending, reading, thinking, etc.

I have truly seen the best and the worst of the internet this past week. Thank you to those who have responded to me with emails and tweets of support from parents and educators (and who have publicly fought back on Twitter and on this blog) encouraging me and supporting me. You are the best of the internet.

Onto the other side.

Who I am

First, there have been many accusations that I am an “industry insider” and thinly veiled attempts to insinuate that this site has been set up with a corporate agenda. This is patently untrue. I work in the public sector, and have for close to 20 years. I updated the About Me page to reflect more details about who I am and why I have set up this site, but I will reiterate it here because the point seems to be lost on people – I am a parent with 2 kids in the public school system in Victoria who believes they are not getting the education they will need to live in their world. That is why I have set up this site. That is my agenda.

I understand why people want to know who I am, where I work and so on to find out who I “really” am, so I attached my name to this site. I am not anonymous. I have nothing to hide. I only want what I think is best for my children. Perhaps that was naive. Perhaps,  I should have made my site anonymous and not allowed comments and open discussion. It would have saved me a helluva lot of trouble and I would have slept better this week. But I did not. I put my name on this site. Openess and transparency are important values for me.

Who I think should be deciding this issue and why

Second, I cannot keep up with the barrage of information people are throwing at me. It is becoming quite clear to me that obfuscation through volume is a tactic being used by those who believe WiFi is not safe. Throw a thousand studies in someone’s face and tell them it’s “irrefutable evidence” is a sure recipe to information overload. Throw a thousand studies in someone who is untrained to decipher scientific research hides “the truth” even more. Which is why I am advocating that the people who should be making decision about health issues are our public health officials. They are trained to understand, to decipher, to sift. They are the critical thinkers in our society best equipped with the knowledge to decide health issues. Not me, certainly not the activists on the other side of the issue, and not our public school board. Our public school board needs to be basing educational policy decisions on public policy, not the strong,  very vocal (and seemingly boundless energy) of a small number of people.

What this website is really about (aka my agenda)

Finally, this is not about devices in schools, or selling iPads. What this site is about is enabling a fundamentally different model of teaching and learning – a model that is built on the principle that ubiquitous, instant, anytime anywhere internet access is a given in our society, and will be for our kids forever. Our children need to be able to know how to deal with that, live with it, understand how to use it.

This fight is, fundamentally, about a different vision of the education system that I think is at risk. It is based on the premise that the internet is here and always will be. How do our kids learn to selectively shut it off? How do we teach kids to deal with mountains of information? How does teaching fundamentally change when teachers are not the source of information (no, they do not go away, as some have suggested I am advocating – teachers are needed more than ever in this classroom. But their role is changing.) These are critical issues in education. THESE are the issues I want our policy makers working on. This is where their expertise and time is needed. Not fighting WiFi battles.

To do this, the internet has to become part of our kids lives, in deep and meaningful ways. They need to be able to access whenever and however they need to because that is how they will use it in life. They need to learn how to control it, use it. And they cannot do that by limiting where they access the internet from because in my kids life, there will be no limits to when or how they access the internet. Everyday our classrooms are looking less and less like the rest of the world they live in. Do we want an education system that prepares them to live in THEIR world, or a world that faded from existence?

My corporate agenda

There are some educators (in positions of power and influence in the education system) who have stated that my position is one that supports the increased corporatization of education. That educational technology is being pushed by corporate agendas.

On their point about the increased corporatization of education, I agree with them. Fully agree. There are strong and powerful corporate agendas pushing ed-tech solutionism in education. Education has become ripe for the picking in Silicon Valley. Those of us who work in education and education related fields are seeing the educational technology sector become increasingly corporate. I fear the same thing as they do, which is why I have spent my career in education promoting and fighting for open scholarship, open educational resources, and free access to educational resources.

This is a struggle we all must fight. But supporting policies that restrict access to the internet is not the way to fight this battle.

The fear

To parents like me. It is easy to fall into the fear. We are all parents. We want our kids to be safe. Me, too. Fear is all around us. The world wants us to live in fear. Fear our neighbour is going to assault us, fear that stranger in the park is going to take my kid, fear that my car seat is not safe enough. Fear my kid is going to get picked on at school. Fear. Fear. When you are a parent, it surrounds us constantly (mostly driven by intense marketing hype that we fail as parents). It is easy for the other side to make their argument because it plays into our most basic fear – the safety of our children. What if….what if….

If you are an educator reading this, you might recognize some of what I am saying. Perhaps you agree, perhaps you don’t. I know there are many that do. If you do, please help with this fight. Defend the internet. Tell parents how you are using it in your class. Tell them how you are seeing others use it. Show them examples from your peers who are using the web in ways that enable 21st Century pedagogy.

Thanks.

15 comments on “Ferocity (or what this site is really about)
  1. Beneath the tech-boosterism it’s interesting to note the thinness of attention given to critics of wifi in schools. I suppose it’s easier to pillory a straw man than confront the possibility that there may indeed be deleterious effects of EMF. Notwithstanding, I dumped a whole mess of peer reviewed studies re. EMF at #wifistudy, and invite you to spend a few moments contemplating the possibility that very reasonable people might very reasonably disagree – and on the basis of a /health first/ agenda, not a ‘because the kids must have access to the Intarwebz!’ agenda.

    • Clint says:

      Tobey,

      First, three studies is hardly grounds for public policy. There have been over 25,000 studies done in the past 30 years. And as I have stated before, and will state again, the best people to determine the validity of the safety of WiFi are public health officials. Our public policy should not be developed around who shout’s the loudest.

      Second, within those 25,000 studies, there are bound to be contradictory results. This is what science is. You will never find 100% consensus on ANYTHING, yet anti-wifi advocates insist that it must be proven 100% safe. That will never happen because there is nothing in our world that is 100% safe, as my cherry picked study on the dangers of pens and pencils illustrates. Science operates on consensus, and in the views of those in our society who are obligated to protect us, the health consensus is that WiFi is safe.

      Third, my pedagogical argument is not a straw man. It is the reasons I set this site up. To point out the pedagogical implications of a school without wifi. If you take the weight of health opinion on this matter, then the straw man in the room is the health danger of wifi. Indeed, from some of the comments on this site, it is clear that “screens” have no place in education and that health risk is a way to promote their own vision of what education should look like.

      Finally, very reasonable people would not compare a persons motivations to Hitler. Your claim that you represent a “reasonable” voice in this debate went out the window for me when you triggered Godwins Law. Too bad really, because I actually think we might share some similar values and concerns about the state of our public education system, and the inequities & challenges it is facing.

      • Hi Clint,

        Challenging your subscription to technopositivism seems about as likely to succeed as challenging the Pope’s fondness for Mary Magdalene. Even so, it’s worth clarifying a few points:

        /”Our public policy should not be developed around who shout’s the loudest.”/

        That’s not this. Indeed, if there’s anyone shouting the loudest, it’d be the tech corps like Apple, Microsoft, Dell, HP, SMART, etc. Instead, what I would suggest is that reasoned criticisms are being avoided and obfuscated by cheerleaders for technology corporations.

        /”Science operates on consensus”/

        That’s a hegemonic and scientistic notion of science, and I categorically reject it – as should any reputable scientist. FWIW.

        /”the health consensus is that WiFi is safe.”/

        This is an appeal for power and hegemony, and it should be recognized as pure ideology. Remind me about France’s adoption of the precautionary principle re. wifi? Does the “consensus” that “wifi is safe” include or exclude the realization that EMF has been shown to fragment DNA, impact the blood-brain barrier, etc.? In other words, at a minimum, your appeal for consensus relies on a denial of dissensus.

        /”my pedagogical argument is not a straw man”/

        Actually, it is. As illustration of this point, it’s worth highlighting Apple’s summative report on its Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow project: After two years of total and unlimited access to technology by carefully selected students whose parents had chosen the program and whose teachers enjoyed unlimited amounts of technical and instructional support, small class sizes, and half of each day to devote to preparation, the best that Apple could say about the achievement scores of participating students was that they had not declined.

        Similarly, Larry Cuban notes that: “There have been no advances (measured by higher academic achievement) … over the last decade that can confidently be attributed to broader access to computers.”

        Likewise, ImpaCT2, the report of a 4-year, government-funded study – described as “one of the most comprehensive investigations into the impact of [information technology] on education so far conducted in the [United Kingdom]” – concluded that “infusing” schools with technology had failed to improve student achievement.

        Broadly, I would agree with Heather-Jane Robertson: “If the expansion of ICT in the classroom enjoys government largess and propaganda, if its benefits are assumed even if they are unproven (or disproven), and if those who dissent from technopositivism are punished or believe they will be, we are no longer dealing merely in the realm of skill development, equipment management, or best practice. Technopositivism exhibits all the characteristics of an ideology.”

        /it is clear that “screens” have no place in education and that health risk is a way to promote their own vision of what education should look like./

        I found this an odd claim. You do realize, of course, that the technopositivists are also hard at work promoting a vision of what schooling should look like, right? Microsoft, Apple, Dell, Cisco, etc., are chasing lifetime customers – not democratization or social justice.

        Again, I agree with Robertson, who argues that it is unfortunate that “many are quick to assume that corporations are motivated by the same desires they are” because “such confusion about the differences between public and private purposes is both an artifact an an objective of neoliberalism.”

        /Finally, very reasonable people would not compare a persons motivations to Hitler./

        Sorry, I see this as another appeal for hegemony. The contexts that gave rise to Hitler’s tyranny are not locked in history, but are alive and well within the present. I would suggest that your indignation here is reactionary and misplaced – Hitler did what he did thinking it was “good” for Germany. Mao did the same in China. Likewise for Pol Pot in Cambodia. And the dropping of atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. All of these tragedies were launched by “heroes” thinking themselves doing good. We should /never/ forget these lessons.

        More pointedly, I would suggest that your use of Godwin’s Law is basically a tactic of distancing – and it’s less than honest or deliberative. Here I echo Kevin Drum, who notes that “in practice [Godwin’s Law is] an endlessly tiresome way of feigning moral indignation” and suggests that “if you’re looking for something that lots of people will understand quickly, Hitler and World War II are fertile fields.”

        In closing, it’s worth repeating Robertson: “No profession is as overtly bullied into adopting technopositivism and its products. The text of this bullying is usually confined to the virtues of ICT, but the subtext is that depriving children of maximum access to it is tantamount to child abuse or at least education abuse.”

        Maybe worth reflecting on where this web site fits into that dilemma. Or not.

        • Beautiful serendipity in stumbling across @audreywatters’s review of Morozov’s newest, “To save everything, click here”:

          “I would contend too that my ability to scribble “see also: education” in the margins throughout To Save Everything speaks to the ways in which much of ed-tech (as well as the journalism that’s been cultivated to cover it) easily fits into Morozov’s larger arguments about Silicon Valley: context-free, deeply ahistorical, and suffering from a poverty of theory but certainly not from a lack of ambition.

          Ed-tech solutionism is evident in the tools and particularly in the trade mags: where everything is disruptively innovative and wonderful and, oh hell yeah, well-funded; where — wow, thanks Stanford! — online education is a brand new development; where classroom practices get “gamified”; where learning to code is Sputnik 2.0; where teaching math is just like teaching reading is just like teaching programming is just like teaching physics — it’s all “content delivery,” right? — but in this brave new “Internet-centric” world, who needs teachers anyway when you have engineers, algorithms, autodidacts, and, of course, videos of Salman Khan?!

          Silicon Valley certainly eyes education as “ripe for revolution” (not to mention, of course, ripe for profit-making) — there’s no hiding the industry’s intentions — but as Morozov’s work underscores, these “quick fixes [technological solutionism] peddles do not exist in a political vacuum.”

          Continue reading => hackeducation.com/2013/03/26/ed-tech-solutionism-morozov/

          • Clint says:

            Yes, and if you read the comments, you will see that I agree with Audrey’s post. https://twitter.com/clintlalonde/status/316984318142590976

            Like I say – I don’t think we are very far apart in the way we think about technology. You are much more deeply versed in a hegemonic perspective than I am, and I believe your motives on this issue are being driven not by health concerns, but by a wider political agenda (ie fight against a provincial government and other structures of authority). The health of wifi is a good tool to use to further a much wider political agenda that I am seeing emerging from you and others.

            Fine. Push back against your view of tech-utopianism all you want. But don’t hide your wider political agenda behind the issue of the safety of wifi in schools.

          • Clint says:

            Also, if you would have clicked through the link in this blog post about about edtech solutionism, you might have stumbled over Audrey’s article a little sooner 🙂

          • That was actually the serendipity, Clint – seeing the review on my feed, then in your post, and then in a tweet sent to me as an alert. 🙂

        • Clint says:

          You are correct – put any technology into a classroom and you will not get better results. But do it in a thoughtful and appropriate manner with well trained educators and structures of support and maybe you will see better results, as the tablet trials conducted by the Department of Education in Victoria, Australia discovered.

          Or the fact that tablets just might be a better way for differently-abled students to learn, which is why Victor school here in Victoria is being forced to go through the application hoops that have been set up by the school board (thanks to pressure from anti-wifi activists) to get these technologies into their school.

          Or, perhaps these devices might be able to save the system money, like the Essa Academy is discovering when they went 1:1 and cut their photocopying costs alone down from £80,000 each year to just £15,000 a year. Maybe that money could be used to do something like, oh I don’t know, hire and train more teachers?

        • So let me get this straight…

          Kevin Drum is arguing that it’s okay to cheapen the memory of the Holocaust to make a rhetorical point because… well, people are dumb so you need to use overblown and inappropriate analogies.

          Meanwhile, your response to Clint objecting to being likened to Hitler simply for advocating for science-based public health decision-making is — to compare him to Pol Pot! (Would that be the Kevin Drum Double Down?)

          And THEN you are surprised that some “hegemonic” parents in the GVSD might question (aka, use “tactics of distancing”) what value you might bring to the debate about their kids’ education.

          Uh, yeah….

          Stay classy, Tobey!

          • “Stay confused” would’ve worked better, but be that as it may …

            While I cannot and would not presume to speak for him, I do not think Mr. Drum argued in favor of ‘cheapening the Holocaust’. Instead, on my reading, he argued in favor of rendering history proximal to the present, and not thinking it some aberration that’s less than relevant to contemporary life.

            Hitler makes a great example in many contexts, particularly in instances where good folks get captured by and within monstrous contexts. There are other features of comparison, too – like Hitler’s hatred of unions and dehumanizing technocratic vision – but the main point I was [apparently unsuccessfully] making was that monsters go to bed at night thinking they’re doing good things for good reasons. Sometimes good intentions is insufficient. Some agendas hurt. As a case in point, an agenda that prioritizes the values of technology corporations over the health of students is a situation in which good folks may get caught up by and within monstrous contexts. In other words, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Pearson, etc. all proceed via the same ‘banality of evil’ that was foregrounded by Hannah Arendt’s analysis of Europe under the Nazis.

            /”Meanwhile, your response to Clint objecting … is — to compare him to Pol Pot!”/

            Still missing it Mr. Leach: There’s a little Pol Pot in Obama, and a bit in Harper too. History isn’t discreet. It bleeds into the now and affects all we know and value.

            By the same token, I could also make meaningful comparisons with – what I (mis)understand of – Clint’s agenda and Mother Theresa, or Prometheus, or Hermes, or Ray Kurzweil, or X, Y, Z … These comparisons aren’t necessarily impositions of identity, and they can be quite useful heuristics for provoking new awarenesses.

            /”And THEN you are surprised that some “hegemonic” parents in the GVSD might question (aka, use “tactics of distancing”) what value you might bring to the debate about their kids’ education.”/

            No, Mr. Leach, I am not surprised that some parents might question the “value” I “bring to the debate about their kids’ education.” Broadly speaking, though, I find that parents are often thankful for having the health and futures of their children prioritized in policies and schools. Notwithstanding, I would hope that anyone interested in the “value” I “bring to the debate about their kids’ education” would take the time to study some of my work, bear witness to my actions, and question more than assume.

          • Clint says:

            Perhaps those types of comparisons can be useful heuristics, but you have to realize how visceral most people react to them. I find it actually obscures, rather than illuminates the discourse because it infuses an issue with a level of emotion that it doesn’t need through associations with the worst example of human behaviour. I guess you did succeed in making me dig deeper to try to better understand my motives around why I am so involved in this issue, but, well, it’s an extreme way to make the point, Tobey, and deeply personal.

            Anyway, I need to put this point (the validity of the comparison to Hitler) behind me. I think you have clarified why you made the comparison and why you feel it was justified. On this point, I’ll most likely not be responding in the future.

          • Clint says:

            I lied. My friend Tracy will have the last word on this because it made me howl…

            Wifi Hitler

          • Tobey:

            Thanks for your reply… although rather than a convoluted postmodern justification for misusing a HItler analogy, you might have gone with a simple, “Sorry, Clint, I got carried away in the heat of the argument. It happens, especially on the Internet. I still disagree with you strongly, but I don’t actually think you’re the second coming of the Third Reich”.

            Like Clint, I lean toward letting it pass and refocusing the debate on the scientific consensus around wifi safety. I also wonder what’s the point in arguing with someone who I will never convince. In fact, you are far more likely to convince me: I’ll join you on the barricades tomorrow if I were shown any credible evidence that school-based WLANs cause adverse health effects in children — or anyone else.

            But then I realize that you’re one of the more educated, articulate and open voices on the anti-wifi side of the debate in B.C. (i.e., you use your real name rather than hide behind anonymous Twitter handles whose semi-literate tweets all sound eerily the same). You also clearly care passionately about public education and have the ear of at least few influential figures among local teachers and trustees. One might say that you’re “well-meaning”, but then again so was you-know-who.

            In any case, it’s worth engaging with your arguments because most of us on the other side of the debate share your values (like the importance of public schools & the humanities, a healthy skepticism of technology as a one-size-fits-all solution, etc.) while completely disagreeing with your conclusions about wifi safety and especially your methods in expressing your opinions (ad hominem attacks, emotionally loaded “heuristics”, cherry-picked “evidence”, a woeful misreading of the scientific literature).

            So let’s begin….

            Gratuitous Hitler References

            If you were genuinely concerned with reminding people of the risks of forgetting about history, there’s a George Santayana bumper sticker you could have grabbed off the shelf. You went for Hitler instead. You may have a nobler intent in your own mind, but let’s be honest: the first thing that pops into a reader’s head about Der Führer is about as likely to be “well-meaning union buster” as it is “vegetarian neo-classical architecture enthusiast”. All factually true. But hardly the image the name evokes.

            No, the effect of your Hitler tweet wasn’t a subtle act of “rendering history proximal to the present”. It was a 98-character attack ad designed to short-circuit rational thought and associate your opposite (in a discussion about wifi in schools!) with a genocidal maniac. I don’t need an advanced degree in discourse analysis (but I still have one) to call BS on that sleight of hand.

            You try to water down this ad hominem outburst by claiming that you can spy a proto-fascist in everyone, which must make you a lot of fun at parties, when you get introduced and you say, “Hey, I think you’ve got a little Hitler in you!”

            What’s that? You don’t? That’s right, you only singled out Clint. (I got the neo-colonialist treatment.) You then backtrack and say that you “could also make meaningful comparisons with … Clint’s agenda and Mother Theresa, or Prometheus, or Hermes, or Ray Kurzweil, or X, Y, Z.” You could. But you didn’t. And that matters.

            Why do I even care, given the amount of rhetorical bile spread across the Internet on a daily basis? Let me explain: I’ve been to Auschwitz. I’ve been to Theresienstadt. I’ve been to Warsaw and the Ghetto Fighters Museum and the Old Jewish Quarter of Prague. I’ve been to Yad Vashem multiple times. I had the great honour of interviewing, before she died in her 90s last year, one of the last surviving Jewish partisans who trained to parachute behind Axis lines (you know, someone who risked her life to fight real Nazis, rather than sat at his computer fighting imaginary ones).

            These institutions are now dedicated to ensuring that we never forget this history. And the major lesson for me from visiting these sites and talking to people whose families were decimated by the Holocaust is that the first true step toward this unspeakable tragedy wasn’t well-meaningness (that’s a generalization that is truly a banality) but the process of dehumanizing its eventual victims through hyperbolic rhetoric (like, say, “monster”) and creating a climate of fear and paranoia through this propaganda. Is that really where you want to take this debate?

            As it turns out, you’ve got a surprising colleague in the field of using casual Nazi references to demonize opponents and score cheap, fear-based political points: Stephen Harper! Enjoy the company….

            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/twitter-satirists-seize-on-harpers-hitler-reference/article4103219/

            Kevin Drum

            You invoke Kevin Drum’s “repeal” of Godwin’s Law to justify your Hitler reference, but then say you “would not presume to speak for him”. Maybe reading a bit more deeply into his writing would help. But then given the volume of your tweeting, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that you don’t actually seem to do more than skim the sources you cite — a tactic your scientific “literature review” exemplifies as well.

            The context for Drum’s opinion is American political bickering and is very specific — calling a Romney ad campaign a “Mittzkrieg”, comparing the invasion of Iraq to the invasion of the Sudetenland. Then he goes on to explain: “WWII references are handy shorthand because everyone immediately understands them. There’s nothing wrong with this. If you go overboard, people will mock you. If your analogies are wrong, people will correct you. If you literally say that someone is as bad as Hitler, you will be called an idiot. (Unless, of course, you’re really talking about someone as bad as Hitler. But that’s a pretty short list.)”

            http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/03/it-now-officially-ok-make-world-war-ii-references

            So yeah, if you want to invoke Hitler in a discussion about educational technology & public health decisions, I think we can presume to guess what Kevin Drum would say about you. I’ll let you complete his syllogism.

            Heuristics

            Finally, you defend your rhetorical excesses by claiming that they “can be quite useful heuristics for provoking new awareness.”

            Yes, heuristics can be helpful — when dealing with simple problems that need to be decided quickly and not especially precisely:

            http://psychology.about.com/od/hindex/g/heuristic.htm

            This mode of “fast thinking”, however, as Daniel Kahneman and others have demonstrated (over and over again), is exactly the wrong tactic to use when dealing with complex, multi-variable problems like biological science and public health that require careful calculations, an avoidance of bias, and detailed statistical reasoning.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristic#cite_note-20

            In fact, there’s good evidence the too much of general public opinion (and misunderstanding) about scientific topics is already driven by heuristics — aka “low-information rationality”.

            http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/stellent/groups/corporatesite/@msh_publishing_group/documents/web_document/wtx032691.pdf

            Ultimately, every time you say, “I’m just using a heuristic”, you’re waving a white flag and admitting either 1) You’re too intellectually lazy to do the hard mental lifting of actually engaging with the statistical and scientific and social complexity of this subject; 2) you think (or hope) your audience is too intellectually lazy to do the same and will simply grab your heuristic like a life raft instead; or (and most likely) 3) both.

            Think about that — slowly — the next time you reach for a “heuristic”.

            Literature Review

            I’m just about done for the night — and it would take me a couple more hours to pick apart the “literature review” you’ve tweeted that “proves” the dangers of wifi. I’ll come back to it later. But first a few points: GoogleScholaring to find abstracts that flexibly support your own confirmation bias isn’t the same as scientific literature review — the one you’ve posted wouldn’t pass muster in a first year biology class.

            Leaving aside the non-scientific citations (PowerPoint slides, health magazine articles, unpunished articles), a proper lit review would also cast a more skeptical eye on research papers that involve self-diagnosed EMF sensitivity cases, or with co-authors that actually sell EMF design consulting

            http://www.sustainablemobile.com/

            and

            http://www.silcom.com/~sage/emf/

            And peer-reviewed research ought to be presented alongside the peers who reviewed it in the actual journal it was published in — and in many cases (like the “wifi is killing our sperm!” paper you link to ad nauseam), who have discredited both the theory and practice of the experiment.

            But in the end, that’s why we let experts who have earned advanced degrees in biology, engineering and epidemiology give our public bodies policy advice on complex public health and science issues. And why we don’t (despite what the BCCPAC might think) get to all vote on it, after skimming a cherry-picked bibliography, based on how we “feel”. Or at least that’s the way fact-based policy-making should happen.

            Yes, I agree with you that there are hard questions that need to be discussed by everyone — teachers, parents, administrators, trustees, politicians — about spending priorities, corporate influence on public education, “screen time”, how to effectively use educational technologies, the nature of learning in a globalized world, the higher purpose of education in a democratic nation, etc. etc..

            But none of these issue have anything to do with the scientific consensus around the safety of wifi in schools. To invoke them (rather than science) in a public health debate is distracting propaganda and pettifoggery. Or what you tend to call a “heuristic”.

  2. Hi Clint,

    The whole issue is sort of a petri-dish example of decision-making. We love (well, I do and I think you do too), you know, crowd-sourcing and microlending and occupy movements and the redistribution of power as more and more people are given a voice. But these things are definitely not optimal when critical thinking skills are not in place.

    It’s a huge irony that I find myself agreeing with the idea of letting the decision be centralized here. But it’s because I believe that with properly guided access to the technology, the next generation would see through the misinformation. And *that* means — make sure our education system is about giving kids the skills to evaluate the information they find, keep the corporate agendas away from our kids etc.

    It’s a big struggle and the core of the problem has been around for a long time.

    I am grateful for your work on this.