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  • Are You A Skeptic, A Critic, or a Papert?

    Posted on April 4th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    Diving into Seymour Papert’s “From Mindstroms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas” we were met with the all too familiar idea of recursion.  Papert states that in “in teaching the computer how to think, children embark on an exploration about how they themselves think.” He then states that “thinking about think turns these children into an epistemologists.” We can all now thank Dr. Campbell for turning us children into epistemologists.

    Papert then shifts from the idea of recursion to discussing the cultural divide that exists between not different countries within our world but between precomputer cultures and the computer cultures within our world. After Papert defined this divide I couldn’t help but think of the divide between our generation and the generation before us. I couldn’t help but think of the hours spent attempting to help my mother understand FaceBook, Twitter, and Youtube. All inventions that did not exist when she was my age. When she was my age the idea of a personal computer was uncommon. Of course there were the few who believed it was possible. Overall most did not agree with Papert’s prediction that “long before the end of the century, people will buy children’s toys with as much computer power as the great IBM computer currently selling for millions of dollars.”

    The different perspectives on personal computers fell into three categories: skeptics, critics, and what I like to call, Paperts. “Skeptics did not expect the computer presence to make much different in how people learn and think.” “Critics did think that the computer presence will make a difference and were apprehensive.” In the middle lied Paperts who were able to view both perspectives. What intrigued me most was the idea of taking our current society and placing them within these roles. Honestly, I believe society has become a bunch of critics. We are constantly criticizing the medium that has brought us more than we could ever imagine. It has opened up doors we never thought could be opened. Personally I do not think I could fit into any three of these categories. Do you think you could?


    2 responses to “Are You A Skeptic, A Critic, or a Papert?” RSS icon

    • It’s always easier to criticize! Or maybe I’m just adverse. But anyways, I could be all three however I caught myself nodding my head as a read through the part about computers leading to less human association, which results in social fragmentation. I hear it from my parents all the time and I sometimes experience it firsthand. My mom always says “it seems like EVERYONE is shy these days” but is it that we are just socially inept?

      I was also shocked when they brought up Orwellian images from 1984. I wasn’t necessarily thinking along the lines of thought police but I was thinking…we rely so much on electronics these days that if someone were to somehow inhibit our use of them…I wonder what would happen?

    • Melissa Migliarese

      I agree with both of you. Erin makes a good point that it is easy to be a little bit of all three because people always show characteristics from somewhat contradicting things. I agree with you, Hallie, because our society is full of critics, even though when they are called such, they get defensive and try to call themselves “realists.” People constantly criticize others, especially when they took no part in the success, because they tend to feel left behind and perhaps less intelligent than the others. The evolving technology and Internet has put more emphasis on this because it really does change by leaps and bounds by the day. I think it is almost impossible to say someone isn’t a critic, a skeptic, or a Papert, because everyone “judges” someone, questions their decisions, and then people also want to see some changes in society. It all depends on how things are perceived, I think.

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