Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 24 2015. Why do we build houses the way we do—and could we do it better? Of course we could. We can do almost anything better. But will we? There are powerful people who like things just the way they are.





Creative people, for instance, are just, plain, bloody, amazing!

Tiny houses are an example --and some tiny houses are not so tiny.  C.600 square feet could also be described as ‘modest.’ Hell, you could even call  it ‘practical.’ I’m a fan.

I write about creativity regularly both because it is such an astonishingly powerful force—and because I don’t think we are even close to tapping its potential. Worse, we grind it out of people through education and socialization—and largely confine it to the creative arts (where it is further whittled away through exploitation,  underinvestment, and other negative influences).

Essentially, vested interests want us to conform and accept the status quo because they do so well out of it. They are not entirely successful, because creativity is unstoppable, but they can and do hack away at our creative impulses to the point where most of us toe the line—and where creative constructive  change is delayed severely for very considerable periods of time.

Sir Ken Robinson at The Creative Company Conference.jpgSir Ken Robinson is one of the most articulate and witty commentators on the negative effects on our current education systems. This is an extract from what Wikipedia has to say about him. He is well worth exploring http://sirkenrobinson.com/ I also happen to think he is largely right.

Ideas on education

Robinson has suggested that to engage and succeed, education has to develop on three fronts. First, that it should foster diversity by offering a broad curriculum and encourage individualization of the learning process; secondly, it should foster curiosity through creative teaching, which depends on high quality teacher training and development; and finally, it should focus on awakening creativity through alternative didactic processes that put less emphasis on standardized testing, thereby giving the responsibility for defining the course of education to individual schools and teachers.

He believes that much of the present education system in the United States fosters conformity, compliance and standardization rather than creative approaches to learning. Robinson emphasizes that we can only succeed if we recognize that education is an organic system, not a mechanical one. Successful school administration is a matter of fostering a helpful climate rather than "command and control".[10]



Critics of Robinson have stated that he has "exercised an extremely corrosive and destructive influence on education while contributing almost nothing to its improvement" and that "a close analysis of his view shows that he believes students have no minds of their own and are incapable of acting independently of their teachers or of being held accountable for their own success",[12] and "Sir Ken’s ideas are incredibly seductive, but they are wrong, spectacularly and gloriously wrong."[13]

In the Times Educational Supplement William Stewart wrote, "Teachers initially dazzled by his lectures have later given thoughtful responses that question whether the witticisms and seeming insights amount to anything of substance that they could use in the classroom".[14]

Education, socialization, and religion apart, one of primary tools used to inhibit creativity is the way so many of us are conditioned that just because things are the way they are, we have to accept them (and it is a sign of immaturity if we don’t).

I find this an extraordinarily dangerous and negative mindset which I have fought against all my life—and which I intend to keep on fighting until I drop.

Good grief! If I thought this was the best we could do with the human condition, I would despair. Fortunately, my own direct experience—let alone my research—teaches me otherwise. Despite all the negative forces out there—and there are times they can seem overwhelming—I am absolutely convinced we can and will do better (and that we have to).

Am I as optimistic about political change, or the evolution of a more viable economic system, as I am about technology? In truth, I am not—but I still see sheer need overwhelming the intransigence of the status quo. It will just take a great deal longer than it should—and the transition may be bloody. But, I am absolutely certain that the U.S. situation, for example, cannot continue on its current path. The combination of a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy is unviable—and the corrupt American Business Model is not delivering for the American people. Change is inevitable.

But, enough of gloom. I am much cheered by what is going on technologically—and particularly by developments in housing and materials.

Check out the ingenious and visually striking Warburg house http://www.bioi.co/warburg.html

The Warburg House by Bioi

If ever there was an unnecessary problem—in that we have the physical and financial resources to house everyone with relative ease, it is the housing issue, Yet over 50,000 people are homeless in New York every night (and about half that number in Los Angeles). The national total is a disgrace.

Utah (scarcely a Left Wing state) has found the most cost effective solution—which is to give people homes!

The American Tragedy continues—quite unnecessarily.

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