I've been writing about giving up television, but it's really a rather easy example for me, since I'm seldom tempted to watch more than a couple of hours a week. (Spending less time online is more of a challenge.)
My friend Anthony has been more of a TV watcher - though he could always give you a fascinating critical analysis of whatever he'd been watching, just in case you thought his brain switched off as the box switched on. Anyway, he posted the other day that he's unplugged his TV and is getting back to reading and writing, instead. Long may it last, because I'd love to see more of his thinking in print.
He's just republished, on his blog, some notes on the term 'tradition'. Reading these, I came across a passage on education which relates to some of my thinking-out-loud last month, about what an alternative to learning as 'knowledge production' (or teaching as 'information transmission') might look like:
Speaking as an educator, I find that approaching education as information transmission, protection, and/or preservation can easily lead me to ignore the richness of educational encounter, the personal, present, affectual dimensions of how education can work. Education in face-to-face contexts can be understood to be predominantly about being with, about living 'withness', about the attitudes of the people in the room, about the respect or lack of it within the interactions. When education or 'tradition' are understood as entity-transfer of some sort, it is very hard to even have discussions about respect, attitude, presence, or, dare I say it, gentleness. It's all too easy to default to those attitudes that facilitate the most efficient transaction of resources, those attitudes that allow us to distance ourselves from being us-and-no-one-else and instead allow us to play the roles of 'providers' in an exchange relationship (if you're lucky).
Do read the rest of his post - there's a lot of food for thought in it.