I can remember a party some 15 years ago, when a mildly intoxicated young friend of mine was talking about music with another mildly intoxicated friend. One was saying that still Jimmy Hendrix was the greatest guitar player of all times, while the other one, who actually could play the guitar, just said that the guitar techniques changed so much during the years that recent players just cannot be compared to musicians like Jimmy.

Yes, I guess, the world is chaninging in a high-pace and whatever you do, after 20 years it is just so different that you hardly even can tell the younger peers how it was in the “old times”.

To quote the meme:

FOR ALL THOSE BORN IN THE 70s AND 80s!!!!!

We are the last generation that learnt to play in the Streets and the first to play Video Games, see Cartoons in Color and went to amusement Parks. We were the last to record Radio Songs on Cassettes and we are the Pioneers of Walkmans and Chatrooms. … We learned how to program the VCR before anyone else, play with the Atari and Super Nintendo, and believed the Internet would be a free World, all on a 56k Modem. Travelled in Cars without seatbelts or air-bags & lived without cell phones. Rode the bikes down the Road without brakes. We never had phones but still kept in touch. We did not have Playstations, 99 TV Channels, Flat Screens, Surround Sound, MP3s, iPods, Computers or broadband….

But nevertheless, we had a GREAT Time!

It is true, some short decades past, and we don’t work the same way, we don’t listen music the same way, we don’t read books the same way, we don’t communicate, phone, send letters, mails, send presents, or buy our grocery in the same way. It is not only the joke of Bruno, people in Africa know what an iPod is (thought they may not flip their child for it). People of the Islamic  world show that people do not even make a revolution in the same way. Inviting your friends to a demonstration via Facebook is a fashion of a totally different age than the one we had under the Berlin Wall in 1989.

No Facebook, Twitter or iPhone here:

 

Technology is not just a tool. New tools open new opportunities, changes preferences and ultimately changes everything.

We consume art and culture different way than 10-20-50 years ago. When I think about music, we used to listen radio, tape, LP, other kind of tape, CD, MD and so on. But it is not only change in the box, the method of distribution, our art consumption habits also changed. It is not only the internet and MP3, but before the Walkman or the MTV. 50 years ago people didn’t sit down to watch music videos, like in the late 80’s, and the kids of the new milenia do not sit down to watch videos in the TV either. We consume different art, we consider other things as art (Banksy as an artist 20-30 years ago?), and same goes with any other forms of communication or media or  information distributing industry. Technology changes how we interact with each other and with the masses, and keep changing it constantly.

There is, however, a nostalgic, green island in the constantly changing world. An island of tradition, an island of gallant knights and Greek philosophers. Or I can call a Jurassic Park, if i am a tad more sarcastic. A shelter of anything old and traditional. This island is Education. Whether it is elementary school or university, if a time traveler from 100 years ago would enter, most probably would find himself less stressed out than in any other part of life.

Students and teachers spending their same schedule, in same size of groups, doing the same things, communicating the same way and using the same methods to study. It may be Education the only place where saying “I study in a same 500 years old building same as that old guy” or “I am wearing the same hat/having the same diplome as it was 200 years ago” is a positive remark. Even Popes, Rabies and Emperors make reforms in those timescales. Kids wearing uniforms often dates back 100 years and school years are divided into elementary – high-school -university levels almost the same way as decades ago. If you study Latin in school ( I did 15 years ago) you can use easily the textbooks of your grand-grandfather, not only because the language has not changed, but because it is taught in the same manner,same old text of same old dead guys,  using the same approach.We call the Steiner-Waldorf schools, based on Steiner’s works,  “alternative”. Steiner died in 1925, when Einstein was still a reasonably young lad. An ice cream recipe or a chocolate factory dating back 1925 is called something with rich tradition. In education, we call it revolutionary or alternative.   The most innovative changes in schools are maybe changing blackboards to whiteboards. Let us be frank: the battlecry “tradition” is more popular in the island of Education then in Anatevka.

So next time we face the mirror before a class, shall we ask: is the stone club is the best way to slice bread?

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