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SilentAngel's blog

Dreambreaker: to be or not to be digital?

I loved writing this movie! It was a long time ago, but, it is alive in memory.
The ideas were rich, reasonable and very futuristic at the time.

Okay the production was really cheezy, but it was a first time director and a quick production. It was produced by PNA. And they are a great group of people to work with. By hook or by crook they make movies and television and they love doing it.

The screenplay is actually kind of like a Hamlet wherein the hero deals with digital-ghost who are in The Machine. Their future world is a world where everyone is always, ON, physically hooked up to their computers, addicted to gaming and acting out fantasy lives in the virtual world. (can you imagine?) A dangerous change in technology demands society to decide between living in a physically constructed reality and working to repair the world in...Read more

Boy Meets Girl: Sean Astin

When Doug Bagot and I wrote Boy Meets Girl we really didn't have anyone in mind for the part of Mike. The casting went a number of ways and then it turned out to be Sean Astin. Sean is a very professional Actor. We discussed his views about the script. His insights into the character were spot on. He is blood-Hollywood. His mother is Patty Duke and his father John Astin. John Astin is not only known as the patriarch of the Adams' Family, but he starred in one of my favorite movies, Evil Roy Slade. http://youtu.be/sM7GSi7ZuIc I mention Evil Roy because it pre-dated and is vastly superior to, Blazing Saddles, but it did absolutely terribly at the box office. Contrary to our culture's belief in rating systems it seems the quality of a work is neither...Read more

Is Music in the Math or the Hand that Presses the Button?

I suspect that music creation will go in the same direction that photography has gone. The struggle to learn the many skills which allow a musician to manifest nuanced notes and pitch changes, rhythms and tempo changes will go the way of the need for photographers to understand f-stops and ASA numbers and darkroom techniques. These elite skills that took years of discipline to attain will be remembered nostalgically by a few and remain unknown to the many. Another level of human capability will be diminished by The Machine to simply pointing and clicking. The cover of Life and Time will simply be a snapshot or a photograph so digitally altered that the skill of the photographer will seem near irrelevant, while the new overture will be a finger swipe in Osctouch or an algorithm in Midi.

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Creating music with digital technology has changed drastically in the years I've been working with...Read more

Why Not Cut and Paste the Whole Thing?

Googly-eyed and staring into the vast candy store of digitized imagery -all free for the taking- who will bother to venture into the complex, time-consuming and often messy realm of authentic creation?

Copyright law has changed in Canada to allow students and schools pretty much open use of all materials on the Internet. Previous to the change in the law many teachers allowed students to take the work of others and use it in (as) their own work regardless of copyright law, justifying their decisions in a number of ways. Does this new legality circumvent the ethical obligations related to such action? Is the student winning by this new privilege or does this action diminish their relationship with time, space and their own physicality? How does this change alter the classroom pedagogy?

Directing students to freely use the work of others as their own work is a...Read more

Interview with Mona Knudslien & Joe Bower

Brian Mason and I were very interested in learning what it was like when Joe decided to give up grading students so we went to Red Deer and interviewed him. I think this video worth watching largely because it shows the intelligent sensitivity of his Principal, Mona Knudslien. Very fine and caring people who want the best for their students.

To Think is to be Dissident

I am certain that to think is to be dissident: caught up in a stimulating battle of conflicting concepts, re-evaluating accepted information, attempting to clarify meaning. Dissidence is something the thinker can not escape. You can not think without finding alternative, without considering whether what is thought to be true may in fact be false, what seems reasonable may NOT stand up to reason. You can not think without recognizing our social constructs, our answers to fundamental questions are espoused through a voice of cultural acceptance.

Without time (or permission) to understand the meaning of an opposing thought any opposition to the predictably supported system outcome becomes most irksome.

Ideas that are not easily digested, ideas that bring forth contradiction, ideas that live in the realm of uncertainty are seen as counter productive when power is exerting it's presence in order to control outcome. Those...Read more

Looking into the Crystal Ball of the Ivory Elephant

* Remembering being young by concentrating on an object of meaning, I wrote this poem. It is curious to remember the visual splendor that our hearts have captured, and to realize that it is all still a part of us. It is with longing that I recall that glorious youthfullness when the mind is so richly employed in concentration on a single thing.

The Intricately Detailed Elephant

An elephant never forgets

I do not know for how many thousands of years this elephant has carried the wonder of the universe safely upon its shoulders. I do not know how wise its wisdom. But I have spent a lifetime in the sunny moment of an afternoon staring into its eyes. The world illuminated through study of carved curves that when so very tenderly touched make solid bone feel smooth as old leather. In this orb of the Universe, I have seen the dance of the upside down world; the aurora of light, the invisible tangible. Steadfastly with great dignity the little...Read more

(De)Grading Creativity

It might seem blasphemous to suggest that the Arts don't teach creativity. But, they don't. People often express their creativity through the Arts, but, that's not teaching creativity. Simply painting or playing music, or being a good drawer doesn't mean one is necessarily creative, nor does doing Math or learning to program computers necessarily suggest one is without creativity. If one believes that the Arts do teach creativity, or teach it better than Math or Science, that is most likely a result that the Arts are considered 'fluff' in our system, and therefore the detrimental and stifling psychological damage of being (de)graded in Art, are not as severe as the detrimental aspects inherent in Math grading or Science grading, thus, we can risk a bit more in the Arts. Whatever the reasons, the teaching of creativity is extremely difficult. It is difficult because the system must allow the student to oppose the authority that is defining what is status quo. Though it is possible...Read more

“In the end it is the poor who will be chained to the computer; the rich will get teachers."

Quoted from an article in Forbes magazine by Diane Ravitch, that is quoted in Jane Healy’s “Failure To Connect.”

I suspect in the near future the poor will have YouTube and Khan Academy. And most teachers will be without a job.

It will really be our own fault. We really haven't educated the public as fully as is necessary for them to support a more enlightened school system. We haven't even developed a self monitoring system for our own profession, accepting the ideology of various governments to be catalyst for educational change and we have accepted our current high school system of pedagogy as being locked into an archaic practice of "sorting" winners from losers simply so that Universities don't have to take responsibility for their own sorting practices. Yes, we are in a bit of spot here, and if public education functions ONLY as such a sorting and grading machine, well, we best be prepared for a real machine to do the sorting.

Teachers are an...Read more

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