Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Egyptian Room

I'm using AC (60 cycle) from behind the bar, shades of Cascadia, while Lindsey Walker, in a good mood tonight, sails through some pretty dark material (reflecting my own mood at the moment).

I posted a short history of Constructivism to Math Forum today and am promoting it here and there, even though I don't think it's very good. Why promote it then? Because I'm at least endeavoring to bring the story up to date, to register some awareness of where we are today. Most of the math teaching threads out there feel too antediluvian, just rehash whatever issues people feel comfortable rehashing, regardless of whether this activity has to do with inventing a shared future.

AFSC was on my radar today. We're on the lookout for a 501(c)(3) that might wire up to our PayPal donation button, given fundraisers in the pipeline. We have other options. Consistency with Quaker values is a must of course. Locally, for me, that involves two media campaigns: starvation == torture; stop loss == slavery.

The latter campaign may be short term as the practice was supposed to end in 2009 anyway.

Pretty much everyone recognizes that enslaving Americans while claiming to advance the cause of democracy overseas is too hypocritical to fly. Troop morale is undermined whenever the voluntary nature of military service is subverted by bureaucratic legerdemain. Any political party publicly in favor of such practices is endorsing human trafficking, thereby undermining its own legitimacy.

Quakers have a long tradition of assisting those impressed into military service involuntarily and so need to keep their principled objections operational.

The "starvation == torture" campaign is longer term and was launched in recognition of the fact that we have sufficient nutrients in principle to sustain our Global U student body. Food Services needs to get on it.

Starvation is a result of willful negligence and/or a broken university curriculum. An administration that puts up with starvation is an administration in name only.

Of course not everyone uses a "Global U" metaphor for Spaceship Earth. Most neo-liberals see Spaceship Earth as a vast Saturday Market wherein the right to live is something you "earn" through "good works" -- a Protestant mindset inherited from a European context. If there's no rewarding work to be done in your dead end refugee camp context, then hey, you lose, have no "net worth" to "the economy" (i.e. "the gods", "the power structures").

Don't ask me to justify this value system; I'm not its lawyer.