MWT – What If? Wisdom

John Green: is the author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. In 2007, he and his brother Hank stopped texting and began to talk mainly through videoblogs posted to YouTube. The videos spawned a community of people called nerdfighters who fight for intellectualism and to decrease the overall ‘worldwide level of suck’. (Decreasing suck takes many forms: Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May of 2010 to celebrate Hank’s 30th birthday.)

Although they have long since resumed texting, John and Hank continue to upload two videos a week to their YouTube channel, vlogbrothers. Their videos have been viewed over 500M times, and their channel is one of the most popular in the history of online video.

A few things to ask & consider…
• Why do you think John made a point to say “where old men fear to tread”?
• Is he wrong?
• Why does it seem like the good stuff is ‘in corners of the Internet’?
• How do we bring more good stuff out of the corners?
• What is wisdom and where does it come from?
• In ancient Greece you had to be over 65 to be qualified to rule
• Emotional regulation improves with age (the ability to create, maintain, and change emotions)
• Increased connections between the amygdala and frontal cortex with age
• Allows for greater ability for discerning, planning, weighing outcomes, anticipating
• Pew Research – Older Adults & Technology Use
• The internet is a baby, full of information, how can we bring it wisdom?
• Is the internet making us smarter or dumber? Clay Shirky – Wall Street Journal
• Don’t be spoon feed by programmed media
• Talk back!

Just a few good free places for learning & conversation:
Harvard Gazette
TED Ideas blog
Harvard Gazette – subscribe!
• You don’t need a twitter account to view twitter
Aeon Magazine
StoryCorpsTED Prize Winner
• Any other suggestions?

Advice for using the internet mindfully:
• Before you begin – ask – What subject do I want to learn about or engage in today?
• And then stick to it! (That’s the hard part.)
• If just browsing – browse reputable informational sites
• Be careful what you click on – every click counts, every click infuences.
• Beware the top right corner of a page! (Depending on the page.)
• Read, discover, explore – then make time for deep thinking.
• Then go back and respond if inclined.

The generations represented in our class, and in all the classes here at ILR, have lived through the greatest technological advancements and achievements in the human race, which also occurred at an unprecedented rate. No other generation before or after can say that. Whose ‘collective wisdom’ then, can give us the greatest advantages for the future?

The minds of our elders are our greatest wasted resource. -Tera

SPRING 2016!


Matt Bernota – Mornings with TED – American Crossroads
Karen Reilly – Mornings with TED – Rethinking Society


Tera Kijek – Conversations – Celebrating the 21st Century

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