NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
This texteo condenses ideas I first worked through in my blog in 2008, after completing the 2007 LFYT class. I attempted to systematize what had occurred in our class through posing several sets of definitive, unresolved binaries or dialectics that I believed structured our interactions and assignments in ways atypical of the more traditional classroom and standard paper.
"The world in which we live is a unity of contradictions or a unity of opposites: cold-heat, light-darkness, Capital-Labour, birth-death, riches-poverty, positive-negative, boom-slump, thinking-being, finite-infinite, repulsion-attraction, left-right, above-below, evolution-revolution, chance-necessity, sale-purchase, and so on. The fact that two poles of a contradictory antithesis can manage to coexist as a whole is regarded in popular wisdom as a paradox. The paradox is a recognition that two contradictory, or opposite, considerations may both be true." [cit]

"Anxieties about the debilitating effects of amusement have been around for a very long time. In contemporary usage, the phrase entertainment value usually implies three things: entertainment does have some kind of value; something that has entertainment value isn't otherwise very valuable (not 'That's entertainment!,' in other words, but 'That's just entertainment!'); and, paradoxically, this very lack of value is what gives entertainment its ability to enchant and manipulate both masses and individuals."[cit]

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) "is a problem with inattentiveness, over-activity, impulsivity, or a combination."[cit]

"American youth has a whirlwind medley of entertainment technologies, and children are some of the heaviest users of all that is available. Young people are without question spending huge chunks of their lives on the Internet and inside electronic media. It's not uncommon to see kids doing homework on the computer while simultaneously chatting with friends on instant messenger and listening to iTunes in the background. Although there are public concerns about the relationship between electronic media and attention/behavior problems, researchers have only found inconsistent evidence that links ADD and electronic media use."[cit]
Today's students, schooled on YouTube, iphones, and Wiis, want their information relayed with ease and fun: they want it pleasurable, simplified, and funny. They don't want to be bored; even as they are always distracted . They want school to speak to them in the language they like and know and deserve.

While I'm the first to admit that a good professor makes "hard" information understandable, I also expect my students to take pleasure in the hard work of understanding it.

Sure, I am a performer, entertaining my students while sneaking in critical theory, avant-garde forms, and radical politics into my pedagogy. In the meantime, I also try to perform the delight and beauty of the complex: the life of the mind, the work of the artist, the experience of the counter-culture.