12 months of Paradigm Oz

It is 12 months since Paradigm Oz started, the point at which I had planned to evaluate my experiment.

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12 months ago Paradigm Oz was planned as a news agency to be based on Palm Island. My partner and I had been working with a few Palm Islanders in the previous year developing proposals for sustainable housing projects for Palm Island. We had been running the website Kalkadoon.org, which wasn’t really a blog because it didn’t invite comments. Kalkadoon.org served the purpose of building a network around our work as well as being an information resource on the issues we were pursuing, in particular sustainable housing and this blog was supposed to be the next step in the same direction.

Because of various issues, in particular our continuing battles with the Queensland Adult Guardianship regime we never ended up moving to Palm Island. Apart from our own problems, key people we were working with on Palm found themselves burning out.

So in the end I decided to continue with Oz as a personal blog as an experiment, just to see what would happen.

I have found the blogging experience quite unfulfilling without the base of an active organisation as Kalkadoon.org was and as Paradigm Oz was originally envisioned.

I have no agenda to promote or publicise so my writing has become somewhat purposeless. I have figured that my opinions and perspectives may be interesting to some. But in the end, so what?

It is this one dimensional nature of the written language that I have found most dissatisfying about producing a blog.

The dominant methodology of learning in our institutions from pre-school to Phd is written text. While we may read about many things from many perspectives, our monotonous one dimensional pavlovian experience is that of perceiving text – marks on paper or a screen generating electro/chemical reactions in our brain that generate perceptions of shape that trigger pre-existing concepts.

Written texts are not a direct experience of the reality of their subject matter.They are an experience of a representation of the subject matter, a secondary learning characterised by the monotonous experience of text triggered conceptual recall. Writing just reminds us of our own preconceptions and is incapable of teaching anything beyond them.

However a multi-dimensional education methodology based on direct experience of the reality being studied gives new concepts (rather than just networking existing concepts) for which often the student must afterwards find the language (or music or art) to explain it rather than discovering the concept through language in the first instance.

So, on reflection of the last 12 months of Paradigm Oz, it has been a succesful experiment in that I have figured out a bit about the mechanics of the blogosphere but it has been a failure in terms of building any organisational or educational momentum, which was my underlying reason for experimenting with a blog. I can still see enormous possibilities in education and organisation but I will have to change my blogging paradigm beyond detatched commentary for this to occur. This is my challenge for the next twelve months – stay tuned!

JT

p.s. at the time of writing Paradigm Oz has had 12, 544 visits in the last year, nearly 10,000 0f those visits have been since July.

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