Firstly, I greatly enjoyed the two videos that Wesch made, because they conveyed a great deal of information very succinctly. I imagine that some people may complain that the video moved too quickly, but I think that most internet users are less likely to watch a video that is over 5 minutes long. Some of the specific points that I took away from his videos were that the availability of the web and its integration into educational settings is contributing to a much more collaborative learning experience. I find this especially interesting, because a personal interest of mine is the cyclical nature and ‘personalities’ of each generation. Millennials (those born between roughly 1980-2000) were mostly raised by either Baby Boomers or Generation X-ers, and have usually lead very sheltered and protected lives in which they were told they were special simply for existing. There was a huge emphasis on the importance of the individual throughout childhood, but now with the introduction of the web, it seems that we are being lead to deviate from these upbringings. By sacrificing our individual egos, we are contributing to a greater overall knowledge, that is accessible by our peers, and anyone with internet access (granted the chosen collaboration tool is made public).
In the other videos, I found his comment that ‘we cannot live the next 100 years like we’ve lived the past 100 years’ to be quite profound. I also took comfort in the fact that we seem to be moving in the right direction as far as that goes. It seems that over the past several years, there has been more of a shift toward environmentalism and sustainability. Although I must admit, I am not sure what the statistics on our progress as a planet actually are in those areas. It’s purely observational.
Due to my recent interest in Existentialism (having a mandatory quarter-life crisis), another sentiment that stuck out to me was his assertion that ‘meaning is not found, it is made’. This applies to many facets of life – education, relationships, work, and just LIFE in general. There is no answer to any of it. It is about the journey, not the destination…because really, there is no destination. You are not going to ‘arrive’, and when we stop improving is when we grow old. I have more quotes that I’ve picked up on how to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life, but I’ll stop there for now. The point is, learning is no longer for the sake of getting a piece of paper that proves you can memorize things, using that paper to get a job so you can make money and buy a house, get married, have kids, etc…and ‘arrive’ at life. Life is happening now, and it’s not going to happen any more than it already is at any point. (not really scholarly, but more on that note)
If you’re interested in learning more about generations and the effect they have on history and current events, I highly recommend ‘Generations’ by Neil Howe+William Strauss, and ‘The Fourth Turning’ by William Strauss. Or if you don’t feel quite interested enough to read entire books on the subject…click here.