Apocalypse Chic

Charlie Tyson, in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Anyone can weaponize melancholy; but distinguished older professors who have lived through the declining prestige of the humanities and of humanistic forms of knowledge - who have seen their own power and possibilities diminish within their lifetime” may be especially vulnerable.

Fashionable fatalism is often practiced by academia’s putative leftists, whose projects of resistance have left them world-weary. But it should be clear already that this argumentative style is not just complacent but cynically conservative. By pronouncing the uselessness of action, it bows to the status quo.

Source: Apocalypse Chic - The Chronicle of Higher Education

He’s writing about fatalism with regards to climate change (nihilistic shrugging because we’re already screwed so why bother), but it strikes me that I also see this happening with edtech. There are examples of people kicking ass and pushing hard for weirdness and DIY and experimental approaches to trying new (or repurposing existing) bits of learning technologies 1. And there are the majority that just shrug and go along with the Enterprise Platforms™ because why bother pushing and fighting and trying…

If we aren’t willing to push for openness and DIY and colouring outside the lines - or deciding not to colour at all because we’d like to explore clay modeling for a bit - we’re just shutting down and accepting the status quo. Which is pretty much the exact opposite of why most of us got into higher education in the first place…

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Last updated: September 16, 2023