Noam Chomsky: History Doesn’t Go In a Straight Line

Originally posted on Rise Up Times:

Noam Chomsky on Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, and the potential for ordinary people to make radical change.

Noam Chomsky in 2011. Andrew Rusk / Flickr

Noam Chomsky in 2011. Andrew Rusk / Flickr  

Throughout his illustrious career, one of Noam Chomsky’s chief preoccupations has been questioning — and urging us to question — the assumptions and norms that govern our society.

Following a talk on power, ideology, and US foreign policy last weekend at the New School in New York City, freelance Italian journalist Tommaso Segantini sat down with the eighty-six-year-old to discuss some of the same themes, including how they relate to processes of social change.

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Network for Public Education on Duncan Resignation, Selection of King as Replacement

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The Network for Public Education announced its reaction to Arne Duncan’s resignation and the choice of John King to replace him. NPE was founded in 2012 to rally parents, educators, and concered citizens against out-of-control high-stakes testing and privatization of our public schools, which have long been a symbol of our democracy.

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Ray Kurzweil: Dreaming of the Posthuman Rapture

Originally posted on alien ecologies:


 Soon I will put my dreaming in the hands of greater forces, and I’m sure there will be some surprises for both of us. That is one thing which never changes.
………….– Thomas Ligotti, The Chemyst

Kurzweil dreams of electric children, of meme machines extracting souls from cadavers, of augmented lives lived out in quantum hiveworlds. Listening to Kurzweil reminds me of Thomas Ligotti’s short story The Chemyst whose delicate dreams come alive in the metamorphic deliquescence of his beautiful victims. Like a mad scientist or prophet of the alchemical Great Art he seems to have conned his way into the minds of an empire of transhuman dreamworlds; an entrepreneur of the new Soulcraft, a maker of steel babies and hyperwired artifacts of desire. With Google and the military-industrial complex behind him he dips into the collective madness of robotics, AI, and the ultimate transformation of human kind into Nietzsche’s Übermensch

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Henry A. Giroux: The Curse of Totalitarianism and the Challenge of an Insurrectional Pedagogy

Originally posted on Rise Up Times:

Central to my argument is the assumption that politics is not only about the exercise of economic and political power, but also, as Cornelius Castoriadis points out, “has to do with political judgements and value choices,”[14] indicating that questions of civic education and critical pedagogy (learning how to become a skilled citizen) are central to the struggle over political agency and democracy.    



The forces of free-market fundamentalism are on the march ushering in a terrifying horizon of what Hannah Arendt once called “dark times.” Across the globe, the tension between democratic values and market fundamentalism has reached a breaking point. [1] The social contract is under assault, neo-Nazism is on the rise, right wing populism is propelling extremist political candidates and social movements into the forefront of political life, anti-immigrant sentiment is now wrapped in the poisonous…

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Earning a profit from global warming

Originally posted on Systemic Disorder:

As evidence mounts that a warming world is hurtling toward the point of no return, the plan of the world’s governments is to make adjustments to the ability of corporations to profit from polluting. Short-term profits continue to be elevated above the long-term health of the environment.

There does seem to be a new sense of governmental urgency ahead of the Paris climate summit scheduled for December, with several governments announcing new proposed reductions in future greenhouse-gas emissions. But is it already too late? Two scientific studies issued this year suggest that so much carbon dioxide already has been thrown in the air that humanity may have already committed itself to a six-meter rise in sea level. A separate 2015 study, prepared by 18 scientists, found that the Earth is crossing several “planetary boundaries” that together will render the planet much less hospitable.

Haze from forest fires in St. Mary Valley, Glacier National Park (photo by Pete Dolack) Haze from forest fires in St. Mary…

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Joel Klein’s Amplify Lays Off 2/3 of Its Employees: “The Cold, Inhumane Hand of Capitalism at Work”

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

This morning, Amplify laid off two-thirds of its staff–some 800 people. Amplify is a division of Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. Its CEO is education reformer Joel Klein. Murdoch invested $1 billion in Klein’s Amplify. NewsCorp has been trying to find a buyer for Amplify since it has never earned a profit in the five years of its existence. This past year it lost $371 million.

“In a tweet this morning, Alex Modestou wrote that Amplify Education laid off 800 employees today. The Observer has reached out to the company to confirm. NewsCorp has been looking for an investor to take over the division, as the Observer previously reported.

“Multiple sources inside and outside the company said that most of its staff lost their jobs today, effective immediately, at around 10:30 a.m.

“Mr. Modestou told the Observer in a phone call that he worked part time on the math curriculum for…

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Mike Klonsky: Rahm Cuts Special Education

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mike Klonsky reports that Chicago Public Schools is cutting special education.

“Our autocrat at City Hall appears bent on dismembering special education in Chicago by a thousand cuts. SpEd took its first major deep cut over the summer eliminating 500 positions at CPS. More cuts announced late Friday mean approximately 160 schools would lose special education teachers, while 184 would lose aides.”

Let the lawsuits begin. There is a federal law to protect children with disabilities.

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