A MOUNTAIN VIEW: Things little robots can’t do


Friends, it was certainly disheartening to see the answers our Northern children gave when asked in a recent issue here in News/North about the ‘best invention of all time’.

Almost all came up with something to do with the computer, Xbox, video games, iPad, iPod and phone.

Like it or not we are producing future generations of robots, who simply won’t be able to think for themselves.

One good thing, though, is that you can go online any time you want to verify a fact or two, but even then, Autocorrect, for instance, takes your input out of learning.

When all we had was a dictionary I would make it standard practice to just go ahead and check all of the other words on the two pages surrounding the term I wanted, so I could include these, for future use.

One of the future uses that study of the dictionary came in handy for is my autobiography that is due out in October.

A book I’ve continually gone back to, in drawing the connection of our Canadian residential schools to the Jewish Holocaust, is Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt – a German/Jew concentration camp survivor.

She came up with the term ‘banality of evil’, stating that in our modern world the worst kinds of influences are not those you see in front of you, but come in the form of the most ordinary people.

In terms of meaning, it goes much deeper, including the way we make it a habit of choosing our enemies, but the point is that reading books give you the chance to make up your own mind, one thing these children are not doing playing video games.

This all comes down to education and friends, too.

With all of the students now gone for their well-deserved summer break there is still no rest for this wicked PhD student here.

I was planning on another overseas run to the beaches of southern Spain, a virtual Heaven-on-Earth, but then again I want to do well in an upcoming comprehensive exams in June.

With an A-average it also gets harder to hang onto and even improve on the higher grades, so here I am going through the mountain of books, a total of no less than 120 texts, with all the supporting materials.

One of the major questions sure to come up would be based on how to include Indigenous knowledge, for instance, into the academy.

A member of our faculty with ties to Dechinta University, Leanne Simpson, has always contended that the best kind of education is community-and land-based.

People who tan their own hides and conduct ceremonials like the sweat lodge ceremony, represent the wave of the future.

These cannot be done by robots either.

Mahsi, thank you.


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