[hackerspaces] Irving Texas student suspended for bringing a circuitry-control clock project to school

JB Zurn jbzurn at gmail.com
Thu Sep 17 01:50:17 CEST 2015

In the US, there are a lot of people who are afraid of things they don't
understand. Sometimes that fear even devolves in a sort of pride in
ignorance; people even attack when they perceive someone to be smarter than
they are, because they feel threatened by it.

This is an ongoing theme for thousands of years. E.g. Galileo.

This fear/pride in ignorance I feel is a large contributor to the
difficulty in getting people interested in STEM/STEAM activities. You're
fighting not just "this is hard", but an undercurrent of cultural backlash.

One reason I stayed in Cocoa Beach, Florida after helping my parents with
their retirement move to Florida from our small farming community in the
Northeast. Because of Cocoa Beach's proximity to Kennedy Space Center,
people weren't intimidated by engineers. It was a great relief that
people's typical response upon hearing I was working on an advanced degree
in engineering, was "Oh, that's cool," and then move on with the
conversation. Instead of something to the extent of "That's so hard, I
could never do that!" and clamming up. I didn't have to be worried that
telling people what I did for a living would intimidate them.

Combine the fear of "might be smarter than me" with the terrorist fear in
the US, and people actually start to take irrational actions.


On Wed, Sep 16, 2015, 5:18 PM hellekin <hellekin at dyne.org> wrote:

> On 09/16/2015 02:45 PM, Lokkju Brennr wrote:
> > And, well...  that got a lot of traction fast:
> > https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/644193755814342656
> >
> This thread gave me context to that tweet.  I am appalled that the
> school establishment is frightened by ingenuity and talent and superior
> knowledge so much they project their acquired fears of others and
> terrorism on a child.  I am amazed that the President of the United
> States of Air intervenes directly to stop the madness.  I'm
> flabbergasted that the same people will willfully accept cars that can
> be stopped remotely, "smartphones" that spy on them, televisions that
> dumb them down, and all kind of aggressive, debilitating, invasive
> corporate technologies without raising an eyebrow, just because it comes
> from above in a nicely put package.
> One has to be entirely brainwashed by TV series and action movies to
> associate "clock" with "IED" (that's military for Improvised Explosive
> Device).  Brains wiped clean.
> ==
> hk
> --
>  _ _     We are free to share code and we code to share freedom
> (_X_)yne Foundation, Free Culture Foundry * https://www.dyne.org/donate/
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