Hi, Paul Knatz here, pk, the deschooler: the cybernetic revolutionary.
The cybernetic revolution was a(nother) sabotaged revolution.
In 1970 having wasted the better part of a decade in the army, in graduate school, teaching college, failing to get my department or my students to understand what I was saying about Shakespeare, let alone about literature and education in general, I joined Ivan Illich in his deschooling critique of contemporary education and founded the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. in New York City. Ivan Illich himself helped inaugurate the non-profit corporation as a trustee.
FLEX offered listings of
- human resources, of
- inanimate resources,
- interest matching, and
- feedback data basing.
That, together with
- a guarantee again compulsory attendance at rituals and a
- social prohibition against certificates, degrees, diplomas
comprised Illich’s deschooling. See his book, Deschooling Society, 1970. It’s posted at my InfoAll blog, look in January 2009.
I modified Illich’s social networking plan only slightly at first, increasingly over the years since. My additions and comments were not published (except in one article of 1971: details at the blog InfoAll.) The spirit is unaltered; only I submit improved.
Illich’s book became a best seller, though not before my FLEX was getting enough free publicity to grow overnight, But, though by 1971 I had an international correspondence, a dozen newsletters, news, radio, and TV interviews (and a cable program listing community resources), I was finding the ring my pebbles had naturally made blocked from sight. Illich’s book was not republished. illich’s future books were blocked from publication, from distribution. Copies disappeared from libraries. My own articles were published only by my FLEX. Even imitating FLEXes didn’t republish my correspondence with them in any way I can tell.The cybernetic revolution was the sabotaged revolution.
I talked about all this from soap boxes, via snail mail, over the radio, on TV … In 1971 IBM told me I needed more like $20,000,000 a year to make it work right, not the $100,000 seed money I was asking them for. But they gave me not one penny. IBM resisted the internet even when it was the government’s anti-deschooling vehicle that had the publicity. So did Microsoft. Understand, IBM hadn’t even imagined computers in the class room yet in 1970! and Microsoft wasn’t yet founded. Understand overall: personal compuputers didn’t exist yet! I was planning to use main frames: time sharing. All the public needed was a terminal (and an operator) in every neighborhood. (Initially FLEX depots could have been hardly bigger than a phone booth, or like a FotoMart. They could thereafter have grown to eclipse libraries, universities, the NY Times, and the Library of Congress.
but no diplomas!
I had IBM alumni, authors of the original FORTRAN anxious to write public data base software for FLEX. They didn’t expect to make the six figured IBM had paid them, but they did expect to make something. I couldn’t pay myself anything, not without public support. I certainly couldn’t pay them even subway fare.
God offers salvation, science, wisdom …
humans reject it, led by their rulers.
My wife left me in 1973 or 1974, kidnapping our son, just when he was of school age. She didn’t want to argue with me about his schooling: so she stole him: leaving me and my cybernetic revolution flat broke.
I’ve been sabotaged by lots of forces since then. The fed arrested me in 2006, the fed censored me in 2007, ridiculous since I’d never not been censored by state-run anything: schools, media … Even my fiction never found a publisher!
But notice: I’m till talking! or trying to.
First I talked about FLEX in all the conventional ways of 1970 ff. Then in the 1990s a friend rescued me from poverty sufficiently for me to get on the Pentagon’s internet and preach my cybernetic Christian anarchism. Knatz.com put such folders into its / Teaching / FLEX (deschooling) section. FLEX spun off into my InfoAll.org domain. All my domains fell under the censorship of the fed in 2007. The parole people and my public defender warned me from trying to continue to speak over their (stolen, plagiarized) internet. I’m only sorry I didn’t call FLEX and InfoAll CybRev in the first place.
See also: Taxation, Tyranny