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Who says Austrians can't predict? ;)

I saw Tyler's post as well and having recently read through some of Virgil's stuff on hypertext and Don, I was really struck by how far ahead of the game Don was, especially in the way he was using that technology in the classroom.

As Tyler's post suggests, all of this was about Don's intellectual fascination with the role of conversation as a vehicle for learning. Conversation was a discovery procedure, not a tool or a weapon for clubbing your conversation partner into submission. Hypertext, as we have seen in the years since Don's passing, has become an amazing tool to make conversation possible in the classroom and beyond in ways we never would have dreamed possible when Don was first talking about it.

If this is the main legacy of Don's fascination with Gadamer and hermeneutics, it's a very good one.

One more thing, totally off-topic:

Red Wings in 6.

Pistons in 6 as well.

It's heaven for us Detroit sports fans right now.


Yes, and I thought Don had lost his way with all of this. When I moved to GMU in 1998, Don had me come in a "talk" to his PhD seminar in Comparative Economics in the School of Public Policy. I showed up, and all the students were at computer terminals and there was this on-going 'conversation' going on --- ON THE COMPUTERS. I complied to begin, trying to type as fast as I could to answer questions. Finally, I got up and told Don I couldn't take the experiment anymore and just asked people to speak up and we could talk in spoken words. Don was disappointed I think that I lost patience with his experiment.

I think Don (and Tyler) understood the great tool that hypertext and blogs could be, but they also I think fail to see the severe limits to the medium for serious economic dialogue. Tyler has recognized this with respect to philosophy --- blogs are simply not very good for those sort of conversations. And lets face it, Lavoie was a social philosopher not a technical economist. So in an ironic twist of fate, Don saw the great advantages of a form of intellectual dialogue which he himself would have found wanting for the dialogue he hoped to encourage in the discipline of economics and the human sciences.


With all due respect to Don Lavoie, who I knew in graduate school and always considered a friend, I have never been as impressed with the "new fangled" technologies as many others.

I believe that there is no real and satisfactory substitute for the face-to-face contact and interaction of the classroom.

Only by watching the faces of the students can the professor often determine if they are "getting it." This stimulates trying other examples or a different way to make sure they are understanding the principle or the application, and hopefully grasping its relevency.

The internet and blogging, etc., are power tools. They are revolutionizing the sharing of information and knowledge.

But the ancient Greeks appreicated that it is the speaker and the spoken word that ultimately conveys the most and the deepest.

Technology, especially discussion-oriented technology, is a complement not a substitute for the faculty member in the classroom. Distance-learning is not a model for liberal education, that's for sure.

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