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Talking about learning

Jared Pereira

2018-03-20

I recently gave a talk at EthCC about mathetics and decentralized systems.

A quick summary

Mathetics is the science of learning; mathetics is to learning as pedagogy is to teaching. It shifts the focus of education to how individuals create knowledge, not how authorities organize and pass it down.

I think it’s an especially important word in the context of the this new community around blockchains and decentralized systems for two main reasons:

Firstly, people who work/live/think/hang-out in this field are learning all the time. Cryptocurrencies and blockchains have been many people’s introduction to the world’s of economics, game-theory and countless others. The field is constantly surfacing new connections and ideas, and progressing rapidly. We need to think about how we operate mathetically; how our culture, products, and communnity supports learning.

Secondly, on a more abstract level, these ideas around decentralized systems and social computation are actually changing how people learn. They act as lenses and frameworks for individuals to interpret the world and themselves. This is a powerful tool and something that deserves to be thoughtfully and carefully explored. As with anything that has the potential to be pervasive, the psychological and mathetic impact of this technology deserves thoughtful and careful consideration.

I think learning is not something we talk about enough, in almost all contexts. We don’t think deeply about the long-term learning implications of our products nor our development cycles. Or the sustainability of our research paradigms. There are so many areas to explore here. It’s essential that we open up a conversation.

So let’s talk!

I brought up a lot of these points in my talk, but I realized after that there wasn’t any real concrete step forward that I was presenting. To remedy that, I’m proposing a…

Mathetics Meetup!

A tri-weekly hourly gathering to talk about learning!

The goal is to have a starting point for the conversation, a space for people interested in mathetics to raise and explore ideas, thoughts, and concerns. The plan is to leave it open-ended and see what the community needs, wants and can do.

Structure

Each meeting will have a predefined topic and follow a rough timeline:

  1. 20min presentation around the topic
  2. 30min discussion around the topic/presentation OR open-floor period
  3. 10min to organize the next meeting and any next steps.

Next steps could be reaching out to people, collaborating on some writing, finding and sharing information, anything. These meetings are the starting point not the ends.

All meetings will be on Jisti and livestreamed and recorded. In addition, summaries and transcripts will be published.

The First Meeting

The first meeting will occur in 2 weeks in the first week of April. In order to coordinate the times we’ll use a doodle poll. If you want to attend please answer the poll.

We’ll coordinate this, and other future fathom events in this calender Here you can find the date and time (when it’s finalized) and the link to join the video call.

For a topic we’ll be talking about Talking to kids about blockchains!

Join us!

If learning is interesting to you please join!

If you’re keen to discuss something, have someone you’d love to have talk, or are just excited to share your thoughts on this whole thing please reach out. You can email us here or find me on twitter. I’m excited to see where this goes!