“Informed bewilderment” and swans

Interesting article in The Observer on Sunday which reviews what we know about the internet and how we might extend our understanding of this tool which now affects so much of our lives. The author of the article refers to Manuel Castells and his phrase ‘informed bewilderment’ i.e. that we know much about the internet, in particular the web, but are still often confused by its contradictions. This article is useful for TLs to read but would also make an excellent discussion article for upper school students to read and debate. The Observer article goes on to proved nine ways to look at the internet, in order to increase our understanding of it and perhaps lessen our fears. Or the media’s fears, given that, if you read certain tabloid newspapers, the internet (they mean the web) is full of porn and predators, and almost certainly dangerous.

If you go walking along the golf course near our house, there is a large pond which is always left when the tide comes out and there are always birds on this pond – mallard ducks, shell ducks, black-headed gulls and sometimes swans. Last night, I caught a family of swans (see picture below) complete with cygnets. Now swans have a reputation of hissing at you, but this only happens if you come very close to them and their offspring. Otherwise, you can get quite close to these photogenic birds. In Australia, if you mention swans, depending on where you are or to whom you are talking, people may think of the AFL team the Sydney Swans and either smile or grimace, according to their allegiance. In Perth, Australia, one of the suburbs is called Swan and one of the sights on the Swan River in Perth, is the Black Swan

Swans in Dunbar



One Response to ““Informed bewilderment” and swans”

  1. Kate Says:

    Hi James,

    interesting way of looking at common understanding of the WWW – and I think highly accurate. we are going through a blitz on digital citizenship/ cybersafety, and I have some thoughts on how up-to-date some of our school parents might (not) be….
    PS: you forgot to mention that Aussie swans are black 🙂

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