Lord Of The Idiots

One of my favourite Seinfeld episodes has Jerry and George squaring off as to who is the bigger idiot. Jerry is convinced that his actions establish him as the champion of idiocy, but George trumps him with a superior list of misdeeds:

"...So please, a little respect, for I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots."

I've been feeling a bit like the Lord of the Idiots lately. The Read/Write web allows anyone to post their ideas, reflections and opinions. These words can be dressed up to appear legitimate, well thought out, even authorative. I can choose to broadcast my embryonic thoughts on say, the topic of e-portfolios and throw in the phrase "action research project" and play the role of make believe academic for a while. I can wax lyrical about 21st Century learners and play the role of wannabe philosopher.

But just because I can do these things via my blog doesn't automatically mean that I should. I might be in my own utopian stupor about formal academic qualifications being irrelevant and qualify my massive consumption of like posts from my Bloglines as proof of my "lifelong learning". But it's easy for an idiot like me to get full of my own self-importance and start to make sweeping generalisations in my own posts. It's easy to start thinking that just because some actual experts (and I am not being facetious here) post comments here, that suddenly I'm an expert, too.

What I am good at is keeping it real about my actual classroom experiences and making sure that "thinking out loud" on my blog is clearly identified as such. I will always take up opportunities to stretch my thinking but like George Constanza, I need to intimately know when I cross the threshold into the land of Edublogger Idiots. There's enough homebaked advice blogs, self-proclaimed maestros and ranting evangelists without me swelling their ranks.

Someone, come and slap me in the comments if you see it happening again here.

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4 thoughts on “Lord Of The Idiots

  1. Doug Johnson


    I would argue that “self-aware idiot” is an oxymoron.

    Another way of looking at the issue of authority is that the read/write web has allowed the voice of experience to heard, not just that of academia which may for too long have been the only voice.

    All the very best and happy new year,


  2. Chris Harbeck

    We can only preach about what we practice. That is what I read on your blog. Don’t stop. Keep pushing the limits of your own creativity. When we read about them we can try them as well.

    All the best

    Happy New Year

  3. Artichoke

    I reckon that all new learning comes from an undermining of thinking and that undermining is not a solitary activity. It is very difficult probably impossible to undermine yourself.

    We encourage kids to express opinions in classrooms – so that these can be challenged by others – and we encourage them to challenge the thinking of others. Differences in opinion lead to discussion and progress in learning.

    Edublogging for me is like an online equivalent.

    Sharing your raw and flawed thinking about teaching and learning in a blog and leaving comments open to allow others to offer different views is a sign that we are intellectually curious Graham, not a sign that we know anything. There is plenty of room in the refereed educational journals and MoE reports for people who think they have buttoned the button about something, for people with institutional authority.

    If blogging about education means branding as an edublogger idiot – so be it- In truth is quite a classy badge Graham – I am certain others will want to add it to their blog bling – Continue to throw yourself in with the “homebaked advice blogs, self-proclaimed maestros and ranting evangelists” you will find quite a few of your online friends from the wobbly isles already splashing around irreverently.

  4. Dean Shareski

    Firstly, I always enjoy a good Seinfeld reference. Thanks.

    Secondly, as has been referred to already, blogs must be recognized for what they are; personal space to do whatever. If we begin to see them in the same vain as print publications requiring extensive review and proofreading, we lose the intent of this medium. Not to say that our work should be filled with ramblings and poorly thought out ideas, but like conversations that take place between friends, some ideas are more interesting and insightful than others. But that’s not to say that small talk and less than stellar ideas aren’t part of the fabric of who we are.

    Just as I enjoy a variety of personal friends, I enjoy a variety of thinkers and bloggers. Konrad Glogowski, for example, writes less often than most but is filled with very cerebral thoughts that often require me to reread his post 2 or 3 times. Others are filled with humor and less serious perspectives.

    I’ve never unsubscribe to a blog for poorly thought out posts. If I’ve chosen to subscribe, it’s because of some connection that I’ve observed over reading a few posts. The less than lucid posts are part of what makes blogging appealing; it’s real. Besides, if makes us all feel more comfortable when we place the seemingly babbling post.


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