As a former student, I sure wish I had had RateMyTeachers.com (via Seb) when I was in school. I would have had a lot to say and I would have felt justified. Maybe I wouldn't have had to start our underground newspaper. On the other hand, I can see how this might be abused. There are some thoughtful comments from many people about the "Adopt A Reporter" idea over on PressThink. This is not a new issue, but an old issue that continues to accelerate. As Loic points out, blogging helps you manage your own identity instead of leaving it up to others. Having said that, any notion that you can "control" your identity is a myth.

Over at Chanpon, someone blogged about a teacher from my high school who passed away. Some students posted some allegations in the comments. Obviously, since the teacher was dead, he couldn't defend himself. On the other hand, the students obviously felt justified and there are very few opportunities for students to speak up about their teachers. We ended up removing the entry and the comments. It was a very difficult decision, but we did what we thought was right. Blogs and other forms of publishing come with a great deal of responsibility and it is very difficult to judge what is right and wrong. That is why we need to think about justice and how we can make the institution of blogs and the Internet just. The technology influences what we can do and how people use it. Having said that, just as with politicians, we get what we deserve. Unless we have a strong sense of justice and speak up, we'll end up with bad technologies in the same way we end up with bad politicians.

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Talk about the myth of 'controling' your own identity, people used to tax mirror so much that seeing your own image in any form had remained as extravagant acts allowed only to aristocrats until the tax system was abolished in 19th century England. That could explain that controling self-images and develop certain idea about identity was luxury that was accessible and allowed only to wealthy people. The time when the mirror tax was eliminated in England coincided with the time when the origin of photograph was invented in Franch, which was another device to help people form their idea about selves and the notion of identity prevailed to regular, non aristocrat citizens as well.

The question of what is or isn't just is a question of perception of morality in a large degree.

What is just and how we identify with this is so relative to how we see ourselves and the community we identify with.

Blogs have so much potential to transcend the relationship of individual identity to community and larger world identity and our connections within the world as long as we continue to push for openness and inclusion.

Joi, you may want to pick up the current issue of What is Enlightment magazine. The majority of this issue addresses morality and ethics for this postmodern age. There are many discussions that easily apply to blogging and the potentials of social entrepenurism.

Blogging's emergent potential to assist us out of the "I" world and into the "WE" world is what excites me!

Joi:

I have a question. Are you willing to change your idea of justice to make this happen? In other words, will you accept a different concept of justice than your own if it means that some concept of justice prevails in a larger community?

"Blogging's emergent potential to assist us out of the "I" world and into the "WE" world is what excites me!"

You mean 'us' right?

Blogging is bringing us out the collective "we" world and finally making it an "I" world...there is no more big media / big brother / big government that can stop it.

Blogging is bringing us out the collective "we" world and finally making it an "I" world...there is no more big media / big brother / big government that can stop it.

Blogging is bringing us out the collective "we" world and finally making it an "I" world...there is no more big media / big brother / big government that can stop it.

"Blogging is bringing us out the collective "we" world and finally making it an "I" world...there is no more big media / big brother / big government that can stop it."

Micheal, Yes, you are correct from this perspective but if blogging is bringing us out of the collective "we" then why blog at all? Why the comments and track backs? Blogging is giving the "I" another voice but if I blog only for me then am I not dialogging with myself?

WE doesn't have to mean what you interpeted. We can go beyond the herd collective and blogging is a tool to assist a more directly connected WE. An engaged community of the future. Blogging is just getting started going beyond ranting and evolving into creating a more proactive future. The potential of the blogging tool to affect society is as open as we allow it to be. Bringing new thinking with blogging gives this tool an edge in a proactive WE.

Giving more people a voice and finding a broader audience is still so important, especially to local communities. Blogging can connect a geographic community as well as a virtual one if people have a reason. Real, wide open, honest and all inclusive communication will be necessary to engage more of the community and then WE center leaders in this medium as well as WE business and political leaders with proactivity will still be necessary to get us out of the self center, fear mongering ego traps that are allowed in contemporary society.

Blogging can definetly stir in a few of these ingredients to assist in the emergent democracy that is WE.

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Evaluating Teachers from AKMA’s Random Thoughts
February 2, 2004 2:48 AM

Joi points to RateMyTeachers.com (which link he found from Seb), in the context of reflections on identity, justice, and life online. The weightier aspects of Joi’s post deserve consideration, but I’ll linger for a moment on the RateMyTeach... Read More

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