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Monday, July 20, 2009

Reaping the damage of Apollo

Flight director In a perverse way, I'm slightly proud that I was one of the few people in the western world who didn't watch the Apollo 11 moon landings on TV on 20th July 1969. I would like to have done, but I was on holiday in a caravan with no TV. And yet the memory of the Apollo missions lives on.

I'm talking about middle-aged white men with crewcuts (I had a crewcut in 1969, no you can't see the photos), white shirts, pens in their pockets. I'm talking about the technocrats who controlled the flow of information in a time of scarcity. They live on, in the form of organizations who try to control technology as if it was still 1969. The men who like to say no.

Like manned space flight, they have outlived their usefulness. We each have the means to think, travel and communicate with each other how we like rather than how we are told to.
Huston, we have a problem.
As Martin Weller points out, learning is complex. messy and variable. There is no mission controller.