Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bibliography: Education & Society

A short list of resources on Education & Society:

Dewey, John. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Collier Books.

Freire, Paulo. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (M.B. Ramos, Trans.). New York: Continuum.

Gatto, John Taylor. (2009). Weapons of mass instruction: A schoolteacher's journey through the dark world of compulsory schooling. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

Holt, John C. (1981). Teach your own: A hopeful path for education. New York: Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence.

Illich, Ivan. (1971). Deschooling society. New York: Harper & Row.
[Full text available online in HTML and PDF formats.]

Parsons, Talcott. (1959). The School Class as a Social System: Some of Its Functions in American Society. Harvard Educational Review, 29(4): 297-318.

Reimer, Everett. (1972). School is dead: Alternatives in education. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.

See also: Other books by John Taylor Gatto and John C. Holt.

Friday, October 23, 2009

TwitterArchive: Kevin Acklin's "Public Safety Plan"

In response to Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Kevin Acklin's "Public Safety Plan":

@KevinAcklin: Not comfortable w/all the emphasis you place on beefing up police forces. People = Center of community; Police = Derivative

@KevinAcklin: Your "Public Safety Plan" has a confused understanding of the role of police in society. >

@KevinAcklin: > RE "Public Safety Plan": Protect neighborhoods by investing in their people, w/jobs, community resources. >

@KevinAcklin: > RE "Public Safety Plan": Police can do nothing to *build* neighborhoods/community; only react to failures/breakdowns. >

@KevinAcklin: Sorry, but I think your ideology RE [role/function of] police [in society] is backwards. [...]

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TwitterArchive: "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L. Anderson

AUDIO: "Pastor" Steven L. Anderson abuses the #Christian gospel to promote his gospel of #hate: #p2 #topprog #rebelleft

Should the "Faithful Word Baptist Church" in Tempe, AZ have tax-exempt status? #p2 #topprog #rebelleft #tcot #hate #fear

Should #p2 #topprog start a vers. of @mmfa 2monitor "right-wing terrorist" propaganda "preached" in so-called "churches"?

Audio (MP3) of more "sermons" from "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson: #p2 #topprog #rebelleft #hate

Police narrative of strange behaviour leading to arrest of "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson: #p2

Twitter account for "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson = @sanderson1611 #p2 #topprog #rebelleft

"Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson attempts to Biblically justify his #hate speech: #p2 #topprog

Bio for "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson: #p2 #topprog #rebelleft

More insight into the ideology of "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson, via his essays: #p2 #topprog

VIDEO: #MSNBC discussion of "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson: fomenting terrorism? #p2 #topprog

It's amazing just how much info on "Why I Hate Barack Obama" "pastor" Steven L Anderson is provided by him on his own website/etc accts! #p2

All persons of faith, regardless of what that faith is, should be disgusted by attempts to misuse religious doctrine 4 personal agendas #p2

RT @sanderson1611: Check this video out -- Pastor Wants #Obama To Die Of Brain Cancer: "Like #TedKennedy" #p2 #topprog

Video: This past Sunday was "Bring your gun to church day" at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ. Watch: #tcot

RT @CelluloidBlonde: [...] Homophobic/Obamaphobic Pastor Steven L Anderson facing poverty as clients flee

RE "Pastor" Stephen L Anderson: The real loosers in his #hate filled, anti- #Christian rants? His wife & children. #p2 @sanderson1611

RE "Pastor" Stephen L Anderson: Tempe, AZ folks: Pls step in & make sure his wife/children don't suffer. Donate food, etc #p2 @sanderson1611

#Tempe, #AZ #p2 #topprog: Pls donate food/clothing 4 wife/children of "pastor" Anderson-Don't let them suffer 4 his hate.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Towards a Philosophical Understanding of the 'Birther' and 'Deather' Movements"

Like many Americans tuned into current political debates, I have been attempting to figure out just what is going on behind the “Birther” and “Deather” movements. It was Sarah Palin's recent Facebook comments, however, that finally provided some breakthrough inspiration as to the reality behind both movements:
Sarah Palin: “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil...”
Ms. Palin's comments contribute directly to building up the “Deather” movement, and provided inspiration for the following working definition:
Definition: Factually deficient, fear-mongering "critics" who "criticize" imagined things that don't exist in reality; things that only exist in a conjured-up fantasy realm of abstract emotions. Statements are usually delivered through the spoken word, on radio or television. These statements from the Deather movement are laden with an ontological / existential weight of fear/terror/angst, but are devoid of any epistemically rooted 'facts,' as facts are commonly understood. Deathers often confuse statements saturated with the emotion of fear as being "the truth" – a failure to distinguish between an ontological / existential notion of "truth" (i.e. “it's true because it feels so true”) and an epistemic notion (i.e. evidence is available to support a claim).

While on the subject of definitions, let's also put on the table a working definition of the “Birther” movement:
Definition: People who cannot / refuse to accept that a person with a multi-faceted personality and a multi-positional identity (Barack Obama) could actually rise to a position of prominence and power in their conception of the United States of America. The president is the political leader of America; they are Americans; but yet they cannot accept a Barack Obama as a leader – their leader. The reality of the President's identity threatens the deep rooted (but out of touch with the contemporary world) individual and collective identities of the Birthers. The resultant cognitive dissonance is too much to maintain; the only options for moving forward are to either assimilate or deny the identity of Obama. Birthers, by definition, choose to deny the reality of Barack Obama as president by denying the validity of one of the most basic facts of his identity, his place of birth, which Birthers claim is not America. This, in a subjective sense, is true, for the Birthers' abstract, idealized, and – dare I say – 'bleached' concept of America could not possibly have a President Barack Obama as its native son. However, a substantial degree of disconnect exists between Birthers' subjective conceptualization of "America" and concrete historical and geographical fact.

(Note: The term 'bleached' as used above does not exclusively refer to skin color or race. Rather, it refers to an idealized conception [of something] that is impoverished, deficient, blanched, non-holistic, and selectively reduced from the thing as it exists in the fullness of its reality.)

How do these working definitions help us to deal with the reality of the “Birther” and “Deather” movements as we encounter them in current political debate? My initial response is to charitably consider Birthers and Deathers as people in need of further development through gentle yet increasing exposure to epistemically-grounded facts and the reality of America as it exists today. On the other hand, however, I am reminded of another small, yet significant fact connected to the reality of life in contemporary – and historical – America: Some Americans possess weapons. As a subset of America, some adherents to the Birther and Deather movements also, naturally (and legally) possess weapons. My concern is that the constant drum beat artificially (re)produced by the voices on corporate talk radio and cable talking-head shows might unnaturally contribute to the over-inflation of the emotional state of some Birthers and Deathers – particularly those in possession of weapons. A new question now arises: Should these voices on radio and television be held morally and legally accountable for any role they play in pushing a Birther or Deather “over the edge,” into violent action?

A healthy, functioning democracy requires open discourse of epistemically-grounded ideas, not endless shouts of fear-inducing 'preaching to the choir'. Fear and anger, as emotions, are things experienced by all of us. But as we know, for healthy adults, fear and anger usually run their course and then subside. My concern is that the constant chatter of voices (and notice that it primarily is “voice” – spoken on radio and cable TV – rather than the printed word) from the corporately-funded mouthpieces on the self-proclaimed “conservative right” daily (re)produce and maintain a state of perpetual fear and anger in Birthers and Deathers. No person can live in a state of constant fear and anger without eventually suffering serious psychological and emotional consequences. So we must ask: Are these voices, through the amplification of their media megaphones, responsible for committing mass emotional and psychological abuse, on a scale of which has never been seen before?

It is not enough to merely sit back and, in a detached way, analyze the philosophical aspects of the Birther and Deather movements. If the extent to which each of these movements exists is a result of mass media inflicted abuse, do we not have a responsibility to intervene in healthy and helpful ways? The wide-spread presence of this type of abuse in our society is not healthy for any of us.

So what healthy and helpful methods of intervention exist? A top-down, end-product focused, extreme version of a “Fairness Doctrine” that determines who can speak on the airwaves and what they can and cannot say? I would reject such a notion, for its potential for abuse is far too great. Rather, a different approach might be found in bottom-up, process oriented critical media education. All “consumers” of media messages should have some background in deciphering the content and broader context of the messages that are delivered to their ears (and eyes), and an ability to sort out messages of dubious validity. Let me be absolutely clear: this is not about telling people what to think; that would be an end-product (the “what”) centered approach. Rather, this type of approach would center on educating people in healthy, constructive, and well-rounded means of how to think (the “how” is the procedural aspect). The end goal would be to equip each individual person with a means of understanding and interpreting the fullness of meanings behind messages that appear very (emotionally) appealing on the surface. People would, in a sense, be “inoculated” from the direct reception of the fear contagion as it is transmitted through mass media mouthpieces.

In sum, the existence of the Birther and Deather movements can be understood in educational terms as the result of a mass media delivered pedagogy centered on the (re)creation of perpetual emotional states in its 'students'. It is only fitting, then, that an alternative educational approach be offered as a more healthy way forward.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

TwitterArchive: Twitter #Healthcare #Debate Guidelines from August 5-6, 2009

#Healthcare #Debate: 1. If you're going to call someone an 'idiot' for linking to something, be sure to actually read the link 1st.

#Healthcare #Debate: 2. Calling someone an 'idiot' might be a sign that your emotions are ruling your reason. Stop, relax, tweet.

#Healthcare #Debate: 3. Insulting someone & then blocking them when called on it is passive-aggressive #bullying. Go to bed w/o supper.

#Healthcare #Debate: 4. Mocking these guidelines is a sure sign that they hit their intended mark. Fire away #patriot.

#Healthcare #Debate: 5. Consider the #Aristotelian components of #ethos, #pathos, & #logos when debating. Refresher:

TwitterArchive: Breaking #Birther News from August 5, 2009

Breaking #Birther News: Jesus not valid Jewish Messiah b/c Father not an Israelite. Petition made to BV Mary for birth certificate.

Breaking #Birther News: Presidential numbering system skewed from the beginning: G. Washington not born in the United States of America.

Breaking #Birther News: #Birthers responsible for partial abortion of #democracy at town hall meetings. #satire #gop #hcr #healthcare

Breaking #Birther News: #Birthers anxious to see Joe Biden sworn in as President. #satire #updatedfromoriginal

Breaking #Birther News: #Birthers theme song: |Bing Crosby - Mele Kalikimaka| VS |Baltimora - Tarzan Boy| VOTE NOW! #satire #music

Breaking #Birther News: #Birthers theme song: |Toto - Africa| VS |Gloria Gaynor - I Am What I Am| VOTE NOW! #satire #music

Breaking #Birther News: #Birthers urban theme song: |Dolla ft T Pain & Akon - Who The F- Is That?| VS |Beenie Man - Who Am I?| #satire

TwitterArchive: #FakeNews from August 5, 2009

#FakeNews: European billionaires visit US on fact-finding mission 4 adopting American for-profit insurance-based #healthcare sys. #satire

#FakeNews: For-profit hospitals feat. new version of #Bible in patient rooms, inc. passages from Malthus, H. Spencer. #satire #updated

#FakeNews: New #GOP #healthcare #HCR plan: Free iTunes download of "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House for every American. #satire

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"So You Think You Can Dance" and the Renormalization of the Male-Heterosexual-Dancer Identity

The purpose of this essay is to discuss the role that schools play as sites for the (re)production of the normalized narratives surrounding socially constructed gender identities, and one counter-narrative force found in the mainstream television culture that functions partially to expose certain aspects of these socially constructed identities.

I will begin by recounting the personal narrative that brought me to consider the subject matter of this essay. For the past five summers, the Fox television network has featured a "reality" dance competition series called, "So You Think You Can Dance?" (SYTYCD). My initially exposure to this series came in the summer of 2008, during the show's fourth season, followed by the Australian version of the show that aired in the winter of 2009. But it was not until the currently airing season (summer 2009 in the US) that the following question struck me: regarding the male participants in the show, why do a disproportionate number (as compared to the overall US population) seem to self-identify as homosexual? Is there something inherent in the genetic makeup of homosexual males that makes them have a predisposition towards dance and human expression through bodily motion? Certainly not, as even the thought of that question seems a bit ridiculous. But yet, the observational data - at least as far as SYTYCD presents material for observation - does suggest that the percentage of male dancers that are homosexual is much higher than the percentage of males that are homosexual in the general population. What might explain this observation?

The "breakthrough" insight -- and the connection to the notion of the social construction of (gender) identity -- came with the profile and back-story of one male contestant that participated in earlier rounds of the current season. This male contestant, who appeared to self-identify as a homosexual, discussed the pressures he faced in high school, as the athletically-built son of the high school football coach, to play football instead of pursuing his own interest in and passion for dance. Fortunately he was able to battle the pressure to play football, and, with the eventual support of his father the coach, pursue his interest in dance, progress through the initial rounds of the current season of SYTYCD, only to be cut before reaching the Top 20. To reconnect this male dancer's story to the topic of this essay, the insight generated from his story came in the form of the following realization: There must be quite a few male althletes (irregardless of sexual orientation) out there on the fields and courts that would make wonderful dancers, but that, due to the pressures on males to play "traditional manly sports," are never able to even consider dancing as an activity, hobby, or even career.

But at this point we must ask, How does this connect to the observation that a disproportionate percentage of male dancers are homosexual? I would hypothesize that perhaps male homosexuals are already aware that they do not, cannot, will not, and/or refuse to fit into and conform to aspects of the currently dominant socially constructed narrative surrounding male gender identity, and are therefore in a position that makes it easier to resist and reject the social pressures to only play the "traditional manly sports". It could be that a certain percentage of all males, regardless of sexual orientation and apart from social pressures in one direction or another, have some sort of predisposition that is connected to an interest in dance and self-expression through bodily movement. The difference may come, however, when societal pressures are introduced that define what are "appropriate" and "inappropriate" physical activities for "normal" (heterosexual) males to engage in. If one wants to be seen as a "normal" (heterosexual) male, and "normal" (heterosexual) males - according to the socially constructed gender identity - do not associate themselves with the realm of dance, then, regardless of natural disposition towards creative expression through bodily movement, dance will be rejected as an "inappropriate" activity for the socially "normal" male to engage in.

Let us now reengage the discussion thus far with the question of the role that schools play as sites for the (re)production of the normalized narrative surrounding socially constructed gender identity. Educators and administrators in the K-12 arena should be aware of how the structure of the schooling experience -- in general as well as in regards to physical activities, sports, and "arts" education -- functions to reproduce the normalized (and socially constructed) male gender identity as described above. How do sporting opportunities and other extracurricular activities function to embody and reproduce the normalized, socially constructed gender identity? Do we think of certain activities and sports as "appropriate" or "inappropriate" for either boys and/or girls? Why? How is it that the structure of the schooling experience - particularly in high school - (re)creates as desirable the ideal archetypal forms of the all-star male athlete and the sexually attractive female cheerleader? How do we, as individual educators, administrators, and policy makers, contribute to the (re)production of the normalized, socially constructed gender identities? What "acts of resistance" can we take in order to work towards dismantling the rigid bonds of these socially constructed identities so that our male and female students may be more free to pursue their natural inclinations and interests?

As we reach the conclusion of this essay, perhaps the final question asked above can benefit from a closer look at the counter-narrative embodied in "So You Think You Can Dance?". In the structure and composition of the show, indirectly and directly (particularly in the comments of on-air judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe), the (counter-)narrative that is continually (re)produced is that dance, in all of its myriad of forms, is appropriate for all human beings - irrespective of gender or sexual orientation - as both a form of human expression through body movement and as a social activity that brings people together in the physicality of the embodied human experience. In this sense, the very title of the show itself ("So You Think You Can Dance?") is an invitatory question that beckons all who hear it to participate in one way or another - even if just by watching and enjoying the show - in the universally human activity of dance.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Documentary: "Good Copy Bad Copy" (2007)

Criticism: It's refreshing to know that the Nigerian film 'industry' and the Brazilian music 'industry' is more bleeding-edge than the corporate dinosaur carcases in the USA. Watch this film here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Music: A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls - "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)"

Criticism: Are American Pop music consumers unable to appreciate the original version of the song, "Jai Ho," which is in Hindi, with some Spanish? Are they incapable of Googling "jai ho english translation"?

Is this a reflection of American's intolerance for linguistic ambiguity?

Is this an example of cultural colonization, taking only that which is perceived as valuable to the colonizers, such as the catchy musical refrain of "Jai Ho," which is relegated to the status of a meaningless sound in the English version?

Or is it just a positive example of "the collaboration of sounds from the East and West"?

Documentary: "Manufactured Landscapes" (2006)

Criticism: Distopian future? No -- Distopian present. Hideous imagery.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Documentary: "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" (2005)

Criticism: If this film doesn't make your blood boil, watch it over and over again until it does.

Enron functioned as the equivalent of an enemy nation-state (in economic, not geo-political terms) at war against its "clients," specifically the state of California.

This is old news, you say, and in the past, you say? The same selfish greed that fueled Enron is (and has been) fueling our current economic 'crisis'. This is what happens when you turn over control of valuable resources to obsessive-compulsive individuals who should be kept away from the general public.

An excellent case for the necessity of good governmental efforts to oversee the madness and insanity of the so-called "free market".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Documentary: "Escape from Suburbia" (2007)

Criticism: A follow-up to the 2004 documentary, "The End of Suburbia". Very positive in its overall tone. Offers examples of solutions of how to move from unsustainability to sustainability. Progressive. Urban farms. Indigenous sources of knowledge. Human life-based. Locally sustainable communities.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Documentary: "The End of America" (2008)

Criticism: An easy to understand, 10-step indictment. Frightening. Accurate. Historical comparative analysis.

Documentaries = education, not entertainment. Fundamental difference.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Documentary: "Life and Debt" (2001)

Criticism: Jamaica. IMF. World Bank. Globalization. Comparative study. Finance. Economics. Import / Export.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Documentary: "The End of Suburbia" (2004)

Criticism: It's the end of the (suburban) world as we know it, and we all feel numb...

Documentary: "Who Killed the Electric Car?" (2006)

Criticism: Rather, "What killed the electric car?" Answer: Greed.

GM, which has recently been bailed out with public funds, actually destroyed existing production models of a promising alternative.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Documentary: "Flow: For Love of Water" (2008)

Criticism: More privatization gone overboard: water as a profit-making commodity.

Documentary: "The Corporation" (2003)

Criticism: Yet another "must-see" that you won't see on corporate media outlets in the USA.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Documentary: "The War on Democracy" (2007)

Criticism: Yet another "must-see" documentary that you will never see on corporate media outlets in the US.

Now I understand why he said this.

More proof of the disregard for human life and human rights represented by this position, despite these efforts of "reform".

Documentary: "The Take" (2004)

Criticism: A "must-see" that you will never see broadcast on any corporate television outlet in the US.

Watch it here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Film: "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008)

Criticism: While watching "Slumdog Millionaire," at a certain point, I was struck by a transition in the film that structurally connects (or, rather, disconnects) the film itself from the reality of the issues of education, language, and language of instruction.

Without spoiling the film for those yet to see it, there is a point at which the movie transitions from flashbacks of the childhood (~6-7 yrs. old) of the main character and his brother to their early teenage years. Now, for the entire set of "childhood" series of flashbacks, the child actors spoke in what is presumably their mother tongue (i.e. not English). These two boys have apparently had very little formal schooling, as is referenced in a brief segment in the classroom (remember "Three Musketeers?). Indeed, this lack of formal schooling is part of what makes them "slumdogs"; we may even say that the film itself is about the power of non-formal educational experiences (no spoilers!). But back to this transition -- we go from a flashback scene of the young boys speaking in their mother tongue, cutting to a seen of the teenage boys (different, older actors) conversing - in perfect English (slight "Indian accent")!

Granted that English is spoken in India, how are we to believe that these children of the slums were able to acquire a fluency in a language that they presumably had no formal acquaintance with, and, from what we can tell in the film, only cursory interaction with during other aspects of their lives?

I suppose this point is more squarely a commentary on Hollywood's convenient disconnection from reality than it is directly about language and education outside of the USA. But let's use this occasion to advocate for the necessity of qualitative research that allows us to experience and understand the "actual" situation "on the ground," rather than allowing our impressions to be unduly shaped by popular (mis)representations in the various media.

Although "Slumdog" is an enjoyable film, I sadly have to agree with the following condemnation from The Guardian (UK):

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Documentary: "The Money Masters" (1996)

Criticism: Only watch this if you are ready for pandora's box to be opened up, only to find out that there is _______ inside.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Film: "The Music of Chance" (1993)

Criticism: A rare gem of a film, featuring Mandy Patinkin. Multiple levels of meaning. Apparently somewhat rare and difficult to acquire a copy of.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Film: "Blindness" (2008)

Most "Thought Provoking" Film of 2008. Most "Humanitarian Introspective Film" of 2008. Most "Disturbing Film" of 2008. Most "Must-See Film" of 2008.

Albert Camus' "La Peste" + George Orwell's "1984" + The-Future-Is-Now "Distopia" = "Blindness"

Can you see it?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Film: "Redbelt" (2008)

Criticism: The naturalism of the Mamet-ian dialogue is striking for it's contrast to typical movie talk. This film is not about the fighting; its about the fighters.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Books in Brief: Tony Benn (Various Texts)

Take-aways: The various writings and speeches of British democratic socialist Tony Benn provide a compelling argument for Democratic Socialism based on the teachings of Jesus.

Tony Benn decries market-based capitalism for its failure to serve the needs of the human person, placing instead (monetary) profit ahead of the needs of human beings. To paraphrase one of his many aphorisms, he shames capitalist ideology for being concerned with the price of everything and the value of nothing. "Price" in this context equates to the Aristotelian concept of exchange-value; "value" thereby signifying the Aristotelian understanding of use-value (see Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics" Book V.v).

In a portion of an interview included in the Michael Moore film "Sicko," Tony Benn offers a simple formula for how persons in a group context can be controlled and manipulated to do what those in power want them to do. (This formula is applicable to any context with a hierarchy of differential power amongst a group of persons.) To paraphrase, Tony Benn states that people are most easily manipulated when they have no hope. Hope is diminished or removed by 1) instilling fear and 2) demoralizing / dehumanizing people. Fearful, demoralized / dehumanized people will have a reduced sense of hope and positive outlook for the future, thereby making them more willing to just do whatever those in power desire them to do.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Books in Brief: "Teaching as a Subversive Activity" by Postman & Weingartner

Take-Aways: While decades old, this text still offers relevant suggestions that are applicable to both the K-12 and the college/university classroom.

One particularly applicable concept is that of a "questions-driven curriculum," building off of the concerns and questions that students have as a result of their lives in order to create meaningful learning experiences.

Also discussed is an application of Marshall McLuhan's famous phrase, "the medium is the message". The text explores how the traditional classroom setting functions as the "medium" of the educational experience that has a strong influence on the types of "messages" (e.g. content) that can be taught and how those "messages" will be received/understood/interpreted/made meaningful by the learners. In other words, the relationship between the learning context (i.e. "medium") and the learning content (i.e. "message") is an area that is ripe for examination in order to try and achieve an harmonious balance between content and context.