Category Archives: Modernism

Altruism – Simple as That!

  • Invisible, roll-on protection.
  • It’s altruism. Really.
  • Can I get a witness?
  • You have been protected!

How saturated in the 1950s pre-digital era this email from MnSCU is. The pitch is straight out of commercial advertising: protect your home, your family, your innocence. Protect yourself from embarrassing body odor. Even the Civil Defense left it up to the target family to build their own shelters and to take cover in defense.

But the Minnesota State Internet Guardian has you protected. Protected so well you won’t even know it. Because you’re blameless. We trust you. The only reason you would click a shifty link is accidentally. Because you don’t know any better, we monitor your every click for you.

The place for protection in 2017 is the state university. It’s not about us.  It’s you.

From:  Faculty/Staff Announcement List

Date:  December 4, 2017 at 3:20:07 PM Central Standard Time

To:  “fac_staff_l@listserv.bemidjistate.edu”

Subject:  Minnesota State Internet Guardian

Who: All faculty, staff and students

What: Full implementation of Internet Guardian 

When: Tuesday, December 5

Where: BSU, NTC and Distance MN

Why: To protect you from internet threats by stopping malicious links, phishing links and other malicious software from reaching their intended destinations

Complete Details: Your campus will be deploying a service that is being rolled out system wide known as Minnesota State Internet Guardian.  This service will help to protect you from internet threats by stopping malicious links, phishing links and other malicious software from reaching their intended destinations.  The service and its deployment will mostly be invisible to you as it works at the network level.  The only way you will know that it is active is if you accidently click on a malicious link or navigate to a web page that has malicious software on it.  At that time, a web page will pop up to inform you that you have been protected.  Simple as that!

We can ask why MnSCU isn’t telling students and faculty – each time they click – that their move has been recorded, analyzed, vetted by The Guardian to be OK. Is the silence protection from ourselves? A little pop up with each click could be an affirmation: Good Choice! Gold Star!

The state educational system is extending the same parental protections it brings to the dorms to the network. But they wrestle with their parenting role. They try to cast the control as altruism – a position they are not comfortable with. They can’t hide their apprehension that our use threatens their  network. The same apprehension on the face of moms and dads and teachers in 1959 and 1962 when they sketched plans for fallout shelters and held duck and cover exercises. They were doing it for The Kids – knowing that the gestures were nothing more than altruism. We don’t need to be reminded with evert click that the protection is in marketing only.

The Civil Defense banner image is from the Civil Defense Museum. The faculty email shares the same archive. The Cold War prepared us. The same misuse of military equipment can claim guardianship.

McLuhan on Picasso Painting

sign for word

When Picasso enters the popular mind by way of McLuhan:

Picasso’s painting is always exciting because Picasso paints the path of feeling. I am speaking completely literally. Picasso paints the path of feeling.

Did you ever have a teardrop run down your face? Sometime have a teardrop run down your face and feel it run. Feel it run and then you will understand Picasso. Picasso paints a teardrop running down your face. He paints a tragic running down on the ieee , , , just as you would feel it. Then at the end of the running he paints the teardrop . . . as it feels. He paints the path of the teardrop… He paints a path of feeling . . . He paints the path of every feeling he has at the moment he is feeling. A moment later would ba too late.

It is so simple.

Picasso paints a teardrop when it is running down the face. That is all.

Of course he must paint the when. He paints it when it Is running . . . all the way. He does not paint the teardrop itself until it has stopped running. Then the teardrop hangs suspended from the when like it feels on the face.

It is not only of Picasso that I speak. There are others . . . like Miro like Chagall like Mondrian like Brancusi and Braque and Kandinsky and Klee . . . ”

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from verbi-voco-visual