Edupunk and REST

Everyday I wake up thinking “This is the day we kill the edupunk meme. Because even *I* am sick of it.”

But then I read something like this from Brian Kelly:

REST, it seems, is the punk response to the pompous stadium rock of SOAP and the Web Services stack.

That’s exactly right. But bigger than that is this: this term is zipping around the web and starting to pull a bunch of stuff together that was scattered before — much like the term Web 2.0 did before it became a bloated marker for everything IPO.

Terms like edupunk start off amusing, and then become tiresome. One in a hundred makes it through the tiresome stage to become useful but invisible — the Kleenex or Jazz of your domain. As much as I know I will want to kill the term again tonight, as long as it is sending me gems like this on my Google RSS, my vote is to keep it alive.

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7 Comments on “Edupunk and REST”

  1. AJ Cann says:

    An even better idea would be to ignore all the memes and just get on with blogging about grown up stuff.

  2. Mike says:

    Oh, come on AJ, that’s a little cranky isn’t it? Linguistics happens to be grown up stuff, it just may not be *your* grown up stuff.

  3. AJ Cann says:

    I didn’t intend to be cranky, and my comment wasn’t about linguistics, but don’t you think the explosion of this meme thing is damaging creativity in the blogosphere? I do.

  4. Mike says:

    I suppose we just disagree on that.

    What I see it doing is getting a lot of people tuned into a conversation they weren’t a part of before. I think the conversation they are tuning into is valuable, even if it gets into navel-gazing a bit too much — so I can’t really see this meme as harmful. At least not yet.

    What I meant about linguistics was that my post was about linguistic phenomena (i.e. the edupunk neologism and how it creates ad hoc connections) — and I thought you were claiming my post wasn’t discussing grown up stuff.

    Memes have always been out there, long before the internet, and they always will be out there. It seems useful as part of a profession to question the value of specific memes, but kind of pointless to insist on a meme-free space. Obviously if one meme doesn’t fill that space, something else eventually will.

    Although reading your response carefully, I’m thinking it’s not the memes themsleves that bother you — it’s the time spent discussing them?

  5. AJ Cann says:

    No criticism of your post at all. Of all the memes, the edupunk one is perhaps the least hateful, although for many of us who have been engaged in this kind of educational guerrilla activity for decades, it’s a bit reinventing-the-wheel-obvious. The problem is that this comes after so many trivial “name the last five things you had for breakfast” type memes when people (who should know better in some cases) could be writing about something much more interesting and original. If we want to engage in mindless chat, there’s always Twitter.
    Don’t you find it just the least bit ironic that the edupunk ideology is now a meme?

  6. Mike says:

    Oh, I’m from an online political activist background. I made my peace with irony long ago.

    Thanks for putting up with me while I better understood what you were saying. I don’t think we’re that far apart actually, more than the glass half full / glass half empty thing.

    I was actually just talking to a couple people, kind of about how this has been trivialized along the lines you are saying, but has also got a nugget of thought out there that we need to capitalize on.

    One thought I had was a blogswarm bookclub idea — that it would be nice to read bigger substantial pieces on how education and tech intersect with politics and ideology — maybe read an Illich article all together and then post our take on what was worthwhile in it and what was not…would you be interested in doing that with us? I think what the edupunk meme showed me was how insular our group was in some ways, and I want to get these issues out further into the public, like the meme did, but perhaps with less of the trivialization the meme tended to produce.


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