Cholly and Stealth Education

The Starship Troupers, St. Vidicon, and G.R.I.P.E.
misterfive
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Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby misterfive » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:08 am

One of the main reasons I love the DDT-verse and your books is all the stealth education, and the "how-to" manual you snuck into Escape Velocity and The Warlock Wandering. All of which is very pertinent today, given the issues of our current educational system. Your books have inspired me to think about stealth education methods, and I just wanted to thank you for that!

While I enjoyed learning more about Doc Angus in Mind Out of Time, reading it mostly made me curious if you ever plan to revisit Cholly and his stealth education techniques in a future story or two.
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Ortho the Frank
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby Ortho the Frank » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:57 pm

Well, as has been revealed in the rough draft of Starship Troupers IV: The Unknown Guest on this website, Charles Publican of the Star Company IS Cholly, making his way to Wolmar and safety. Dar Mandra might even make a cameo appearance in the final draft. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if we see much more of Cholly's stealth education once he reaches Wolmar - although it was implied that Cholly influenced the choice of plays the Star Company preformed as part of his stealth education agenda.
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cstasheff
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby cstasheff » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:44 pm

Back in the Fifties, during one of the periodic attacks on our educational system (maybe over integration), Walt Kelly, in his comic strip POGO, invented the speakeasy schoolroom. Cholly owes as much to Kelly's concept as he does to my father, one of the pioneers of educational TV. Another, as I understand it, was Joss Wheedon's father.
misterfive
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby misterfive » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:04 am

I have to admit that I haven't read the Starship Troupers series yet, not having really realized it was tied into the DDT universe. So now I know where to get more Cholly. That which we call a Cholly by another name would educate as stealthily :)

So your father and Joss Whedon's father pioneered educational television? That explains a lot about how both of you approach entertainment...

For various reasons, I've been thinking a lot about education through gaming, and my feeling has long been that educational computer games don't quite have the impact that they might because they tend to be too obvious about the education part and not obvious enough about the game part. I think a lot about the discussion of how much information to work in when they are filming the scene on Otranto in Warlock Wandering.
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Ortho the Frank
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby Ortho the Frank » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:17 pm

While we're on the topic, here's a fascinating video segment about video gaming in education. It's only about 10 minutes long, so give it a look!

http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/gamifying-education
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cstasheff
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby cstasheff » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:38 pm

There were a lot of TV pioneers in the Fifties and Sixties. Now, however, their ideals seem to be fading. as evidenced by the time slots being left for commercials in BBC-America and deutsche Welle TV. The law says they can't sell ads at home, but there's nothing to keep them from diverting the flow of cash back into Continental pockets. The other giveaway is the number of cable programs that drew their inspiration form ETV, such as the House and Garden channel, and Yankee Woodworker. On the other hand, the potential for TV and video games for covert teaching is only barely beginning to be explored. Where are the deep, prob-dramas and the stabbing satires? Those programs don't seem to last on public non-profit programs -- but the juries demanding DNA evidence, and the criminals who graduate from prison having learned to be more effective burglars, show there is still po. Of course, I'm thinking of my own books, too.
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby misterfive » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:23 am

Just started the Starship Troupers series (finally!), and I think even if I hadn't known, I'd have recognized Charles Publican for Cholly.

Still thinking a lot about stealth education...

Just curious: Do you ever feel prescient, Mr. Stasheff?
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cstasheff
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby cstasheff » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:23 pm

Nah, never FEEL prescient, but I do get a kick out of my predicted gadgets showing up in real life, such as the iPad, which shows up in ESCAPE VELOCITY -- the production assistant is carrying an electronic clipboard. Science fiction has always tried to predict the future, though, and my greatest disappointments come when I read about one of those predictions not only being invented, but worse -- when they become history!
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Ortho the Frank
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Re: Cholly and Stealth Education

Postby Ortho the Frank » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:25 pm

I've always been intrigued by technologies that science fiction DIDN'T predict, the stuff that caught us by surprise. I remember attending a panel at a con once called "How Did I Miss That?" on that very topic. The older sci-fi authors on the panel all agreed that they'd failed to predict the pocket calculator - a slide rule did the job just as well, so there was no need for one. Other things included duct tape, microwave ovens, and post-it notes. I'd add texting - when you can speak to someone directly through a device, who would have though there'd be any need to send text messages from the same device?

Of course, another interesting thing is how some sci-fi writers may have accurately predicted future technologies, but didn't anticipate the social impact of those technologies. I've read more than one article from the 1950s and 1960 predicting what life would be like in 50 years, and although they got some of the technology right, they completely failed to predict the women's liberation movement, gays coming out of the closet, or the Cold War ever ending.

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