Sunday, March 2, 2014

With a Strange Device*

With Bottom's Syndrome reaching epidemic proportions among the New Zealand teaching profession, and head-first transformations into donkeys becoming a daily event, it was time for prompt decisive steps from Riddled Research Laboratory. Or perhaps the teachers are just dressing as donkeys, succumbing to a combination of furrydom and embarrassment at the low public esteem to which the profession has sunk. To find out which would require effort on our part.

Right: Self-portrait of the blogger about to turn
a Muybridge photo sequence into an animated GIF

Our immediate thought was to revive the educational method of "random sensory bombardment".** This was big in the 1960s and 1970s as a substitute for the Interlattice. As well as obviating the need for a teaching staff, its advantages over the old-fashioned pedagogy of 'explanation' and 'memorising' do not need to be spelled out (which is just as well because KIDS THESE DAYS can't spell for damnit).

Above is designer Ken Isaacs inside his Knowledge Box, a 1962 invention meant to educate students through "a rapid procession of thoughts and ideas projected on walls, ceilings and floor in a panoply of pictures, words and light patterns."

However, the Riddled legal mavens Trahison and Clerisy (Solicitors and Commissioners for Oaths) have informed us that the original 1953 patent for accelerated random-visual-overload appears to be iron-cast, and is enforced with Merovingian ferocity by the executors of Charles Harness' literary estate.

They went on to inform us that a "maven" is the smallest member of the Corvidae, restricted to Southern Europe; or else a short stabbing spear used by the Tuaregs of Saharan Africa. I am not sure how much retainer we are paying Messrs Trahison & Clerisy but they are clearly worth every bitcoin.

A loophole does exist in Harness' patent, however, in that it only covers visual stimulation. We are free to contract to the Ministry of Education, with our expertise in accelerated learning through random tactile overload.
The new Riddled Tactile Over-Stimulation Devices are now available in the Gift-Shop as a new addition to our range of attractively-priced merchandise.

* The original title for this post was originally to have been "One great blooming, buzzing confusion", but focus groups found that it led 73% of readers to expect another of Another Kiwi's gardening reports.

** Spontaneous explosions among particularly lethargic viewers -- their nervous systems overloaded by the rapid succession of imagery -- are a very rare side-effect.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

This is all splendid news, and just in time. Alison needs your help.

Smut Clyde said...

Alison has not always found my suggestions and advice to be entirely helpful.

Trevor said...

Why am I not surprised by this?