Freedom of Choice

As if the cutting-edge special effects and thespian excellence weren't enough, Devo ushered in the 1980's with rather high expectations of their listening audience. It wasn't enough for us to merely whip it - we were expected to whip it good. On the title track of the same album, they scolded us for demanding "freedom of choice," while in the same breath accusing us of not even wanting it - not really.

We were still getting over disco and they hit us with this philosophical barrage? No wonder they couldn't get no satisfaction.

Freedom, Choice, and Culpability

Freedom is a terrifying thing. There’s great comfort in structure – even confinement. I’ve seen this dramatically demonstrated in recent weeks as I’ve watched students navigate my decision to give them greater leeway in what they research, how they demonstrate it, and how they wish to be assessed. Some have flourished with the sudden reduction in boundaries; many have been hindered by too much freedom with too little scaffolding, given too suddenly.

And that’s the academic version – the relatively easy one to fathom, and to fix. Trickier are historical, social-political happenings. You know – the “real world” stuff.