Killing People with Bronze Axes

Bronze Age Orientation

The “lessons” in the video are funny because they’re true (I think I’m quoting Homer Simpson)-

  • don’t be a pompous ass (period, but especially not when advocating for a major change)

    positive version – Be humble. You don’t know everything and your way is not the only way.

  • don’t make change a threat or tie it to a threat (the tribes with the bronze axes will kill you, the kids won’t learn etc.)

    positive version – Tie the change to positive outcomes for those involved. Focus on how it will improve their life. Why is it worthwhile for them?

  • don’t put down the old ways (and then they’ll throw away your stone axes because they’re rubbish)

    positive version – Honor the past*. Even if you hate the old way, insulting it will tend to increase resistance to change. In education, the focus should be on adding tools and exploring options rather than in taking them away. The bronze shoes and window are also pretty similar to the “must use twitter based podcasts wikis” in class mentality too often seen in EduBlogosphere Land. Tools are tools and each has its place.

This video shows the hypothetical meeting held to discuss changing from stone age technology to bronze age technology.

You’ve got the reluctance you normally see (funny but done in lots of things) but you also see something of the pomposity and threat possible in the “change agent.” It’s easy to end up seeming/being** pompous when you believe your way is clearly superior and you want others to adopt it.

via Merlin Mann on Mac Break Weekly although not suggested as being in any way educational





*honoring the past does not apply to crazy things like the Nazi party, cult membership etc.


**There is a difference – seeming pompous means you’ll still listen to others despite coming across as a know-it-all, being pompous means you won’t listen because in your heart you do believe you know it all. There’s a fine line between advocating for something and becoming a zealot.

Comments on this post

  1. Jim Groom said on April 23, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    WHy is everyone so down o zealots. We’re people too, and we have feelings, ya know );

  2. Bryan said on May 9, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    The laugh track is a great touch– reminds me of The Flintstones. Also, I’m gonna have to use the word “zeitgeisty” in a sentence sometime soon.

    I’m not a teacher myself, so I’d probably not have found your awesome site if I weren’t tooling about these internets doing outreach for the International Science and Engineering Fair, which is next week in Atlanta.

    There’s going to be a lot of amazing experiments there, even some inventions. My favorite is a Brazilian kid who took discarded washing machine parts to make an industrial bread maker for community kitchens.

    No word yet on the bronze windows.