Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blind Man's Bluff

Blind man's bluff

A game, in which a blindfolded player tries to catch others.

Blind man's bluff has been one of the most popular of children's games for centuries. In the most commonly known version one player is blindfolded (or hooded in some countries) and, after being turned around a few times for disorientation, has to catch one of the others. The blindfolded player is usually taunted, struck and poked with sticks, for the general amusement.

There are records of a variation of it being played in pre-Christian Greece and almost every country has a form of it. In Europe alone we find:
Italy - Mosca cieca (blind fly).
Germany - Blindekuh (blind cow)
Sweden - Blindbock (blind buck)
Spain - Gallina ciega (blind hen)
France - Colin-maillard (a name deriving from Jean Colin-Maillard, a warrior who had his eyes gouged out during a battle, but continued to fight, striking at random around him)
Gotta love the French.

So, what does any of this have to do with technology you say? These blogs are always about technology - so where is the technology connection?

Blind man’s bluff (in all of its forms) was entertaining because it highlighted that those who had “the knowledge” were the chosen ones. Those who found themselves “under the hood” were at an information disadvantage. It is their struggle while suffering with this lack of knowledge and information that has made the game entertaining for hundreds of years.

The empowered vs. the weak. The haves vs. the have-nots. The classic underdog struggle. This imbalance of those who have the knowledge vs. those who are information blind is what makes Blind Man’s Bluff a game.

Classic higher education always favored those who could afford to pay for it. Knowledge is power, and those with the power typically rule the powerless. Years ago, if you grew up in a country that supported free libraries, you would have a great advantage. Today, if you grow up having easy access to high speed Internet, you would have a significant advantage to those without.

Technology changes everything. What are the hot topics of the day? Mobility. Cloud. Distance Learning. eBooks. MOOCS may change the world of higher education forever, or they may become a passing fad. But one thing's for sure: immediate and unfettered access to knowledge and critical information will continue to be recognized as something to be coveted.

In the game of life, it is more fun to be the one without the blindfold or hood. Unless you enjoy being taunted, struck and poked with sticks, for the general amusement.

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