Lately I am a man obsessed. As others are obsessed by numerology, the year 2012, or the birth certificate of President-elect Obama, I am obsessed by the Rule of Least Power and how succinctly it explains why I have never found the right place for a textbook — any textbook — in my math classroom.
Whenever my mind starts to spin down for sleep, it wanders to this computer programming axiom and everything becomes hypnotizing and clear. In this waking dream, I see a spider’s web connecting disparate artifacts:
- my textbook;
- The Wire, Friday Night Lights, The Shield, and 24;
- What Can You Do With This?
- the Muji Chronotebook;
- and the Rule of Least Power, most crucially:
Use the least powerful language suitable for expressing information, constraints or programs on the World Wide Web. — W3, The Rule of Least Power.
And then I’m inches from some grand unification theory of curriculum design. It’s close. It’s killing me. If I could find seven contiguous hours, I might fully articulate the network and I’d finally have an operational theory, an operational aesthetic, really, putting only a few miles between me and dy/dan: algebra, volume one.