Sunday, July 19, 2009

the hands and origin of intellect

Just in case anyone wonders about the source for human intelligence, I took a few photos this morning to visually portray the origins of our conceptual framework. At this point, I've done little but provide captions, but in the exploration of your own hands, you can help me fill in the blanks.

Cut. The foundation of analysis. Dividing, sorting one thing from another. this from that.

Assemble. The process through which two or more things are joined either physically or intellectually as in interrelated concepts.

Shape, mold, form.

Integration, the blending of concepts illustrating interrelationship.

Order and sequence. For a woodworker, order of operations. This is similar to counting, but relates to things to be done rather than the number of objects.

Counting. The origin of numbers. Is it any surprise that we have 10 fingers and a base 10 numerical system?

In case anyone has doubts about the role of the hands in creating our framework for intellectual understanding, I suggest that you examine your own hands. What happens when our hands are left out of the process of education? Disengagement, discouragement, disruption and alienation.


  1. Thanks for useful knowledge...Have a nice work.

  2. Dear Doug:
    I would like to send to You a text by Alfredo Bosi, 'Os Trabalhos da Mão" ( The Hand's Works, in a free translation).I know You don't read Portuguese at all. Do You have any friend who may do it for You ?
    I could send it by mail; I think it would be very interesting.
    Let me know. Henrique.

  3. Henrique, I would love to receive the book, but have no friends who speak Portuguese. I have been struggling to learn Swedish, and my middle aged mind doesn't learn as quickly as my hands. Are there pictures? What the hands can show are unbound by the problems of language.

  4. Dear Doug:
    Alfredo Bosi is a scholar at Universidade de São Paulo. His text have no pictures at all. It's a wonderfull piece of poetical prose where the author remind us the infinity of hand's capability.
    This text is part of his book 'O Ser e o Tempo da Poesia'( Poetry Time and Being, if I'm not wrong!).
    Perhaps a friend and I could translate it, just for fun, and send to You.

  5. Henrique, I would welcome anything you have time and interest to send, but I know how difficult translation can be... to get the feeling behind the words just right. You are very kind in making your proposal. Thank you!