Friday, October 15, 2021

willing suspension of belief.

Religion is a confusing subject as it is based on what we believe or hope to believe or profess belief in. And in that realm we are welcomed to believe what we want, whether true or not, as that is proposed as our right.

It would be far better if we were able to suspend belief rather than disbelief and simply observe, learn to trust science as a process, develop critical thinking skills rather than being required by schooling and religion to suspend disbelief and to take on faith what we've been taught. 

In the schools which we've all endured, we've been planted in seats and measured by our compliance and complaisance. It's the same in church. And not having been encouraged to directly challenge what we've been taught, we fall into the trap of thinking that the reality we've chosen for ourselves is right and the others wrong, and then line up along factional lines against each other and in denial of science which has become overly complex to unskilled minds. And some people are willing to die or cause others they love to die to score marks on the other side.

In the early days of manual training in the US and around the world, Educational Sloyd as practiced in the Nordic countries and as introduced in the US in the 1880s noted the necessity of educating all, absolutely all, in the manual arts. The idea was that working with the hands, developed the mind and also the social fabric, as it helped people in the upper classes develop a greater sense of the value of the contributions to society made by others, regardless of class. Another value was that the manual arts being practiced in schools made schools active rather than passive. Passivity practiced in schooling was destructive of society at large and meant the death of critical thinking skills.

And so here we are now. A huge mess. Factions aligned against each other.

The knife was one of the introductory tools in educational sloyd. They idea was that it was the first tool a Swedish child would use, even before formal education began and every Swedish child knew how to use a knife safely. It was not regarded as a weapon to be used against others. It was a useful tool that gave the student power to shape, and observe. You cannot whittle a stick without making simple hypotheses as to how the edge of the knife will address the wood and how the grain of the stick will impact the result. And so from such humble observations the full powers of science gradually emerge.

We’re a very long ways from reforming education to make schools active rather than passive places. Education today is obsessed with classroom management because classes are too large for teachers to address the varied needs and interests of their kids. By having kids unnaturally forced to sit at desks when their whole bodies are itching to do real things causes them to rebel, not only by becoming disruptive but on the inside, meeting what they are taught with a sense of disdain. Without being granted the opportunity to test what they are being taught and measure it against the real world, lessons are just more crap that they are expected to believe, and even the science upon which all of modern life depends is met with derision and distrust.

Fortunately there is a real world out there. Stupidity will meet its own measure against the realities the world presents, so I find a bit of hope in that. But we could be making things easier for future generations by helping them to do real things in school, allowing them to measure what they've been taught against the realities of the real world that they've been trained to observe for themselves. 

I started out talking about belief, and it seems that folks are all challenged to believe something or are regarded as naked. And yet, to see and see well, without the blinders of belief to distort the reality we live within, would serve us best.

On the home front, I've been finalizing the reading list that will be added to my new book.

Make, fix and create...

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