Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cats, Education, Physics and Charm

It's adventurous to go to an alien place in the search for simplification. An attempt to go to Zoroaster to find that alien place is less alien than perhaps Mars or Interpretive Dance, but it's far enough away to offer a person an insight into the enterprise of being human. And the point, if there is one, would be to see in us people a quality of something like charm that's worth preserving, always liked that Zoroaster might have been a shoe maker. I think it was Hegel who mentioned in a rather endless manner those relationships within the body which he called mind that enabled our being to live long and prosper. Education he might have claimed was solace around which morality adhered, but his wording was very, very different to mine. Hegel was a more positive teacher, his wording was more like "Education is the Art of Making us Ethical." Art is not Craft. There's songs about it, and those songs go back a bit to the time before plenty was threatened, a time when assumptions could be made with less fear of regress, or the circle, or incantations, those repetitions that are supposed to touch the unknown so it might look kindly down upon us and no wonder so few of us grasp something like Schrödinger's Cat when there's actually no need to this side of an examination hall.

 I remember long ago reading a story about a wealthy woman and her three children who lost a bread winner, fell into hard times and had to sell stuff. Their lot did not improve, but under no circumstances would she agree to her young, hard working daughter's suggestion that they should sell the silver knives and forks they never used, so they could buy coal for their winter. At the time I shared her daughters reaction. Silly old person, what difference would it make. Well I'm older now, and I wonder about things I might not once have thought about too much, it's a luxury certainly. But in a world where we don't truly know what's valuable this side of the banks and the bookkeepers, some things are worth keeping. Not sure there's any argument about that, but my own question, Does education help in deciding what to keep? The answer doesn't depend upon the many charm-less definitions of "education," it's more like Gandhi's "learn as though you were going to live for ever." I guess too, charm touches the emotions before it goes anywhere near the intellect, if there is such a beast. And the stranger thing is, if you can see both sides of a problem as two things in the same state, you're more arty than you are crafty, and you're bound to piss off somebody.

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