Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saving the Canaries

As I sat here today, contemplating the construction of a hay bale hogan, as well as several post-apocalyptic scenarios, I was struck by several thoughts. The first...that if man is forced to live underground in the post-nuclear apocalyptic world, then the canary might just be the most important thing to keep around. I mean, given the continued deterioration of human intuitive intellect, it might be a good idea to have the invisible-gas-detecting canary around. No sense heaping apocalypse on top of apocalypse (Yeah, I understand that it's not such a good deal for the canary). The second is a little more unusual. Given the value we place on time, it seems to me that we should finally get a grip on it. I'm ok with seeing time strictly as a perception, but since we all seem to perceive it, perhaps it really does possess some sort of physical form. Anyway, what really caught my attention was the thought, that if light and sound travel at vastly different speed, how can we really be sure that the lightning and the thunder don't happen at the same time. Anyway, that brings me to the point of this post.

I was helping Little Man with his vocabulary yesterday, and I realized that certain words held his interest while others didn't. And I think there is a valid reason for this. I did some soul searching and realized that for me, the time when I became excited by the word 'floccinaucinihilipilificaton' had already arrived, yet my excitement over 'esoteric' might never (to this day I resist using that word). I have been fortunate over the last several years to observe (albeit from a distance) the intellectual and emotional growth patterns of kids with super high IQs. The simple fact is that the specific elements, within the broad spectrum of human development, evolve asynchronously. This might appear as an ability to conceptualize higher order calculus before they can add and subtract; or perhaps, in a more illustrative example, while they may fully understand human sexual conduct as toddlers, in their mid-teen years, when they might set about exploring, they are highly resistant of learning to drive, thereby denying themselves the possibility of enjoying their first blowjob in the privacy of their mother's van (their mother's sexual behavior in vans is a subject for an entirely different post). It may be true that on an intellectual level, these profoundly-gifted kids reside well outside the bell curve of measurable intellect, but it is also true that throughout human history we have examined the extreme to understand the median. It is in this vein that I have arrived at my recent epiphany; that all learning is asynchronous. A.S. Neill and Summerhill aside, we have continued to insist that our children who sit under the mushroom cap learn the same things at the same time. It could certainly be argued that AE possessed an intellect far outside the curve, but it can also be reasonably argued the The General Theory of Relativity was posited by an impoverished, womanizing patent clerk. Asynchronicity in a nutshell.

Which brings me to quantum physics. While it is true that there are several aspects, several quanta, that we have not as yet verified, there remain a significant number of theorists that believe that upcoming experiments at the Cern super collider will bring the Higgs to light. While there is much mathematical support for this belief, it still must be viewed as a leap of faith and intuition. And it is this very thing that we deny our children. Education has eradicated both the leap of faith and intuition. The world of academia reinforces this. The current trends in both primary and secondary education emphasize what we already believe we know, at the cost of ignoring what we don't know, and higher education, for the most part, proceeds forward in the delusion that what comes next will come from what we believe is. There is a world where one plus one does not equal two. There is a world where music is not based on the western chromatic scale. There is a world where one can make sense of a Jackson Pollock painting. There is a world where dance reveals wisdom. Indeed, there is a world where' q's are not followed by 'u's. I, for one, don't give a flying fuck if my son knows when the Magna Carta was signed. I would rather that he intuit that the path from the Code of Hammurabi led us straight to the bible which led us straight to the broken legal system we have today, where personal accountablilty means absolutely nothing. I would rather he see a world where an 'eye for an eye' is outdated; or more to the point, I would rather he see his world, which looks nothing like mine; a world that is not created from the rigidity of my knowledge; a world that is not restricted, not bound by the chains of my future, but rather set free with the unforeseen possibilities of his. It is time to teach them that being wrong carries no shame; that the wrong we burden them with is our wrong, not theirs; that the shame we force upon them is founded in our inability to consider that they may be right.

Perhaps it truly is time to let the canary go, and inhale the toxic fumes of our own inertia. Perhaps it is time to try to remember that we have been wrong before, will be wrong again, and that the truth is much simpler than we paint it. If there is a paradise to come, it will not come from god. It will not come from us. It will arrive on the wings of angels, our children, if we let them fly, ungrounded in our haughtiness and arrogance. We need to let them fly free, that they might see what we cannot, soaring in the realm of unencumbered imagination. There is no such thing as gravity.


Gail said...

Even without words we teach. By example of how we live our life as men, women,son and daughter, husband, wife, neighbor, friend, our music and book choices, food we enjoy, drinking, smoking or not, our tone, what we laugh at or don't, who is in our world, how we react in times of trouble and or joy, how we celebrate, and on and on.our kids are like sponges and they absorb "us".......until they are old enough to "squeeze us out", and they will hold on to those parts of us they believe are of importance in their life as they forge on and start to moisten and fill the people in their lives that just by nature of the relationship seek their influence.and so it goes.


PENolan said...

Nicely stated, bartender.
And I don't like the word esoteric either.

paul said...

Oh, Great Triad! Education has always eradicated leaps of faith and intuition. Great thinkers, artists, and assholes are those that overcome their education. That's what makes them geniuses.

Also, esoteric isn't such a bad word when you combine it with osterich.