The Sanguine Subtle Shift To IndSteadavist
A lesson from Merlin on learning more
An IndSteadavist, per Stu, pursues a different story (narrative), because those stories often come through. That is, if different groups of intellectually honest people are looking at a situation and interpreting it differently, seeing different mechanisms at work driving the scene, then there’s probably something more to learn. If the different groups are not intellectually honest about their analyses, then there’s also probably something more to learn.
That is, the spectrum of the stories and the stories behind the stories, are a story themselves. Sometimes adding an alternative story brings out the elusive complexities that are at work in the standard stories and in the story tellers’ minds — according to Stu.
In the writing so far, we’ve often referred to Copernicus and the stories behind the “discovery” of our sun-centered solar system in spite of less mindful but passionately-defended impressions of appearances in the sky. It might seem easy to scoff at those who still thought the earth was at the center (the Ptolemaic Model) and dismissed Copernicus. But it’s only easy if you overlook important contextual factors of the time.
It actually wasn’t until the mid-1700’s that we began seeing hints of reliable direct evidence, by plotting distant background stars, that Copernicus was correct. Due to the lack of precision in telescopes until then, and the unexpected distance to the background stars, kind of a long story, the Copernican proposition was very reasonable conjecture, but not provable for over 200 years.
And there was plenty to suggest he was wrong, given what was known at the time. We don’t teach this, and the effects of that omission and others like it hurt our understanding of understanding. (I’ll bring Stu’s story about this back up in the near future if someone requests it.)
Regardless of the double lesson for us there, if Gen-X, Y, Z are going to leave a good legacy for the grandkids, many will probably need to pull a Copernicus and get off the Ptolemaic merry-go-round of the generations before them, in terms of understanding satisfaction, purpose, and politics. We now have the technologies for this subtle transition, unlike previous generations. Is there the will? That’s where I think we’re seeing the need for some new stories. Stu and Allie agree, and I am thankful.
But it’s not only the need for some different stories, different ways of seeing personal, social, global, and galactic dynamics. It’s also about recognizing the role of contexts from which those stories emerge. I’ve said context a lot in this project. (This is all kinda reminding me of my teaching days in fun ways that I’ll write about this weekend. Those kids… So fun.)
Contexts are sort of like soil, climate, and topography in agriculture. As I’ve mentioned recently, the French and other almost-as-fancy people call this terroir, and it’s a really good word. The context, the terroir in a way, makes some kinds of ideas more likely to sprout and grow than others, and with certain characteristics.
It’s not an absolutist thing, but an important probabilistic thing, like about everything. It’s not f(x) = y. And context isn’t the only thing, and it’s kind of vague, but it’s a big thing, so I keep bringing it up. Context. : )
Here’s a related funny coincidence that just happened. I just ran across a story where Merlin is said to have advised learning when we’re feeling defeated and beaten down. Of course, learning has other benefits for general perspective, besides just raising our spirits. I knew I wanted to mention this when I started writing to the email group last night. Then in The Brew this morning, they mentioned the current million-dollar winner on Jeopardy!, Amy Schneider, with 29 straight wins so far, and had this:
What’s her secret sauce? To be good at Jeopardy!, Schneider told the NYT, “You just have to live a life where you’re learning stuff all the time.” Probably good advice in general.
Of course, Jeopardy! is about the collection and retrieval of facts, which isn’t the same as seeing relevance and applications, but you can’t do one well without the other. So I think Merlin would be pleased, and I know Bug Stu is.
Okay, the poem. It’s a little different from the usual style. It seems a little less sing-song-y, especially as the lines get longer. It starts really broad, gets pretty local, then really broad again. Maybe I should talk more about it on Saturday when bring up some fond teaching memories. Hmmm. Maybe…There was a lot of bliss those days and I miss those days…and they grew up…something…something…ways. Or something.
I’ll work on it.
*Allie isn’t very happy about this image. Way too severe. She’s had a cuter makeover. We often look a little off in our old images : ).
Copernicus Was An IndSteadavist Too
We need some different stories,
at least…according to Bug Stu
and Allie, his Space-Owl ally,
from Star City…next to Purdue.
The two, with Allie way up in the sky,
were tantalized, taken, by our points of view.
Catalyzed, shaken, by our search for one why,
and our lurching and loathing in deciding what’s true.
Their story or stories about a 7th…Pie
are perspectives, not invectives, on the paths we could pursue.
It’s not strange to rearrange the old chants from on high
— recall Copernicus, like Stu, was an IndSteadavist, too.
Thanks for reading.