Saturday, January 3, 2015


The 4 cornerstones of learning

Ideas                                    Information

Falsification/                   Willingness
Experimentation            to admit

The most important truths are the ones you learn after being sure that you know it all.
I have been thinking about this for a long time.  Several years ago, (? 1957 +/-?) as I was  beginning my junior year in college, one of the subjects was "Introduction to Philosophy."  The main topic for the first quarter was the apologetic of philosophy as a science.  As I remember it, I was mesmerized by the discipline of the definitions that were proposed to us.  The tight-knit reasoning was fascinating to me.  It was one of the most gratifying semesters of instruction that I remember having in my life.
It still lives with me.  In fact, I have to admit that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the tight knit reasoning part of what it is that I admire so much.  
Every now and then when I have nothing better to do, I go back in time and read some of the gibberish that I have written on these and other pages.  Boy, some of it is really bad.  I ask myself, "Why aren't you ashamed of this stuff?  You'd better write an apology for the stercus that you put out to your friend and family.  So today I want to give you a look at what makes me tick with regards to learning and to sharing what it is that I know, and that which I am convinced that I know

I can't complain about IDEAS.  Of those I have a good store and they are generally fairly close to the surface.  The part that really gets to me is the tail-swishing loose logic that creeps into the piece.  I say to myself, "How do you expect anyone to make the connection between A & B in that last paragraph?  Do you expect them to have read your brain between the lines?"  I scold myself a lot about that.

INFORMATION  and outformation are friends of mine.  I am also tight with this sweet, well put together street-walker, MISS INFORMATION.  Do not ask me why I am so attracted to that chick.  I look at some stuff and I say, "You can't send that to the world." I no sooner get the thought done that I hear her say, "Don't be stupid, they'll think it's a joke."  Sometimes I let it go because of her intimate approach and then as I get a few lines down, I notice that the logic has slithered away in the oily regions of Miss Information's sinfully slinky wiles.  So, I have to go back and see what I can do to rectify the consequences of my dalliance.  You know, for a guy who knows something about Adam and Eve and original sin and all, the one thing that I have come to in my life is a deep appreciation of why Adam bit into the apple.  My close working relationship with the serpentine Miss Information has been an invaluable learning experience...on-going, I might add.

FALSIFICATION/EXPERIMENTATION are nothing but life experience.  It's like I mentioned in my previous post about learning something.  Sheesh, that's easy.  Just look out the kitchen window.  Or, in the case of the average church going pew-sitter, sit there and actually listen to what is being read.  Lately, I see more and more people following along on their smart phones so that they don't have to struggle with the cheap sound system that was donated by the tax dodger and installed by the free-bee volunteer student from the vocational school.  The "falsification/experimentation" part of learning means that the learner has to invest some effort into the process.  I love it when the "I have to learn more about the Bible" crowd says that incessantly and then never, but NEVER shows up for the Bible study and never, but NEVER studies the Bible readings from the Sunday Mass.  That, my brothers and sisters, is all FALSIFICATION and zero EXPERIMENTATION.  Under those conditions,my dear, you ain't gonna learn nothin'!

Finally, to learn anything a person has to be READY AND WILLING TO CHANGE VIEWS. Let me give you an example.  If you are not willing to believe that Leif Ericson was fishing off the coast of North America some 1,000 years ahead of when Columbus came aground in what is now Latin America, you will always "know" that Columbus "discovered" America.  
Now, let me go back to the slinky, serpentine one who is telling me, and rightfully so this time, that I am not 100% pure in the "willingness to be wrong" department.  She does have some things right.  That's what makes our relationship so insidious.  So, yes, I do have a hard head and even though I know that learning must include that essential element of willingness to admit to being in error, I admit that the warm, soothing embrace of Miss Information is sometimes too comfortable to wiggle out of.
So, I don't know everything.  But, because Miss Information has me well ensnared in the comfort of her generous bosom, I am surely not going to disclose to you what it is that you might be able to teach me..."No sireee, no, no, no not me" as the song goes.

So,at my age I am comfortable with what I know, and equally as comfortable with what I think I know, and indifferent to what it is that I flat-out do not know.  I also can say that I am going to my grave happy as a clam.  I tell you that, so that you will realize that I speak the truth when I tell you, "Do not Cry at my Funeral."

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