Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Case for Working With Your Hands

Marvelous article, The Case for Working With Your Hands, by a young scholar who is now a motorcycle mechanic.

For me, at least, there is more real thinking going on in the bike shop than there was in the think tank.

I make my living as an engineer and can identify with some of this.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud

From an NYT editorial.

Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body, which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost an erotic quality, in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company. The words are not mere words. They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.

The only reading aloud I experience is the scripture reading at church and in Bible classes. It seems we are afraid to show depth of feeling when we do that. Its as if we are trying to set some kind of speed reading record.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Scientist's Postive Use of 'Postmodern Constructivism'

Robert Ulanowicz's view of postmodernism from page 10 of his introduction to A Third Window: Natural Life Beyond Newton and Darwin

He promises to write in the spirit of "postmodern constructivism". About which he says:

However, a relative few among the postmodernists are picking up elements from among the rubble left by deconstructionists and using them to build new ways of visualizing reality. Although narrative no longer requires that one abide by all the Enlightenment restrictions, neither should one forsake rationality in the process. Viewed in a poisitive light, the postmodern critique frees the investigator to search among classical, Enlightenment, and contemporary thought for concepts that can be woven into a coherent rational whole."

This book promises to be pretty good.

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