First, more succulents!
and clouds building up on the horizon.
The bottom line reason for this blog is to encourage people to explore their world in person - away from book, TV and computer - or in addition to book, TV, and computer. Why would I think that this is important?
Lifelong learning is a way to really connect with your world - a way to actually be a part of it all. So many of us don't even know our neighbors, much less the institutions that support us, tools that we can use to enrich our lives, and the "wilderness" that surrounds us.
I've begun writing another manual for DANSYS, this one suggesting ways that DANSYS can be used by students in school and outside of school. (If you're curious, it's at http://www.theriantimeline.com/DANSYSStudents.ods ). In it, I bring up Bloom's Taxonomy of learning. The Bloom's Taxonomy is a classification of the kinds of things that go into complete learning of a subject. It is intended as a way to construct learning objectives. There are three parts: the cognitive domain, affective domain, and psychomotor domain. It's as if people associate "learning" with only the first domain (and, indeed, I think only the first domain was ever published in book form.) But the intention was that all learning involves mind, emotions, and skills.
I will use a rather inflammatory example. My emotional opinion is that it was a terrible thing that the United States did to Japanese American citizens during World War II by confiscating their belongings and placing them in concentration camps. But there are many World War II veterans that think it was perfectly reasonable. Is this an emotionally loaded issue? You'd better believe it - on both sides. Can you possibly learn about it by watching documentaries? I don't think so - you have to get out of your house, talk to the people who were involved to understand their sides of the story, go and see the camps, or at least exhibits explaining what happened, immerse yourself in the facts.
Even simple mathematics - can you really learn how to multiply without getting a pen and paper and actually scrawling some multiplication exercises out on paper? In fact, all learning involves thinking, feeling, and doing.
Why do some people think that the solution to their life problems involves taking other peoples' lives? One answer is that they never learned better alternatives for dealing with their life problems. Why do people think that learning is a chore? Part of the answer is that they never experienced the true joy of learning in the sterile learning environments provided by schools, and, worse, they were tormented by boring teaching during a very impressionable age.
A car enthusiast will diligently read the manual of a new car. But the same person will apparently relegate the care and operation of their body to someone else - a doctor or (shiver) a life coach. What's more important to understand - car or body?
I believe that the world is our home and to live to our fullest, we need to know how to use the "equipment" that is made available to us.