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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance [A matter of perspective]



Hi David,

I am trying to work through your email in clusters of thinking. That is, my thinking and what has resonated with me from your email, and as is the case there is a lot tolling of bells that comes from reading your emails and makes the reading enjoyable, so thanks!

One of the aspects that I'm trying to throw light on is just that, that there are aspects to causality. I'm not sure how this lines up with the Santa Fe Institute's notion of common sense. There may be a connection, but that rendering of common sense didn't make that much sense to me. :(   Hindsight doesn't seem to be the means by which we live. Although I suppose it can help in scenarios of practice, but not as a way of explanation since there's always a chance of something happening differently than before, given unperceivable causes.

I do not mean to say that _objectively_ it is the case that kids like kimchi because it is delicious, in that case it would be exactly what you say in terms of a tautology. It isn't an objective statement of causality, because you may dislike kimchi which tears the argument of causality apart. 

("Agnate" is a word that I do not understand as you have used it, so if you don't mind saying it differently I might see more clearly what you mean.)

That means what I'm referring to is in reference to the child from how she sees kimchi, without the ability to see how it is for others. In the child's development, can we say that the causality can only be self-referential, with regard to embodied experience, in so far as the child's body, language, and sense of self are developed?

What I think happens in education (in the US anyhow) is that there is such a focus upon objectivity without connection to a child's own subjectivity, that all the child learns are rules, rewards, testing, and punishment, rather than how that objectivity is related to herself and to her own experience. 

I am intuiting (or maybe I'm opining, I do not know), that this is what makes the difference between good teaching and bad teaching and separates good teachers from bad teachers, but not bad students from good students, because all bad students have experiences of themselves just like good students, it's just no one told them that it matters for anything, i.e., they are not important, their perspectives are not important, they just have to do as they are told because someone else says so. This negation of self and one's experience of self seems a perfect recipe for creating our worst criminals, not happy citizens participating in society meaningfully with others.

This came to high relief for me when recently I watched a documentary on solitary confinement in a Maine prison. It was the most awful thing to watch, because no one was valuing anything about the experience of the inmates, at some point punishment is no longer punishment but just unimaginable cruelty.

It seems common sense to make these connections, and I know most people can do that, and yet how is it we are able to treat people so "objectively?"

Kind regards,

Annalisa