Friday, 9 April 2010

Abstract ideas and flexible thinking

"The idea that a truly objective, entirely scientific and factual history can exist is an Enlightenment ideal that most would now recognise belongs to an unattainable fantasy of disinterested objectivity. On the other are the thoroughgoing post-modernists, such as Keith Jenkins, who holds that history is a personal and ideological story as much about the present as the past."  Clayboy

In 1986 I wrote my first essay for the Open University, the title of which was, "Science is the objective pursuit of truth. Discuss"

A couple of years later I attended a mathematics lecture which opened with the words, "I am going to show you that two plus two does not equal four and there is no such thing as a straight line."

In a world of uncertainty that requires flexibility and the ability to link abstract ideas, it is no wonder that some people find refuge in those things they can measure and weigh, in 'repeatable' experiments and in linear thinking. 

My challenge is to find ways to make is safe to think playfully, and experience the dance of the real - and much larger - world, not simply to learn the formulas of which some parts are made.

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