As time passes, and this course draws to a close, a big and ominous threat looms in the distance. The final project. So far this course has been a rewarding experience, however, it is also a bastion of big dreams, with short execution times.
I have gone through this course developing a variety of ideas, and more so, reexploring old haunts of thought. I value the opportunities presented, but also have struggled to always meet those ambitions.
For the final project, I hoped to make a creative assignment. Predominantly, the emphasis would be an exploration on thought, especially the idea of thought fractalizations. In the past, I have spent a lot of time day dreaming over the potential veracities of types of AI. I thought some of these ideas would be interesting to explore in the coming days. Especially, if they lead to a new organization for our concepts of teaching, learning, creativity, innovation, and more so … intelligence.
It occurs to me that this whole conversation can be distilled even further. Perhaps to the lauded phrases of intelligence, or even more grandly, basely, and therefore more meaningfully, understanding.
What is understanding? Understanding is a causal framework for perception that defines the world around us. A primary element of this function would be the self vs the other, internal vs external, before that, need vs want, and possibly even before that, stasis vs dynamism. While that was a dense paragraph, that I anticipate will be read by very few, it does get a to a crux of my thinking. As the Tao evolves from a single source to a binary, so too does this organization outline. However, I also find myself drawn to what Freud briefly alluded to as “the original reality ego,” being the undifferentiated perception of life in its first moments of elemental cathexis.
Perhaps expanded, one could consider a sentient version being that of Pointland in Edwin A. Abbot’s Flatland. A narcissistic point incapable of perceiving any but its own self.
From here arises a contrast that serves to define later conceptions. Lacan points out in his essay “Logical Time and the Assertion of Anticipated Certainty,” that consciousness is derived from time. As in my philosophy of teaching, wherein I describe a rainbow bereft of contrast as lacking all splendor, so too can be conceived of thoughts which exist in connection, contrast, and often too, retaliation of one another.
When exploring the development of a psychology, we need to simultaneously hold two perspectives that bifurcate and coincide. That of the individual vs that of society. When holding both together, and simultaneously, we can start to perceive of the individual as an element within an organism. In fact, one could argue that social zeitgeist and the whims of the crowd represent an organic composed of diverse and bifurcating perspectives, of decay, disarray, but also of growth, a viney, fractal thing that spreads and separates, and grows ever bigger and more diverse. Atrophied appendages fall while others grow stronger. Again a strange metaphor derived from the stream-of-conscious emphasis of a tired, and exasperated mind.
As can likely be told to this point, my ideas do stretch on and on and without great focus. I’m hoping that the final project can act as a prototype for future explorations of thought, learning, and understanding.
Which brings us, roundaboutly, back to our topic. Understanding. If, as previously emphasized, understanding is developed through a sharing that is perpetuated upon the mechanisms of teaching and learning, that furthermore, the radical kaleidoscope of sensory flashes which make up our experiences, are transmuted into a causal relationship that is tested and verified (in itself a mechanism of teaching and learning with the natural inanimate/animate – as we test our hypotheses, see the result, and end up adjusting or reinforcing our understandings) … what greater creativity can there possibly be?
Even this language, “are you sure, dear reader, that these words you perceive hold for you, the same meaning they bear for me?” From past experience, I am positive that this is not even true for myself tomorrow, or another day when a bother to read this (if ever … for all the filled notebooks on my shelf that I have never given a second glance).
Synthesized, our understanding is dynamically generated in reference to our experiences, mood, trains of thought and general experiences at the time. We creatively parse the media before us to generate a new conception of what the world is and what it could be.
With time, our understanding grows, new depths are uncovered, sometimes gradually, and sometimes with spontaneity. These new understandings form new trenches for a cerebral juices to flow. The canals of innovation that mark and guide the rivers of our creativity to belabor strained metaphors like this.
While this hardly brings us to a closer definition of what is and what could be the … final project (shudder), it serves as… if nothing else, a rambled stream of consciousness that outlines the core concepts I have championed for the final project. Secondly, it fills the tired purpose of being a necessary blog post, but it is far more than that.
Expression is a way to dissipate the energy and confusion of internalized experience. When we act, when we see, when we imagine the world, and when we be… all this leaves an imprint on us. Some release it through activity, movement and excitement, but for us sedentary few, what else is there to do? We must find a new method for release, words, like these, serve me.
If you made it this far… wow! I hope it wasn’t an exhausting, rambling and disjointed waste of your time.