Wow! The facilitator’s session was extraordinary. It was rich in content and interaction between facilitator(s) and participant(s). But let me quickly explain my absence in order to avoid the charge of hypocritical behaviour, namely, announcing loudly to the world that I would “be there come hell or high water”, and then being conspicuously absent.
The time reference of the Elluminate session I use is New York time. That works out to 2 PM for me in Chile, while I’m at work. So the challenge I’m facing is how to participate, while I’m at work. I’m looking at several options at the moment, but none of which are very promising, to be honest.
What I’m looking forward to is going on vacation at the end of the month, which will free me up for a 2 week period. That guarantees my presence for 2 consecutive weeks, and after that, I seriously have to accept that my best option is one that I’m currently using, namely, listening to the recorded session(s), and reading the blog posts of course participants who I’ve found to be very helpful for my interests.
Without wishing to call undue attention to anyone, Id like to thank Tracy Parish @hamtra for the incredibly thorough work she’s doing on her blog in relation to the course. I listened to the recorded facilitator’s session (57 minutes), taking notes, and then compared my notes with hers. They were almost a mirror image of one another.
So, I quickly found Tracy on Linkedin and was accepted by her into her network of professional contacts. Also, I’ve got a direct link to her on my blog page. Simply put, we seem to be thinking similar thoughts as we listen to the sessions.
I would contend that our interests seem to be going in the same direction, although we have different career fields. There is one possibility that my background as a nurse might be somehow converging with her work in the medical field, where she is quite active. So, thank you Tracy, and best of luck as you continue in the course.
Now, what is the most significant takeaway for me from this session?
I loved the question: “Explain it to me like I’m an 8-year-old”.
Stephen admirably rose to the occasion, and gave the following analogy:
Stephen: (paraphrased) You are 8 years old. You learn from your friends. Do you accept everything they tell you as the truth, as being 100% correct? No! You know that would be foolish, and possibly get you in a lot of trouble. So, what do you do? You check things out for yourself. Then you share what you’ve learned with your friends. (End of paraphrase).
George passed on this one, preferring to give it a bit of thought, and revisit the “8-year-old explanation” at a later opportunity. I am intrigued by what he will come up with after giving it some deep thought.
There are two issues at stake here, in my opinion. Here they are:
1. If the common man, in his infinite need for practical application of knowledge, can not understand what you’re talking about due to jargon and dense complexity of the terminology used, then public acceptance will likely be slow in coming, regardless of how true you might be in your assertions, discoveries, etc.
2. Once you mistakenly believe something, and begin to integrate it into your life, its power (here I quote George) “is largely defined by how well you have managed to integrate it into your life”. (End of Quote)
And now, let me present you with the “poster-child case” for George’s statement about integration of knowledge into your life in a holistic manner, Galileo Galilei.
Example: The planets revolve around the Earth, a geocentric theory. How long did it take man-kind to reject the notion of the planets revolving around the Earth, and accept a sun-centered, heliocentric theory? Let’s revisit that, to emphasize this point.
In 1543, Copernicus published his account of a heliocentric theory (published in “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium”). This contradicted the beliefs of the scientific scholars and theologians of the day, not to mention the Bible itself. The theory was attacked vehemently, and the ruling paradigm of the day triumphed.
Along comes Galileo, now equipped with a telescope, and in 1610, he publishes his observations, which support Copernicus. In 1633, Galileo is put on trial, and found guilty of heresy. He is confined to house-arrest for the rest of his days, that is to say, he died in confinement, a prisoner.
Now, when was he finally, officially vindicated?
(Quote) ” On February 15, 1990, in a speech delivered at La Sapienza University in Rome, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, cited some current views on the Galileo affair as forming what he called “a symptomatic case that illustrates the extent to which modernity’s doubts about itself have grown today in science and technology.”
As evidence, he presented the views of a few prominent philosophers including Ernst Bloch and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, as well as Paul Feyerabend, whom he quoted as saying:
The Church at the time of Galileo kept much more closely to reason than did Galileo himself, and she took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s teaching too. Her verdict against Galileo was rational and just, and the revision of this verdict can be justified only on the grounds of what is politically opportune.
Ratzinger did not indicate whether he agreed or disagreed with Feyerabend’s assertions, but he did say “It would be foolish to construct an impulsive apologetic on the basis of such views.”
In 1992, it was reported in the news that the Catholic Church had turned around towards vindicating Galileo:
Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture….
—Pope John Paul II, L’Osservatore Romano N. 44 (1264) – November 4, 1992
In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by some Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Catholic Church’s history, including the trial of Galileo among others.” (End of Quote) (Source: Wikipedia: The Galileo Affair)
To conclude, I would say that an 8-year old child would be well advised to interact with “knowledge” in the way described by Stephen above…