6. TEACHING COMES AFTER LEARNING - John Wawrzonek

Teaching Comes After Learning

Michael Bloombergs words are typical of many scientists (and of my own for that matter. The sky may be falling, the weather is surly setting records and becoming deadly. Politics is destroying the UNITED states. But worst of all thinking and especially thinking clearly with a firm concept of what LIFE is (or should be) is missing.

Civilization forms a long secquency of arcs, from the Grand Singularity that began it all and the unbelievable evolution that created us. However, we don't know why nor do we know how. God did it of course, but God is just the name of a cause. It may lead to a book and teachers but it is a name, not a cause. It took me some time to realize that the question :"Do you believe in god" is not a question. It is the name of a desire. There is no cause behind god, so I cannot answer it.

If you ask me "what is gravity?" I can tell you "it is a scaler field, meadited by the Higgs Boson, which in turn is predicted by the standard model. Which in turns leads me to an infinity of knowledge.

So what should we be teaching? We should be teaching questions to which we do not know the answer so that the next generation has a most interesting job to do. We should also be teaching what we have learned about Life so far, the beauty and tragedy of it, the concept of sentience and consciousness, the basic workings of mind. But above all I think the fine arts.

Why? The best learning and teaching we can do is that that drills to the deepest part of our knowledge which is the only place we can step from for more knowledge, a broaders and deeper view of woman and man and god.

I would wager there are few readers who have experienced the joy of hearing a Mozart or Brahms string quartet played by musicians ten feet from me in perfect accoustics.

Now the sine quo non is that I have learned to listen, which may have taken decades. But then follows something we might not think about in listening to a quartet: four musicians because this quartet was larger than four. There were, in addition, a composer, the composer's teacher, the teachers of the musicians, the instrument makers, and so forth. The point is that the music is not a trivial on the spot creation but the sum of many lives work.

The concert began with the mozart, a single not of the four intruments playing in unison, and lasting several seonds. I literally thought I had gone to heaven. Where I had gone to was a union of human beings, with one purpose in mind and that was to do justice to Mozart. And they did. And they taught me a great deal.

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