Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Outside of No Where

I've heard it said that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are those who believe that there are only two kinds of people in the world and those who believe there are more. The more I think about that statement the more the hardware between my ears starts to rattle and smoke. Meditation and contemplation be damned! There's just no reason for that kind of talk! : /

Or what about this phrase: "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." The way that someone defines what that means is one of the ways that an intelligent person is supposed to be able to find out whether another person is intelligent too. What I have never understood is why someone asking the tester the question, " Why is someone throwing stones inside of a house," makes a person less smart. It seems to me that if the person asking the question won't look at and explore the reasons for what the person taking the test may see as the inappropriateness of asking someone to explain the meaning behind what they see as an inappropriate metaphor (or at least one that the tester can't better explain) as a way to define someone's intelligence, how are they smart enough to judge the intelligence of the person taking the test?

Just because children have questions doesn't mean that adults have answers and no longer need to ask questions because now they're smarter. Sometimes it just means that adults who are now in a position of authority over children can get away with answering their questions with, "Because I said so." rather than being vulnerable enough to think and ask questions anymore. This is also not just something that happens between someone considered as an adult and someone who is considered a child. Many people in positions of authority use the same method of avoiding what isn't convenient for them. Such expediency demands too much of a price from everyone.

If all children learned the same things at the same times and in the same ways as all other children there would be little wrong with defining progress in a strict way. However, that doesn't happen. I, and many other adults, could define the time when we were seen as unable to learn as also being the time that many people gave up on teaching us. I can tell you that this does not always get better as someone gets older. Teachers are a terrible thing to waste.

I see the ways that the media depicts autistic children as being not present and unaware is a ruthless despicable act. Not understanding why children who appear this way are different can't be justified when so much of those children's positive future depends on people seeing them in a very different way. This also doesn't stop when many autistic children reach adulthood. Whether we will learn to communicate better by having our way better understood and accepted or whether we also learn more typical methods of communication as we get older, it is important that no one be seen as not present or aware.

The phrase, "Of course you are special, just like everyone else is" again doesn't factor in what kind of views are depicted in such a statement or the conclusion that the statement might suggest someone to draw. Therefore, the truth or validity of any part of the statement in any isolated situation can't be used to validate the statement without more of an explanation. There are typical standards and guidelines that have been made unreasonably strict, and we don't all fit into them.

If someone can better define the words they are saying and chooses not to what they say can be used as a form of manipulation. This method of deception is very harmful to everyone including the person that uses it and none of us can afford that.

The nature of who people are includes a mind and the soul beyond any description of a mechanical brain. Furthermore, a set of brains anywhere can't be seen and taught within an overly strict set of guidelines.

We all see things in different ways, we learn things in different ways, and the unique ways that we express ourselves are not only valid, but they are very important. Also, diversity is more than just something that is important to recognize. It must be accepted and promoted as what has been the essential means of our past and future survival and every aspect of truth (and that includes the ways it is more uniquely seen and described or those who take longer to describe it) needs to be recognized, respected, and explored by everyone for diversity to be honored.

4 Comments:

At 11:44 AM , Blogger Bev said...

Ed, this is a great post! Thank you. I love what you have to say about the "glass houses" story/test. Understanding metaphor and analogy has always been a strength for me. There was a time I thought this made me smart. Then I realized that the people who struggled with that sort of thing, but could solve complex equations or explain how electricity works thought those things made them smarter. Uh-oh. Time to re-evaluate.

Now we know that there is not just one thing called "intelligence" but a multitude of intelligences. Yet, often professionals and laypersons alike fall back on the false constructs. From there, the sorting into useful and non-useful categories begins, and from this follows all of our worst nightmares.

 
At 4:47 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Thanks Bev,

Yes, that's a good point.

Those professionals and laypersons who fall back on those false constructs seem to be promoting a standard that protects what they do best so it continues to be seen as being useful to society at the the expense of those with less recognized skills (and those with the most potential for acquiring those skills) being seen as being a part of non-useful category.

 
At 1:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed,

"if the person asking the question won't look at and explore... ...how are they smart enough to judge the intelligence of the person taking the test?"

:) I've wondered similar things. Like when a question in school truly has multiple correct answers, but teachers blindly count the uncommon answers wrong. How are they smart enough to be "teachers"?

I really enjoy your blog and videos, and the way you think and explain things through. I've thought alot of the same things, but have felt too overwhelmed to try to lay it out there. This makes me appreciate your effort all the more.

I don't comment much, because I don't know what else to say - so I'm just saying this note of appreciation so you know. Take care!

 
At 4:52 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Thanks Anonymus,

I appreciate this note. I hope you'll say more.

You don't have to know what to say on my blog or videos. "I saw this post and it didn't make me want to vomit" would be fine.:)

 

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