Saturday, November 13, 2004

Of Truth, Imagination, and Recontextualization

True principles are true principles, regardless of the context. However, recontextualizing them happens to be a good way to identify just how true they are. If they continue to function in context after context after context, you can generally bank on their veracity. Unfortunately, most people prefer that the clouds be white in a sky that is blue with a moon that is always yellow (even though, if they really stopped to look, they'd find that even in the world they define as "pure reality" clouds are just as often orange in a sky that is purple, with a moon that is light blue). It never occurs to most people to even try to cross-apply principles from one context to a seemingly unrelated one. After all, it takes a LOT of imagination to see how something like quantum physics could apply to human relationships or how the mathematics of chaos theory could apply to children's learning. Most people don't even know how to "imagine" on paper what is concretely displayed before them year after year, much less to make those kinds of conceptual leaps!

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