TED Conversations

Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development


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Revolution in education

TED is a lively site, sometimes very annoying but once in a while is encouraging. You might feel that someone is awake out there struggling to understand why our society is so mad, and why is it so sure about its "knowledge". Well, I always felt in schools that I was TRAINED to follow conventions and my mind was somewhat TAMED. However, what makes my mind alive to this day is that I have always questioned what I have been told. There is nothing more exciting than having your own experience and chasing for your own answers...

(Since I was in my elementary school I was convinced that there was no way that the very same identical unit 1 could create a group of 2 or 3 etc it would remain the very same 1 no matter how many times we tried to calculate it. In order to make some group of units they MUST be somehow different. A 1000 solders would never be a 1000 until they would be all different and each of them would be unique. My teachers were mentally stoned when I was asking questions like that. There is no explanation in any scientific book for how sciences "think", not even B. Russel could understand the psychology of math, while not just myself but many small children do not need to become trained mathematicians or philosophers to feel that math is a very illogical, very corrupted tricky game. No way, I thought, that math could make up any foundation for "exact" sciences! There are no exact sciences ever possible.)


Closing Statement from Vera Nova

Our vast, contemporary systems force us to squeeze our feet into a pair of one-size-fits-all shoes, and our minds into conventional thinking. We do NOT TEACH young minds in schools to experience life, but we TRAIN them to serve our gigantic arftifocial systems that do not serve any real individual, but an imaginable collective prototype.

We fight for our own point of view forgetting that every creature has its own truths stemming from its unique existence, and perception of that existence. In this age of rapid communication, we can reach one another almost instantly, anywhere in the world. But for all that, we do not understand each other any better than millennia ago.

While encouraging our personal creative abilities, we still need to learn the basic principals of communicating with each other and nature. We shall learn how to be more innovative and intuitive facing the world which is new and different, in every instant. CAN OUR SCHOOLS/COLLEGES be more like sustainable peaceful communities, not factory-like institutions, but open forums engaging students in all kinds of creative thinking and mutual self support? Can a new school practice inspirational and sustainable community living, while students are inventing their own architecture, infrastructure, taking care of their own farm, sound small businesses, like bakeries, shops or theaters, right on premises?

Would this be great for a change to experience the full spectrum of better, more meaningful life in your school?

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    Jul 7 2012: Are you looking for comment about the logical basis of math, affirmation that questioning and experience are vital parts of learning, or references for "how sciences think?"

    Almost anyone will agree that questioning and experience are at the root of learning, some here would be able to discuss with you what it means for mathematics to have a logical structure, and others may be able to refer you to good sources that explain principles of scientific inquiry or reasoning.

    Just give us a little help on what you are looking for from us.
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      Jul 7 2012: Thank you for you your question! Really appreciate it. I am just taking math as an example for describing how a young mind gets corrupted by conventional thinking. We cannot get rid of conventions - our social structures and mentality are based on them - but at least we can let ourselves think beyond them, if we comprehend that our conventions are not real knowledge but its temporary substitute. We need to be encouraged to find better ways to understand the world and ourselves in it.
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        Jul 7 2012: Could you give some examples of what constitutes "real knowledge", or are you saying that anything we may consider knowledge must always be suspect?

        For example, do you mean something like that our senses allow us to see only three dimensions, and to consider four if we also include time, but that in modern physics many if not most people believe that there may be as many as eleven?

        Or do you mean that the theories in most fields are always our best understanding in the moment based on evidence but are always subject to change as we learn more?

        Or are you saying that when we learn things we are not always aware of the assumptions on which these ideas are based? For example, many declarative statements about what is true in geometry are actually true only in Euclidean geometry (which works pretty well for applications on Earth) but are not true if we use geometric assumptions called non-Euclidean that may offer a better model for understanding space?
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          Jul 7 2012: Thank you for your thoughtful questions. I would suggest to try to understand the nature of our own perceptions before jumping to any conclusions about what is true or not. While the greatest of the Greek sages such as Heraclitus and Protagoras have insisted that unavoidable instant Change of the world and our extremely limited human perceptions cannot give us any objective truth, we shall encourage ourselves to start where they have left us and look for the answers for WHY we have such limited playful perceptions and cannot help but keep creating this theatrical drama that we call life.
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          Jul 7 2012: What is obvious to me is that we are extremely limited in perceiving. I was never happy to accept this fact and was going nuts looking for explanations. I eventually put together two concepts based on Heraclitus' Change and Protagoras' Limitations of perceiving (that has been developed later by great I Kant) well I put these concept to work together. If we are able to sense that all conditions within and without ourselves are constantly changing we would easily believe that we cannot stop and perceive anything "as it is" even for an instant. Kantian "things-in-themselves" are everywhere. I had to understand WHY we are so limited. The first explanation that came to my mind years ago was that if we are NOT LIMITED we would melt down into everything else in this changing world as lumps of sugar in a hot cup of tea. OUR LIMITATIONS ARE OUR PROTECTIVE BOUNDARIES.

          The best part is that our protective boundaries of all sorts ( we can recognize them as perceptions for example) CHANGE too,helping us adjust to our sometimes very challenging environment . Our mental boundaries may be very "conservative" aggressively resisting change for the sake of false sense of safety, but our creative nature helps us develop ourselves. I have tooo much to say...
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        Jul 7 2012: Vera, do you believe, then, that the limitations in our senses or perceptions are designed rather than that we have evolved this way from the animals that are our predecessors? I don't think we have yet seen evolution select us over species or variations of our species with greater percetive capabilities.
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          Jul 7 2012: I trust that we have two "sets" of perceptions. As the rest of living creatures we have our PRIMARY deeply subconscious intuitive perceptions. Though we absolutely ignore their existence they can reveal how we initially may interact with our ever-changing External environment and why our environment is not ready-to-go pictorial or auditory in the first place. Our perceptions are our natural boundaries that are to protect us as somewhat unique individual living forms. We develop our Physical sense-perceptions only through interactions between our minds and their temporary vessels -what we call "physical bodies". It is a very challenging experience because, I think, our corporeal sense-perceptions are limited to burlesque....and often very painful. Why do we as mental living forms need this physical experience is a grand question. Boost our awareness? Maybe it is some illness to get this body as a composition of billions of viruses and microbes glued to our living minds? But I am trying to answer your question - I think that we develop our artificial sort of consciousness based on what we perceive though sense-perceptions, ignoring our subconscious perceiving. We lost our natural intuition and keep playing with devices that substitute our nature's given abilities. While many animals are superior to us in sensing their environment using no cell phones, compasses, flying jets, or instantly coordinating themselves in wilderness we re completely lost in this world without our artificial tools and devices. Is it intelligence really? I think that we shall try to learn from the nature's world how to augment our intuition and subconscious PRIMARY perceptions. If we do not realize how silly our concepts often are - we would not be able to evolve at all. We will make more toys to play, going absolutely nuts over our "inventions". We have not evolved our minds, bodies or recycling mentality since the old idealist Plato. Many Thanks for your posts!

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