3461Thinking with Pamela: Practical domains
- Apr 13, 2014Pamela,
Thank you for your letters and blog posts. You're a good writer and
it's wonderful to see you thinking out loud. I'm glad that you have an
online home athttp://www.dadamac.net
I think it's very helpful that you regularly take a look at the "big
picture". What is the question that you are truly interested in? There
may be several and your level of interest may change. That's fine. What
progress are you making on your question? What is your plan for
investigating it further?
Your enthusiasm is a great guide. I'm glad that you're intrigued by
your process of learning, too.
Truly you can learn on your own. My own personal interest is to note,
share and apply the common language of concepts and structures that
underlie our various investigations.
Overall, I think a good strategy for investigation is to be able to
think-in-parallel along several different tracks. That way you can keep
making progress if you feel stuck on any particular track.
I want to write about another track so that you can look out for its
relevance. You're interested in learning and so I think it's helpful to
look at learning in particular domains and collect and analyze
I saw your blog post about normal vs. weird and how the sense of
"normal" changes. You told a story about how as a child in post-war
Britain the introduction of "brands" of margarine such as "Stork
margarine" didn't make sense to you. The story makes your perspective
vivid, real, testable. Without any such examples your point of view
could seem groundless.
Similarly, when people talk about learning in the general sense, as
happens in academics, we can start to wonder, do they really know what
they are talking about? That's why it's good to ground your work in
particular subjects. That's what originally attracted me to your work
and that of Janet Feldman, Joy Tang and others. You're very much
involved in learning in Africa, which can be very practical. That
brings a practical dimension to learning online and crosscultural learning.
I recently gave a talk in Lithuania on "The purpose of creativity and
the rules of art". It was part of a conference on the relationship
between philosophy of art and psychology of art. I was a bit surprised
to see that only some 25% of the speakers showed slides. In my own
talk, I first gave very personal examples about "the purpose of
creativity" and my own "rules of art". People could see photos of my
art work and think for themselves whether I knew what I was talking about.
Then I gave a very abstract derivation of the rules of art that arise
based on where our imagination localizes the purpose. Concrete examples
- a demonstration of concrete ability - links up theory and practice so
that our thinking is not detached from reality. In the end, we want to
be able to apply our knowledge.
That's why in my book I give an application in terms of nonviolence with
concrete examples taken from our Pyramid of Peace in Kenya.
Pamela, that's my thought for now. Think about a practical domain where
you could exemplify the learning philosophy that you want to develop.
Different domains (such as my own study of wastewater systems for my
house) can be testing grounds for different insights you have about
That's something we could talk about. What are the ideas about learning
that you'd like to develop? What are practical domains that would be
telling? Then you could collect stories and examples from those
practical domains, what you or others are learning.
Pamela, I'm excited that you're my student. You can pay me by PayPal to
I look forward to chatting or talking on Skype.
2014.04.07 13:03, Pamela McLean rašė:
> Hi Andrius
> Thank you for being my supervisor. I'm preparing for my studies and
> wrote you an open letter. I posted it in dadamac.net
> <http://dadamac.net> because that is my online work-space.
> Here is the link -
> We agreed that i would pay you $50 a month for my supervision. I'm not
> sure how you want me to make the payments. Please let me know.
> UK-Africa Connections
> I'm Pamela McLean - my surname gives the "mac" in "Dadamac"
> My "online workspace" is athttp://dadamac.net/
> Twitter @Pamela_McLean