Random Musings

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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


There is an image from a movie that has always stuck in my mind. It is the scene from “The Matrix” in which Keanu Reeves has an epiphany that allows him to see the world in a different way. The world around him is suddenly transformed into living information that he can read and understand now that he has learned how to look at it. Learning is about figuring out how to see the world in a different way, how to see that the wisdom of the world can be read from every droplet of water when it is looked at the right way. Learning to see the age of the earth in the layered rock of a mountainside, or the force of the ocean in the curl of a breaking wave, watching how the waves provide both life and destruction for the denizens of a tide pool, and understanding a little more about life because of it, these are examples of the type of sight that learning must cultivate.
Learning in a classroom is valuable, but to become truly learned requires learning from everything: from the experience of living, sleeping, eating, and everything in between. The classroom teaches what can be taught, but a true education also requires a person to be able to learn that which cannot be taught. I think that our primary education system fails in this task, and those few students that do truly learn more often represent the failure of the school to tame their minds rather than the success of the school in producing such an individual. I believe that in order to produce well-thinking and seeing people, critical thinking and basic philosophy must be taught at the elementary and middle school levels. I think such a program would create a class of students who are accustomed to thinking rather than accustomed to simply reproducing whatever answer they are told is correct. In a democracy, where the direction of the most powerful country in the world depends on the knowledge and decisions of its voters, it is not simply important, but essential to ensure that our citizens enter the world with a lifetime of training in both how to think critically, and the framework for developing an informed system of values derived from the world that they have experienced around them, so that their wisdom can decide in which direction their intelligence should be employed.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Did I mention that I moved? Yes I know, its a blog, I could easily go back and see for myself if I've mentioned it, but then I'd use up all my motivation doing that, and would have none left to write, and all of you (okay, both of you) would have to live without the sage wisdom of my words. So yes, I moved. From West Hollywood to Silverlake. For those of you outside the LA area, its a distance of about 6 or 7 miles. Silverlake is a nicer area, and still hip, but not like Hollywood. Its really taking getting used to - I go to the supermarket, and there are no models, no strippers, the place is filled with normal people, people with abs that cant be seen, people with families and real jobs - its strange. The good news about that is that I can always drive a little further to shop in Hollywood if I need to be surrounded by strippers and homeless poets in order to buy kitty litter, but the part I really can't get used to is the absence of crazy people. I told you about crazy Tim in the closet - well now he lives in someone else's closet, and my closet hold nothing but clothes and an old broken vacuum cleaner. The homeless girl who thinks she's an arcangel can't walk all the way to the new place, so I only hear from her occasionally, and more importantly, I just dont meet strange people on the street in my daily life anymore. Its almost as if I've gotten old or something.
Well, I think I have a solution. I didn't write it here, I was too busy doing shots of Patron after I found out, but I passed the California Bar exam recently. That means I'm a real lawyer now. A real unemployed lawyer. So maybe if I can pull off a public defender job, defending all the criminals too poor or insane to defend themselves, I can get a bit more of that Hollywood vibe back in my life. Yeah, I think I'm going to try that. So if either of my readers out there happens to do the hiring for the LA County Public Defender's office, give me a call.