All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware. — Martin Buber
These are musings on the “realness” of experiential intelligence. With all this business in virtual reality, heads stuck in monitors, search results to synthesize and life in Second Life, it feels simultaneously utterly normal and astonishing to remember that it’s fundamentally different to actually go for a walk in the woods – the real woods:
Virtually everyone, upon hearing this story, recognizes intuitively the dramatic difference for the child between the snake on the trail and a snake on the screen. It is a difference quite obviously containing profound implications for learning. Getting a clean hold on the difference, however, is not easy.
The snake article goes on to point out that “To learn, a child must find an inner connection to the subject at hand.” In trying to design a project that collects cognitive essence (the project called Eventus), I keep wondering: How could we ever replicate something as simple (and complex) as a child?
I’m constantly rewarded by just thinking of my daughter. She’s watching and collecting just what’s right for this minute. Which reminds me of Jeff Jonas – and that the right question to ask TODAY might not be yesterday’s or tomorrow’s right question:
Should I respect the artificial connections the same as the ones in the woods? I would simultaneously fight it and work for it. We didn’t find a snake to date, but both my daughter and I can walk in the woods and be forever imprented by it – but never both in the same way. Spotted this quote the other day on the wall of the Jewish Community Center:
Each of us bears the imprint / Of a friend met along the way / In each the trace of each
My secret destination for the day.