tidbits, 7.12.16

A few things, quickly, because I’m still wrestling with a repetitive stress situation in my right arm.  Please forgive me the brevity.

First, a piece of artwork that caught my eye in the recent issue of Orion magazine, by collage artist Ron Bimrose. I like color and the not-color.

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I’m reading David Eagleman’s Incognito.  It’s very readable and drives up questions for me about the brain, what we can and can’t know about what and how young people are thinking.  I’ve almost quit a couple of times because it takes some effort to read, but I’m hanging in there in large part because the part about vision is just plain fascinating.  Not unrelated to the reading I’ve been doing on visual thinking (by Dan Roam and Sunni Brown).

I spotted this book at the bookstore the other day: Playing from the Heart.  It’s a small picture book and simple story about a child’s relationship with his piano and his dad.  Sometimes a teacher is just the thing, sometimes it’s not, and it’s also impossible to tell what any given thing has sown.

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Because I am limited lately in how much I can do with my hands (and as it turns out, doing much of anything requires them), I have been listening to lots of podcasts.  I am not sure how I have not known about Krista Tippett’s On Being, but I have discovered lots of helpful questions and inspiring thinking by listening my way through its archives. (The link there is to the recent episode with Rebecca Solnit, whom I’m mentioned before and whose three pieces in particular I continue to recommend: Abolish High School, The Mother of all Questions, and Coyote.

Austin Kleon, whose work on creativity and making things I have long found very helpful and supportive, has for the past few weeks been studying unschooling.  Because Austin shares extensively on social media about his reading, thinking, and other exploring, I’ve been watching him make his way through the work of John Holt, John Taylor Gatto, and others.  I’ve appreciated Austin’s thoroughness. The notion of removing the adult mandate from the learning lives of the young tends to inspire shallow thinking about it, regardless of one’s opinion on the subject.  If you like the idea, you can like it quickly and wholly, just as if you don’t like it you can make quick work of dismissing and demonizing it. Austin’s gone all the way in (aided by the astonishingly thorough Roberto Greco). For me it’s been inspiring to watch and has also reminded me that revisiting the writers and thinkers who have influenced my thinking is a good idea and can be a source of reinvigoration. Here’s a link to Austin’s unschooling tag.

OK; that’s about all the typing I have in me for now.