Archive for the Education / Schools Category

SCOD Urban Architecture Notes

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Historic Architecture, Languages, Politics, Pub Library, Recommendations & Tributes, SCOD Online School, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2020 by Drogo

American architecture has ‘plurality and duality’. We have a variety of expression with scales of space and attitude, for the rich and poor. We have a modern design duality of rectilinear and organic architecture. Rectilinear modernists have been influenced by: Gropius, Loos, Corbu, Mies, Meier, Kahn, and Johnson. Organic modernist heroes are fewer, and there are fewer of us: Wright, Moss, Gehry, Solari, and Predock.

New Urbanist sprawl still faces the problems of commercialism vs community. Their planning principles have helped us to have more mixed-use zoning, but we still have the problems of Capitalism in decline, with an expanding lower class, destroyed middle class, and imperial upper class. New developments in Maryland and West Virginia seem to ignore the problems of population debt infrastructure, ecological devastation, agricultural decline, and transportation congestion all for the sake of profit.

Moynihan said our cities were ‘soulless’, like Diogenes he was holding a lamp for architectural self-examination. Cities are not as safe as we would like, and we should always remember their epitaphs are too often ‘military target’. Violence and migration are the main problems of our ‘urbane’ urban design. We have so often been wrong in our problem solving, it is clear we need to learn more from our past patterns of tradition. The corruption in politics that creates bad planning, can only be countered by an aware and active population willing to conspire and protest more than the elites can bribe, to bring attention to values which cannot be bought. 

‘A Pattern Language’ by Chris Alexander explains how architecture is about relationships. There are many cultural associations and historical traditions that can be better than soulless sterile machines for living. Architecture is sculpture for living, and we should not ignore sociology and heritage for the sake of industrial convenience to serve a consumer society that is destroying our global environment for profit. Yes we should have standards for structures that are able to shelter us without collapsing, but sustainability must also include the arts and nature.

 

References:

American House Now‘ by Doubilet & Boles

Better Places‘ Chapter in ‘Geography of NoWhere’

‘Pattern Language’ Relationships by Chris Alexander

New Urbanism, Second Generation‘ by Beth Dunlap

The Soulless City‘ by Moynihan

 

 

 

 

Art Color Theory

Posted in Crafts, Education / Schools, paintings, SCOD Online School, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by Drogo

Paint Color Names

Art Talk – by Drogo Empedocles  [Audio Recording]

art supplies 2

This is an essay on color theory for artistic paintings, and not a scientific theory of light colors. Both art and science can view colors according to spectrums. However, there are some paradoxes between science and art color theories; which I do not explore here (but I do in other places). The main paradox is evident in the ‘Key Theory Types’, which shows that light and pigments have opposite blending keys on the greytone spectrum. The other color paradoxes are mainly association vs property issues (blue-red frequencies, color seen is what is reflected, greytones are not colors of light, etc).

 

The best way to depict color theory is usually by Color Wheels, with pallets of various colors in relation to each-other. Colors have 3 aspects: the name of the color itself (hue), the value tint-shade, and the tone saturation (closeness to true mid-value relative to other hues). Increasing tonal contrast in an art composition maximizes tints, shades, and saturations to accentuate distinctions. Decreasing tonal contrast dulls everything to greytone neutrality. 

ryb color wheel

Color Controls (Hues): color names have ‘Tint and Tone’ (ie – light tint, vibrant tone)

Tint-Shade (Value) – true value, white adds brightness (tint), black adds darkness (shade) 

Tone (Chroma) – saturation of true value and contrast between values (intense vs. dull)

 

Types of Paint Colors: Greytone (black & white) and True Colors (first, second, third types)

12 True Colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Brown (Rust), Amber, Lime, Teal, Violet, Crimson

 

Key Theory Types:

Brown is the key mix of paints (RYB)

White is the key mix of light (RGB)

Black is the key mix of print ink or dye (CMY)

Grey is key mix of complementary (opposite tones and tints)

 

  1. Primary Colors (3): 

Paint (RYB) – Red, Yellow, Blue 

Light (RGB) – Red, Green, Blue 

(CMY is the subtractive paint inverse of RGB)

 

  1. Secondary Colors (3):

RYB – Orange, Purple, Green

RGB – Yellow, Magenta (light purple), Cyan (light blue-green)

 

  1. Tertiary Colors (6):

Red-orange (rust), yellow-orange (amber), yellow-green (lime), blue-green (teal), blue-purple (violet), red-purple (crimson)

 

Color Associations: cultural (neon as a bright tint, chinese red, pruscian blue), social, personal, complementary, and warm vs cool

Color families (names listed as light to dark values, mid being ‘true’):

Greens – lime, grass, clover, olive, true, forest

Reds – rose, tuscan, true, cardinal, scarlet, crimson

Blues – cyan (aqua-marine), teal (cerulean-sky), true, cobalt, indigo (ultra-marine)

Yellows – lemon, true, gold, mustard, tan-beige, ochre (orange)

Purples – pink, mulberry, lavender, violet, true, royal, carmine

Browns – oak (tan), ochre-oxide, wheat-grain, dirt, true, chocolate, caramel, indian carmine (redwood), Vandyke

Greys – light (white), mid, dark (black)

*

Drogo’s personal paint supply of small containers for paintings: 8 Greens (for plants & trees), 6 Reds, 5 Blues, 5 Yellows (+orange), 4 Purples (+pink), 3 Browns, 2 Greys, and White & Black in larger containers. 

 

 

 

 

Cultural Middle-Ground

Posted in Atheist/Agnostic, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Languages, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2020 by Drogo

Most of us can be called poly-cultural in some major aspects in our lives. It is common to be part of a culture to some degree, while being part of other cultures or sub-cultures (religions, sects, social movements, political parties, ethnicities, etc). Like in Middle-Earth, there are many cultures that merge and create new cultures; talking about middle ground or coming to terms with other cultures, religions, ethnicities, or sub-cultures.

What religions, nations, or ethnicities am i 100% a part of? American? Depends on the definition and what the percentage means. I could say i am 100% American in that i am a natural born citizen of the USA and it includes so many other cultures; but North American USA DC christian style to be specific. Yet when i break that down it is not well defined beyond geography. Although part christian, i would be called a heretic by other christians to question dogmas like “jesus was perfect” (which is a classical question within christianity). American english with major influences and deviations into other languages and idiosyncrasies which are “wrong” by any institutional standard (besides SCOD).

Methodist – florida, iowa, harpers ferry

Catholic – st johns, franciscan, student

Agnostic – means i ask questions and hold positions which are heresy

Atheist – i think it is possible and probably to some degree there are no gods

Pagan – i worship Nature, FLW, organic, trees, death, neo-pagan

I like to find common points of agreement with Christians and people from other cultures. I talk on the phone or in person with as many religious people as i can, to work on moral theology. Brother Father Jay Hess was right in that mystery is ok in belief, we do not always need to have strict definitions for everything. In fact it may be impossible to agree on not only all religious concepts; but even linguistic semantics, as languages evolve and living languages flow organically and never totally conform to rules during the period. What is popular in speech or writing may deviate from grammatical dogma and the lectures of scholars. There will even be those who like to argue more than get along, rather to resolve any problems.

“There has been constant debate over the classification of ethnic groups. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared ancestry, history, homeland, language or dialect and cultural heritage; where the term “culture” specifically includes aspects such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing (clothing) style, and other factors. By the nature of the concept, ethnic groups tend to be divided into subgroups, which may themselves be or not be identified as independent ethnic groups depending on the source consulted.”

Middle ground or meeting someone part-ways (half-ways is ideal), negotiating for cooperation in community vs exiling and isolating by exclusion and neglect. This is how to avoid holy wars, and strive for peace. We can make peace with our enemies, assuming we are capable of it with our friends and families to some extent. Peace, love, and sharing are 3 great ways to practice faith in humanity, no matter our religion; and this is another ethical concept I am happy to say many people I talk to can agree on no matter their belief system. The most basic moral code being the ‘Golden Rule’, which is preferred over ‘An Eye For An Eye’; although treating others well being dependent on self-esteem and attitude (how we want to be treated) is another debate for an essay on ‘the limits of love’ probably.   [Audio Draft]

tolkien-good-3

Spelling, Grammar, & Accent Style

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Languages, Multimedia Communication, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2019 by Drogo

If i want to hear what someone has to say, i will not only look past their accents, stuttering, spelling, grammar, punctuation, case, tone, and style; i will actually accept it as part of them like a birth mark or tattoo on skin. This is probably why i think most superficial opinionated critics are over-rated. I might be annoyed with someone’s personality even, but i try to find something of value deeper than what i think seems superficial (even in critics); searching in this way can last many years.

if one thinks they can make something better than someone else, they should try to do that rather than just say they are better. If they think they have already made something better, and are punching below their weight, that is less about grievance and more about wanting to abuse others. Preferences are like tastes, each to their own.

This is coming from a student that got top marks always in literature classes, above most of my peers all through school. I certainly wrote more stories and got into crafting stories way more than anyone else i went to school with in all my schools. Some people could spell better than me, but I always got A’s. When people want to correct someone, they want to inject their own ego into the other person’s work, regardless of how objective they claim to be, or how much they want to help. My grandfather would send my mother’s personal letters back to her in the mail with mistakes circled. He may have thought he was being helpful, but it expressed lack of concern for the emotional content of an adult married daughter in her 30s communicating with an emotionally and physically distant intellectual father. Trying to correct someone else is not always correct, even though it is instinctual and habitual especially with parents.

In WV most kids in my classes could not spell as well as me, and i know that nationally im not the best ‘speller’. I still cast my spells though. so i learned early on to judge people based on spelling was a quick way to devalue their lives, because to say that what they express was wrong based on letters is like saying that accents are wrong or ‘dumb’, and if accents are wrong then their sub-culture and all the lives in it are too. The game of correction was about conformity to the standards of authority, and much less about communication, because if i cared to get to know someone, i could understand the worst speller just fine; they can spell things their ways, and i might even change my way to fit their way. I stayed unconventional from grade school on.

Finding flaws to shut powerless people down is what fascists do best, and can only culminate with that level of bigotry in society; as we give free passes to monopolies for the rich. The powerful elite should be held to a higher standard than thousands of fools who affect less lives, not the other way around (which is the way it is). Diversity in speech (speach) is beautiful as it reflects the individual.

Yes language standards allow us to agree on symbols and meaning, but dedication to rules above independent expression can be culturally costly.

I not only make mistakes, but i intentionally do not use proper cases, spellings, or grammar (grammer) when ever I want, in order to convey what i want the way i want. Fuck Grammmmerly. Write how you want. If you want someone to tell you how to conform, find a tutor that will passionately do it for whatever you offer. People will chomp at the bit to tell others how to do things.

This essay is dumb, because it breaks rules.

Easy to be superficially critical.

 

 

*

Power Corrupts People

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Ethics & Morals, History, Recommendations & Tributes, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by Drogo

Baron J.E.E. Dalberg-Acton (aka Lord Acton 1834-1902) was a noble English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. Lord Acton knew several major foreign languages. Acton’s linguistic and religious passion may have influenced Tolkien many years later. A fellow Catholic, Tolkien used the literary legacy that power tends to corrupt even the best men, as his main theme. In Lord of the Rings, the most powerful Ring cannot be used as a tool for good by even the best heroes, because they too would eventually be corrupted, no matter their intentions. The revelation seems to be that power is part of Original Sin as described in the the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament myth that humans fell from the grace of godly paradise because we submitted to the evil temptation of power (the apple advocated by the serpent), seems to have found new expression in the words of these men. Acton collected a large historical library for the “History of Liberty”. Acton was politically Liberal, and travelled greatly. Acton loved reading original historic letters. Acton lived at his country house in Aldenham, Shropshire; and served in the House of Commons. Acton admired the U.S. Government for the Constitution, but oddly sided with the southern Confederacy for defending individual citizen liberties against the tyranny of Union Federal empire (while ignoring slavery). Acton was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order, as a Knight Commander (KCVO).

“History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys.” “There is not a more perilous or immoral habit of mind than the sanctifying of success.” [about Oliver Cromwell] “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.” “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote his most famous quote:

“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the jailer to murder Mary, and William III of England ordered his Scots minister to extirpate (destroy) a clan. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman (biblical Persian minister in the Book of Esther), for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

He is best known for that remark he wrote in a letter to an Anglican bishop; but according to an editor of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Lord Acton has left too little completed original work to rank among the great historians; his very learning seems to have stood in his way; he knew too much and his literary conscience was too acute for him to write easily, and his copiousness of information overloads his literary style. But he was one of the most deeply learned men of his time, and he will certainly be remembered for his influence on others.”

**

Mohandas ‘Bapu’ Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian Hindu non-violent civil disobedience activist. Gandhi was leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Gandhi’s self-sacrifice inspired freedom movements for civil rights across the World. Raised in a merchant caste family in India, he later trained in law in London. Gandhi first used non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, for colonial civil rights. Returning to India in 1915, he organized farmers and workers to protest against high land tax and bigotry. Leading the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led national campaigns for social causes and self-rule (Swaraj).

Gandhi helped India challenge the British salt tax by marching in 1930. In 1942 Gandhi called for the British to leave India. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a community and wore a traditional hand-spun Indian dhoti and shawl. Gandhi was vegetarian and took long fasts for spiritual and political reasons. Muslim Nationalism (Pakistan) and Gandhi’s Hindu pluralism in India helped to force Britain out of India in 1947.

Displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs migrated; and religious violence broke out in Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi visited the riots to help and fasted to stop religious violence. Hindu nationalist conservatives criticized and assassinated Gandhi. Gandhi’s birthday is commemorated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. As with all martyr heroes that lives real lives, Gandhi had many human flaws of the sort that might be emphasized more when historical writers express loss of popular favor their cults.

**

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s work was certainly influenced by the events of the World Wars, despite his public refusal of metaphor speculation. ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ explores abuse of corrupt power, by considering that the temptation of use of power can eventually corrupt anyone. The One Ring of Power created by Sauron promises great power, but eventually corrupts all who use it. Even good people are corrupted by lust for the Ring because of its power to rival Sauron, and by using its vast powers even the lightest souls darken. The ones best able to carry the Ring are innocent souls with meager ambition, and the best they can do with the Ring is to destroy it.

Tolkien said these words about power: “The proper study of man is anything but man, and the most improper job of any man . . is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” [Letters #52] Tolkien believed that leaders should be judged by their example, more than common people are judged [James 3:1]. Power and authority allow for the most terrible things. The misuse of power often ruins leaders and followers who allow the abuse to happen. Vigilant active citizens will demand wise balance.

***

Power within us and others is clearly our responsibility; not only to control our own will power to keep it within reason, but also to influence the power that we allow others to hold over us and others. If citizens cannot control their own leader’s passion for power from within a government using democracy, then it will be left up to other governments in other countries (see World Wars). The conclusion to the problem of power is perhaps best summarized by Spiderman in Marvel Comics – “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering

Posted in Education / Schools, Events / Celebrations, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, jobs, news, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Day, Month, Year, Time – Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering – You are invited to the Victorian Townhouse of the Honorable S.P. (near Market Street) __ Third Street, downtown Frederick, MD; to read anything of your choice for apx.10 minutes, and our informal group will discuss for about the same time as the reading. Tea will be served.

Democratic voting on name of group, which selections to read, whether to record, and date of next meeting.

[for actual current details contact SCOD members]

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

Delft TU Library, Holland

Posted in Education / Schools, Futurist, Sculpture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2018 by Drogo

Central Library of Delft University of Technology (TU) in Holland by Mecanoo Architects

This angular and environmentally dynamic library was opened in 1998. It was designed by Mecanoo Architects, which was a 61 person firm located in Holland near Delft TU. The library design was based on four themes: The adjacent pre-existing Auditorium (by Van den Broek & Bakema), the site absence of campus atmosphere in the university quarter, the need for advanced technology, and of course plenty of room for shelves of books.

delft mecanoo 5

It is a “Triangle of Glass and Grass”, with a large tee-pee like ‘Cone’ in the middle. The glass around a few sides allows a large amount of day-light inside. The grass sod roof brilliantly allows people to use the entire area of building as they would a yard, in addition to the library. The center cone allows natural light also, and a communal study space.

delft_mecanoo_entrance

The grassy roof lawn of the Delft TU Library forms a harmonious whole with the campus walkways that emerge from underneath the adjoining assembly hall. The Library roof can be walked upon, but also offers a place of dreaming, reading, and picnicking under open luminous sky. Teachers, students, and visitors call all meet informally in this public space.

delft mecanoo 3

The concrete / stucco Cone structure is open topped and 150 ft. high. The Cone and the cavernous entry are the only main features that are seen from campus, so it appears as though most of the building is not there. On the other sides, the wildly-canted glass wall rises from the parking lot to a max height of about 14 meters (40 ft.). At night the glass wall glows exposing activity within the 4 levels of library stacks, study areas, offices, and storage. The grassy roof shoots across the site creating a gently sloping area in contrast to the nearby ‘Brutalist’ style Auditorium.

delft center circle

Changing illumination (luminous flux) upon the Cone accentuates the sculptural shape as an abstract Platonic solid form, partially deconstructed. The channeling aspect of the Cone shape is intentional, as it is conducive to gathering with focus. The glass walls are towards the North, so they get non-direct ambient light. Horizontal bands around the glass facade facilitate ventilation between the window panes, and give distorted impressionist reflections from the outside on sunny days.

 

The perforated roof overhand is supported by stilted tubular steel struts, and rises from a foundation perimeter plinth-bed of fine stones. Under most of the structure is a spacious hall. A ring of glass circumscribes the Cone at roof level, allowing natural light (solar lumens) to wash in along the curved white stucco funnel side.

Delft University of Technology Library (DUTL) stocks one of the largest technical book collections in the World. Most of the books are stored in stock-rooms in the basement, but those that are accessible to the public are arranged in a single enormous book-case and are within hand reach. The combination of books, computers (with internet and catalogs), and people allows for knowledge, interaction, and better citizens. 300 out of 1000 study spots are equipped with computers (this may have increased).

This ‘Library as landscape’ evokes the feeling of how our ancestors believed technology to be magical, and magic arts were held by their spirits under hills to keep it safe. Not only priests and royal family members are allowed to visit this sacred place of tomes, it is open to all that seek it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • (images for education only, not owned by blog)

Presentación1delft_Mecanoo_SEC 1

 

 

SCOD-cast Audio Shows

Posted in Education / Schools, POB Audio, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2016 by Drogo

SCOD Pod-cast Audio Radio Shows:

Philosophy Lecture Series:

600 BC – Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes – World Prime Element
500 BC – Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Parmenides. Change vs Non-Change with Math as religion.
400 BC – Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Democritus – Universal Powers
300 BC – Socrates, Plato, Aristotle – Sophists, Society, & Politics
200 BC – Epicureans, Aristarchus & Library of Alexandria – Happiness, Science, and Scrolls
100 BC – Caesar, Cicero, Anthony & Cleopatra – Politics & War vs. Love & Peace
0 BC-AD – Jesus, Augustus, Boudica – Roman Empire vs The World
100 AD – Marcus Aurelius & Stoics

*

SCOD-cast Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides Lecture – 500 BC

SCOD-cast on Thales the Ionian 600 BC 

SCOD Radio Show on Philosophy

SCOD-cast Audio Show 1

*

The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori

Posted in Education / Schools, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2016 by Drogo

Book report on The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori (1966 version)

Learning how to enjoy learning by asking questions, and liking what you do; not just doing what you want or are told to do.

Content Summary

Childhood: A Social Problem

Era of the Child; Psycho-analysis secret

Newborn Child – Alien Environment, Natural Instincts, Spirit Incarnation

Psychic Development – sensitive periods, observations

Order – Inner / Outer

Intelligence, Growth, Sleep, Walking, Rhythm, Movement, Comprehension, Love

Montessori Method Origins

Normalization

Deviation – pampering, fugues, barriers, cures, attachment, possessive, power, fear, truth

Conflict – adult vs child

Instinct to Work

Guiding, Teaching, Rights, Mission

Conventional ‘direct teaching’ impedes child learning, based on the erroneous assumption that teaching molds young minds. The will-power of the child to create their own skills (walking, talking, eating, etc), is how children learn. Children have the power to change their own behavior, and are more successful when it is self motivated. The key is to determine where teaching and self-motivation meet in each case.

Children will notice with frustration, that they are considered unreliable and weak compared to less fragile adults. This dissociative relationship between the helpless child and their environment causes children to think of themselves as hopelessly inferior, and combined with social competition makes them desperate for attention and constant continuing dissatisfaction as they grow. In many ways this conditions people to be fighters and survivalists, which are certainly strong roles; and is naturally similar to resistant forces that cause a tree to grow denser and shorter if there are high winds, or thin and tall with little wind. However there is a problem with children viewing themselves as less valuable than the objects they are forbidden to touch, as without self worth, they have nothing to lose by hurting themselves or others.

If a child is to develop their own interior life, they must be allowed to touch things, and work rationally; as this can help them early on to develop considerate habits of acting. They must develop ethics by their own free-will, although we can guide them. Establishing sustainable successions of working actions, based on rational play, is successful education.

Git, Get, Bigot Duality Theory

Posted in Languages, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2016 by Drogo

To ‘beget’ seems to have some relationship to the words git, get, and bigot.

– Drogo Empedocles

Git or ‘yit’ was old english for ‘you two’. The phrase ‘you two’ can be interpreted as ‘both of you’, almost like a doppelganger; there are two ‘you’s’, as in fact you are saying ‘you and the second you’. Old country folk kept using the term ‘gyit’, in ways that may have been insulting for any number of reasons (classist, racist, bigoted, etc); so it became known as an insult after generations of use.

Get or ‘acquire and have’. Got is the past tense of get aka ‘had’, so bigot may have meant ‘two have had’ (Bi-Got / Be-Got), almost inferring an inherent hypocrisy in reproduction (yin-yang, duality of male-female). To possess something or someone is similar to get something or someone. ‘Possess’ also has two meanings; to hold control, and to be inside another. Got of course is also related to ‘god’, as in Swiss ‘by-god’. This gets into the ‘i am god’ / ‘son of god’ historical-linguistic issue, which is long enough for another essay.

A git or a bigot is a person that makes another self, perhaps in the future, that is destined to disagree with them, or attempt to replace them at some point, for any reason. This meaning of words has complex psychological concepts involved in the cultural historic definition, therefore dictionaries have probably not been adequate to record or teach how we think of these words. There is a natural parallel with this duality concept of ‘two selves’ and Janus, or the god with 2 faces. Threshold guardians are mysterious keepers of secrets of life, of light and dark, of two perspectives. The fear is always that they will be Jeckyl and Hyde, the evil making the good suffer.

To me these meanings were intuitive, and I remember feeling their greater implications as a child; when watching He-man and seeing his doppelganger Fakor, or in the Never Ending Story with the mirror of Atreu, or how confusing and mysterious creating, possessing, and being a creation of another was. Getting a thing, or begetting a child, makes another you, that is not yourself.

Absorbent Mind, by Maria Montessori

Posted in Book Reports, Education / Schools, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2016 by Drogo

1949 Book – by the author and founder of Montessori Method

  • translation 1958, 1967 edition

Children play a part in World Reconstruction – humanity is still immature; it has a long way to go to become a peaceful utopia. Philosophers must take control, and begin teaching our youngest children early, so they may grow up and contribute to the greatness of humanity. Our human greatness begins at birth, new children are the makers of men.

Education is for Life. The psychic mind of each child, is simply their psychology of the soul. We learn by absorbing knowledge and experience. Gandhi said that education must be coextensive with life, and the central point of teaching must be to affirm and defend life. This good education feeds peaceful revolution.

Phases of growth can be considered as periods of time as the child grows older. Period 1: child ages 0-3, period 2: child ages 3-6, Period 3: child ages 6-12

Creation is a miracle. Modern biology is turning in a new direction towards children. Good parenting can produce better citizens, because good parenting makes the adult and the child more humane. Even in the wild, savage lions are tender with their cubs. Children are not just copies of their parents, they teach willing parents by bringing out their best sides. The instinct to defend our young, is often more powerful than our instinct to run away from danger; this is evidence of the intense power that children have over many parents. Cell division in the genesis of becoming being, is a natural miracle of microscopic multiplication. Babies evolve into adults, much like mammals have evolved from reptiles; and even between species, embryos look very similar.

Independence, Language, and Obstacles – discovering independence is naturally thrilling for children, our brains are set up to reward the work of learning. Environmental experience gives children language and obstacles to challenge and shape them. Eyes are camera obscuras that allow us to see objects, but it is our minds that process what we see. Without language, we would have no civilization.

Intelligence and the Hand – in the development of appendages, the legs are clearly more important for mobility; and our hands are for everything else, including cooking, feeding, craft, and social complexity. Our dexterous prehensile abilities give us tool making advantages over other animals. Our brains enable us to use our hands for communication, as well as our mouths.

Development and Imitation – practice of skills is vital for complex and successful imitation

Unconscious creators can become conscious workers, and vice versa.

Culture and Imagination – one person’s boring stagnation is another person’s enjoyable comfort zone; in between perpetual entropy and growth. We are like volcanoes, that erupt with changes naturally, through-out our lives.

Character during childhood is a personal achievement, but can obstruct learning in school.

Social contributions, unit cohesion, and normalizing – knowing when to concentrate and when to move on to something new, could be considered in ‘normalcy levels’.

Correction and Obedience (3 levels)

Obedience is seen as something which develops in the child in much the same way as other aspects of his character. At first it is dictated purely by the vital impulses, then it rises to the level of consciousness, and thereafter it goes on developing, stage by stage, till it comes under the control of the conscious will. – The Absorbent Mind.

Montessori Three Obedience Levels:

1. Partial Obedience

2. Blind Obedience

3. Compassionate Obedience

The First Level of Obedience

“What we call the first level of obedience is that in which the child can obey, but not always. It is a period in which obedience and disobedience seem to be combined.” (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1964)

In order to obey one must not only to wish but also be able to obey. To carry out an order one must already possess some degree of maturity and a measure of the special skill that it many need.  Hence we first have to know whether the child’s obedience is practically possible at the level of development the child has reached…If the child is not yet master of his actions, if he cannot obey even his own will, so much the less can he obey the will of someone else. – The Absorbent Mind.

The Second Level of Obedience

A period when the child can always obey, when there are no obstacles deriving from his lack of control. His powers are now consolidated and can be directed not only by his own will, but by the will of another. The child can absorb another person’s wishes and express them in his own behaviour. – The Absorbent Mind.

 “The second level is when the child can always obey, or rather, when there are no longer any obstacles deriving from his lack of control. His powers are now consolidated and can be directed not only by his own will, but by the will of another.” (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1964) This may appear to be the highest level of obedience; however, because it is dependent on outside variables (adults or authority figures), this is not true obedience. The child is merely satisfying someone else’s wishes, not his own.

The Third Level of Obedience

The third level of obedience is when the child gets joy and pleasure from unquestionably obeying someone superior, no matter the request, such as obeying a respected and much loved teacher without question.

The child “responds promptly and with enthusiasm and as he perfects himself in the exercise, he finds happiness in being able to obey.” (Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, 1967) This is the stage of true self-discipline.

*

Discipline and Love – “Work is love made visible.” – Gibran (The Prophet 1948)

END

Reference – Minding “On The Dot” by M.V O’Shea in Montessori Talks to Parents (Series One, Volume Two) The Road to Discipline NAMTA 1979. 

Harpers Languages

Posted in Languages, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by Drogo

Languages of Harpers Faery

These are not all the languages, nor are they full dictionaries of the languages, merely a basic guide. It is worth noting that these languages usually have their own alphabet and cultural interpretations of symbols; in addition to word and name differences. In this guide we only use Common symbols for simplification of quick universal translation. There are some hybrid words between human and faerie languages, because cultures have cross-over evolution blending.

Human Languages

Common, most common words of all Humans (Base Root)

Basic, words of Bards

Art, words of Artists

Northern, words of Nordics

Southern, words of Sothians

Eastern, words Atlantians

Western, words of Peaceans

Faerie Languages

Fae, most common words of all Faeries (Base Root)

Nom, words of Gnomes

Dwar, words of Dwarves

El, words of Elves

La, words of Fairies

Gob, words of Goblins

Tol, words of Trolls

Org, words of Ogres

*

 

Fae, most common words of all Faeries (Base Root)

Hello / Bye – Aey / La

Please / Thanks – El / Le

Give / Take – Nam / Tenna

Trade – Namtenna

Yes / No – Ha / Na

Nom, words of Gnomes

Hello / Bye – Oi / Noi

Please / Thanks – Wawa / Washi

Give / Take – Glee / Fill

Trade – Gleefool

Yes / No – Ah / Ha

Dwar, words of Dwarves

Hello / Bye – Dow / Tow (also bring)

Please / Thanks – (none) / Warsh

Give / Take – Ship / War

Trade – Warship

Yes / No – Da / Nac

El, words of Elves

Hello / Bye – Ey / Le

Please / Thanks – Ell / Lee vat

Give / Take – Nam / Tenna

Trade – Namtenna

Yes / No – Ha / Na

La, words of Fairies (mainly fairy-elves, but also includes some Pixies and Sprites)

Hello / Bye – Ay / La

Please / Thanks – Al / Le va

Give / Take – Nim / Tinna

Trade – Nimtinna

Yes / No – Ha / Na

Gob, words of Goblins

Hello / Bye – Ya / Ye

Please / Thanks – Yaa / Yee

Give / Take – Lob / Greb

Trade – Gob

Yes / No – Yee / Ka

Tol, words of Trolls

Hello / Bye – Raw / Ash

Please / Thanks – (none) / Tank (means ‘you do not need that’)

Give / Take – Ka / Graw

Trade – Trogg

Yes / No – Tog / Rah

Org, words of Ogres

Hello / Bye – Ho (announces presence)

Give / Take – Grip / Grap

Trade – Gripgrap

Yes / No – Og / Ra

Montessori Revolution In Education

Posted in Book Reports, Education / Schools, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2016 by Drogo

E. M. Standing 1962

“The child is father of the man.” – Wordsworth

“In children lies the seed corn of the future.” – Froebel

“Who touches the child, touches the most sensitive point of a whole being, which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.” – Montessori

Revolution in education, Montessori is a self-conscious modern zeitgeist. This book talks about Montessori fundamental principles, infants classes, brooms, binomial theorems, under fives, Lilliput, the movement in America, the Whitby School joy of learning, the Santa Monica Sophia School, and 12 method points.

Children can learn on their own in many ways, if we can consciously create a safe and liberal environment for them to explore tools, and in the process, them-selves. Learning the Montessori method requires practical experience being involved in it, to understand the abstract theories. Montessori method is not a closed system, it can change and adapt with modern technology and cultural beliefs. The main Montessori principle might be summed up as ‘guided sensorial self-education’. Children go through a literal physical metamorphosis, and their brains or minds are part of that process. The way children learn, is more unconscious, than conscious. All children are responsible for their own learning in Montessori method; in relation to their sensory, motor, and creative abilities. Spontaneous activity can fuel cultural learning that are true experiments to the child. It takes imagination for an adult teacher to comprehend the amount of work this takes for a child.

“The Universe is nothing but a big, buzzing, booming confusion,” to the new-born infant (William James). Out of this bewildering chaos of impressions, which pour upon the senses of children, the tiny one has a challenge of building an orderly mental structure of their cosmos. Every child is born an explorer, as they wonder at the mysteries around them. The World can open to the child, if they are given full play in school for their spirit to roam as it feels comfortable or confident enough to do, with time. Montessori materials are ordered in order to facilitate abstract order in the mind; tools to structure the young mind. This is why the correct use of materials as teaching tools is emphasized.

Cylinder psychology – 3.5 years old. Language, words, abstract concepts (like ‘muchness’) formed from experiencing objects with those assigned values. Sensorial materials are effective because they isolate the stimulus (length, magnitude, color, or pitch etc). Prepared paths lead to more order. Inspirations of learning are called ‘Montessori explosions’. Math abstracted into physical volumes can be more easily understood, (Table of Pythagoras) and forms a basis for advanced concepts later. In Montessori ‘mental hooks’ are used to connect children with materials; the hooks are built into the designs and psychological instructions. The success of this education relies on getting children to obey authority, self govern, and problem solve as young as possible.

Deviations from normal mental development certainly remain debatable regarding definition and response. Many people think it is natural for children to be loud, rowdy, and boisterous; yet Montessori believes that it is disobedient rebellion, tantrums, and lying that is deviant behavior (based on the norms of society). In this way strong immersive imagination can even be considered deviant. Montessori uses disciplined freedom, to train minds to navigate the vastness of reality.

Montessori graduates become ‘new children’, because they enlightened and awakened to a new way of higher civilized learning and living. A school is a children’s house, where they can feel at home. Sound shakers, color tablets, bells, primary shapes, spelling, number rods, pink tower, cylinders, broad stairs, math beads and volumes, these tools are all keys to the Montessori method.

Montessori Notes

Posted in Education / Schools, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2016 by Drogo

My mother was my Montessori teacher. In addition to these notes, i have reported on these books: Montessori Revolution,  Absorbent Mind, and  Secret of Childhood. – Drogo

American Montessori Society Bulletin  1979 – vol.17, No.1

Piaget and Montessori In The Classroom – by David Elkind, Tufts University

“Classroom practice, of whatever variety, presupposes a particular conception of the child. In this chapter, four components of Piaget’s and Montessori’s conception of the child are described, together with examples of the sort of educational practice that follows from them.”

Elkind goes on to explain 2 different methods of teaching, by referencing 2 different classrooms where children were using the ‘pink tower’ blocks incorrectly. In one case the teacher corrected the children, and in the other they allowed the play. In theory, he said, both are justified.

Child as capable of self-regulation – learning materials tap mental potential

Child as a cognitive alien – they think different than adults, like foreigners

Child as a logical thinker – young people use logic to make decisions

Child as emotional countryman – they have adult emotions that affect behavior

Summary

The first task of the teacher is to observe children, then let that inform how you teach them. It is the teacher’s conception of the child, which in the end, determines the nature of the teacher-child affective interaction using specific methods and techniques. Do not assume what children know or understand, because everyone is different in their awareness, development, and rationality. Respect for children is important, so that they can begin to emulate respect for teachers, others, and themselves. Teaching should be guided by these factors.

*

Children Learn in Different Ways

Proceedings, American Montessori Society

1975, Granby Colorado

Learning As Creation, by John Bremer

Child Development, by J.M. Hunt

Montessori Day Care Panel

Kephart Development Model, by Nancy Miles

Gellner Rationale of Learning Disabilities, by Ward and Haise

Organizations Serving Young Children

*

Learning As Creation, by John Bremer

Dr. John Bremer founded ‘School-Without-Walls’, Parkway Program, Cambridge

Bremer starts off with a joke about how he once stood up in front of people, and his pants did not. He says “as long as you’ll remember my pajama bottoms all the way through, then I guess I won’t feel too embarrassed about what I say.” Then he proposes a role for the student, as an artist. The artist should understand ‘three essential elements’: material, ideal, and skill. Bremer says that ‘temporal arts’ have a strong presence in time. Songs, music, and dance are temporal arts; you do not “see it before yours eyes as a totally finished thing. You experience it through time.” Temporal arts are more of a ‘process’, than they are an complete object. Bremer says that human beings are more dancers than sculptors, in how they live their lives. “Everything is a rehearsal, and yet everything is the only performance we will ever give. In that way it is incredibly beautiful and also incredibly frightening.” Students should be considered with the humane respect that we might give an adult artist; they are people. He considers the term ‘student’ to be almost equal to ‘artist’. Student = Artist. Teaching means introducing the student to materials, ideals, and skills. School is an activity, not a place; but the structure of a building does matter, as architecture affects learning. Psychological disposition is inherent in education, we all have our own ways or styles of teaching and learning. The student should ‘recreate the wheel’ to be the master of technology, rather that its slave. Also moral responsibility should be introduced by the teacher, so they do not create a ‘Frankenstein’ situation. One way of introducing morality, is to create community, as a bridge between society and individuals. Community to him meant people coming together and cooperatively carrying out common purposes. “We will never all be dancing, we will never all be still.” We dance with others to share love and friendship.

*

Child Development, by J.M. Hunt

Dr. Hunt, Professor Emeritus of Psychology from University of Illinois

Plasticity is important in early psychological development. Intelligence should no longer be limited by predetermined training, but be allowed to expand and flourish with imaginative experiences. Education is important in the process of learning rules, and but to also think beyond the ‘box’. Piaget described the sensory motory phase as a kind of ‘shell game’. The child develops in progressive sequences, or steps.

Hunt goes on to address Head Start, IQ, vocab, and verbal tests and ages. IQ is not fixed, it fluctuates through-out a person’s life-time. 7 ordinal scales: object construction, strategy means (schemes), imitation gesture (physical), vocal imitation (tonal), operational causality, object relations, object relation. Branches of learning can develop at different rates, this is natural; in accordance with genetics and circumstances like environmental nurturing, social effects, and local area situations. The problem of ‘the match’ is how an equilibrium between stages of development can be key to complex phases of child education. When cognition is lacking, motivation is necessary; as found in The Secret of Childhood, by Montessori. Like the Pavlovian ‘What is it?’ reflex; change of habituated input, recognitive familiarity, and the challenge of ‘old-vs-new’ attraction stimuli all matter greatly. Observe, create, and make sure you are free to adapt your methods in order to teach better.

Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work

Montessori Mother, by Dorothy Fisher

*

Montessori Day Care Panel

reported by Janice Sullivan

Children’s House, Broomfield, Colorado

Integrating Montessori into Public Education – existing materials, introduce practical life area, order Montessori materials, regroup into groups of 30 children (max), maintain order, demonstrate activities. Varies local services were addressed. A ratio of non-Montessori staff and aides are allowed.

*

Kephart Developmental Model

Nancy Miles, NC KGH Achievement Center, Fort Collin, CO

Systems and Structures – The total environmental concept: the home, school, community, peer group; all play a part in shaping a child’s behavior, through demands for response or interaction. Kephart Child Development Theory of Stages of Learning: motor, motor-perceptual, perceptual-motor, perceptual, perceptual-conceptual, conceptual-perceptual. Audition, Vision, and Kinesthesia should be integrated.

*

Gellner Rationale of Learning Disabilities, by Ward and Haise

This article criticizes the Gellner approach, but talks about how it is compatible with other systems. It is a neuro-psychological concept of mental retardation, which includes some useful tools for training students that may not be able to fully understand conventional topics. Gellner said that children who are classed as retarded, mainly have brain impairments of either a structural or bio-chemical character. These impairments prevented normal integration of impulses coming from various parts of the body. Senses play a very important part in our learning. Gellner came up with 4 sensory neural systems: 2 involve vision, and 2 involve audition. Mentally retarded children cannot learn in the same ‘normal’ ways, because they suffer from sensory deprivation.

*

Organizations Serving Young Children

Reported by Jim Hennes

The panel concluded that the session had been important in pulling together these representatives, and that future efforts should be made to share some time together among organizations.

*

Montessori Quotes

“Education demands only this: the utilization of the inner powers of the child for his own instruction.”

“The essence of the independence is to be able to do something for one’s self.”

“A child’s work is to create the person they will become. An adult works to perfect the environment, but a child works to perfect them-self.”

“Development comes from environmental experience.”

To have learned something is, for a child, only a point of departure. What is necessary after that is a period of digestion or maturation, a period of intense and prolonged mental activity.”

“The more fully the needs of one period are met, the greater will be the success of the next.”

*

“Teacher, teacher look at me now,

my days are light, my time is right

because you showed me how.

Teacher teacher look what I can do

my lines are straight, they are perfect mates

across the paper blue.

and if you’ll hold my hand

I’ll skip the land and gather flowers new –

hey teacher, teacher, look at me now

just look what I can do.”

– Anon

 

*