Andrew Kern Dec 1, 2007
When Ashley constructs a puzzle on the floor of the living room, she will eventually come to the point where she doesn't remember which piece comes next and simple observation doesn't make it obvious. At that point, she enters the realm of nascent scientific thought. She has a gap in her knowledge that prevents her from knowing what to do next, so she has to decide what to do next. If she determines to continue (a matter of the will, not the intellect - i.e. a question of loves), she will acknowledge the gap and immediately start looking for the missing link.
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Andrew Kern Nov 26, 2007
I'm still not sure if these words have the same etymology or if the first syllable is a coincidence, but the link is quite profound. A healthy sense of humor lives in humility, while a diseased one is grounded in ego. Humor is rooted in the bringing down of the exalted, the humiliation of the proud. It finds its higher fulfillment in the surprising and delightful exaltation of the humble.
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Andrew Kern Nov 24, 2007
This review of The Whisperers keeps alive the memory that Putin seems to want silenced. But just as we cannot forget what neo-paganism achieved through Hitler's Holocaust, so we cannot forget what atheism achieved through Stalin's savagery. We must not forget that we also can kill and be killed. These were human beings at both ends of the weapons.  What we sat outside of during the 20th century can make a conscious mind tremble. That we won't experience it in the 21st becomes less and less certain.
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Andrew Kern Nov 24, 2007
This NY Times op-ed argues for some sort of theism, then chooses panentheism for some reason. I think it is because the writer, Paul Davies, a physicist, recognizes the need for a god, but doesn't want that god to be free of the universe it made. Read it here, and comment here. I'm interested in your thoughts, because this whole idea of science and theology is the crux of western historical development.
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Andrew Kern Nov 24, 2007
James Taylor argues in Poetic Knowledge that kids need to spend time outside. So bad have things become that The Charlotte Observer wrote an article about parents who try to spend time outside with their kids. This article underscores the real reason education is dying in America.
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Andrew Kern Nov 14, 2007
Not everybody should read the ancient pagan writers, only those who want to be educated.
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Andrew Kern Nov 13, 2007
At least one of the goals of eduacation must be to understand. That seems self-evident to me - bound up in the act of education itself. So I'm always intrigued and part of me is always puzzled by the antipathy among educators and parents for reading and thinking about profound and compelling ideas. American society seems to have a self-deluding concept of itself as being very practical. It's hard to accept that when you read about how much time is spent watching television, playing video games, and piling up debt. In fact, American society is quite driven by immediacy.
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Andrew Kern Nov 12, 2007
When a school determines to become a college preparatory school, it has two options. It can either think about the kind of college it is preparing its students for or it can become a silly little meaningless school that has no identity of its own and neglects its duties to its students. Of course, it will more likely end up somewhere in between, with some serious college prap activity and some silly, meaningless trascript worshipping, gutless activity.
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Andrew Kern Nov 10, 2007
Continuing my fall garden prep, I was out this morning on one of those Sweater Wearing Days that remind you of childwood walks in the woods and play in the dirt. I felt that energy of childhood surge in me - you know, that desire to be covered from head to toe in dirt!
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Andrew Kern Nov 9, 2007
Neither Shakespeare nor Homer has an importance bestowed by literature professors and their universities. The true bestowal flows entirely in the other direction. What professors of literature can rightly bestow is honor, because meaningful praise has to come from those who know the excellence of things.
Why Literature Matters, Glenn Arbery
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