generalized principles

Comprehensive Exploration, Comprehension, and Collaboration

To better understand the kind of inquiry and action that might foster our comprehensivity, our aspiration to better understand it all and each other, we can examine alternative approaches. Comparisons between alternative approaches to learning may help us better imagine what might facilitate our comprehensivity. This resource reviews Ten Epistemic Virtues for comprehensive andragogy identified in a previous resource and then compares them to the Three Sisters Garden Metaphor for Learning of Barbara Wall and the Four Sets of Competencies for Learning from “The Design Way”.

Since this resource references the indigenous wisdom included in the Three Sisters Garden Metaphor (discussed below), it is appropriate to include a land acknowledgment: I write from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania which is part of the traditional territory of the Lenni-Lenape. I acknowledge the Lenni-Lenape as the original people of this land and their continuing relationship with their territory. I acknowledge the injustice of the state-sponsored genocide and settler colonialism that gave me the “right” to occupy this land without a meaningful reconciliation with the Lenni-Lenape. The governments of Australia and Canada have both organized commissions that have acknowledged the genocides on their territories and have made some attempts at reconciling with indigenous peoples. I regret that the government of the United States has not yet begun a meaningful process of reconciliation. Follow this link for some materials I organized documenting these genocides.

Footnote: Barbara Wall’s eloquent four minute introduction and land acknowledgement exemplifies and contextualizes these comments:

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Dante’s Comedìa and Our Comprehensivity

Our comprehensivity is our facility for comprehensive thinking and action. One way to build our understanding of comprehensive practice is to look for precursors in historical works. This resource will examine the comprehensive ideas used by Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) in his great works La Vita Nuova and the Comedìa (more commonly known as The Divine Comedy even though Dante never used that title).

Since January 2021 The Greater Philadelphia Thinking Society and 52 Living Ideas have organized group explorations of Dante’s greatest works to commemorate the septicentennial of his death seven centuries ago. The project has been organized through the web page Reading Dante in 2021 where many learning aides including two free on-line video courses were listed to support participants of the project. This resource surveys ideas for deepening our understanding of the practice, values, and history of comprehensive inquiry and action that might be highlighted by participating in a project exploring Dante’s great works.

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Redressing The Crises of Ignorance

Buckminster Fuller discussed problems of ignorance in multiple contexts. His most dramatic usage was as a crisis of ignorance referring to our failure to recognize our abundance of solar, tidal, and geothermal energy causing the illusion of an “energy crisis”. In this resource we abstract and interpret several crises of ignorance inspired, in part, by Bucky’s thinking. We start by revisiting Bucky’s idea of mistake mystique and Stuart Firestein’s thinking on ignorance and science. Then we explore Bucky’s essay “The Wellspring of Reality”. Finally, we expand on some visionary ideas from Bucky’s essay “Education Automation”.

This exploration is organized around four critically important crises of ignorance and how we might redress them. This should reveal new ways to see the importance of our comprehensivity, our “wanting to understand all and put everything together” as Bucky explained it in his book “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”.

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