Thursday, January 19, 2017


Earlier this month, when the death of art critic and writer John Berger was announced, I remembered watching and then later reading his (for me) revolutionary Ways of Seeing.  Anyone who saw even the first 45 seconds of Episode 1 must have felt as shocked as I: this was something new on television, something worth watching because it challenged and rewarded the viewer. 

I felt a shift in me then (as I did when I saw Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of ManCarl Sagan's Cosmos, and James Burke's Connections). All opened my mind to ways of thinking -- about art and culture, science and the universe, technology and human inventiveness -- that formal education never adequately reached.

With the latest news suggesting that federal funding may be ended for the Public Broadcasting Service, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities; with the horrific images of terrorists destroying historic world treasures; with this country's accelerated focus on data-driven testing in education as opposed to deep learning, I long for public discourse that elevates and honors the beautiful, majestic, mysterious creativity and imagination of the species.

Doors and windows, opening and opening, one into another.

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