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Tuesday
May262015

C.A.S.E. or C.L.A.S.P?

I love acronyms...and I wanted to have a simple acronym to get across the content of a polymathic study or investigation or..case. CASE seemed quite good: Connected Arts Sciences Experience. Connected because you need in the first place to be open to perspectives of all kinds on the subject in question. By being open you get to see more, and see better what is really there. Also a state of 'openess', anecdotally defined as being 'into it' but also 'transparent', not bringing any emotional baggage to a new area of study, is optimal for learning. When we are in 'sort' mode- deciding what to accept and what 'fits' with us we aren't able to learn. We are literally blinkered- but worse- these are imaginary mental blinkers so we are also wasting energy 'ignoring' things right in front of our eyes. To see more- be open- to the artistic perspective, the scientific perspective and the experiential. The experiential aspect is the 'lived' element of any study, how it relates to our own lives as we live them. To study something- be it a river, global warming, relationships, motorbikes we need to include the experiential element to get perspective. Experience is what tells us to highlight certain areas and ignore others.

But something was missing from this- the physical aspect of polymathics. Physical knowledge is the essential fourth element in generating a polymathic perspective. When we focus solely on mind knowledge we lose the balancing factor (can't have too many balancing factors) of bodily physicality. For example, if you were making a polymathic study of violence it would have to include some physical knowledge of violence- how to knock a nail into a block of wood, how much effort is needed to smash a brick, how much it hurts to punch a sand bag. This overlaps with the experiential aspects of polymathy but physical knowledge- meaning that which we 'know' without having to think about it is a huge area of human competence- but because it can't be written down has been very much overlooked. Film and video can capture such expertise more easily and this has led to a greater appreciation of the importance of this area of knowledge. So to include physicality I suggest a second acronym- CLASP- Connected Living Arts Sciences Physicality. Does an acronym get us any further? I think it has a use as a check list for generating perspectives when looking at a new area of study.

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Reader Comments (1)

Polymathics....new word that rings somewhere past the intellect and does not get "sorted" into a file that fits.
Will ponder this one with heart, head and body....
May 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

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