If you’ve ever been involved with teaching then you’ll know that you teach the small stuff first, little lies, small over simplifications that get the students off in the right direction. Sometimes this is characterised as getting students on the first rung of the ladder of learning.
Then there is the fear that our modern world is too complex, it’s pushing our children to think, process and work out their mental faculties more and more. Some say you can see the result of this in the ever upwardly reassessed median IQ. Others say you can see it in the stress levels, the increase in trivialities and the reduction of curious pursuits.
But what I see is something different. There are and always will be a range of people with a range of mental facilities and abilities, that not everyone understands computers doesn’t mean that everyone is expected to grapple everything. We worry about the lowest common denominator focus of society, but the common don’t.
When you see the world looking a little simple, basic, too well understood, not progressive enough, I recommend looking a little deeper because it’s fractals all the way down. You used to learn how to farm wheat, now you learn how to drive a tractor, one day you’ll learn how to press a tractor robot activation button, but there will always be more to it and deeper understandings to have for those that seek them.
Don’t refrain from making things simple, the simpler they are the more you can zoom in to greater complexities. The simpler the big stuff is the more you can get on with making progress.
Don’t worry about the apparent deficit of mental alacrity in the general population, it’s always been like that, if anything things are getting slightly better though the shaping and presentation of learning to even the unenthusiastic student. Some are saying that we shouldn’t teach children facts and figures, who cares who the third US president was (Tom) as soon we’ll all have mobile computers with permanent access to wikipedia where all our fixed knowledge can be stored.
Is that progress? do facts help us think up new idea, or do ideas and concepts only matter? Do we need new narratives and tales to pass on these concepts to our children?