Another Cloud on “Home Education” Clarity Campaign Horizon?

7 05 2007

And it’s not clearing up for the weekend, folks! Here’s my latest boating advisory for Home Education Clarity Speak: Take your paddle.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes and School Choices, so could this be a corporate-government plot to profit from the misuse of the phrase there?

Of the 225 graduates of the city of Mankato’s First Home education classes, 48 have bought homes and none have foreclosed. Twenty-four of those purchases come from single parents. It’s a worthwhile investment to help employees make a significant improvement in their lives that will ultimately mean a stronger, more stable workforce. . . ISJ is helping its employees get over that hump so it can offer stability, as well as peace of mind and a place to call home, to its people.

Mankato’s a cool power of story town in classic kids’ books so I am feeling all sunny and warm now.

But oh dear, do I hear resurgent thunder threatening, that this program’s publicity could cloud the pure absolute meaning of “home education”?

Let’s just chase that storm down, shall we, see if we can get a clear look at it by flying ourselves into its eye . . .

The name Minnesota LITERALLY means “somewhat cloudy water!”

A Dakota word as it happens, which confuses itself right off the bat with our official names for two other states, you know, the Dakotas?

Muddy Water of Dakota would be clear if muddy water CAN be clear, but wait, the Sioux arguably had more to do with MN’s history than the Dakota, and “Muddy Water” means Boston and the Red Sox, doesn’t it? — a song not sung, oddly enough, by Muddy Waters himself, who was in fact born in a (Mississippi, not Minnesota) town with a tribal name — Issaqueena Falls — but redefined himself as a native of Rolling Fork instead and then changed his name and birthdate to suit his public persona . . . and oops, I just confused Muddy Waters and Dirty Water!


Muddy Waters was not this man’s real name, but those who know and love his music wouldn’t know or love his real name, McKinley Morganfield.

Dirty Water is played after every HOME Red Sox victory (if you have season tickets, could you then “homeschool” at Fenway, or is that really worship?)

. . .and btw, thinking of sports reminds me of Muddy Waters the football coach for Michigan State, which takes us back to Minnesota’s neck of the woods and all that cloudy lake water . . .Shouldn’t we unschoolers object when a State claims to embrace education choice, yet brazenly counts Henry SCHOOLCRAFT among its early influentials, mapping everything out for them and killing the freeform view?

[We don’t need no steenkin’ schoolcraft, no wait, that was Treasure of the Sierra Madre, not Pink Floyd’s Wall, although come to think of it, in another cloudy connection that song was co-penned by Roger WATERS!]

And you gotta admit, it would be funny to demand clear public definition in a state whose name was graphically translated for Europeans by the natives — who we call some pretty mixed-up and often offensive names to this day — by mixing milk into water to cloud it! Making the cloudiness clear.

“Many ha-ha” we might say — a joke itself built on linguistic ignorance.
Minne means water, not several.
Haha means falls, not funny.
(Which means Minnehaha Falls is not only misunderstood, but redundant to boot.)

So here’s my extended forecast:
I don’t think the original tribal leaders will have any more luck reclaiming for their own exclusive territory, Minnesota OR the Dakotas nor the words once used to describe them simply and clearly, than the heap big tribal leaders of Home Education have had or can hope for . . .It’s quite clear even when it’s cloudy, that going on the warpath over words ends badly, and leaves behind a populace no more enlightened than it ever was, much less than it could have been. . .

Glad we cleared that up! Have a bright week and clear sailing, whoever and wherever you really are . . .



9 responses

7 05 2007

Glad you’re having fun connecting the dots, JJ. 🙂


7 05 2007

I am, and I do!

And connecting dots makes me think of Something VERY cool I’ve been reading, trying hard to be worthy of — Dr. PF Henshaw’s creative science and math thinking site. Connecting dots is part of it along with the all-important idea that we create meaning by what we pay attention to (and don’t) and how we organize it all into mental images and complex systems, human events as well as the meaning of nature and physics itself.

It’s called “The Physics of Happening” and it has a jolly “notepad for dummies” although I warn you even that is geared to very smart dummies, if my quizzical brow furrows are any indication of the challenge level . . .

It starts with this, which I imagine sounds the way I sound 🙂
once I get going:

It’s often very hard to identify what’s what in nature. There are just too many things taking place with overlapping causes and results. It’s a problem.

Coherent individual whole systems do co-exist, overlap and intermingle, like the mingled systems of ecologies, or the untraceable cross fertilization of ideas in a new school of thought, but more than you’d think can be localized and individually identified by their characteristic dynamics of change. It’s displayed in the shapes of their curves of change over time. They include storms, sparks, our own reflexes and thoughts, social movements, the growth to failure of great plagues and misguided civilizations, cosmic explosions and life.

It’s a group of phenomena that includes everything in the macroscopic world that begins and ends. It’s surprising, but I think reasonably simple to demonstrate, that the growth of complex systems is the source of everything that is eventful around and within us.

Do they have any meaning independent of human questions and beliefs?
I’ll stretch a lot of words but ‘meaning’ seems clearly to be an internal property of the minds that create it and the communities that share it, though no doubt it’s meaningful to say there’s quite a bit of reality we’re missing.

Then here’s what PF Henshaw says therein about connecting the dots.

Finding continuous patterns of change over time is the main subject, and this means drawing curves. One of the most curious features of nature is that all apparent curves, when looked at closely, are made of ‘dots’, the ink on the page as well as the data and the physical subject it refers to, presenting a total discontinuity!

Yet there is continuity, but not seamless like in mathematics, and whether there are connections in nature or not, only the connections between the dots, that we make, allow us to see it.

This connected and disjointed character of nature and information can be genuinely confusing. It would appear that the full appreciation of this fact is not even quite dawning on the scientific community, still uncomfortable, after a hundred years, about the failure of classical determinism. We still rely on it heavily, and find it difficult if not impossible to emulate the order in events that nature so amply demonstrates using random variables in nonlinear mathematical models.

The position taken here is that continuity is not violated by discontinuity, that nature is not math. It’s different.

[JJ’s note – don’t you just LOVE that?? 🙂 ]

This is a little like the confusion physicists have about the wave-particle nature of light. It doesn’t seem to make any sense, and part of the fun is that the concept encourages you to think ‘forbidden’ thoughts, like that the connections exist only when you make them. . .

‘Connecting the dots’ to find useful patterns, is a subject of literally every task and discipline. . . a form of imaging . . . Good images, though, make for good questions, and that is the object.

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6 08 2010

Hey, it’s Minnesota confusing things again! Is this platform good fiscal conservatism or bad social bigotry, OR are they impossible to clearly separate, part and parcel of the same damn convoluted anti-American worldview and Target just its latest victim?

Target in MN Apologizes for mixing up its own profit interests with equal human rights:

Ads run by the group were focused on budget policy, not social issues. . .[but] Target is known in Minnesota for helping sponsor the annual Twin Cities Gay Pride Festival.

The reaction to Target’s donation highlights the potential risks for businesses that seek to take advantage of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out parts of a 63-year-old law that prohibited campaign donations from company funds. . . the Target donation in Minnesota was among the first major new corporate moves to come to light.

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