12 may 01 morning

the future of ergonomics, only in an art school, the cruw and the spamaowhawk

topic today?

First I decide to type in some handwritten notes that I wrote in the last few days - but I'll do that directly into the iMac not via the handheld. At the time I thought them too private for the digital diary but on reading them now I've changed my mind - but I may edit or omit some parts.

Today I was pleased to find that I've learnt enough (of the html skills that Rob Blake is teaching me) to have found the URL of a writing I want to add to softopia, and to have added a link to it, in only twenty minutes! A week ago that was beyond me - or would have taken an hour or so, with many mistakes and blunders.

The link is the future of ergonomics (and everything!) and the writing is my paper at the second cyber conference in ergonomics. Later I intend to add links to the discussions at the first cyber conference that I enjoyed so much. It was such a pleasure to me to give back, to a new generation of ergonomists, something of what I was so glad to learn from my 'second education' at the early conferences of the Ergonomics Research Society.

Yes, I was conference-educated in ergonomics and I believe that to be a far better way to learn a subject than by attending courses. You learn new knowledge from the ones who discovered it - and no one is trying to make you learn it!

But no, that was not my second education - it was my third.

My second was in 1950 - 1953 or so when I learnt sculpture from Robert Adams at the Central School of Art in London and from Sidney Spedding at the Regional College of Art in Manchester. That was real education - in the sense of bringing out one's potentiality - not just learning what other people already know. It changed my life.

Only an art school (and perhaps a music school or other place where people are taught imaginative skills) can teach the combined reconstruction of the world and of oneself. If there is to be education at all then let everyone have a year at least learning art or music or poetry or some such. What a difference that might make to the so-called 'quality of life'.

I'm reminded that in Ancient China state officials had to qualify in examinations in 'the book of songs' (a book of ancient poetry said to be edited by Confucious) and to compose poems themselves. And the (almost lost) European education in the classics of Greece and Rome was not too far from that. Think of the poems that John Milton* and S T Coleridge** wrote at school. Where would they be in 'quality assured' goal-oriented education of the present? And where are we?

'Hail, native Language, that by sinews weak
Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,
And mad'st imperfect words with childish tripps,
Half unpronounc't, slide through my infant lipps,
Driving dum silence from the portal dore,
Where he had mutely sate two years before :
Here I salute thee and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task ...'

*by John Miltom aged 19 'At a vacation exercise...'

'To the Autumnal Moon

Mild Splendour of the various-vested Night!
Mother of wildly-working visions! hail!
I watch thy gliding, while with watery light
Thy weak eye glimmers through a fleecy veil...'

**S T Coleridge, wrote that aged sixteen, and described how he used to gaze at the moon and stars from the roof of Christ's Hospital School in London - seeeing the moon as a link with his home in the west.

19.45 Bragg seat on Heath I wasn't going to wqite any mors today but I've just seen a large crow chasing a smaller spamaowhawk, and the hawk swooping upward to evade it by supcrior manouverabilit - and I cannot resist noting it

There my be mistakes in that paragraph as I've not got my glasses. It will be interesting to see if thif gadget enablf me to write without seeing what I'm writing (or not much of it) but to write by feel of the hand movements - plus memory of what.s written and what's fomiug. Though I nornally waite without thinking more than say two to five words ahead. Perhaps furthem ahead now as the hh slows me down.

I can't see the cruw or the sparrowhawk.but I can here people playing a ball game in the distance. And over to my left ia a plane iw the stratosphere is (edving a slow curve of vapour trail in ite hazy blue sry as it slowlx turns from eastward to northwamd.

This is a good life if it not even with acl the suffering there is - which Vohn Cage quoted someone af sayiug is 'just the right amount'!

I like that - perhaps because I don.t experience suffering - when trings are difficult or friet itewing or sad ormiserable I don't think of it as suffering. I dislike the word, it seems to me too passive. Is that why I can never believe fully in Budhism=? '!life is suffering' seems to me to be a mistaken idea.

'Suffer little children to come unto me' sad Jesus. That's the meaning of the word that I can tolemate. He could have said 'allowwi. Ihem to come. So is 'suffering 'alcowing? And you don't have to allow it!

End of sermon on the bench i- his eovely evening... almost spoilt as it is for me by the-acressive sounds of people playing football or some such way of tryin

10.30 typing on a keyboard:
I can't resist leaving those spelling mistakes unchanged - they could not have been produced deliberately in any other way - and they are so poetic! So, despite the seriousness of what I was writing, I will leave this text as it is. Seriously. For everything is equal is it not?

Mark Twain is supposed to have said that the reason why the truth is stranger than fiction is that it doesn't have to get past an editor. So I resign from that role - at least for this piece...

...Except to add the chance-chosen colours.