Thursday, July 22, 2010

By the way, I know your path has been tried and so, it may seem like the way to go. Me, I'd rather be found trying something new.

Shout out to The Offspring! I like the Offspring. Probably one of the few things I'd agree on with all of my brothers. And even if you're not a fan, who doesn't love listening to them providing the soundtrack during a good game of Crazy Taxi?

I'll return to the Offspring in a minute. In apparently unrelated news, somebody who works as a contractor for my company was on Jeopardy! on Tuesday night. I told Lily that he was one of my work friends. (He wasn't, exactly. He was actually a contractor who occasionally works with my company and is apparently kind of a jerk, but that was more information than she needed.) She was intrigued and wanted to know how real people get on TV.

She knows that most of the stuff on television is pretend, and I touched on this with Ancker in the comments section of a previous note, where he said "God and prayer = bad. Dreamcatcher to catch bad dreams = good. Got it." and my reply read in part "I don't see any benefit to saying "THAT'S NOT REAL!"

And I don't. I don't want to give her sharply delineated lines of what is possible and what is not at this age. The last thing I want to do is throttle her sense of wonder right out of her. Just the same, there are certain pernicious beliefs that I don't want to encourage. (And nothing fills me with more NERDRAGE!!! than someone shutting down debate on some aromatherapy cures cancer/Atlantian crystal healing fantasy with the "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" line from Hamlet. Some things are just plain bullshit) But on the whole, just because she doesn't have the exact same ideas about how the world works as I do, it doesn't mean there's a problem. To paraphrase the philosophers in the Offspring, she's got to go make her own mistakes.

Anyways, I told her that real people get on TV the same way videos of her get on the computer. Somebody makes a movie of them with a camera and then that movie is played back on the TV. She had no follow up questions, so I guess that was a satisfactory answer.

But who knows? I once heard a story that applies to this. I thought it is was a really apt analogy, and I copied it from from wherever I originally read it.

Elmar Schmeisser, who practices Shotokan karate, has a great image that relates to this problem. Picture the task of learning a martial art as the process of carving a cube into a sphere. In the beginning, you have few corners, and they are easy to see. As you cut off those corners, you create a whole bunch more corners. From the perspective of the intermediate student, there comes a time when all you can see is corners; your ability to spot the flaws in your technique increases much faster than your ability to correct those flaws. At the same time, a beginner looking at you may see a close approximation of a sphere; they're not good enough themselves to see the flaws in your technique, while you may be ready to give up because you feel you're getting worse instead of better. (Paraphrased from a thread on )

Sometimes, parenting seems that way. But usually, it's pretty good. And we've got a lot of time to get it right.

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