Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Diffracting as well as Reflecting


     I’m re-mixing a variety of items on "diffraction."  So don’t expect scientific accuracy.  I gather that some persons think physics should not generate metaphorical thought or imagination; I don’t see it that way, and I’m not a physicist.  To me, all language is metaphor and I’m no longer looking for an objective reality.  My intention includes not getting stuck; instead, I want vitality, that and to lean toward social justice, toward increased consciousness, and to ride.

     Diffraction has my attention because I sense that educators are being restricted; if not stuck, we're at least slowed or distracted by “reflection."  Maybe tossing in “diffraction” might loosen the restrictions on thinking and doing.  In my playful read of physics, diffraction (or diffraction grating) goes with rainbows while reflections make reverse images.  Or as one commenter noted: “What we call reflection really isn't. It's absorption and re-emission.”  Those things are valuable but don’t we want more?  Look at these Google images on “diffraction and prisms.” 
Diffraction and Prisms
     Let’s let Feynman (1965 Nobel Prize for Physics on Quantum Electrodynamics; see PBS NOVA bio: Best Mind Since Einstein) loosen our minds from the hold of reflection.  Here are some notes and quotes from a 15 minute video clip of his 1979 QED lecture on “Reflection and Transmission.”
* Because shadow was very sharp, Newton made a mistake on his theory of light as particle.
* Transmission is opposite of reflection.
* Wave theory was used as explanation (but the mystery remained).
* Rules (for behavior of energy related to reflection & transmission) are empty of modeling, that is, empty of a model of the type you are expecting. (14:20 into the video)

This connects with what I'm reading in Jung's Red Book, p. 231 & note 25: “If you live according to an example, you thus live the life of that example, but who should live your own life if not yourself?  So live yourselves.  This is not a law, but notice of the fact that the time of example and law, and of the straight line drawn in advance has become overripe.”  Reflection is too tied to a done deal, even if the example is from our own personal history. 

Let’s do reflection and make sure we go further.  #CLMOOC invested not only in web tech but in making.  Check out the variety of makes, especially in cycle 2 and 3, and imagine how this might open our classrooms to let light diffract, to spin patterns beyond.  Karen Fasimpaur gives a lovely example; she plans a Mini-maker day for kids with “unique consideration #1: there will be no computers” and activities including “make a mask, yoga for kids, make jewelry, make a snack, cardboard challenge, and make a puppet.”  Love it.

I have to balance my computer screen time with hands-on horsemanship.  I’m in my mind this morning but yesterday Leg’cy was sound enough for us to move into mounted work/play.  Embodiment makes more complete being/doing.  We move into Rumi’s mystery “out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing . . . even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.”