Born Philosophers

October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I decided to read the long forgotten book Winnie-the-Pooh. It didn’t take long for the memories came flooding back, memories that I never expected I would have.

I was suddenly watching the mist clear to show an animated pink butterfly flee from a light orange paw.  Pooh bear often chased butterfly’s, and leaves, and whatever else he can find.  It was the action in which he seemed to fit most naturally.  It showed his careless quest for something which he could never quite figure out.  He was not the brightest bear on the block and I realized that, even at age 3.  Despite his stupidity he always intriguing, he was often very philosophical.  Was it the very idea of his stupidity that made him so bright?  Maybe the fact that he couldn’t understand anything was what made him question everything, and in doing so question the very facts which we accept so easily as truths.

I was shocked, upon reading Winnie the Pooh, at how philosophical it was.  It truly sounded like a Hindu, or Buddhist document.  As I child I don’t remember thinking, all of Pooh’s questions were weird or strange.  I remember thinking that pooh, though rather slow, acting relatively normal.  I attribute this to the fact that, as I child, I was more similar to Pooh, and therefore didn’t realize the differences.

Winnie-the-Pooh, as I have described him, is the typical child. No responsibilities, searching for something though they are not sure what, mis-understanding, questioning everything.  Does that mean then that children are not less-intelligent, they simply reuse to accept the things that we assume to be true?  Perhaps growing older, and being educated, does not make you more intelligent, but rather just help you to accept the way the world is, and move on.  Maybe basic education simply forces you (or allows you) to stop questioning the way the world is, and move on.  This allows you to move into the more complex of the sciences, and the histories, but it also stops you from looking at the world with new eyes.  After all, those who question when they are young are called kids, but those who question as adults are called philosophers.

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Voices: familiar and Strange

October 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Similar to many of you, I am sure, my father has just gotten the new apple ipad.  I originally believed the device was rather stupid.  It wasn’t quite a computer, but it wasn’t a phone.  So what is it? and was do you us it for?

Well I still have not really resolved that question but I did attempt.   While scouring the new, shiny, device, for unique capabilities I stumbled upon the ibook library.  As the ipad is new there was only one book in the library, the one that comes free when you open it.  It was the original, 1926 version, of winnie-the-pooh.

Obviously, I had to check it out.  Clicking on the icon brought me to the old cover, displaying sketches of the 1920 versions of the main characters (seen on the right).  It was very different from the high-tech, computer animated, versions that the kids I babysit see on TV and yet, they seemed so familiar. I heard my mom’s voice as it followed a stuffed bear through a dangerous forest.  It sat with him on a log, mumbling *think think.. think think*.

Of course, I watched one of the movies too, but hearing the way my mom phrased each of the words, each piece of advice hidden in the book, is a memory I wouldn’t trade.

People are always complaining about leaving books behind.  I wonder what all the kids of today have lost with their new Winnie-the-pooh movies.  I wonder what they have gained.

I mean, it’s not like the book doesn’t exist anymore.  Kids, now adays, simply get both the familiar voice of their parents, and an strange friend to entertain them on rainy days.  So maybe it’s not such a bad thing it’s just an extra thing.  Reading the book with a parent allows kids to bond with their family.  Watching the movies, though, allow them to build their morals and values through a non-parental outlet.  It is a watered-down, children’s version of media.

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