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Wil Franklin's picture

digress, shall we?

 

Let us talk more about: consensus among a majority. Isn't that what "Truth" really is anyway -- a belief held by the majority at any given time?

Most of the time I come out on the side against absolute truth and hence your statement seems useful. What concerns me however, is the "majority". This is where strict relativism can be dangerous - mob mentality, yes? Might does not make right. When I suggest that physical laws constrains possibility, I am suggesting that even when the majority believes something to be true, it might not be true. For examples of this, think of flat earth theory or earth as the center of the solar system. These were once the majority belief. Does it make them "right"? It was the non-conformist that bucked the system that eventually lead to "less wrong" interpretations of the evidence.

Which brings us back to inner-city classrooms and each one as a microcosm of a larger culture. The study of emergence and chaos would suggest that culture is not necessarily an entity that one can effect directly, but because it emerges from the many interarctions of individuals the only way may be to change individuals. Hence my call to arms for individual teachers. Perhaps the best way to change the large nebulous entity called culture is to change the individuals that are components of it. And if no individual is ready to buck the system then we could be in for a long period of stasis.

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