Tuesday, August 22, 2006


a guy wrote:
-=-You have restored (somewhat) my faith in Humanity.
( or at least in you...)-=-

I responded:
Interesting idea, "Faith in Humanity."
Disappointment in all of humanity is as bad as "faith" in all of humanity.

I never thought of it before. Thanks for the new thought you didn't mean to plant!

The topic was my Dumbledore page. That one was announced at unschoolinginfo.com/forum, way back. Harry Potter speculation. Don't go read it. But someone came across it and was furious that I had said something right near the top that spoiled the book for him. I think that because the book had been out for six months or more that was his problem, but still I felt bad. I like to be surprised by the endings of movies others have seen already.

So I added a long silly intro to the page
and if you want to look at the intro, just don't read any more of it.
If you do read more of it, don't complain to me.

But for doing that, which I did months back (this guy doesn't check his e-mail much!), I restored someone's faith in humanity.

"Faith in humanity" is one of those idiomatic expressions people use without dissection. I know perfectly well what "You've restored my faith in humanity" means, and how it's used and what it's intended to mean, but not until today did I see it for what it REALLY means.

All of "faith" hinged on me. My action (putting up silly photos and spur-of-the-moment words) changed someone's faith in humanity (so someone said). I guess before I changed that webpage, faith in humanity had been lost. Gone. No faith in humanity.

That's crazy!

First, no one should have "faith" in humanity. In what, ALL OF THEM? ALL humans are worthy of faith? Faith in what way--trust? Support? Acceptance? Humanity robs banks and kills people. Humanity abuses children and steals stereos out of cars.

And we're not a team. And if we WERE a team, neither democracy nor consensus would cause us all to agree and act as a single unit without renegades or detractors.

So where SHOULD faith be?

I think now (as of about fifteen minutes ago) that faith is what some people come to unschooling discussions to find. They want to find some people in whom they can "put their faith." They have some faith and the urge to "put it," and they look at unschoolers.

IF they have faith, then they will... what?
Trust what EVERY unschooler says?

And when one unschooler says something unreliable or off, then the person's faith is broken? Dead? Betrayed? Lost?


a guy wrote: -=- I am genuinely interested (if skeptical).-=-

I wrote: Genuine interest is great. Expressing skepticism to me is a little irritating. Nothing else was irritating.
My kids are 20, 17 and 14 and your skepticism doesn't change their lives.

That was from e-mail. It got me thinking.

Skepticism as the opposite of gullibility is a good, healthy thing.
When someone reads personal accounts of what has actually happened, and what is working so well that a mom will write about her children on the internet and writes "I'm skeptical," it gets personal!

This has been a problem for years, in and around unschooling discussions. It's related to other issues (probably to all other issues), and is probably a problem of the language itself.

"Skeptical" spoken of oneself isn't bad. "Skeptical" spoken in reference to a report isn't bad in the absence of the reporter

If two people are standing at a check-out stand looking at a headline about someone having Elvis's alien grandchild, one might say "I'm skeptical" and no one would be insulted. If I put up a website with a couple of hundred pages of reports of real-life successes of people, many of whom I know, more of whom I trust, none of whom I have reason to DIStrust, and I do it for free, and I do it out of a desire to give others an opportunity to try those things in their own families, and someone writes to me at my house and says "I'm skeptical," it just isn't the same neutral deal anymore.

The e-mail exchange from which the top quote came has been saved here: http://sandradodd.com/skepticism

While I would certainly hate for someone to write "love your site; I'm gullible" I don't much like "love your site but I'm skeptical" either. I assume that people will read things critically and thoughtfully.

Maybe I just hate e-mail.

I doubt it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

TV and Movies

There are a couple of new things on that page, including a link to:
Movies that seemed very scary from the previews but weren’t so scary, and I noticed after I chose three by that criteria that they are also all fundamentally about parenting (though you would never guess it from the previews!)

New, bottom left, to this page about “what if little kids watch TV all day”
“I used to restrict how much time my kids spent on the computer and tv….I have to honestly admit that we are much happier and I have much more trust in my children the more control I give them.”
There’s a lot of good stuff in between that beginning and end. The writing is three years old, so some of the program and video game references are a bit dated, but it’s my fault for not putting it on the page sooner! I save more things faster than I can make them newly available. The principles and the happiness in it are still quite fresh, though, and comforting.

Pam Sorooshian discovered a report on a TV-viewing study with 300,000 subjects. It’s linked here
http://sandradodd.com/tv, bottom right.
The “Snobbishness vs. Godzilla” item that was there before has its own page now:
http://sandradodd.com/t/godzilla and links to some other monster reports.

Jacki’s daughter Hannah cooked a big fancy meal because of something she saw on TV. There is a fun report, and there are photos here: http://sandradodd.com/t/holly

There are a few new things on another of the TV pages:
about unexpected learning.

It’s been a great idea-sharing season.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Elvis, Barbie and Rebellion

Two new pages and one with new parts



I’m sure they’ll all have additions over the years, and suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

connections; real reading, really fast

I received the following note, and was pleasantly surprised at the blog entry. Having been badmouthed on a couple of blogs lately, I was nervous to receive a cryptic note to check a blog, but it was great!

thought you might want to read this: http://of-five.blogspot.com/2006/07/taiwan-pipe-organ-and-stops-of-organ.html

Thank You.

We corresponded a teensy bit about organs, which reminded me to look up more information about reed organs. One thing led to another, and that’s why I made the organ page(s). I already announced them, but there has been news since then about what kind of organ I have.

Thoughts about “real reading” (something new at the bottom of that page)
and it has a link to a new-today page about speed reading