I keep looking on my bookshelves. I see the conflicting worlds I am creating there. Books on Druidry. Books on Native American beliefs and history. Books on Roman History. My beloved and dog-eared copy of Margot Adler’s “Drawing Down the Moon”. Following that are my books on Computer History – a textbook on J.C.R. Licklider (one of the forerunners in network theory through his background in psychology). Books by the completely wild, imaginative and mind-blowing Clifford Stoll – a man that makes you think without you realizing it. My copy of both of the Steves of Apple fame. And my treasured copy of “Fire in the Valley” which continues to stoke my fires concerning the importance of Computer and Digital History in the classroom environment. My books on personal experiences in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s (and in reading many of them – proof that I was born in the wrong generation). All material that speaks to me and who I am. All material that seemingly contradicts one another.
Computers. Heartless things. No emotions, no feelings, no depth. Essentially electrical current running along copper conduit, generating information that follows hard-coded and soft-coded instructions to display imagery and information to me on a peripheral component. Very much a product of human beings. Then there’s the books leaning to the natural aspect. The other extreme. Where everything is alive, can make cognitive choices, feel emotion. Be alive. In between there’s the spiritual and historical. The glue that brings both sides together, and provides a sense of cohesiveness to these vastly different perspectives. Each feeds a part of me. An ongoing curiosity. The more I read, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I experience through applications of that learning. Which leads me back to reading – so I can learn more. Experience more. That makes me feel alive.
Each area looks different. Contradictory even. In the end, each melds together to form the world as I see it. I interpret the information. I act on the information. I form conclusions and corollaries from those actions. And each one of these is a unique function. Some people may see and do things based on the same information, in the same manner as myself. But there will always be something that makes my perspective unique. It makes their perspective unique as well – for each of them. No matter how much information we gather, no matter what sources we use, no matter the experience – in the end, only one person can occupy the particular space you are in, at that given moment.