Re: DSM: On Certainty and language.

From: Darren Stanley (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 18:06:20 EST

Thank you, Ardeshir, for responding to my e-mail.

It does make for a very different reading (believe it or not) when CAPS or
tialics or asterisks are used. I can imagine (although it will be a bit of
a stretch for me to do so) that the conversations I have been trying to
follow don't *sound* like yelling matches. It is not so much that I
*object* to CAPS, it is just that for someone (like myself) who has had
others point out particular e-mail etiquette and has since followed it,
reading e-mails by others where CAPS have meant something specific can be
confusing and a source for annoyance. My list of annoyances is rather
small, but seeing adults argue does drive me around the bend. Whether or
not you and Travis have been is sort of besides the point. It is about, for
me, the perceptions that other smight have. And, as in other contexts, I
have often been told that if I have a patriuclar question or comment or
observation, then maybe there are also others in the same boat. *is*
good to clear up such understandings.

> A lot of schools do have eduation as their goal. But SVS, as I understand
> it, does not. Its goal is freedom, and *nothing* else. Indeed that is also
> means to the goal. (It is not often that the mans and the goal are the

This is an interesting thought, but I am not one to respond to it since I
have not yet seen nor spent any useful amounts of time at SVS (or an
SVS-like school). I can see how freedome may be the means, but I really
don't know if one could say that that is the goal. I don't think that such
a goal could ever be achieved by participating within any social structure -
including SVS.

> I am reminded re. this of a quote from a play by Bernard Shaw, in which
> a defrocked Irish priest is telling his listeners about his idea of
> "My notion of heaven", he says, "is a place where work is play and play
> is life: three in one and one in three." *This* is what I mean as well!

I like this annecdote. In fact, I pretty say a similar thing to people who
wonder why I go to university. My work is my play. And, I enjoy what I do
and would have it no other way. Why do soemthing that you don't enjoy?!?!

> Freedom, by its very nature, *cannot* be absolute, because one cannot
> have the freedom to *take away* others' freedom! So rules are absolutely
> necessary to preserve freedom, and to ensure that *everyone* lives free.

Fair enough. But your second sentence sounds like it is meant to be a
foregone logical conclusion. Which is to say, that it does not follow. I
would hazard the guess that so long as people participate within human
social structures/systems that people are not absolutely free. This is not
to say that people cannot be absolutely free. Perhaps, *simply* (if only
life could be so simple!) not participating within such structures is all
that would be needed.

To live within such a system then, wouls seem to require the necessary
provisions of rights and responsibilities - hence, rules. What then do we
mean by rights? I have seen that word crop up several times since i joined
this list without having *any* sense of what that means. What *rights* do
people/children/adults have? In a system, these get determined in a
particular way. Outside of a system, the notion of rights makes no sense.
Of course, if one is so inclined to viewed the earth or an ecosystem is
participating within a system, then we might be talking about something.
These are ecological sensibilities. Because it is a different system 9from
a human social system), there may very well indeed be different rules to
follow. All in all, at every corner i turn, there seem to be different
rules and responsibilties at every corner I turn. In the end, however, I
think that greater concern could be for rexpect others, rather than ensuring
personal freedoms. just an extended thought (which i wasn't planning on
writing here).

> You are completely right about leisure being connected with the
> word "school" (via the Greek.) And yes, in *that* sense Sudbury
> *is* a school. But it is *not* a school that provides *education*:
> at least not as the word "education" is mostly understood to mean.

I don't find much to disagree with over these statements...although I would
say that education seems to have more to do with imposing rather than
offering or providing anything...whether that thing is wanted or not.




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