From Universing to Conversing: An Ecological Constructionist Approach to Learning and Multiple Description
Frederick Steier Center for Cybernetic Studies in Complex Systems Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia
I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination. The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of its telling: like that singular organic jewel of our seas, which grows brighter as one woman wears it and, worn by another, dulls and goes to dust. Facts are no more solid, coherent, round, and real than pearls are. But both are sensitive.
The story is not all mine, nor told by me alone. Indeed I am not sure whose story it is; you can judge better. But it is all one, and if at moments the facts seem to alter with an altered voice, why then you can choose the fact you like best; yet none of them are false, and it is all one story.
-- Ursula LeGuin ( 1969, p. 7)
Borges ( 1964) tells the story of a man, Ireneo Funes, who, as a result of an accident (he had been thrown from a half-tamed horse), undergoes a transformation in which he becomes blessed (or cursed) with perfect perception and "photographic memory." He is called, in this metaphysical story, Funes the Memorious. As Borges notes, Funes was, before his accident, like many of us--"he looked without seeing, listened without hearing, forgetting everything, almost everything" (p. 63). When, after his fall, he later regained consciousness, "the present was almost intolerable in its richness and sharpness, as were his most distant and trivial memories" (p.