Every once in a while you come across an idea that is so full of possibilities, your imagination runs wild, unleashed. When you share your thoughts with others, you might indulge in fantasizing together about how the future might unfold; or you might debate the merits and obstacles in seeing some version of the future realized; or your conversation partner might reject this new idea outright, a rejection often based on emotional reaction, because this disruptive idea perhaps lies beyond the comfort zone of your interlocutor’s existing frameworks.
When philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn wrote that paradigm shifts occur as revolutions rather than through incremental additions to existing knowledge, he pointed to the need for our imaginations to break free from our current constructs for real change to happen—divergent thinking is imagination. Kuhn contended that crises ensue when communities realize that their existing paradigms hold an increasing number of “anomalies” (that is, events that happen that don’t fit the dominant narrative). Revolutions occur when these communities shift their thinking and actions and accept the new paradigm, which eventually becomes commonly accepted, as the old one is rejected.
Not all ideas have the same value, but no idea should be thrown away because of a lack of imagination to play with its possibilities. Albert Einstein said, “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.”
We are in a state of crisis, one that is systemic and in which education is but one connected node. The planet is burning up. We have the resources but not the will to house and feed everyone on earth. Our relationships are polarized and, despite Humanism’s promises, we still don’t treat each other kindly—and by this, I am referring to how we treat humans as well as other life forms.
There are many different possible avenues for how to resolve the crisis we’re in. Even more for how we make it worse. I don’t believe that technology will save us. I do believe that technology will provide the tools with which to approach conditions differently.
The potential of the Metaverse is unlimited and my imagination is off to the races. I’d read about the Metaverse before, but it never stuck. Then came the news stories about Facebook changing its parent name to Meta because it wants to focus on multidimensional worlds in addition to (and eventually…