No drones on our journey

What a different vibe on campus, this time of year – calm and quiet, unhurried, plenty of parking. Our classroom in the Business and Aerospace Building, home base for our summer stroll through civilization, is like Leibniz’s monads: no windows. But unlike those misbegotten monads we have a remedy for our insular condition: we’ll break out for at least twenty minutes every hour, into the empty corridors and open air.

I was amused to see that our classroom is across the hall from the unmanned aircraft office, or (as I prefer to call it) the Center for Drone Studies. The concept of sending mechanical proxies to do our work, especially our dirty work, is profoundly antithetical to the peripatetic model. We have to do our own strolling, if we want to find the nectar in the journey.

We’re a small but varied and voluble group, it’s going to be a great course. We barely began discussing some important themes sure to recur – the evident gap between the historical Socrates and his dialogic representation by Plato, the limits of perfectionism, whether there really is a universal and mathematically precise “language of nature” applicable to everything, including politics. All part of the “big picture,” and we’re on our way to find it.

Before class I met the charming retired couple from our May mini-Happiness class. They’ve been everywhere, and they’re still eagerly traveling and learning. They know where to find that nectar.

5:30/5:44, 66/82/54

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