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An evening of blogging, twittering, John Locke, and discovery

April 6, 2009

As I continue to explore and make use of the new tools available for use on the Web, my excitement builds.  From the fun of re-connecting with my past on Facebook, to watching different parts of my life overlap and intersect there, to following people known and unknown on Twitter, to keeping track of RSS feeds, blogs, and favorite websites on a new blog, its all too good.  I’m hoping my posts soon switch from the kid-in-a-candy-store sense of wonder to actual use and exploration of them.  Or maybe I’m just re-joining John Locke in his exploration of the limits of Human understanding, as in this excerpt:

For I thought that the first Step towards satisfying the several Enquiries, the Mind of Man was apt to run into, was, to take a Survey of our own Understandings, examine our own Powers, and see to what Things they were adapted. Till that was done, I suspected that we began at the wrong end, and in vain sought for Satisfaction in a quiet and secure Possession of Truths, that most concern’d us whilst we let loose our Thoughts into the vast Ocean of Being, as if all the boundless Extent, were the natural and undoubted Possessions of our Understandings, wherein there was nothing that escaped its Decisions, or that escaped its Comprehension. Thus Men, extending their Enquiries beyond their Capacities, and letting their Thoughts wander into those depths where they can find no sure Footing; ‘tis no Wonder, that they raise Questions and multiply Disputes, which never coming to any clear Resolution, are proper to only continue and increase their Doubts, and to confirm them at last in a perfect Skepticism. Wheras were the Capacities of our Understanding well considered, the Extent of our Knowledge once discovered, and the Horizon found, which sets the boundary between the enlightened and the dark Parts of Things; between what is and what is not comprehensible by us, Men would perhaps with less scruple acquiesce in the avow’d Ignorance of the one; and employ their Thoughts and Discourse, with more Advantage and Satisfaction in the other. (I.1.7., p. 47)

John Locke (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

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