Learning Learning/Parable 1


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When the Sage points at the moon ———

———————— the fool looks at his finger

———————— the bad dog bites it

———————— the nice dog licks it


"The sage points at the moon; the fool bites his finger." – attributed to Lao Tsu

Warren McCulloch used this version:

"A child looks where you are pointing; a dog comes to your finger."

Unknown used this version:

"A wise woman looks whose finger is pointing the moon, and asks: "Who are you? And why are you pointing me the moon?"

But issues about learning are seldom quite clear:

A pro-dog friend tells me that some dogs can learn to look where you are pointing. Human toddlers all learn to use and understand the pointing gesture very early but there is controversy about how much this is supported by innate factors. Perhaps it is entirely innate.


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