The Miracle of Norman Who?
Those of you familiar with the life and times of Dave know that I am often at the nexus of miraculous activity (which is odd, because I'm not a spiritual person, nor do I believe in fate, mysticism, or any powers greater than my own intellect) and so, I humbly present to you The Miracle of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Because-No-One-Can-Remember-His-Name; for the past few years, at the end of the Philosophy unit on relative and universal ethics, I've played a short video of the acclaimed cognitive scientist Steven Pinker explaining how technology often solves seemingly impossible moral quandaries . . . and while Pinker acknowledges the value in moral crusaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., he reminds us, that in a utilitarian sense, there are far greater heroes-- and then he mentions one of these heroes in particular-- the father of The Green Revolution-- and he points out that no one knows this guy's name, and I've played this video a few times in the past, and I still can't remember the guy's name . . . but then Steven Pinker says the guy's name and I vow to remember his name from this time forward and I make the class swear to remember his name as well, and then I showed my students the lead article in Wired Magazine, which is written by President Obama and is titled "Now Is The Greatest Time to Be Alive" and I pointed out how similar Obama's piece is to Pinker's video . . . an odd coincidence, because I happened to read the article the night before doing the Pinker lesson-- but not a miraculous coincidence, just a coincidence-- but then, as we were reading through the article, which I had projected on the giant screen at the front of the class, I noticed that Obama mentioned the same guy that Pinker referenced . . . but I didn't notice this on Sunday night when I was reading the article, because-- as Steven Pinker pointed out-- no one can remember this guy's name . . . so, with no foresight or planning, in my class on Monday, both Steven Pinker and President Obama mention the Father of the Green Revolution, who--unfortunately-- doesn't have a very catchy name, but deserves to be remembered as a great savior of humanity . . . as Obama eloquently puts it: "without Norman Borlaug's wheat, we could not feed the hungry."