My favourite Warramiri (?) story from Arnhem Land is of a maths teacher out on a river one time teaching kids to measure distances – how far to from the canoe to the river edge, how far to that mountain etc. It was hot, he asked them if they like swimming and were there any crocodiles in the river (this was long before Paul Hogan etc). They said “yes, this big” and gestured with their hands about a foot apart. “Oh, they are babies, we’ll be alright” said the teacher, and started to strip off his shirt. The kids freaked out insisting that the crocs were “this big” – two hands emphatically a foot or more apart. They were measuring the relevant size – the width of the croc’s mouth, not its length. Ha!. Habermas’s “Knowledge and Human Interests” had nothing on these kids. The maths teacher has retold this ‘lesson’ many times in the decades since.
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