Wandering, students and scholars, nomads and knowmads


In the Middle Ages students, monks without a cloister, professors, minstrels, artists, vagantes, scholars, traders and specialized artisans and lots of other people led a wandering life. Add soldiers, beggars, pilgrims.
Towns and church did everything to keep people from wandering around. Church councils, Charlemagne, town magistrates tried to prevent people from wandering. In those days one could travel without a passport.
Even now traveling people (hobo’s, immigrants, … ) are looked upon as enemies of civilization. Living without an address now is almost impossible, even for immigrants.
Wandering was/is an adventure, robbery, freezing weather, hunger, uncertainty.

What about the nomad? Is the nomad an enemy of institutions or church or government? Is wandering and nomading or knowmading permitted in schools and universities?


4 thoughts on “Wandering, students and scholars, nomads and knowmads

  1. I’d imagine outside the urge to control people just having built a city or a university planned for people to live in it would be discouraging to see people prefer to wander and not settle. Do you think there was a time in the development of our brains when the need for things to be orderly and in their place became important? Being a nomad involves a lot of uncertainty and flexibility the bosses of religion at the time who were selling answers might not like. Also, if you wouldn’t sit still no one could “represent” you or give you their valuable advice. Maybe like IKEA, the bosses were upset about people who had an “un-designed” lifestyle?
    Anyway uncertainty is hard to sell. You have to WANT things for the economy to operate and if you have no desires then you won’t work for the boss at some crappy job that you have to go to school to be trained to do so you can earn cash to spend on leisure travel:-)

  2. Early on in China and India people went seeking enlightenment and also for trading objects which mixed ideas all over.
    Traveling Shoes — Robert Randolph & The Family Band Live From Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010

  3. Civilization has always been about control, and education is no different. I believe that the open learning movement facilitated by not only technology, but a shifting of values away from ‘power’ and toward ‘equity’, and away from ‘power’ toward ‘understanding’, is driving greater acceptance and appreciating for wandering, wondering, and the ‘knowmadic’ way of life.

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