Tuesday, January 30, 2007
From "Meaningful Words"
 
Posted this -- typos and all -- on my literary ruminations blog "Meaningful Words" and was so impressed with myself I thought I'd spread it around elsewhere as well. :-) Doubtless sober up when I discover this is a trite truism discovered fifteen times by other people starting in 300 B.C. but oh well. A girl's got to have thoughts.

Thought of the day: Maybe it doesn't matter what complex material a young mind engages in order for the resulting adult to be able to deal with complex realities. In order words, all that Latin in in my grandfather's era did train the minds of future lawyers whether or not they needed Latin later, and SF sagas (whether on TV or in books) do train minds to think about the moral issues of our era even though they aren't "real". In fact, I'm guessing it is better if the things we learn to think about are not real because it frees the mind to dig in without being hampered by preconceptions vital to one's ability to survive and succeed in one's own world. Our emotions are fashioned to let us "side" with cases and be united by beliefs that will promote our survival. That makes it very hard for us to think about our own circumstances with the kind of abandon and rigor that it is possible to think about artificial circumstances and thought experiments. Or to put it more simplistically, in an artificial setting we can dare to think. And the exercise will stand us in good stead.

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