Unlikely and lively Kelly bestialized an analysis of central nervous system regeneration in biomedical engineering his stationary flight or breastfed livelily.
The result, as observations piled up, was a vast creaking mechanism of epicycles, eccentrics, and equants—geometrical gimmicks intended to force circles into copying the simple and elegant motions of the heavens. To start opening a second channel and get the muck draining back to the sea in a different direction, we can start with the simple act of reading.
I wonder sometimes how many people realize just how spooky the act of sitting in a comfortable chair and reading an interesting book actually is.
The author uses the toolkit of written language to set out a sequence of thoughts in a form that other people can experience, and the reader then uses his or her own mastery of that same toolkit to experience those same thoughts. At first glance, there may not seem to be much difference between a story or a speech experienced as an oral performance, and the same story or speech experienced as a text read silently by oneself, but the shift from one to the other has profound implications.
Take a few moments to think about your own experiences of oral performance—speeches by capable orators, storytellers weaving tales for children, actors in live theater, or what have you. Every linguistic act in an oral performance is surrounded and bracketed by a galaxy of other, nonverbal communicative cues: An oral performance is always an interpersonal event, and the words are only a small part of the total communicative act.
None of that went away when reading changed from the professional activity of a small cadre of scribes to an ordinary attainment of educated people.
Oral performance remained the standard way of using and encountering language, as it is today—but there was another option. People began reading by themselves, silently, without any interpersonal dimension at all outside of the words themselves.
In Roman society in the first century BCE, that had about the same unnerving quality that telepathy has today.
Any number of theories, by turns grandiose and grittily materialistic, have been proposed to explain why philosophy sprang up at nearly the same time in Greece, India, and China, but in all three societies, not long before the birth of philosophy, literacy either broke free of a caste of professional scribes or in the case of Greece never got assigned to such a caste in the first place.
None of the nonverbal dimensions of an oral performance are there to distract you from those thoughts, or keep you from noticing where the thoughts of the writer differ from your own habitual thinking patterns. Of course that kind of thinking can be taken in unproductive directions. In point of fact, it was inevitably taken in unproductive directions.
Back in the sixth century BCE, as literacy became widespread in ancient China and kindled the usual intellectual explosion, Lao Tsu started his brilliant and cryptic handbook of practical philosophy Tao Te Ching—The Book of Process and Value is as good as translation as any—with the following necessary warning: The names assigned to things are not the things that they name.
To some extent, of course, this is one of the ways that people wiggle out from under the tyranny of mandatory niceness in contemporary society. Since hate plays exactly the same role in polite society today that sex had in comparable circles in Victorian times, excuses to wallow in hate are highly popular these days, and this one gets a lot of use.
Over the last few decades, through government mandates backed enthusiastically by both parties, education in the United States has been transformed into a sustained exercise in passing standardized tests, with the careers of teachers and school administrators as well as the futures of their students held hostage to a rising tide of arbitrary abstractions in multiple-choice form.
As a result, getting the right answer has become the be-all and end-all of US education. Independent thinking and creativity are not merely discouraged but punished, often very harshly—after all, a child who thinks for himself or herself might not get the right answer.
Thus the ordinary stresses of schooling have been cranked up to the snapping point as, year after year, children and teachers alike have to go through the motions of learning with the gun of failing test scores pressed perpetually to their heads.
The fact that most questions in the real world have no right answers just adds a mordant irony to the picture. Two further barriers have to be evaded in order to get to the goal.One of the ways you learn about yourself is by the impact your thoughts have on your reality; that's called direct learning.
Your thoughts impact against physical reality and physical reality mirrors back at you that reality that is coming from you.
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