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Passions in Poetry

Thought -vs- Action

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Ron
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25 posted 03-17-2002 07:21 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Phaedrus, "The Mote in God's Eye" and its sequel, "The Gripping Hand" were by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. Without question, one of the best novels of non-human society ever written.

Brad, I think random neuron flashes and, by extension dreams, are often the result of normal, we-can't-seem-to-help-it human associations. The neuron flash may be random, but our brains inevitably try to "make sense" out of it, building a sometimes elaborate structure of associative thoughts in the process. I think that at least some instances of inspiration are similarly inspired, but with associative thoughts that actually turn out to make a lot of sense to us. And while it's unclear we can ever avoid the associations, I do think we can sometimes control WHICH associations will be made. The associations are a bit like being shoved and then stumbling for several steps in the direction we were pushed. With practice, I think we can position ourselves on the precipice of a steep hill and, no matter which direction the shove pushes us, after a few faltering steps, we are more likely than not to follow gravity down the hill.
Brad
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26 posted 03-17-2002 07:24 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Oh, I don't know, Ron. I though we all, more or less, agreed with your basic premise. You give good examples for exactly the reasons I agree with you.

I don't think anybody was talking about absolute control (or maybe you thought I was going in that direction, and given what I wrote, I can see that). After all, we wouldn't be having this conversation if that were a possibility.

At the same time, I really do think thought is often misunderstood. There's still a tendency to see thought as thoroughly unified whereas I think it's better to see it as pluralistic. I certainly believe that thought should be rigorous at times, but I fear that such an emphasis sometimes smashes the playfulness of associational thought.

There's a time and a place for both.

quietlydying
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the wonderful land of oz


27 posted 03-17-2002 07:54 PM       View Profile for quietlydying   Email quietlydying   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for quietlydying

it's like anger and agression.

anger is a completely acceptable emotion, where as agression is not.

i think it's ok to have the thought, but it isn't ok to obsess/dwell, or to feel compelled to act it out.

we can't always control our thoughts, but we can always control our behaviours.

/jen/

so foul and fair a day i have not seen.††- macbeth act 1, scene 3

Phaedrus
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28 posted 03-17-2002 08:06 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Ron

Iíve just spent the best part of an hour trying to dig that book out from whichever hiding place itís squirreled itís way into. Failing miserably I resigned myself to the fact that Iím going to have to purchase it again (Iíve bought Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance four times in the past fifteen years so itís no exception). I may as well order the sequel at the same time.

Thanks for the details, they say everything is in those.
Christopher
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Purgatorial Incarceration


29 posted 03-17-2002 08:37 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Pournelle and Niven make an awesome team in my op - another of my faves by them is Lucifer's Hammer. also, for fantasy fans, there's The Burning City.

anyone else notice we kinda went wide of the original subject?
Phaedrus
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30 posted 03-17-2002 08:42 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Thatís tangents for you!

My ruse seems to be working but my book order is getting bigger.
Ron
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Michigan, US


31 posted 03-17-2002 09:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I can help you shrink it by one, if you'd like?

While I agree that "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was a classic read, Pirsig's long awaited sequel, "Lila" pretty much sucked. Check it out from the library, if you wish, but save your money because you won't feel a need to keep it near.

p.s. Pournelle is a fine writer, but Niven is the genius in that team. And "Ringworld" is probably the zenith of that genius.
 
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