NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I Think I'm In Big Trouble . . .
Peter and I just signed up for Amazon Prime. That means for $79, we get two-day shipping on nearly every book we order at no extra cost for a whole year. And overnight shipping for 3.99. And 1-Click shopping. Easy shopping in my jammies! Yup. I'm in trouble. :-)
In the meantime, I am working away at The Faerie Queene. I got totally confused in Book One, Canto 5 last night, but thanks to my handy dandy reading guide, I'm back on track. The nice thing is that the poem is gorgeous even when you're thinking, "Huh? What just happened? How did we get here?"
My two Chapters in How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization were fun to read though! The current topic is "How To Think About Learning." In the chapter "How To Read A Book", he taps into ideas like the difference between reading for pleasure and reading to learn. When we read for pleasure, we may learn something accidentally or incidentally, but it is not intentional. When we read to learn, we can approach it on two levels. The first is reading for information or facts. The second is reading for enlightenment, which requires a lot more work on the reader's part. There, of course, is much more detail in the book, but I can't give it all away. :-)
In the following chapter, "How To Talk", he tackles discussion with others. Again, there are two types of discussion, for pleasure and to learn. I thought the most interesting part of this section was his rules for discussion. He goes into detail on all of these, but here is the outline:
10 Rules For Conducting A Discussion
1) Pick the right occasion
2) Pick the right people
3) Be relevant
4) Don't take things for granted
5) Try to avoid arguing fallaciously
6) Don't agree or disagree with the other person until you understand what that person has said
7) If, after understanding the other person, you do disagree, state your disagreement specifically and give reasons why
8) Keep your emotions in place
9) Catch yourself or the other person getting angry
10) If you can't control your emotions, at least beware of the results of emotional disorder
(From How to Think About the Great Ideas: From the Great Books of Western Civilization by Mortimer J. Adler)
Sounds easy, right? I bet I break just about every one of these rules daily. :-) He also talks about the importance of asking good questions and understanding if a question is a question of fact or a question of interpretation. For example, is the question "did something happen" or is the question "was what happened good"?
I know some of this is common sense, but honestly, I never gave too much thought to any of this before, and it's somewhat embarrassing to admit that. I feel like I'm being subtly reprimanded for being so intellectually frivolous. But I'm OK with that. A little reprimanding was in order. Maybe it will straighten me out! :-)
Tonight's topic asks if we can truly learn from watching television. Hmmmm. . .