“I’m thinking of a queer feeling I sometimes get, a feeling that I’ve got something important to say and the power to say it–only I don’t know what it is, and I can’t make any use of the power. If there was some different way of writing…Or else something else to write about…” (Brave New World, 69)
As linguists are wont to remind us, one’s language does not fully reflect the way people think. For instance, the fact that there is not a single world to refer to something does not mean that those native speakers cannot think in those terms or refer to that thing since, after all, they can always use a phrase or something else. Nonetheless, I think this quote is saying something important: our language often frames the way we think about things and will influence the way we think about topics. Of course, framing this thought in the proper way is important because language does not determine our thoughts and there is an interplay between language, culture, etc., but the point is still important and one that is not often recognized because we fail to see how historically-conditioned we often are.
While reading an extended quote in Rowan’s Rule, I started highlighting this passage without knowing much about the context in which it happens. I look up the organization behind it, the Jubilee Group, later and realize that it is a socialist group. As someone who is an extremely small government libertarian/borderline (peaceful) anarchist half the time and drawn to MacIntyre’s political philosophy in After Virtue the other half the time, I am not sure what to make of my affinity towards the quote. Nonetheless, it is as follows (p. 84):
Continue reading “Rowan’s Rule, part 5”
“Never think you can resolve a disputed question just by arguing that ‘The Bible says…'” (Rowan’s Rule, 63)
The key point here is that we need to know, especially in theological discussions, that the other side has read the Bible, yet they have different views seemingly in good faith. Even if their different views aren’t in good faith, simply saying that the Bible says thus and so doesn’t resolve a dispute. It might be the right thing to do and it might make you feel you took the right tact by standing by the Bible, but thinking it will simply resolve everything seems a bit simplistic.
“All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable [sic] social destiny.” (Brave New World, 16)
Thomas Pynchon might be the most mysterious fiction writer around. Last night, I finished his famous work The Crying of Lot 49 and I am still unsure what to think. Reviewing this book is difficult for multiple reasons, but one of which is that I am not sure how to review fiction in a way that gets people hooked without giving away important details.
Continue reading “[Review] The Crying of Lot 49 (Pynchon)”