I’m currently working on a reply to the testing challenge; I think you deserve more than my current, sloppy-english response.
In the mean time, a couple of very interesting updates:
1) Last week I read Brave New World. The link leads to the free, on-line edition of this 1920’s classic. The novel is dis-topian fiction; it portrays a world that is highly socially engineered for happiness – and completely devoid of innovation, intellectual development, and meaning.
A couple of my favorite quotes:
The Savage was silent for a little. “All the same,” he insisted obstinately, “Othello’s good, Othello’s better than those feelies.”
“Of course it is,” the Controller agreed. “But that’s the price we have to pay for stability. You’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We’ve sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.”
– Huxley, Brave New World
“Yes; but what sort of science?” asked Mustapha Mond sarcastically. “You’ve had no scientific training, so you can’t judge. I was a pretty good physicist in my time. Too good–good enough to realize that all our science is just a cookery book, with an orthodox theory of cooking that nobody’s allowed to question, and a list of recipes that mustn’t be added to except by special permission from the head cook. I’m the head cook now. But I was an inquisitive young scullion once. I started doing a bit of cooking on my own. Unorthodox cooking, illicit cooking. A bit of real science, in fact.” He was silent.
– Huxley, Brave New World
So, fifty years before I was born, you have Huxley worried about the cult of stable, predictable, repeatable. Interestingly enough, Huxley was a european who wrote the book on a trip to America, mostly in concern over what Henry Ford was doing up in Detroit …
2) This week I read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I’m afraid that this one came after Mickey Mouse, so the copyright is enforcable. If you want to read it, you’ll have to check it out of the library. It is a quick read; you can probably devour it in one sitting, and probably will. The book depicts how the choices we make define who we are – and who we will be. The book is inspired by Lewis’s Christian Faith, but it is neither quite protestant nor quite Catholic. I think, most of all, Lewis wanted his audience to think.
Oddly enough, The Great Divorce was designed as a response to William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In this book, Blake used the term “The Doors of Perception”, which so inspired Huxley as he named a book after it. (And Huxley wrote the first book in this post. Odd …)
In any event, these two books, “Brave New World” and “The Great Divorce” are going up on my list of books for intellectual development, right with up with Starship Troopers, Atlas Shrugged, The Chronicles of Narnia, Orphans of The Sky, Phule’s Company, and Mere Christianity.
That was my quick, sloppy list, and it is a very odd list indeed. I should think on that …