9.24.2009

good reads

Now I realize I have had some education and training, and I realize that I have a personality and temperament that takes some pleasure in abstractions, but I am aggravated when my reading and listening recommendations are answered with “I don’t get it” or “It’s over my head.” That’s the point! What is the point of reading a book or listening to a lecture that is not over your head? You wanted to read and listen to learn, right? We only learn when something is beyond our head’s current measure. Anything else is just masturbation, stroking what is already known—what is already believed. It is cheap and easy. It is painless. It does not pay. Monogamy, on the other hand, is difficult and demanding. It takes effort and may cost you your life, but you are better for it.

I think culturally, we've come to expect growth and health without effort, without blood, without pain. But where in time or space has that ever been so? Species are made strong through their struggle. Muscles and bones are made strong when they are stressed. Character is perfected through trial. And our brains are a made smarter by reading things over our head.

So, I will do my best to make appropriate recommendations, but it will be over your head—even if only enough to shave the bangs. I promise not to recommend Barth’s Dogmatics, but you must promise not to expect Green Eggs and Ham.

2 comments:

tug said...

I tried to read this post but I was like "what is he saying?", so I just skipped to leave a comment. Too heavy for me -- now off to YouTube!

Brett Berger said...

I love you!