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Progress On Next Book

Public lectures. I love them.

This quote by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says it all: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Charlie’s right, you know. Absolutely right. Books and people can teach you things, and being taught things is the one and only way to change things. If everything always stays the same – well, it’s a sure sign that nothing new is showing up among the neural networks. It confirms my suspicion that the opposite of constant learning is stagnation.

The risk is greater than just stagnation. It’s boredom. It’s numb autopilot. It’s same ole, same ole, day in, day out. It leads to a kind of cynicism. A sigh that there is nothing new under the sun. And yet – the antidote to such an unforgivable state of existence is ample and abundant, affordable or free, and pretty simple. Learn something new, and all the stuff you already knew is changed by it. Refreshed, in a sense.

Pick up a book. Talk to someone new. Or attend the museum or the gallery. Better yet, take advantage of some of the public lectures at the local varsity. This very evening there’s a talk about ‘the enigmatic John Marshall’. The week after, one about the archeological complex at Calstock. There’s another talk about Plastics and managing waste.

Now some may say – too obscure. Not for me. Turn on the telly, and gimme something with a shootout.

But that’s what’s so amazing about new knowledge. It comes from someplace you don’t know, aren’t used to, wouldn’t have thought of by yourself. That’s what makes it so powerful. Do something un-me. Try something I couldn’t have considered. Learn about something I had no interest in before.

That little bit, that tiny introduction of foreign gnosis, may re-wire everything. Or at the very least give a break from everything else.

Loving this public lectures thing. It’s a good night out – and you get to live in full colour, actual reality. Beats the TV any day.