Tag: imagination

Policies for a “What If” World

 

As I watch the very few policies and questionable actions by the Biden administration, I’m becoming convinced that they are operating to create a “what if” world: what if we had the perfect world, and if we don’t have it now, what if we take steps that would take us in that direction? In other words, they are frighteningly unmoored from reality, and our country will suffer greatly if they are not stopped.

What do I mean by a “what if” world? Here is what they believe:

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Here is the third in this trilogy of posts, after Blind Spots and the Reticular Activating System, and The Subconscious Repository. This is the MONEY post. Remember, to some extent I am artificially dividing the mind into parts, like eggs, milk, cheese, and spices. In reality, it’s a baked omelet. Enjoy! There is a part […]

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One of the things that the Power of Positive Thinking crowd often fails to mention is that whenever you try to make a big change in your life, your life can sometimes enter a stage where it seems everything is falling apart. When you want to take your airplane to a new altitude, put on […]

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What Killed the Dinosaurs! And You Don’t Look So Terrific Yourself.

 

In 1978, Harlan Ellison published a fine collection of his short stories, called Strange Wine, with an Introduction entitled, “Revealed at Last! What Killed the Dinosaurs! And You Don’t Look So Terrific Yourself.” This was Harlan’s classic broadside against the watching of television.

I was reminded of him while reading a news story headlined: “Almost 40% of university students surveyed are addicted to their phones.” Harlan could have easily updated his Introduction against all of social media. (If you’d like to read the full version of the Introduction, go to Strange Wine on Amazon Kindle, click on the “Look inside” cover image, and scroll down.

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It started innocently enough. A friend asked “what does the ‘A’ stand for?” “Why, Awesome, of course!” That became an in-joke, part of the wry humor and ribbing among friends. But they were exchanging these comments with secure communications, which is where things got out of hand. Apparently, the alphabet soup agencies’ AI’s cracked the […]

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I recently acquired a Yamaha keyboard and began searching through my bookshelves for music to play. From a dark corner I retrieved a book of folk songs collected by Theodore Bikel, and a Mormon hymnnal (contributed by my Aunt Eva). Songs of Zion (New York, 1942) offers such exciting melodies as “Home at last in […]

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Elizabeth Holmes and the Power of Imagination

 

Theranos founder, chairwoman, and C.E.O. Elizabeth Holmes, in Palo Alto, California, September 2014.A 19-year-old college student had a revolutionary idea that she imagined would make her rich and famous. She quit college and founded a start-up, attracting incredible attention, investors like Lawrence Ellison of Oracle, and a board of directors that included Henry Kissinger and George Schultz. She dressed just like Steve Jobs, in black turtlenecks. She had huge, mesmerizing blue eyes and a very deep voice for a woman. She was sought after for interviews, TED talks, and hailed as a pioneer in medical advances. She claimed that the cost savings using her technology would be in the billions.

Her technology concept was cheap, reliable blood testing done with only a fingerprick, using a device that could test for up to 240 different things. She claimed that she was driven by integrity and the desire to help others.

. . . [T]here’s a tremendous responsibility. I think about it all the time in the context of my mom. And the information that we’re generating, she does all of her tests through us, knowing that we’re right, every single time, and knowing that we’re not compromising on quality, and knowing that we’re, in every action that we take, approaching this with a seriousness that it deserves, in the context of what it means to say to someone, “You don’t have breast cancer” or “You do have breast cancer,” has driven our culture in a huge way.

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I am a deeply proficient daydreamer, which means I am long on imagination, but my defining characteristic is laziness. So this will be short. Archimedes said “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I will move the world.” I think language is the lever, but imagination is […]

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Music and the Imagination

 

Music can spark our imagination. My sixth grade music teacher once came in with a recording of some symphonic Rachmaninoff and instructed us to take out our notebooks or looseleaf paper and write whatever came into our heads as we listened. I wasn’t sure what to expect since she didn’t tell us in advance what we were about to hear, but I remember feeling shocked as the sound crashed into me and then I began to write, and words flowed from my pen onto the paper as the music swept me away.

Music can also create emotion in the listener. We all can think of the power of a favorite song or classical recording. Have you ever been watching a television show or movie when you realized the only sense of suspense or excitement was coming, not from the plot or the scene or the actors, but from the music? The composer attempts to use this instant link to our brains to convey something to us, often successfully, even when the rest of the input does not support that idea.

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Several months back, in our Wednesday night bible study of the book of John, we found ourselves reading John 17 – Jesus’ high priestly prayer dedicating his work on earth to the Father. In typical bible study fashion, we read the chapter together, then clumped together in small groups to answer a set of pre-arranged […]

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Speaker for Those Who Live in Another Universe

 

I call myself a writer. But there are days when I wonder at the justice of my calling myself such. I wonder at the truth of it. Oh, certainly I have a facility with the written word, but when it comes to writing fiction, it is seldom that I am working hard at writing. Instead, it is as if the characters appear in my head. They shout, “Write this down. This is my life. Let your people know who I am. Let them know who I was. Let them know that I existed, if not in your world, then in another.”

You may call it imagination. I imagine these characters with all their foibles. Some are essentially good people. Some are drunks. Some are bored. Some grow through their stories. Some are out-and-out sociopaths, manipulating people and perpetrating horrors.

Group Writing: In My Imagination

 

When I was a little girl, I often was conscious of living life in my imagination. I might be walking up the driveway from the school bus in reality, but in my imagination I had suddenly become Aragorn the Ranger, and my noisy siblings just ahead of me probably couldn’t even see or sense my stealthy, long-legged presence behind them.

I might be trailing through the mall behind my mother as we boringly shopped the sales for school shoes, but in my imagination I was Laura Ingalls, providing a running commentary on everything of any interest around us for my blind sister Mary.

Imagination: Castles in Our Minds

 

Dad put his foot down the day of the hanging. Mother was always concerned about us getting fresh air, and exercising more than our imaginations. Dad, walking in from the garage, after another long day’s work at the hospital, was usually just concerned about obstacles on his path, through the family room, to the stairs leading up to the kitchen, dining, and living room in our split-level house. But the hanging caused him to pause and bark disapproval. Then he resumed his course, as we took down the traitors from the gallows.

It had been a long but foreseeable path to the gallows. Our parents had provided us with all the materials. We had no television to shape our imaginations. Instead, we were surrounded by books. There were family books in common bookshelves. Our bedrooms had bookcases for our very own books and our library books. Then, there were the American Heritage children’s histories, the junior encyclopedia sort of books, and assorted other common books which might have been in the family room (really the children’s rumpus room).

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In Group Writing, Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose your writing to a general audience, with a bit of accountability and topical guidance to encourage writing for its own sake. Haven’t participated in Group Writing yet? We’d love for […]

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I have brothers. One is less than two years older than I am, and when we were boys, we spent a lot of time together. It wasn’t necessarily that either of us wanted to spend time together, but we shared a room, and some days were not great for leaving the house. We did have […]

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The conversation you will find below started in Mr. Aaron Miller’s fun discussion of games & therefore I felt it should be taken out, because it’s ugly stuff. The book is, I believe, a must-read for people interested in American war & modern warfare. I expect more than a few people here on Ricochet have read […]

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