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January 8th, 2008
01:11 pm
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Edge.org's annual questions are always fascinating reading -- essays on simple but profound topics from luminaries throughout the intellectual sphere. This year's question is no less interesting:

What have you changed your mind about? Why?*

(n.b.: The page design sucks. I know I'm hardly one to speak, but it's egregious. After they list the question, they go through about a dozen screen lengths of trackbacks and advertising before getting to the content -- the index of answer summaries and links.)

I'll link in particular to "imagination is real," which scores a bulls-eye, but all of the essays are great. Be prepared for an hour or two of skimming.

And allow me to judo the topic a bit. This is a dangerous question -- one with the potential to bring trolls out of the woodwork -- but you guys are awesome and I'm confident I can get some thoughtful responses:

What SHOULD I (Baxil) change my mind about?

This is a serious question. If a topic's important enough for you to wish I thought differently, I'd like to know why. Give me a glimpse into the other side.

No guarantees that this thread will cause any epiphanies -- but I can promise that all (non-troll) comments will be taken seriously and any supporting links will be read with an open mind. I don't want to turn this into a debate -- I will make no rebuttals, and I'd prefer if you guys refrained from jumping on each other -- but I do reserve the right to explain why I am on my side of the issue (just like you should) if my opinions are firm.

Anonymous comments are enabled.***

* **
** This footnote unintentionally left blank. (I fell asleep last night while thinking how I'd answer the question.) Marriage, for one; I never thought I'd find myself married, much less happily.
*** As always. But you have to point it out for threads like this. It's like a presidential candidate being tough on crime or kind to children; saying it means nothing, but if you don't say it people start to wonder.

Current Location: ~/Brainstorm
Current Music: Sting, "Fiends of Gold"

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:January 8th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
I can think of some people I'd have good responses to this for - serious, thoughtful responses that might or might not be enlightening but may at least be interesting - but you're not one of them. Not because I think Everything You Do And Say Is Perfect, but just because I can't recall anything you've really posited that I disagree with, which is doubtless a facet of not knowing you well enough. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make more bold statements this year that I might be able to generate opinions on!

In the meantime, I might co-opt this idea as a meme, if you don't mind too much? I'd like to know the same about myself, and I trust my friends list.
[User Picture]
Date:January 9th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
In reverse order:

3) Go ahead!

2) Fair enough! "More Bold Statements" is something I've been wanting to push myself to do. I have a bad habit of not talking about The Important Things, and I think that should change. Are you willing to keep me honest by occasionally prodding me with a "what do you think about (X)" or "hey, you should totally write another LJ post now"? :)

1) Apropos of nothing, I got your Christmas card. Thank you! I have a slightly longer response to it that I shall unveil at some point in the nebulous near future.
[User Picture]
Date:January 9th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
3) Wunnerful!

2) I'll do my best. I can be notoriously forgetty, but I do want to know more of your thoughts on The Important Things, 'cause, you know, I feel like I really couldn't summarise what your feelings on most of them are. I'll try to keep in mind that if I don't hear too much from you on this, you should be prodded.

1) Muchly welcome! I'm glad you liked. And I am curious about this response, and must know. (I've been away over the holiday season, so any cards that've been directed at me haven't been got yet, but if there is cardage than there shall be commentary on it, and if there is not then it shall be perfectly well understood, as I'm not fussy over reciprocrity and generally in fact tend to forget about these things.)
[User Picture]
Date:January 9th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Okay, so to firm this up, I'll shoot you a few suggestions for things I'd like to hear from you about, and you can let me know if any of them are things you'd feel like talking about, and then I'll have something more concrete to remember to poke you about:

1) Life, the universe and everything, in general. Your beliefs, what you think the universe is fundamentally like, where you think we're headed, what it's all about, etc.

2) Order and chaos. Not just "which one you support", if any, but what you think those concepts mean. How do you define them? Do they have any value as separate concepts?

3) Politics. What are your political leanings and why? What are your biggest concerns in politics, your most important issues, and why?

4) Draconity and what it means to you. Have your feelings changed on it since you set out with this idea so long ago? What have been the best and worst parts of discovering it in yourself? What have been the best and worst parts of sharing it with others? What do you feel about the community?

5) Fiction. How meaningful is it to you? What kinds of fiction do you connect to? Do you prefer to write or read? Have you ever attached to a fictional character so deeply that their plight was as important to you as a meatspace friend or family member's? What pieces of fiction shaped you, as a kid?

6) What are the Big Important Things to you, and why are they important? What defines you? If you were asked "Who are you?" and encouraged to answer in depth on the first few points that sprung to mind, what would you say?
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
Just wanted to come back and mention - I've had a few extra things on my plate the last two weeks, and I've been trying to channel my recent burst of wordiness into the low-hanging fruit (such as posting stories already written). But I've filed both mental and written bookmarks here, and once I stagger out from the weight of all the other things I want to write right now, I plan to revisit this post and start going through the list.

Thank you!
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
You're muchly welcome! Glad my suggestions could be of use, and thanks for pinging me about it. Can very much understand the stuff-on-your-plate part, and what you're writing/posting lately is plenty interesting, anyway.
[User Picture]
Date:January 8th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
It would help if I had a better idea of what you don't like, vehemently disagree with, or haven't tried. I frequently assume some things about you; like the best example I can think of is being surprised that you'd never had genmaicha before.
[User Picture]
Date:January 9th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Fair enough. See point #2 above. Any suggestions on what sort of things I should discuss as I try to lay myself out a litttle more?
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