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Topic: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: pasquale di rago
Location: melbourne australia
Date: 12/09/2010

Many years ago I found you used this question in one of your books. I think it was "Eon". What I found is that it was also used by Lewis Carroll, who did so as a kind of prank. But the prank backfired because he was forever being pestered to come up with an answer. Anyway you can read all about it if you google it. Marvelous thing this internet, so much information, but very little real usable knowledge, let alone wisdom.

All the best for the festive season, the last time I wrote to you was around December 2004, so it's been a while, but I figure much water has passed under the bridge and we are all a little more advanced if not calmer.

I do have a general question concerning something I came across. Is there any truth to the suggestion that 95 percent of all real knowledge is by invitation only. If so then what is the value of an education?


Cheers Pasquale.

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 12/28/2010

Thanks, Pasquale! Nobody's holding back on real knowledge, as far as I know... but then, I didn't buy the e-Ticket at university! (That's an outdated reference to old Disneyland ride ratings, e-tickets being the most expensive.)

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Roald Laurenson
Location: Imperial Beach
Date: 01/02/2011

Well, it seems to me this is a pretty interesting question.

The knowledge that's most available is the accepted kind, that which has been seen to have some relatively dependable proof.

However, new knowledge comes from what floats on this surface, is still beneath it, or flies beyond, doesn't it? And the half-developed hypotheses aren't easily spoken of, or traded in conversation beyond the trust of certain professional friends.

Greg's stories Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children deal pretty directly with such intrigues of what is becoming knowledge, and I think they're pretty accurate to what really goes on.

This would be the very active part of many fields, which does seldom show up on the internet or in journals, in so many words. Those who construct stories sometimes also get involved ;).

C.

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Everett, WA
Date: 01/15/2011

Pasquale, I think the "real knowledge" question depends on your definition of "real." If you mean high-level political knowledge, I think the answer is yes. For instance, I doubt most of us know the real reasons for which most wars are fought. I, for one, have decided that I either need to become seriously involved in politics to really know about such things, or I need to forget about it. All the theories about it are just that. Or, actually, not even that, as they cannot be tested, so they are not even really theories. At best they are hypothesis.

However, there is an awful lot of knowledge out there that is available to anyone who has sufficient desire to learn. This is the course I have chosen, and this is my idea of "real." I don't really care much for or about the machinations of the politicians. I think "The Who" stated it rather succinctly many years ago. "Here comes the new boss, just like the old boss..."

And, by the way, I won't insult you by stating here the two rather facetious answers Lewis Carroll was fond of giving, regarding the raven and the writing desk. :)

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/16/2011

One answer is perfectly logical, of course. And it seems to me to be the best.

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Pasquale Di Rago
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: 01/17/2011

Thanks Greg,Roald and Kelly.

I appreciate your comments.

I have read Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children, along with a few other GB Books, and found them to always expand my world view especially when it comes to possibilities.

As for my Question concerning "True Knowledge", I think it was the Ancient Greeks who had the right idea, and I guess Self Knowledge is the only True Knowledge worth having.

Finally as for the answer which best describes why a Raven is like a writing Desk, I find that it has something to do with Thought's having Wings, and that you need to write them down in order to capture them. Yes I am aware that there may be better answers, but none lead to anything but dead ends. At least with "Thought's have Wings", it does open up another line of inquiry aka Mysticism.


Cheers Pasquale

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/18/2011

Looks like I have to remind people of the best answer I know of: "Because Poe wrote on both of them."

Certainly satisfies the riddle component!

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: pasquale di rago
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: 01/25/2011

Thank you Greg,

For teaching me a valuable lesson and pointing out my Hubris.

On the subject of Riddles, its interesting where they lead, e.g. Oedipus, The Riddle of the Sphinx and Freud. Im sure there are more but cant think of any at this point. But it just proves that Riddles still have a place in our World. Annd can lead to higher, clearer states of Awareness and presence.

Ill finish with one of my own, Ive only learnt about today. Here goes.

If The Past is There and Then,
Annd the Present is Here and Now
Annd the Future is Where and When,
What is Nowhere?

Ill put forward my own solution, which a guy at work helped me with, but Id love to hear from you and others as well.

My Answer is: Nowhere is never seen or heard. So Nowhere (forum) doesnt exist. I wonder if this riddle can lead to a deeper understanding of Space and Time, Because Nowhere is both Space and Time, as in Now Here.

Cheers

pasqualeDiRago








Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/27/2011

Pasquale provides another solution to the raven/writing desk riddle: Because they both use Quills.

That's neat and elegant, as well!

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Emery Calame
Location: Austin
Date: 02/07/2011

Both are mainly composed of complex hydrocarbons. Of course metal writing desks or stone writing desks will pose an unfortunate exception to this so Ravens are only like some but not all writing desks in that particular respect.

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/25/2011

Ah, we need a Venn diagram! "'Raven' intersects 'writing desk' only if you push hard enough..."

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Mad Hatter
Location: Witzend
Date: 03/07/2011

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Both can carry your message.

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: pasquale di rago
Location: melbourne
Date: 03/15/2011

Found an interesting book on Push & Pull. It's called Perils of a Restless Planet, by Ernest Zebrowski Jr.

Which I'm sure makes interesting reading given the events of the last few days.

And whats more its real Science, not Science fiction.

Theres a sting in the tail.

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/10/2011

Very good! But how far will the writing desk carry it?

Re: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

From: Greg Bear
Date: 04/10/2011

Looks like a fascinating read. Thanks, Pasquale!

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