Ask Me Anything – The Important Thing edition

“Doggie, wait here a sec. I have got this important thing to get done. Then we go on with our walk, okay?” 

Doing the important thing is not the difficult part of life. Indeed it’s the fun part. The difficulty lies in figuring out what’s the important thing.

Fortunately, a good many people have thought hard about what’s important and we have access to their writings. The ability to read has to be one of the most rewarding skills we learn. 

OK, here are some quotes for your delectation. A few from The Writing Life by Annie Dillard:

“Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

“It is no less difficult to write a sentence in a recipe than sentences in Moby Dick. So you might as well write Moby Dick.”

“I cannot imagine a sorrier pursuit than struggling for years to write a book that attempts to appeal to people who do not read in the first place.”

And the following from the inimitable Rowan Atkinson. The most memorable character that Atkinson created is Mr Bean but he himself is no dummy:

“To criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous, but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is one of the fundamental freedoms of society. A law which attempts to say you can criticize and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed.”

People that have blasphemy laws are backward and uncivilized. All Islamic countries have them; they are backward and uncivilized.

Anyway, what’s on your mind?



Categories: AMA -- Ask me anything

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7 replies

  1. You haven’t prepared a reading list which you promised you will.

    Like

  2. Should government fund primary education?
    Should government fund higher education?
    Should government fund research in basic sciences?

    Like

  3. Atanu,
    What are your views on Sabarimala judgment and ensuing protests?

    Like

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