Writing as a program for the human mind; The Importance of Taste and Tastefulness:

I would like to wax philosophical for a moment, if I may.

 

I would ask you to consider an analogy in which a story is a computer program or a "phone app" and the writer is akin to a programmer. Our job is to write a set of thoughts -- instructions to process information -- and we wish to do it well. But the human mind is a curious machine: Every single unit is a different model and processes thoughts differently. Our goal, then is to create a series of artificial thoughts which will enable the reader to follow us from information to conclusion. We are writing inputs to create a desired output.

 

For example, if we write comedy, we wish the reader to laugh. We program using the Joke method, perhaps. Or the absurdity method. And so forth. In some it produces the desired effects; others don't find it funny.

 

The human mind, however, is different from those silicon-chip monsters that inhabit all of our deskspace. The human mind does not have to accept the thoughts as they flow by; it can critically analyze them, correct errors in them, weigh them for truth value or for usefulness, and reject them if they are unpleasant. The human mind runs these programs in virtual processors that are set apart from itself; in self-aware processes locked within greater processes.

 

This is a huge benefit; we can learn about a madman without thinking his thoughts, whereas a computer can only read a virus by running it and triggering its evils. And yet, there is still an effect from a constant immersion in unpleasant and unhealthy stimulus; it eventually seeps past the barrier and into the self-programming of our innermost processors.

 

With this in mind, we, the writers, must write a program -- an artifical dream, if you will -- that presents a pleasant view to the mind that runs it. We must entice the reader's mind with pleasant thoughts in order to present the ideas that we wish him to consider and to analyze. That is why so many great philosophical books present themselves as narratives. Great art speaks of life; and Life is best understood as a series of events, and thus the narrative gives a carrier for the idea.

 

But Life is not always pleasant. If the art of writing is to reflect the reality of life, then the unpleasant must often be faced, and even the greatly distasteful. However, these themes can be dealt with pleasantly. Life is not always beautiful, but we can tell of its ugliness in terms of its beauty.

 

There are always those who wish to experiment in any art, and some will say, "Art is not always beautiful; let me show you the ugly, the disgusting, the hurtful." Can such a work be art? Without doubt; it speaks of life. But the processor for such a program will reject it. The mind will not entertain ugly thoughts when it can see beauty instead. A work of art that is never perceived is no work of art; it is merely an exorcism of the ugliness within the artist's head.

 

A writer here recently asked opinions of a work that was merely a recitation of horrors and ugliness, offered as an experimental work. To such a one I must say, "The experiment fails; the processor will reject these inputs; the ideas will be ignored." If there is a message to be conveyed -- and art always conveys a message -- then the message is lost unless the dream is pleasant enough that the processor will consider it. To Shock the Reader is to lose him.

 

Dispense with horrible gruesome recitations; instead think on higher things.

Comments

  • I would like to wax philosophical for a moment, if I may.

     

    Schrodinger's book shelf?

     

    I would ask you to consider an analogy in which a story is a computer program or a "phone app" and the writer is akin to a programmer.

     

    But computer progs are written. It's just that they are writing code for a machine and not a human mind.

     

    Our job is to write a set of thoughts -- instructions to process information --

     

    Yes, but we are not writing the prog that translates and tries to work out what we are attempting to put across. That's already been done by evolution.

     

    and we wish to do it well. But the human mind is a curious machine: Every single unit is a different model and processes thoughts differently.

     

    Not really. Although not everyone is born with the same IQ or even commonsense, the brain itself is more or less the same, but each at times running at different speeds, just the same as PCs do. ( I wont include fetal development and birth-defects.) That's Nature. There's the Nuture point also. Peoples' level of learning so that they understand what they are reading about because they already know what, for example, Warp Drive is.

     

    Our goal, then is to create a series of artificial thoughts which will enable the reader to follow us from information to conclusion. We are writing inputs to create a desired output.

     

    Why are they artificial?

     

    For example, if we write comedy, we wish the reader to laugh. We program using the Joke method, perhaps. Or the absurdity method. And so forth. In some it produces the desired effects; others don't find it funny.

     

    That goes without saying, and some see nothing as funny.

     

    The human mind, however, is different from those silicon-chip monsters that inhabit all of our deskspace. The human mind does not have to accept the thoughts as they flow by; it can critically analyze them, correct errors in them, weigh them for truth value or for usefulness, and reject them if they are unpleasant.

     

    One would hope so, but few do, or brainwashing of any type would not work, and in that I even include adverts for products. But, computer experts have predicted that in 50 years PCs will not only be able to out think humans, but also be cleverer and almost sapient. Not all cutting edge PCs are machines, some experimental ones are organic.

     

    The human mind runs these programs in virtual processors that are set apart from itself;

     

    No it does not, it's all done in the brain and the bits are not set apart but all linked, or they would be a lot easier to find, and they are simply comparing words with what they know those words to mean, just as a PC can do. Not everyone knows what all the words they read (or hear) mean though, so they can think as hard as they like, the meaning will not be there. Hopefully their mind will then think > look it up.

     

    The bit that deals with words is just a little blob though Smiley Surprised

     

    image

     

    in self-aware processes locked within greater processes.

     

    They are not the same thing. Few creatures are self-aware, four I think. The test is if they know it's themselves in a reflection. But that does not mean that those that cannot pass that test cannot understand the world around them or understand what creatures of the same species are communicating to them, or even learn to understand human spoken words. Some even know what they mean.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y3VX8VU9kI

     

    This is a huge benefit; we can learn about a madman without thinking his thoughts,

     

    ? By writing stories we are putting thoughts in to peoples' minds (and images derived from the words) and that may include what a madman is thinking, if that's what is in the story.

     

    whereas a computer can only read a virus by running it and triggering its evils.

     

    Not the same thing at all, and of course there are progs that can tell what should not be on your PC by reading the code, (which is just another form of 'words') so knowing what they do.

     

    And yet, there is still an effect from a constant immersion in unpleasant and unhealthy stimulus;

     

    Are people not able to put books down then? If they dislike the contents? And "unpleasant and unhealthy" is a matter of opinion.

     

    it eventually seeps past the barrier and into the self-programming of our innermost processors.

     

    Are you somehow able to write books with subliminal messages? What if they read them backwards?  Smiley Happy People will often read things such as newspapers that spouts things they already believe, or want to believe. Hence the huge headlines.

     

    With this in mind, we, the writers, must write a program

     

    No, we are writing words that the 'program' in the mind already understands. A program is what knows what to do with the input. The words are the input.

     

    -- an artifical dream, if you will -- that presents a pleasant view to the mind that runs it.

     

    Why does it have to be pleasant?

     

    We must entice the reader's mind with pleasant thoughts in order to present the ideas that we wish him to consider and to analyze.

     

    Are you talking about fact or fiction? But really there should be nothing to analyze or it's badly written.

     

    That is why so many great philosophical books present themselves as narratives.

     

    I doubt that is always true. The ones I have read just tell you what they think.

     

    Great art speaks of life;

     

    What do you class as Great? But that's not really true.

     

    and Life is best understood as a series of events, and thus the narrative gives a carrier for the idea.

     

    Well, in fiction, yes. Or biographies etc etc.

     

    But Life is not always pleasant. If the art of writing is to reflect the reality of life, then the unpleasant must often be faced, and even the greatly distasteful. However, these themes can be dealt with pleasantly.

     

    How?

     

    Life is not always beautiful, but we can tell of its ugliness in terms of its beauty.

     

    How?

     

    There are always those who wish to experiment in any art, and some will say, "Art is not always beautiful; let me show you the ugly, the disgusting, the hurtful." Can such a work be art? Without doubt; it speaks of life. But the processor for such a program will reject it.

     

    Why will it? All you are describing to me is the News.

     

    The mind will not entertain ugly thoughts when it can see beauty instead.

     

    Yes it will, if it is there to see. You are talking about the delusional.

     

    A work of art that is never perceived is no work of art; it is merely an exorcism of the ugliness within the artist's head.

     

    Huh? But I will agree that at times artists who are 'troubled' in the mind often become very collectible.

     

    image

     

    A writer here recently asked opinions of a work that was merely a recitation of horrors and ugliness, offered as an experimental work. To such a one I must say, "The experiment fails; the processor will reject these inputs; the ideas will be ignored."

     

    Unfortunately a minority will love it. One cannot generalise.

     

    If there is a message to be conveyed -- and art always conveys a message -- then the message is lost unless the dream is pleasant enough that the processor will consider it. To Shock the Reader is to lose him.

     

    Many readers love shocks, or there would be no need for horror stories and Game of Thrones would not be the most watched fictional series worldwide on TV.

     

    Dispense with horrible gruesome recitations; instead think on higher things.

     

    That's simply what you want.

     

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/65367-the-10-best-horror-books-you-ve-never-read.html

     

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/guides/best-horror-movies/

     

     

  • Great points, and I'm glad you brought them up for I too have been thinking about the cause and effect of that story.

     

    Judging from the reaction from the small readership he got here, chances are the work will get the same reaction from a larger demographic. Disgust, discomfort, questioning, and an overal feeling of unpleasantness.

     

    I was also contemplating why the work itself inspired such repulsion and a feeling of "wrongness" in me despite the fact that I am an objective observer of text. The why of it interested me. For example, I thought, suppose the gruesome violence were substituted by sexuality towards a minor. Well, then even in text that would be illegal. So why should it be considered okay to write violence to such an extent and of that nature? Yes, the subject and detail of the violence reflects the contemplation of the author.

     

    The thought becomes words which become the action of putting it on paper.

     

    When CS Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters, he said that it was difficult and he felt unwell afterwards.

     

    Now imagine the effort and thought it takes to put down as text all that detailed violence towards the body of a child. I cannot, as a human being, with feelings, and a moral code (which I believe is universal), be nonjudgemental.

     

     


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    I would like to wax philosophical for a moment, if I may.

     

    Schrodinger's book shelf?

     

    I would ask you to consider an analogy in which a story is a computer program or a "phone app" and the writer is akin to a programmer.

     

    But computer progs are written. It's just that they are writing code for a machine and not a human mind.

     

    Our job is to write a set of thoughts -- instructions to process information --

     

    Yes, but we are not writing the prog that translates and tries to work out what we are attempting to put across. That's already been done by evolution.

     

    Skoob_Ym:  In the same way, the computer's most basic programming -- the physical design of the processor -- has been done before any application is run upon it: the virtual relays on the Processor. And above these, the controls for those relays, or the BIOS. Programmers at the lowest levels, writing "Machine Code," are still working with BIOS interrupts.

     

    and we wish to do it well. But the human mind is a curious machine: Every single unit is a different model and processes thoughts differently.

     

    Not really. Although not everyone is born with the same IQ or even commonsense, the brain itself is more or less the same, but each at times running at different speeds, just the same as PCs do. ( I wont include fetal development and birth-defects.) That's Nature. There's the Nuture point also. Peoples' level of learning so that they understand what they are reading about because they already know what, for example, Warp Drive is.

     

    I'm trying to say that we don't all like bodice-ripper romance stories, for example. And there are innate differences in processing as well.

     

    Our goal, then is to create a series of artificial thoughts which will enable the reader to follow us from information to conclusion. We are writing inputs to create a desired output.

     

    Why are they artificial?

     

    Because they were not created inside the Reader's brain, but were inserted there by us, the writers.

     

    For example, if we write comedy, we wish the reader to laugh. We program using the Joke method, perhaps. Or the absurdity method. And so forth. In some it produces the desired effects; others don't find it funny.

     

    That goes without saying, and some see nothing as funny.

     

    The human mind, however, is different from those silicon-chip monsters that inhabit all of our deskspace. The human mind does not have to accept the thoughts as they flow by; it can critically analyze them, correct errors in them, weigh them for truth value or for usefulness, and reject them if they are unpleasant.

     

    One would hope so, but few do, or brainwashing of any type would not work, and in that I even include adverts for products. But, computer experts have predicted that in 50 years PCs will not only be able to out think humans, but also be cleverer and almost sapient. Not all cutting edge PCs are machines, some experimental ones are organic.

     

    The human mind runs these programs in virtual processors that are set apart from itself;

     

    No it does not, it's all done in the brain and the bits are not set apart but all linked, or they would be a lot easier to find, and they are simply comparing words with what they know those words to mean, just as a PC can do. Not everyone knows what all the words they read (or hear) mean though, so they can think as hard as they like, the meaning will not be there. Hopefully their mind will then think > look it up.

    I'm speaking in terms of what a programmer would call a "Virtual Machine," or even a "Sandbox."

     

    The bit that deals with words is just a little blob though Smiley Surprised

     

    ...

     

    in self-aware processes locked within greater processes.

     

    They are not the same thing. Few creatures are self-aware, four I think. The test is if they know it's themselves in a reflection. But that does not mean that those that cannot pass that test cannot understand the world around them or understand what creatures of the same species are communicating to them, or even learn to understand human spoken words. Some even know what they mean.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y3VX8VU9kI

     

    This is a huge benefit; we can learn about a madman without thinking his thoughts,

     

    ? By writing stories we are putting thoughts in to peoples' minds (and images derived from the words) and that may include what a madman is thinking, if that's what is in the story.

     

    I was thinking of a story written by a madman, i.e., someone whose thinking is so wrong as to be viral. One example would be Mein Kampfe, for example. We do not read such a book and become convinced by it. We instead criticize it and find where the thoughts have gone wrong. We reject the programming that the book offers us; perhaps even to such a degree that we cast it aside or burn it.

     

    whereas a computer can only read a virus by running it and triggering its evils.

     

    Not the same thing at all, and of course there are progs that can tell what should not be on your PC by reading the code, (which is just another form of 'words') so knowing what they do.

     

    Antivirus programs work by noticing a string of bad code, not by actually running the code. An antivirus program can SOMETIMES detect a virus, but can never know what it does without running it.

     

    And yet, there is still an effect from a constant immersion in unpleasant and unhealthy stimulus;

     

    Are people not able to put books down then? If they dislike the contents? And "unpleasant and unhealthy" is a matter of opinion.

     

    A single exposure to something -- horror, shocking stories, Shania_Twain songs, whatever -- is seldom harmful. But someone who immerses themselves in such things will eventually cease to understand what is wrong with those things. The ability to critically analyze those things will dissolve.

     

    The man who says to himself once, "That was a very stupid thing I just did," is able to see what was wrong with what he did and not necessarily feel that he is stupid. But a man who says this to himself all the time will soon become convinced that he is stupid and that he is incapable of doing smart things.

     

    it eventually seeps past the barrier and into the self-programming of our innermost processors.

     

    Are you somehow able to write books with subliminal messages? What if they read them backwards?  Smiley Happy People will often read things such as newspapers that spouts things they already believe, or want to believe. Hence the huge headlines.

     

    With this in mind, we, the writers, must write a program

     

    No, we are writing words that the 'program' in the mind already understands. A program is what knows what to do with the input. The words are the input.

     

    The words are the instructions. Think this; imagine this setting; imagine this person saying this thing and doing that thing -- that is the "program" within the story.

     

    -- an artifical dream, if you will -- that presents a pleasant view to the mind that runs it.

     

    Why does it have to be pleasant?

    So that the readers' minds will not reject it -- saying, "This is stupid" or "this is boring" or "This is too sickening for words."

     

    We must entice the reader's mind with pleasant thoughts in order to present the ideas that we wish him to consider and to analyze.

     

    Are you talking about fact or fiction? But really there should be nothing to analyze or it's badly written.

     

    Most books worth anything at all offer the readers ideas. Sometimes those ideas are in the mouth of a character, in dialog; other times they are stated explicitly by the writer. For example, I've recently read a series of novels about a character who gets into a lot of fights. Some of the dialog is in the form, "When someone throws this punch, you have to lean back, catch the fist, and counter with this action." That is an idea, even though it's an explanation of what's happening in a fistfight.

     

    All books -- or nearly all -- present ideas. Some we accept without thinking. Others we question.

     

    That is why so many great philosophical books present themselves as narratives.

     

    I doubt that is always true. The ones I have read just tell you what they think.

     

    Great art speaks of life;

     

    What do you class as Great? But that's not really true.

     

    and Life is best understood as a series of events, and thus the narrative gives a carrier for the idea.

     

    Well, in fiction, yes. Or biographies etc etc.

     

    But Life is not always pleasant. If the art of writing is to reflect the reality of life, then the unpleasant must often be faced, and even the greatly distasteful. However, these themes can be dealt with pleasantly.

     

    How?

     

    Life is not always beautiful, but we can tell of its ugliness in terms of its beauty.

     

    How?

     

    There are always those who wish to experiment in any art, and some will say, "Art is not always beautiful; let me show you the ugly, the disgusting, the hurtful." Can such a work be art? Without doubt; it speaks of life. But the processor for such a program will reject it.

     

    Why will it? All you are describing to me is the News.

     

    The mind will not entertain ugly thoughts when it can see beauty instead.

     

    Yes it will, if it is there to see. You are talking about the delusional.

     

    A work of art that is never perceived is no work of art; it is merely an exorcism of the ugliness within the artist's head.

     

    Huh? But I will agree that at times artists who are 'troubled' in the mind often become very collectible.

     

    image

     

    A writer here recently asked opinions of a work that was merely a recitation of horrors and ugliness, offered as an experimental work. To such a one I must say, "The experiment fails; the processor will reject these inputs; the ideas will be ignored."

     

    Unfortunately a minority will love it. One cannot generalise.

     

    If there is a message to be conveyed -- and art always conveys a message -- then the message is lost unless the dream is pleasant enough that the processor will consider it. To Shock the Reader is to lose him.

     

    Many readers love shocks, or there would be no need for horror stories and Game of Thrones would not be the most watched fictional series worldwide on TV.

     

    Dispense with horrible gruesome recitations; instead think on higher things.

     

    That's simply what you want.

     

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/65367-the-10-best-horror-books-you-ve-never-read.html

     

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/guides/best-horror-movies/

     

     


    In simple terms, if you write stories that are simply disgusting and putrid recitations designed to horrify and shock the reader, people will say, "Eww, that's sick," and will close the books without reading them. Not talking about a good suspense or horror thriller -- that can be an artform -- but the simply disgusting.

     

    And if no one will read your ideas, because they're sickening, then you will not communicate your ideas.


  • Maggie wrote:

    Great points, and I'm glad you brought them up for I too have been thinking about the cause and effect of that story.

     

    Judging from the reaction from the small readership he got here, chances are the work will get the same reaction from a larger demographic. Disgust, discomfort, questioning, and an overal feeling of unpleasantness.

     

    I was also contemplating why the work itself inspired such repulsion and a feeling of "wrongness" in me despite the fact that I am an objective observer of text. The why of it interested me. For example, I thought, suppose the gruesome violence were substituted by sexuality towards a minor. Well, then even in text that would be illegal. So why should it be considered okay to write violence to such an extent and of that nature? Yes, the subject and detail of the violence reflects the contemplation of the author.

     

    The thought becomes words which become the action of putting it on paper.

     

    When CS Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters, he said that it was difficult and he felt unwell afterwards.

     

    Now imagine the effort and thought it takes to put down as text all that detailed violence towards the body of a child. I cannot, as a human being, with feelings, and a moral code (which I believe is universal), be nonjudgemental.

     

     


    Precisely my point. I am so glad that you saw that.

     

    I always try to face ideas on their own terms, viewing things objectively and looking at the ideas as "True" or "False" -- something I learned from C.S. Lewis -- and not being swayed by the emotional content. I do not want a world where "wrong" ideas are forbidden; I want a world where wrong ideas are held up as examples and exposed for being wrong.

     

    But some ideas can only come from a mind that is broken. When Lewis undertook to write Screwtape, he had to try to understand ideas that are so horribly wrong that they could only come from a spirit that is damaged beyond repair. Then he had to translate those ideas into human terms. No wonder he felt unwell!

     

    The creatures of the sort whose thoughts he portrayed in Screwtape are not merely broken, but shattered and bent and twisted. But the story here, thought it had that sort of influence upon it, was more like the Un-man in Lewis' story, Perelandra. It was evil, but evil in a way that is silly and childish and stupid and malicious.

     

    Thank you for seeing that.

  •  

    Yes, but we are not writing the prog that translates and tries to work out what we are attempting to put across. That's already been done by evolution.

     

    Skoob_Ym:  In the same way, the computer's most basic programming -- the physical design of the processor -- has been done before any application is run upon it: the virtual relays on the Processor. And above these, the controls for those relays, or the BIOS. Programmers at the lowest levels, writing "Machine Code," are still working with BIOS interrupts.

     

    Indeed, and that's what the human brain does from birth, as it is learning. It will learn words such as dog, and from then on know what that word means when they see and hear it.

     

    and we wish to do it well. But the human mind is a curious machine: Every single unit is a different model and processes thoughts differently.

     

    Not really. Although not everyone is born with the same IQ or even commonsense, the brain itself is more or less the same, but each at times running at different speeds, just the same as PCs do. ( I wont include fetal development and birth-defects.) That's Nature. There's the Nuture point also. Peoples' level of learning so that they understand what they are reading about because they already know what, for example, Warp Drive is.

     

    I'm trying to say that we don't all like bodice-ripper romance stories, for example.

     

    True, but that's nothing to do with how the brain handles information. What you are talking about is emotional, which is not the same thing.

     

    And there are innate differences in processing as well.

     

    That does not matter if the results are the same. Mac OS is not the same as MS OS but they do they same job.

     

    Our goal, then is to create a series of artificial thoughts which will enable the reader to follow us from information to conclusion. We are writing inputs to create a desired output.

     

    Why are they artificial?

     

    Because they were not created inside the Reader's brain, but were inserted there by us, the writers.

     

    That does not make them artificial. Things like LSD and mental defects create artificial images and thoughts.

     

    For example, if we write comedy, we wish the reader to laugh. We program using the Joke method, perhaps. Or the absurdity method. And so forth. In some it produces the desired effects; others don't find it funny.

     

    That goes without saying, and some see nothing as funny.

     

    The human mind, however, is different from those silicon-chip monsters that inhabit all of our deskspace. The human mind does not have to accept the thoughts as they flow by; it can critically analyze them, correct errors in them, weigh them for truth value or for usefulness, and reject them if they are unpleasant.

     

    One would hope so, but few do, or brainwashing of any type would not work, and in that I even include adverts for products. But, computer experts have predicted that in 50 years PCs will not only be able to out think humans, but also be cleverer and almost sapient. Not all cutting edge PCs are machines, some experimental ones are organic.

     

    The human mind runs these programs in virtual processors that are set apart from itself;

     

    No it does not, it's all done in the brain and the bits are not set apart but all linked, or they would be a lot easier to find, and they are simply comparing words with what they know those words to mean, just as a PC can do. Not everyone knows what all the words they read (or hear) mean though, so they can think as hard as they like, the meaning will not be there. Hopefully their mind will then think > look it up.

    I'm speaking in terms of what a programmer would call a "Virtual Machine," or even a "Sandbox."

     

    The mind has no such protection.

     

    The bit that deals with words is just a little blob though Smiley Surprised

     

    ...

     

    in self-aware processes locked within greater processes.

     

    They are not the same thing. Few creatures are self-aware, four I think. The test is if they know it's themselves in a reflection. But that does not mean that those that cannot pass that test cannot understand the world around them or understand what creatures of the same species are communicating to them, or even learn to understand human spoken words. Some even know what they mean.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y3VX8VU9kI

     

    This is a huge benefit; we can learn about a madman without thinking his thoughts,

     

    ? By writing stories we are putting thoughts in to peoples' minds (and images derived from the words) and that may include what a madman is thinking, if that's what is in the story.

     

    I was thinking of a story written by a madman, i.e., someone whose thinking is so wrong as to be viral. One example would be Mein Kampfe, for example. We do not read such a book and become convinced by it.

     

    You are generalising again. It's obvious that Hitler's ramblings had a massive effect on Germans. Some modern religions followed by 10000s (mainly in the USA I have to say) came from the minds of men not in their right minds, or simply con-men.

     

    We instead criticize it and find where the thoughts have gone wrong. We reject the programming that the book offers us; perhaps even to such a degree that we cast it aside or burn it.

     

    Who is "we"? Never generalise. You cannot judge what other people think as being they same as you think.

     

    whereas a computer can only read a virus by running it and triggering its evils.

     

    Not the same thing at all, and of course there are progs that can tell what should not be on your PC by reading the code, (which is just another form of 'words') so knowing what they do.

     

    Antivirus programs work by noticing a string of bad code, not by actually running the code.

     

    Often it's already running.

     

    An antivirus program can SOMETIMES detect a virus, but can never know what it does without running it.

     

    The people who wrote the anti-virus code know what the virus is and what it can do. But it's really not at all the same as people reading something. There's no anti bad input software for the mind. Apart from if you do not like something, so then stop looking at it. But that's back to that Nature/Nurture thing.

     

    And yet, there is still an effect from a constant immersion in unpleasant and unhealthy stimulus;

     

    Are people not able to put books down then? If they dislike the contents? And "unpleasant and unhealthy" is a matter of opinion.

     

    A single exposure to something -- horror, shocking stories, Shania_Twain songs, whatever -- is seldom harmful. But someone who immerses themselves in such things will eventually cease to understand what is wrong with those things. The ability to critically analyze those things will dissolve.

     

    It depends on the person. Plus some may see no harm in such things because they were raised not to.

     

    The man who says to himself once, "That was a very stupid thing I just did," is able to see what was wrong with what he did and not necessarily feel that he is stupid.

     

    I don't see how that relates to reading a book or watching a film. Often there's big clues as to the contents. But one would hope that as people grow older they have already learned what they like or dislike. Unfortunately, though, some parents see no harm in little Johnny watching the shock/horror movies from the age of 4, or playing games with 18 pegi warnings on them.

     

    But a man who says this to himself all the time will soon become convinced that he is stupid and that he is incapable of doing smart things.

     

    I doubt that because if he/she is that stupid he/she will not know they are stupid.

     

    it eventually seeps past the barrier and into the self-programming of our innermost processors.

     

    Are you somehow able to write books with subliminal messages? What if they read them backwards?  Smiley Happy People will often read things such as newspapers that spouts things they already believe, or want to believe. Hence the huge headlines.

     

    With this in mind, we, the writers, must write a program

     

    No, we are writing words that the 'program' in the mind already understands. A program is what knows what to do with the input. The words are the input.

     

    The words are the instructions. Think this; imagine this setting; imagine this person saying this thing and doing that thing -- that is the "program" within the story.

     

    They are not instructions, unless they are manuals. If you mean putting ideas in to peoples' heads, fair enough, but their mind should already know if to act on it or not. The mind is not a blank slate. Or are you saying that a book that tells people to go out and kill causes all readers to go out and kill? If such a book existed it would be for the Armed Forces only.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdWGlJrG6sQ

     

    -- an artifical dream, if you will -- that presents a pleasant view to the mind that runs it.

     

    Why does it have to be pleasant?

    So that the readers' minds will not reject it -- saying, "This is stupid" or "this is boring" or "This is too sickening for words."

    You are generalising again. Many readers and film viewers love to shocked. And stupid and boring could be to some readers.

     

    I Like music such as this >>  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzGVtzE3658   it shocks many people.

     

    We must entice the reader's mind with pleasant thoughts in order to present the ideas that we wish him to consider and to analyze.

     

    Are you talking about fact or fiction? But really there should be nothing to analyze or it's badly written.

     

    Most books worth anything at all offer the readers ideas.

     

    Most offer escapism. Nothing more.

     

    Sometimes those ideas are in the mouth of a character, in dialog; other times they are stated explicitly by the writer.

     

    Surely the writer has also written what is in the mouth of a character, in dialog?

     

    For example, I've recently read a series of novels about a character who gets into a lot of fights. Some of the dialog is in the form, "When someone throws this punch, you have to lean back, catch the fist, and counter with this action." That is an idea, even though it's an explanation of what's happening in a fistfight.

     

    Nope, that's an instruction. But I wonder how many people read fiction to be educated?

     

    All books -- or nearly all -- present ideas. Some we accept without thinking. Others we question.

     

    They present a story. If one relies on fiction to give one ideas then that's a worry because they may not be facts. In fact a lot of what some people believe to be facts were from fiction.

     

    http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/

     

    One example is that for a long time it was thought that gays cannot whistle, because it said so in a James Bond book.

     

    That is why so many great philosophical books present themselves as narratives.

     

    I doubt that is always true. The ones I have read just tell you what they think.

     

    Great art speaks of life;

     

    What do you class as Great? But that's not really true.

     

    and Life is best understood as a series of events, and thus the narrative gives a carrier for the idea.

     

    Well, in fiction, yes. Or biographies etc etc.

     

    But Life is not always pleasant. If the art of writing is to reflect the reality of life, then the unpleasant must often be faced, and even the greatly distasteful. However, these themes can be dealt with pleasantly.

     

    How?

     

    Life is not always beautiful, but we can tell of its ugliness in terms of its beauty.

     

    How?

     

    There are always those who wish to experiment in any art, and some will say, "Art is not always beautiful; let me show you the ugly, the disgusting, the hurtful." Can such a work be art? Without doubt; it speaks of life. But the processor for such a program will reject it.

     

    Why will it? All you are describing to me is the News.

     

    The mind will not entertain ugly thoughts when it can see beauty instead.

     

    Yes it will, if it is there to see. You are talking about the delusional.

     

    A work of art that is never perceived is no work of art; it is merely an exorcism of the ugliness within the artist's head.

     

    Huh? But I will agree that at times artists who are 'troubled' in the mind often become very collectible.

     

    image

     

    A writer here recently asked opinions of a work that was merely a recitation of horrors and ugliness, offered as an experimental work. To such a one I must say, "The experiment fails; the processor will reject these inputs; the ideas will be ignored."

     

    Unfortunately a minority will love it. One cannot generalise.

     

    If there is a message to be conveyed -- and art always conveys a message -- then the message is lost unless the dream is pleasant enough that the processor will consider it. To Shock the Reader is to lose him.

     

    Many readers love shocks, or there would be no need for horror stories and Game of Thrones would not be the most watched fictional series worldwide on TV.

     

    Dispense with horrible gruesome recitations; instead think on higher things.

     

    That's simply what you want.

     

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/indust​ry-news/tip-sheet/article/65367-the-10-best-horror​...

     

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/guides/best-horror-m​ovies/

     

     


    In simple terms, if you write stories that are simply disgusting and putrid recitations designed to horrify and shock the reader, people will say, "Eww, that's sick," and will close the books without reading them.

     

    You are generalising again. Many do like that sort of stuff or things like Saw would not have been a box-office success. Not that I like such stuff. They have no effect on me  Smiley Happy

     

    Not talking about a good suspense or horror thriller -- that can be an artform -- but the simply disgusting.

     

    Disgusting is in the eye of the beholder.

     

    And if no one will read your ideas, because they're sickening, then you will not communicate your ideas.

     

    Well, if it is written by some convicted psychopathic serial killer it will have a small market if it goes in to graphic detail.

    It's an unfortunate fact that humans have been guilty of some serious atrocities throughout history that would shock most people in to a coma.

    This book covers that fact well >>    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Omens

     

    A demon has been on earth for 1000s of years to create evil deeds, but he gave up because he could not think of anything evil that humans cannot already think of themselves.

     

    .

  • Kevin,

     

     

    To summarize my point, imagine if all of your posts in this thread had been buried in peat moss for so long that the English language passed out of vogue and no one alive could understand them. Come to think of it, that's not a bad idea. Smiley Tongue

  • And to put mine into a nutshell, the translator still would not have written them, I have  Smiley Happy


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

     To such a one I must say, "The experiment fails; the processor will reject these inputs; the ideas will be ignored." If there is a message to be conveyed -- and art always conveys a message -- then the message is lost unless the dream is pleasant enough that the processor will consider it. To Shock the Reader is to lose him.

     

    Dispense with horrible gruesome recitations; instead think on higher things.


    I really like the consideration of what is and is not art (and I read the piece that spurred this conversation, and I agree it is...not appealling). I don't want to dissect your entire post, as you and Kevin seemed to have already done so and come to some interesting conclusions. 

     

    But I am interested in this last thought you offered. I agree that art will always convey a message, but I disagree that the message is contingent on the viewer being able to process it. I re-read "Junkie", by Allen Ginsburg, over the weekend, and that is a book with many grotesque, appallying moments. He's describing a frightening, often obscene way of life. Yes it was shocking at times.

     

    I don't believe, in Ginsburg's work, the experiment failed. I did not find myself ignoring his message or feeling put off by his subject matter. And I don't believe that the relative level of horror or gruesome content is actually linked to the artistic value of a given work. The value is in how the book leaves the reader feeling, what we learn about ourselves and what we learn about the world. Ginsburg achieves that through a gutter view of life. Others achieve that through pleasant views.

     

    The idea that our "processor" will reject unpleasant ideas seems like a faulty conclusion. We don't reject them so much as recoil from them. That is a very different reaction. The feeling that something is wrong or gross or just sadly awful, that is not rejection. That's a moment of learning, that's a new piece of knowledge to add to the puzzle. 

     

    I wholly agree that a consideration for taste and what will appeal to the audience is important when writing. But I disagree with the idea that the gruesome must be dispensed with. It must be handled with care, and applied in the right proportions to have the desired affect, but it need not be removed entirely.

     

     

  • Alright, I will consider that: Art can be ugly and still be art. I once attended a photo exhibit and lecture by Leonard Nimoy, and in one series of photos he used a nude model who was not in the least attractive or "sexy." If we were to see this model nude in the context of human sexuality or sensuality, we would be repulsed.

     

    Yet Nimoy managed to make photos of her that were not repulsive. In this way he conveyed the statement -- and very convincingly -- that the photographic nude is not about sexuality or sensuality, but form and shape. It spoke to the age-old question of when art is art and when it is not. But Nimoy remained within the bounds of what his audience could and would handle.

     

    And as you say, Ginsberg depicted some ugly scenes and ugly settings, but Ginsberg was specifically addressing an audience who expected to be shocked, and who expected to have their limits exceeded. Like Theroux and Keroauc, he wrote to a specific audience with a specific message. The processors (to labor the analogy) were designed for that program, and thus it was within their parameters.

     

    If one were to read Ginsberg to, let's say, the Beardstown Ladies' Sewing Circle, one would have a significantly different reaction -- those processors would not accept the program.

     

    I suppose that I'm wondering if there are records that will only play on a broken phonograph, or even records which will break any phonograph upon which they are played.

  • I really like the consideration of what is and is not art (and I read the piece that spurred this conversation, and I agree it is...not appealling). I don't want to dissect your entire post, as you and Kevin seemed to have already done so and come to some interesting conclusions. 

     

    But I am interested in this last thought you offered. I agree that art will always convey a message, but I disagree that the message is contingent on the viewer being able to process it. I re-read "Junkie", by Allen Ginsburg, over the weekend, and that is a book with many grotesque, appallying moments. He's describing a frightening, often obscene way of life. Yes it was shocking at times.

     

    Art reflects life. Life reflects art. The world is not a nice place in general.

     

    I don't believe, in Ginsburg's work, the experiment failed. I did not find myself ignoring his message or feeling put off by his subject matter.

     

    I have not read it, but to ignore such things is to ignore reality I would have thought?

     

    And I don't believe that the relative level of horror or gruesome content is actually linked to the artistic value of a given work. The value is in how the book leaves the reader feeling, what we learn about ourselves and what we learn about the world. Ginsburg achieves that through a gutter view of life. Others achieve that through pleasant views.

     

    Exactly. One can chose to ignore such things by never reading them, but that does not mean things that one does not like do not happen, and if a person does choose to read such things their mind will certainly not reject it. The conscious human mind operates on a much smaller level than the sub-conscious and people take in far more that they realise.

     

    The idea that our "processor" will reject unpleasant ideas seems like a faulty conclusion.

     

    Indeed it is, and I think I already said that everyone has a different level of what is unpleasant.

     

    We don't reject them so much as recoil from them.

     

    Or they just shock us, but it's still absorbed.

     

    That is a very different reaction. The feeling that something is wrong or gross or just sadly awful, that is not rejection. That's a moment of learning, that's a new piece of knowledge to add to the puzzle.

     

    Indeed. One would have to be in a coma to ignore what one does not want to know. 

     

    I wholly agree that a consideration for taste and what will appeal to the audience is important when writing. But I disagree with the idea that the gruesome must be dispensed with. It must be handled with care, and applied in the right proportions to have the desired affect, but it need not be removed entirely.

     

    It all depends if it's to illustrate real life, or just as entertainment.

     

    As to the posting that the OP here was based on. Druids were said to sacrifice babies. Now to leave that out of an historic novel about druids would surely be wrong?

     

  • Kevin wrote:

     

    As to the posting that the OP here was based on. Druids were said to sacrifice babies. Now to leave that out of an historic novel about druids would surely be wrong?

     

    IMHO, it would be perfectly fine to mention the fact, or even describe it with some distance. And likewise the Syrio-Phonecian habit of placing babies into the arms of red-hot iron idols. But it is HOW the subject would be discussed that is the question.

     

    I am reminded of the public dialog, in published essays, between Raymong Chandler and Dorothy L. Sayers, about whether murder rightfully belonged "on the mean streets" or "in the Vicars rose garden."

  • So, the difference being is if such atrocities are just used for entertainment then?

  • The difference is in the humanity with which the writer treats the subject.

     

    Describing someone being hit by a car is one thing; describing each trauma as the car destroys the person is another, and having the other characters shrug and walk away as if it were nothing, that's still another thing.

     

    Does the manner in which the death is described fit the standards for humanity?

     

    Or let's put it another way: Art tells us something about humanity, that is, the condition of being human. If a story enlarges what we understand of the human condition, then it is art. But if a story is not about humans, but instead is about two-legged monsters that appear to be vaguely rational, and happen to be in a human-like form, then the story cannot tell us what it is to be human: It can only tell us what it is to be a monster.


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    The difference is in the humanity with which the writer treats the subject.

     

    Describing someone being hit by a car is one thing; describing each trauma as the car destroys the person is another, and having the other characters shrug and walk away as if it were nothing, that's still another thing.

     

    Does the manner in which the death is described fit the standards for humanity?

     

    Or let's put it another way: Art tells us something about humanity, that is, the condition of being human. If a story enlarges what we understand of the human condition, then it is art. But if a story is not about humans, but instead is about two-legged monsters that appear to be vaguely rational, and happen to be in a human-like form, then the story cannot tell us what it is to be human: It can only tell us what it is to be a monster.


    To circle back to the initial idea of the brain as a processor, and writing as programming, I think you hit it on the head about "fit[ting] the standards for humanity". We all process differently, and we all assimilate programs differently (to stay within the analogy). What the writer can do, has the opportunity to do, is define how a processor is programmed, based on the way they craft their program.

     

    As in the piece that started this conversation, the programmer was unable to affect our processors in a meaningful way (aside from disgust). If this was the goal, it was achieved. But if so, it's a wholly unsatisfying goal for the reader, and we are unlikely to follow through on a program that revolts us. 

     

    So the real trick, it seems to me, is crafting a program that both meshes with the readers existing process, and expands on it. Which, I suppose, is basically what art is - something that makes you think, that informs us of life, and exapnds our ability to know.

     

     

  • The difference is in the humanity with which the writer treats the subject.

     

    Describing someone being hit by a car is one thing; Describing each trauma as the car destroys the person is another,

     

    True, but in one way that's exactly what some fiction indirectly does do. Books/TV shows such as Bones works out exactly what caused damage to bodies retrospectively in graphic detail.

     

    and having the other characters shrug and walk away as if it were nothing, that's still another thing.

     

    Would that not describe that type of character though? You are putting your own feelings in to characters in fiction and if you do that then they will all be the same. Repetitive situations create conditioned reactions and people in warzones do become hardened towards human horrors. imagine being in a WW1 trench for a few years.

     

    Does the manner in which the death is described fit the standards for humanity?

     

    Who's? It's fiction, but grossness should not be used simply for entertainment, as per most slasher-flicks.

     

    Or let's put it another way: Art tells us something about humanity, that is, the condition of being human.

     

    I am an artist. I can draw any situation, but it tells you nothing about me, and often nothing about being human.

     

    If a story enlarges what we understand of the human condition, then it is art.

     

    How is it? Would you call 50 Shades art?

     

    But if a story is not about humans, but instead is about two-legged monsters that appear to be vaguely rational, and happen to be in a human-like form, then the story cannot tell us what it is to be human: It can only tell us what it is to be a monster.

     

    And some humans cannot be labeled as monsters? There's a lot of parables in them though. Think Dracula. Think Frankenstein. Think all of the Discworld series. Even think Data from Startrek.

  • To circle back to the initial idea of the brain as a processor, and writing as programming, I think you hit it on the head about "fit[ting] the standards for humanity". We all process differently, and we all assimilate programs differently (to stay within the analogy). What the writer can do, has the opportunity to do, is define how a processor is programmed, based on the way they craft their program.

     

    The program is already there, but it's able to take in more data, but the data that's already there will dictate how the reader will react to the new data.

     

    As in the piece that started this conversation, the programmer was unable to affect our processors in a meaningful way (aside from disgust). If this was the goal, it was achieved. But if so, it's a wholly unsatisfying goal for the reader, and we are unlikely to follow through on a program that revolts us.

     

    Indeed. I read around four lines of it. I note that the OP of that piece stopped replying.

     

    So the real trick, it seems to me, is crafting a program that both meshes with the readers existing process, and expands on it. Which, I suppose, is basically what art is - something that makes you think, that informs us of life, and exapnds our ability to know.

     

    Or it's just for entertainment, which most fiction is. Few learn from it, really, and I doubt people will read a story that they do not know they will like.


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    The difference is in the humanity with which the writer treats the subject.

     

    Describing someone being hit by a car is one thing; Describing each trauma as the car destroys the person is another,

     

    True, but in one way that's exactly what some fiction indirectly does do. Books/TV shows such as Bones works out exactly what caused damage to bodies retrospectively in graphic detail.

     

    and having the other characters shrug and walk away as if it were nothing, that's still another thing.

     

    Would that not describe that type of character though? You are putting your own feelings in to characters in fiction and if you do that then they will all be the same. Repetitive situations create conditioned reactions and people in warzones do become hardened towards human horrors. imagine being in a WW1 trench for a few years.

     

    Does the manner in which the death is described fit the standards for humanity?

     

    Who's? It's fiction, but grossness should not be used simply for entertainment, as per most slasher-flicks.

     

    Or let's put it another way: Art tells us something about humanity, that is, the condition of being human.

     

    I am an artist. I can draw any situation, but it tells you nothing about me, and often nothing about being human.

     

    Skoob_Ym: On the contrary. Every word you've written tells me something about you -- some small micro-fact -- and everything that an artist draws tells us something about him. Suppose that you draw a scene that you saw: Two fishermen in a boat. How you draw it tells me what you saw in your mind's eye, not your physical eyes.  If you make the boat large, it tells me that your mind attached great importance to the boat. If you draw the scene from far away, that tells me that you see the scene in a perspective. And so forth.

     

    If a story enlarges what we understand of the human condition, then it is art.

     

    How is it? Would you call 50 Shades art?

     

    Skoob_ym: Did it expand your understanding of what it is to be human? Did it make you better equipped to love your neighbor? Did it make you better equipped to understand why the milkman grumbles when he sees a dog?

     

    But if a story is not about humans, but instead is about two-legged monsters that appear to be vaguely rational, and happen to be in a human-like form, then the story cannot tell us what it is to be human: It can only tell us what it is to be a monster.

     

    And some humans cannot be labeled as monsters? There's a lot of parables in them though. Think Dracula. Think Frankenstein. Think all of the Discworld series. Even think Data from Startrek.

     

    Skoob_Ym:  Data was the most human character on Star Trek TNG: He was the one who spent the most time trying to be a better human. As was Frankenstein's Monster (Frankenstein was the doctor who made the monster). Shelley's point was to examine how we treat those whom we fear.

     

    But I'm not talking about labels. You can hang a sign around a poodle's neck that says "Monster." I'm talking about actual monsters: People who, through practiced inhumanity, have ceased to be humane or even human. And telling us about such persons does nothing to exapnd our understanding of humanity; it does quite a lot to expand our understanding of being inhuman.

     

    Would you want to be inside the mind of Jeffrey Dahmer or of Josef Stalin? Of course not; to touch such a mind could destroy your own. And therein lies my point.


     


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    To circle back to the initial idea of the brain as a processor, and writing as programming, I think you hit it on the head about "fit[ting] the standards for humanity". We all process differently, and we all assimilate programs differently (to stay within the analogy). What the writer can do, has the opportunity to do, is define how a processor is programmed, based on the way they craft their program.

     

    The program is already there, but it's able to take in more data, but the data that's already there will dictate how the reader will react to the new data.

     

    As in the piece that started this conversation, the programmer was unable to affect our processors in a meaningful way (aside from disgust). If this was the goal, it was achieved. But if so, it's a wholly unsatisfying goal for the reader, and we are unlikely to follow through on a program that revolts us.

     

    Indeed. I read around four lines of it. I note that the OP of that piece stopped replying.

     

    Skoob_Ym: So you understood my point on page one of this thread, and have been arguing with me... Because you're bored? Because it's a day ending with "Y?"

     

    So the real trick, it seems to me, is crafting a program that both meshes with the readers existing process, and expands on it. Which, I suppose, is basically what art is - something that makes you think, that informs us of life, and exapnds our ability to know.

     

    Or it's just for entertainment, which most fiction is. Few learn from it, really, and I doubt people will read a story that they do not know they will like.


     

  • I am an artist. I can draw any situation, but it tells you nothing about me, and often nothing about being human.

     

    Skoob_Ym: On the contrary. Every word you've written tells me something about you -- some small micro-fact

     

    Not really it does not, you only think it does, but you could be basing it on your own character type.

     

    -- and everything that an artist draws tells us something about him.

     

    Nope. It may do with some artist who's mentally unhinged, like some are, but look at mine. All they tell you is that I drew them. Critics can spend hours staring at an abstract trying to wonder what was in the artist's mind at the time,as you are doing. I can do one in 15 mins and they mean nothing, they just look nice.  Smiley Happy Very often what is in the mind is, will some mug buy this thinking it's really deep?   Smiley Very Happy

     

    Suppose that you draw a scene that you saw: Two fishermen in a boat. How you draw it tells me what you saw in your mind's eye, not your physical eyes. 

     

    I am able to draw exactly what I see. Please don't tell me how I draw.

     

    If you make the boat large, it tells me that your mind attached great importance to the boat. If you draw the scene from far away, that tells me that you see the scene in a perspective. And so forth.

     

    No, all that says is that the boat was more interesting than the surroundings, or that some captain wished his boat to take preference. There's perspective in close things also, BTW.

     

    If a story enlarges what we understand of the human condition, then it is art.

     

    How is it? Would you call 50 Shades art?

     

    Skoob_ym: Did it expand your understanding of what it is to be human? Did it make you better equipped to love your neighbor? Did it make you better equipped to understand why the milkman grumbles when he sees a dog?

    No. I am 62, I already know. You are generalising again.

     

    But if a story is not about humans, but instead is about two-legged monsters that appear to be vaguely rational, and happen to be in a human-like form, then the story cannot tell us what it is to be human: It can only tell us what it is to be a monster.

     

    And some humans cannot be labeled as monsters? There's a lot of parables in them though. Think Dracula. Think Frankenstein. Think all of the Discworld series. Even think Data from Startrek.

     

    Skoob_Ym:  Data was the most human character on Star Trek TNG: He was the one who spent the most time trying to be a better human.

     

    No, a better human-form android. And not at least the most human because Gene Roddenberry wrote many lessons in to his stories for all of the characters.

     

    As was Frankenstein's Monster (Frankenstein was the doctor who made the monster).

     

    Indeed, I mean the stories.

     

    Shelley's point was to examine how we treat those whom we fear.

     

    Apparently is was about her troubled marriage to Percy. But no one really knows because no one asked her.

     

    But I'm not talking about labels. You can hang a sign around a poodle's neck that says "Monster."

     

    Yes? And one can be. They are not all 'toy' ones, some are very large with big pointy teeth. Anything can be a monster to someone.

     

    image

     

    I'm talking about actual monsters:

     

    Actual monsters are things of myth.

     

    People who, through practiced inhumanity, have ceased to be humane or even human.

     

    They are still human, but humans can be very 'monstrous.' Very.

     

    And telling us about such persons does nothing to exapnd our understanding of humanity;

     

    It does to those who do not know it.

     

    it does quite a lot to expand our understanding of being inhuman.

     

    It's fiction. What was to understand about stuff like True Blood?

     

    Would you want to be inside the mind of Jeffrey Dahmer or of Josef Stalin? Of course not; to touch such a mind could destroy your own. And therein lies my point.

     

    Speak for yourself. My mind is OK thanks and not at all easy to brain wash. But if if you do not read about them then you are only seeing one side of humanity. Is that not very blinkered? (Stalin was easy to understand though, and I have not heard of the other chap.)

     

    But don't forget we are on about fiction.

     

    But in a nutshell what you are saying is if you read about such things and people then you will become like them and do it? That's nonsense. Sorry.

  •  

    Skoob_Ym: So you understood my point on page one of this thread, and have been arguing with me... Because you're bored? Because it's a day ending with "Y?"

    I stopped reading the exact that prompted your thread because it was crap, not that I thought it would affect me in some ungodly way. I could actually write horror like that, but I write what I like.

     

    I am replying to you because it's an interesting discussion. I enjoy them.

     


  • kevinlomas wrote:

     

    Skoob_Ym: So you understood my point on page one of this thread, and have been arguing with me... Because you're bored? Because it's a day ending with "Y?"

    I stopped reading the exact that prompted your thread because it was crap, not that I thought it would affect me in some ungodly way. I could actually write horror like that, but I write what I like.

     

    I am replying to you because it's an interesting discussion. I enjoy them.

     


    It does seem sometimes that you disagree just to disagree. Yes, discussion is to be discussed, and as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another, and logic is a path more quickly travelled by two, and so forth. But you do parse a bit fine sometimes, don't you?

     

    For example, you are in one breath arguing that a poodle can be a monster to someone who is inclined to see it thusly, and in the next breath you're arguing that no human is a monster; all are humans and humane, however evil, and thus are worthy of being read.

     

    Frankly, Kevin -- and surely you will agree; I've read your exchange with a few other folks on this forum -- there are a lot of writers churning out horrendous crap. They don't deserve to be read, wimply because they're writing crap. And if it's grotesque crap with no artistic or social merit, then it's doubly unworthy of being read. There are days when I can sympathize with those who would burn books, except that I would not burn books I disagreed with. I would only burn those that were incredibly badly written.

  • It does seem sometimes that you disagree just to disagree.

     

    I only disagree with things I disagree with. You must miss my replies to post contents I agree with.  Smiley Very Happy

     

    Yes, discussion is to be discussed, and as iron sharpens iron,

     

    It does? I thought one had to use a harder substance? There's me disagreeing again.

     

    so one man sharpens another, and logic is a path more quickly travelled by two, and so forth. But you do parse a bit fine sometimes, don't you?

     

    As in, to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other >  to study (something) by looking at its parts closely. Is there a problem with doing that then? That's how one learns, not to mention, edits.

     

    For example, you are in one breath arguing that a poodle can be a monster to someone who is inclined to see it thusly,

     

    Indeed. One has to be careful with examples, and that poodle was not very friendly looking. I was once cornered by a rampant vole.

     

    and in the next breath you're arguing that no human is a monster;

     

    Read what I said again. I did not actually say a poodle can be a monster, I was simply pointing out misconceptions.

     

    all are humans and humane, however evil,

     

    Well they are indeed human but I did not say all humans act in a humane manner. But people could call some monsters but monsters are really mythical creatures such as Krakens. Some words get used out of context. It should be "you act like a monster."

     

    and thus are worthy of being read.

     

    Nope I did not say that. But if some wish to write and read such stuff that's up to them. It does not change my life. How does it change yours?

     

    Frankly, Kevin -- and surely you will agree; I've read your exchange with a few other folks on this forum -- there are a lot of writers churning out horrendous crap.

     

    Indeed there is. But not always badly written. Just because you do not approve of a story does not always make it crap.

     

    They don't deserve to be read, wimply because they're writing crap. And if it's grotesque crap with no artistic or social merit, then it's doubly unworthy of being read.

     

    If they are not to your taste then don't read them then. I once saw two people on TV on separate occasions asking what the point of SF is? "because it's not real," so of course they don't read or watch it. I just wonder what fiction they do read and watch believing it to be real?

     

    There are days when I can sympathize with those who would burn books, except that I would not burn books I disagreed with. I would only burn those that were incredibly badly written.

     

    In who's opinion? They main compliant about that shock/horror story was its content, not how it was written.


  • kevinlomas wrote:...

    skoob_ym wrote:

     

    so one man sharpens another, and logic is a path more quickly travelled by two, and so forth. But you do parse a bit fine sometimes, don't you?

     

    As in, to divide (a sentence) into grammatical parts and identify the parts and their relations to each other >  to study (something) by looking at its parts closely. Is there

    Where?

    a

    Only one?

    problem

    Or opportunity?

    with

    (in the presence of?)

    doing

    did you mean to do this?

    that then?

    or this now?

    That's

    What's?

    how

    scrambled.

    one

    or thirty

    learns,

    leans, or yearns?

    not to mention,

    but you mentioned it.

    edits.

     

    For example, you are in one breath arguing that a poodle can be a monster to someone who is inclined to see it thusly,

     

    Indeed. One has to be careful with examples, and that poodle was not very friendly looking. I was once cornered by a rampant vole.

     

    I once had to rescue a woman who was cornered by a pseudoscorpion the size of a bedbug (i.e. appleseed size). We teased her about it for years afterwards... She was fine till it stuck its claws out...

    ....

     

  • Instead of trying to read between the lines or guess what is meant, just read was is actually said.

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