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Journal of jhi (318)

Friday January 25, 2002
12:49 AM

sense of wonder

[ #2408 ]

It has been long since I've experienced genuine sense of wonder. What I mean by this is some kind of revelation, seeing something in full, in its full splendour, grasping something complex in all its details (well, all that matter to you), somewhat like seeing a mountain in the night but briefly illuminated by a lightning. You see it all for a moment, every detail sharp, then it's gone. Maybe it's because I've been hunched over Perl for too long; maybe it's because I'm growing older (and more cynical, though many people would say that this would be impossible) and less receptive. I've been neglecting my books, old and new (oh, how many new unread ones I have waiting) for far too long. (I guess at this point I'm supposed to fondle something in my pocket.)

What count as "revelations", then? A really motley crew, of intellectual and emotional flashes of lightning. As a kid: reading about and grokking the hydrological cycle (ocean - rain - rivers), finishing the Lord of the Rings, the Earthsea, a book about LISP; as I started travelling: Stonehenge, El Capitan, the pyramids of Giza, recently, the Uluru-- some books, like the Cavalli-Sforza and Jared Diamond books, the chaos books by Cohen and Stewart, the Assassin series from Robin Hobb, the Legend by David Gemmell.

Oh well, I better get finished with this 5.8 business, so that I can start whittling down my mountain range of books, and consider travelling again, now that I have someone to travel with.

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  • The depth of banality in the average sitcom is breath taking. To regain much of this sense of wonder of which you speak, I starting looking to paranormal subjects like UFOs, mystery beasts and unusual places. I can't say that I'm looking for "the Truth" as much as I am "killing time in a pleasant way." I would recomend shutting down the computer more often. That's a good thing.
    • I certainly get a sense of wonder at the incredible level of gullibility and sheer brainlessness that allows people to not just buy into this stuff, but pursue "knowledge" about these topics with great intensity.