Friday, May 27, 2005

Writing project: on prayer

I have probably a dozen or two writing projects, all trying to get some time from me. Now that I have this electronic newspaper to "splash about in"[GK's Weekly Apr 4, 1925 quoted in Ward's GKC] I will attempt getting at one or more of them. It has at least two benefits:

(1) I may actually get some notes down onto paper (well, you know what I mean!)
(2) I may get feedback - perhaps negative, but that will only come from friends.

So. Having said, that, I will start. +

A book on prayer? Well, it might be called something like "The Technology of Prayer" or "A Computer Scientist on Prayer" or something.

Why do I want to do this? Because there are some interesting things which have become visible to me, as I hack further into the overgrown garden called Computing, and begin to see the fence (hedges? walls?) which some enemy has planted between this yard and the next-door neighbor's - he calls himself "Philosophy". [Note added in proof: I mean he calls his garden that.]

(Yes, another topic for me to address - probably when I comment on Newman's Idea of a University - is the "problem" of the chasms between the various departments of knowledge. Or else when I comment on Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, a related work.)

Another reason is the peculiar experience of saying the Rosary during a Holy Hour (this was while I was working on my doctorate) in a little church when at the start of the decade, they switched languages (Polish, possibly)... Thinking about computers and then experiencing such a switch made me derive certain facts regarding the communications to/with heaven.

And everyone seems to want to know more about it! So... I thought, what else can computer science tell us? And though I am not a theologian nor a philosopher by training, I have good authority on which to attempt this: GKC in his The Everlasting Man who compliments H. G. Wells for "having asserted the reasonable right of the amateur to do what he can with the facts which the specialists provide." [TEM CW2:141] Also, Dorothy L. Sayers, who applied her abilities in detective story writing to attempt to get further into the Gospels (she comments on this in her Man Born to Be King radio plays.)


At 27 May, 2005 10:17, Blogger Joe said...

You know (of course you know) something to consider, GKC reminds us, is "why was this fence put up?" The fence may not have been the right solution; but it requires a chapter or a book to help the reader understand why the decision was made.

At 27 May, 2005 11:45, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Underneath all those thorns there is a fence. The One Who laid out the garden in the beginning (see Gn 2:8) made wonderful fences for each plot.

I am glad for the fence, and do not like invaders from, ah, other gardens, trying to get into our trees without learning the difference between the root and the leaves. [For you other gardeners: Computer Science puns here. Hee hee]

But I am not glad about the thorns. It keeps me away from my neighbors and them away from me! And everyone who stops by for fruits from this garden gets worried about the thorns and all that overgrowth - they are afraid it's spreading, and so am I, and some of these plants need special care. (What a great analogy!)

And all this Newman talked about, far better than I did, about 150 years ago!

Hence, the need for another writing project. They are all inter-related. And that is the whole point, and why I have it on the list of things to write about:

I never can really feel that there is such a thing as a different subject. There is no such thing as an irrelevant thing in the universe; for all things in the universe are at least relevant to the universe.
GKC, ILN Feb 17, 1906 CW27:126

Sorry I was rambling again. You are right, Joe, thanks. My point is I like the fence; I do not like the wall.

At 27 May, 2005 18:20, Blogger Marc the polar bear said...

I would be more worried about people trying to swipe the fruits of the garden, or those trying to destroy it, a la gospel vineyard, metaphorically speaking.

At least thy graden is not rank, and fit for weed. Alas that does not mean we are free from noxious vernalities of the floral kind. Again metaphorically speaking.... :-)

At 28 May, 2005 13:44, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

The graden - it is a great alanogy, isn't it?

Also, did you ever notice how sometimes a mistyping gives rise to a really interesting new word? (I did not intentionally type alanogy for analogy, either!) GKC likewise noticed that sometimes the typesetters turned his "cosmic" into "comic": "It annoyed me at the time. But since then I have come to the conclusion that the printers were right. The democracy is always right.Whatever is cosmic is comic." [ILN June 9 1906]

(Ahem) To resume: All of the gardens have enemies,not merely the One Enemy we all have. (All that is in The Phantom Tollbooth.) None of the gardens were planned for weeds, though some useful species which grow in one will kill cherished plants in the gardens of others - and vice versa. Some require very special handling, though they are thereby rendered quite good... But we have been told: by their fruits we will know them.

All this gardening I hope to deal with in a different place - but I do not thereby lay claim to this approach - anyone reading it may go for it.


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