Monday, 20 April 2015

Knowledge II

How does the world work? "The world" can mean the universe or one planet or society on that planet. Philosophers and scientists try to understand reality or aspects of it. Canny individuals try to understand the workings of the society in which they happen to find themselves living.

The optimal man combines theoretical and practical understanding. For example, when Manson Everard meets the director of the Time Patrol Jerusalem base:

"The position he held told Everard immediately that he was both a man of action and a scholar of profundity."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), p. 307.

Krishna in the Gita teaches a synthesis of spiritual understanding with social action.

In Poul Anderson's The Boat Of A Million Years (London, 1991), Hanno says, "'...I've learned to pay attention.'" (p. 12)

Over six centuries later, Lugo (another immortal or Hanno under a later name?):

"...made it his business to keep fully aware of the world around him." (p. 47);

can talk like a mariner because he has "'...been around.'" (p. 48);

"...had in the course of time taken care to learn the entire city..." (p. 49);

"...had learned patience." (p. 51);

"...had learned preparedness." (ibid.);

"'...keep[s] track of what's going on.'" (p. 58);

"'...worked out the art of memory...[has] clear recall...'" (p. 63);

"'...[has] the art of storing what I know until it's wanted, then calling it forth.'" (ibid.)

"...[has] the art of controlling sorrow." (ibid.); 

In Anderson's Brain Wave, everyone's intelligence increases and some people gain conscious control of their emotions. Maybe immortals would have enough time to work towards such emotional control?

The first hint of Lugo's immortality comes when he reflects that, if he suffers injuries that are less than fatal, then they will soon heal. He meets a fellow immortal who has never been sick or had toothache, whose injuries heal quickly without leaving scars and whose teeth grow back if knocked out.

Unusual Words
"...amphoras..." (p. 47)
"'...the Caelii...'" (p. 48)
"...paenula..." (p. 51)
"...fibula..." (p. 53)

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