Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Reality Is That Which . . .

This post combines a profound quote by one of the most prolific science fiction authors and the challenge of the daily cryptoquote.  These puzzles, which simply substitute one letter in the alphabet for another, mimic the mystery of the world just waiting to be discovered.  I look at these each morning - thanks to Dot Case who had a cryptoquote blog, but it seems to have gone, but her current blog format makes me realize I need to play around more with new things available on Blogspot - and look at mystery.  But slowly, or sometimes quickly, I can think through the mystery and discover the code.  And the hidden quote. 

So often, everything you need to know is in front of you in plain sight, you just need to pay attention to the clues to figure it out.  Things that look totally indecipherable make perfect sense to those who know the code or know logic and deduction.  And every day when I do the cryptoquote I relearn that truism.

So here's today's cryptoquote from the Anchorage Daily News:

[I've filled out the first line, so if you want to work it out all yourself, cover up my answers without looking at them.)

I've left the instructions in to help those of you who have never tried one of these. I found this one a little harder than most, but with it started you should be able to figure it out.
You may want to just copy it down so you can write out the answer more easily.

Everyone has Sherlock Holmes' ability to deduce from the evidence. But not too many train that part of the brain very hard. Imagine all the time spent learning to play basketball or golf or video games spent on learning to solve mysteries! But anything you learn to do well is also teaching you to see things you didn't see before. An avid football fan sees all sorts of things in each play that a novice misses totally. The trick is to transfer that understanding of the complexity of one field to another. That is, to recognize the complexity in a field you know well, also exists in a field you know nothing about. Unfortunately, a lot of people completely dismiss things in fields they know nothing about, assuming their smarts in one arena carry over to another. Of course, none of you know any of those people.

Once you get the quote figured out, think about how profound it is. Think about all the ways it applies in our world. Think about, say, that quote about how women who are raped don't get pregnant. Think about climate change. Think about Obamacare. Have fun.

1 comment:

  1. No, I didn't take time to take on the cryptogram. My mother did these, every single day they were printed, along with the crossword puzzle and the NYT weekend crossword. She loved language and these activities suited her as she was a private person.

    As for me, I've always lived a public life, but I did once take up these puzzles. It was when most news outlets were touting the 'brain-power' benefits of such gaming -- got fairly good at it and then, stopped as suddenly as I started.

    Haven't taken it up since. But I am reading (and discussing) classics in literature, history and economics now, outside my study areas in management and horticulture.

    I'm not a scholar and don't want to be; I don't possess the gift of the eternally curious mind as you, Steve. I read your blog and once in a while, I write to connect with a friend and resident of a place I once called home -- that I still love for its environment, if not its politics.

    When you noted that most of us probably didn't take up the challenge to do the cryptogram, I felt a bit put down. It isn't my current interest, that's all. Your readers can decide these little matters. Trust us.

    A real and urgent challenge i face now is that of living a purposeful life. Service is what gave me challenge, joy and angst. Staying in studies doesn't suit me at all as I look toward that day I can fully work again, be paid for my value and be fully engaged making change.

    This waiting is what I know and the accompanying doubts around personal worth and value when it's thwarted. Its the shifting realities of moving country and finding foundational myths I once believed about American political philosophy shaken. It's finding solace in the notion that faith is not an absolute, but a narrative... learning to look right when crossing streets... why one should wear wellies in gardens and fields of Britain.

    These are things I'm growing to know. A blog isn't a place for a ramble, is it? Social media is about brevity and checking in, scoring points -- to gain virtual associates in an ever more intimately disconnected world.

    What I know is the effort required in reintegrating as an immigrant in a culture not your own. What I discovered is the power of an unspoken Swedish (and Scandinavian) norm of Juntelagen and its wake in my family, never before aware of its influence.

    What I feel is the brilliant query from the founder of Quakerism when speaking to meaning of Christian scripture asked, "What canst thou say?"

    I am unbound in so many ways, delinking from what was once comfortable. I see the choices we only dream of fulfilling and I am humbled for that I do not choose to do.

    Perhaps taking up the small effort of completing your cryptogram was that opportunity awaiting me the other day... perhaps not.

    So what can a blog really be, a text, a tweet? Can we hold a private conversation in a public meeting place? Isn't it a bit like keeping a diary knowing your siblings might read it? ... or talking to the camera?

    I imagine we all suspect the answer and it's why social media frequently becomes nothing more than straining to hear our own echo.

    That, friend, is my problem with doing your cryptogram. You couldn't see I was looking out the window. Social media isn't.

    I still believe in the power of place. It is reality.


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