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A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, April 6, 2015

On the distinction between true and useful

Brandon provides on his blog the following parable:

The Parable of the Botanist

A botanist seeking a rare tree met two country people from whom he requested information. "There is one of those trees in this wood here," says the first. The other says to him, "Take the third path that you come to. Follow it for one hundred paces. You will be at the very foot of the tree you are seeking." The botanist takes the third path, he goes a hundred steps, but he does not reach the object of his quest. To touch the foot of the tree requires an additional five paces.
Of the two pieces of information that he received, the first was true and the second was false. Even so, which of the two country people has more right to his gratitude?
-- Pierre Duhem, "On the Subject of Experimental Physics," Essays in the History and
Philosophy of Science
, Ariew and Barker, eds. & trs. Hackett (Indianapolis: 1996), p. 110 
 

Meanwhile on a not unrelated issue...

 
 One might add that fiction is also much better when served the same way.

1 comment:

  1. Re: Starbucks, I remarked to a friend that I find myself to be tone-deaf when it comes to politics and PR type stuff. I usually cannot understand what people get so worked up about.

    From the very moment I heard about the Race Together initiative, I spit out my drink and said, "What the hell is wrong with you?!"

    ReplyDelete

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