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    #1

    Comprehension

    Dear teachers,

    The following is part of the article 'Thinking as a Hobby' written by William Golding. I find this part extremely difficult to understand:

    Grade-two thinking is the detection of contradictions. Grade-two thinkers do not stampede easily, though often they fall into the other fault and lag behind. Grade-two place of that heady patriotism. But there were compensations. To hear people justify thinking is a withdrawal, with eyes and ears open. It destroys without having the power to create. It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty the King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the their habit of hunting foxes by claiming that the foxes liked it. To hear our Prime Minister talk about the great benefit we conferred on India by jailing people like Nehru and Gandhi. To hear American politicians talk about peace and refuse to join the League of Nations. Yes, there were moments of delight.

    Could you please kindly explain it to me?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Comprehension

    A better version might help:
    "They [grade-three thinkers] have immense solidarity. We had better respect them, for we are outnumbered and surrounded. A crowd of grade-three thinkers, all shouting the same thing, all warming their hands at the fire of their own prejudices, will not thank you for pointing out the contradictions in their beliefs. Man is a gregarious animal, and enjoys agreement, as cows will graze all the same way on the side of a hill.


    Grade-two thinking is the detection of contradictions. I reached grade two when I trapped the poor, pious lady. Grade-two thinkers do not stampede easily, though often they fall into the other fault and lag behind. Grade-two thinking is a withdrawal, with eyes and ears open. It became my hobby and brought satisfaction and loneliness in either hand. For grade-two thinking destroys without having the power to create. It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty and King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the place of that heady patriotism. But there were compensations. To hear people justify their habit of hunting foxes and tearing them to pieces by claiming that the foxes liked it. To hear our Prime Minister talk about the great benefit we conferred on India by jailing people like Pandit Nehru and Gandhi. To hear American politicians take about peace in one sentence and refuse to join the League of Nations in the next. Yes, there were moments of delight."
    Source: The Curious Mind | Articles / Thinking As A Hobby
    Try here: Thinking As A Hobby Summary

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    #3

    Re: Comprehension

    Dear Cas,
    Thank you very much for your response. Could you please kindly explain what's the logic relation between 'It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty and King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the place of that heady patriotism' and 'To hear people justify their habit of hunting foxes and tearing them to pieces by claiming that the foxes liked it. To hear our Prime Minister talk about the great benefit we conferred on India by jailing people like Pandit Nehru and Gandhi. To hear American politicians take about peace in one sentence and refuse to join the League of Nations in the next'? And why 'But there were compensations'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    A better version might help:
    "They [grade-three thinkers] have immense solidarity. We had better respect them, for we are outnumbered and surrounded. A crowd of grade-three thinkers, all shouting the same thing, all warming their hands at the fire of their own prejudices, will not thank you for pointing out the contradictions in their beliefs. Man is a gregarious animal, and enjoys agreement, as cows will graze all the same way on the side of a hill.

    Grade-two thinking is the detection of contradictions. I reached grade two when I trapped the poor, pious lady. Grade-two thinkers do not stampede easily, though often they fall into the other fault and lag behind. Grade-two thinking is a withdrawal, with eyes and ears open. It became my hobby and brought satisfaction and loneliness in either hand. For grade-two thinking destroys without having the power to create. It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty and King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the place of that heady patriotism. But there were compensations. To hear people justify their habit of hunting foxes and tearing them to pieces by claiming that the foxes liked it. To hear our Prime Minister talk about the great benefit we conferred on India by jailing people like Pandit Nehru and Gandhi. To hear American politicians take about peace in one sentence and refuse to join the League of Nations in the next. Yes, there were moments of delight."
    Source: The Curious Mind | Articles / Thinking As A Hobby
    Try here: Thinking As A Hobby Summary

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: Comprehension

    He saying that Grade-three thinkers don't think for themselves, whereas Grade-two thinkers do, and with that level of thinking comes the detection of contradictions. Grade-two thinkers are cynical idea bashers whose sole purpose is to destroy all beneficial communication. In other words, they don't know how to "communicate", to create and share new ideas. He looks down upon Grade-three thinkers; they are delusional, and yet they, unlike Grade-two thinkers, are better in a way since they can 'create' and share their ideas; they "communicate".

    "Grade-two thinking is a withdrawal [from communicating], with eyes and ears open. It became my hobby and brought satisfaction [i.e., satire and sarcasm as the expense of Grade-thre thinkers] and loneliness in either hand [i.e., not being able to "communicate"]. For grade-two thinking destroys [limits one's thinking] without having the power to create.

    Grade-two thinking is stuck in 'the detection of contradictions'. For example, citizens aren't that happy with the present state of our country and yet they cheer His Majesty and King,

    "It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty and King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the place of that heady patriotism. But there were compensations.

    The author's thinking is so stuck on the contradiction, the behavior of the crowd, that he is unable to think past it and move on to a higher level of thought.

    There are, however, 'compensations' to Grade-two thinking. It has apparent benefits. Notably, the ability communicate the contradictions through satire and sarcasm. He says, last line below, "Yes. There were moments of delight." The sole purpose of a Grade-two thinker is to destroy all beneficial communication by throwing down Grade-three thinkers' 'self-illusioned ideaologies'. In other words, Grade-two thinkers can't communicate.

    "To hear people justify their habit of hunting foxes and tearing them to pieces by claiming that the foxes liked it. To hear our Prime Minister talk about the great benefit we conferred on India by jailing people like Pandit Nehru and Gandhi. To hear American politicians take about peace in one sentence and refuse to join the League of Nations in the next. Yes, there were moments of delight."

    All the best.

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    #5

    Re: Comprehension

    Dear Cas,

    Thank you so much for your detailed explanation. I think I understand most of it. I'll think hard to understand all.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    He saying that Grade-three thinkers don't think for themselves, whereas Grade-two thinkers do, and with that level of thinking comes the detection of contradictions. Grade-two thinkers are cynical idea bashers whose sole purpose is to destroy all beneficial communication. In other words, they don't know how to "communicate", to create and share new ideas. He looks down upon Grade-three thinkers; they are delusional, and yet they, unlike Grade-two thinkers, are better in a way since they can 'create' and share their ideas; they "communicate".

    "Grade-two thinking is a withdrawal [from communicating], with eyes and ears open. It became my hobby and brought satisfaction [i.e., satire and sarcasm as the expense of Grade-thre thinkers] and loneliness in either hand [i.e., not being able to "communicate"]. For grade-two thinking destroys [limits one's thinking] without having the power to create.

    Grade-two thinking is stuck in 'the detection of contradictions'. For example, citizens aren't that happy with the present state of our country and yet they cheer His Majesty and King,

    "It set me watching the crowds cheering His Majesty and King and asking myself what all the fuss was about, without giving me anything positive to put in the place of that heady patriotism. But there were compensations.

    The author's thinking is so stuck on the contradiction, the behavior of the crowd, that he is unable to think past it and move on to a higher level of thought.

    There are, however, 'compensations' to Grade-two thinking. It has apparent benefits. Notably, the ability communicate the contradictions through satire and sarcasm. He says, last line below, "Yes. There were moments of delight." The sole purpose of a Grade-two thinker is to destroy all beneficial communication by throwing down Grade-three thinkers' 'self-illusioned ideaologies'. In other words, Grade-two thinkers can't communicate.

    "To hear people justify their habit of hunting foxes and tearing them to pieces by claiming that the foxes liked it. To hear our Prime Minister talk about the great benefit we conferred on India by jailing people like Pandit Nehru and Gandhi. To hear American politicians take about peace in one sentence and refuse to join the League of Nations in the next. Yes, there were moments of delight."

    All the best.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #6

    Re: Comprehension

    Yes. Agreed. Hard to follow, both mine and the author's. Mine more so. Sorry. I had all of 2 minutes to write it. Hope you get a chance to read the second site I suggested in post #3.

    All the best.

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