“Children are not deceived by fairy-tales; they are often and gravely deceived by school-stories. Adults are not deceived by science-fiction; they can be deceived by the stories in the women’s magazines.”—C. S. Lewis on fantasy vs. fact, a timeless and timely reminder of the role of critical thinking in making sense of the stories we’re told. (via explore-blog)
“I’d like to share with you some actual questions actual teenagers have actually asked about my new book, and I swear these are true and can produce witnesses if necessary.
“Can you talk about why Quentin survives his encounter with the land whale while Captain Ahab doesn’t survive his encounter with Moby Dick?”
“Is Margo’s hair always in her face because no one is seeing her?”
“Are we really able to reinvent ourselves like Dr. Jefferson Jefferson or are we just boats getting borne back ceaselessly into the past like they say in Gatsby?”
Real questions. Real teenagers. There were hundreds more. And of course there were silly questions, too—do you think margo or lacey is hotter; if you could be any kind of cheese, what kind of cheese would you be? (To the latter, I answered Nicholas Sparks.) Silly questions are great, too. But again and again, I met teenagers who were reading thoughtfully and critically, and I believe that as writers and educators, we have a shared responsibility to give teenagers every opportunity to encounter everything that books can do.”—John Green (x)
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep…
“The truth is that everything you do changes your brain. Everything. Every little thought or experience plays a role in the constant wiring and rewiring of your neural networks. So there is no escape. Yes, the internet is rewiring your brain. But so is watching television. And having a cup of tea. Or not having a cup of tea. Or thinking about the washing on Tuesdays. Your life, however you live it, leaves traces in the brain.”—
Tom Stafford, writing about the anxiety surrounding brain attention spans in the age of the internet.