From: Ben Goertzel (ben@goertzel.org)
Date: Fri Jul 04 2003 - 13:37:23 MDT

While researching mindplexes, I found this page on Theodore Sturgeon


which contains the following excellent quote:

"The secret I am trying to tell here is the art of storytelling, at its
highest -- how it's done. It's like Houdini getting himself locked in a
trunk and thrown in the ocean. I don't think he knows beforehand how he's
going to get out of that trunk. Rather, he's putting himself in a situation
where he will be forced to focus every bit of his own strength and
concentration on the problem at hand -- and he knows that under those
circumstances, and only those circumstances, he has the capability to find a
way out. It's an act of faith.

"The solution is: open the trunk. That's obvious. And the way to arrive at
the solution is to lock yourself in the trunk. That's not obvious at all.
But it's beautiful."

I am sure this dude is wrong about Houdini (who would have been dead far
younger if this guy's theory were correct), but he's right about

And, veering back toward the SL4 domain, this seems like a rather nice
metaphor for the pickle the human race has gotten itself into with its
penchant for much technology and little wisdom.... In the metaphor, I guess
some of us on this list represent the portions of Houdini's brain who
actually realize that we are locked in the trunk ;)

Yeah, yeah, metaphors are easily overstretched. That's what makes them
poetic, I suppose ;-)

-- ben g

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