Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

A Parable

This is an example from the book Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn. It's also a wonderful parable. Make of it what you will...

"Oscar just knew he was right. He didn't need to read about all those other viewpoints. Oscar knew they were all wrong. The group Oscar was with--called the Flat Earth Society--made sure its members knew why other positions were wrong. The International Headquarters published many little booklets which explained everything in simple language. Sometimes, Oscar wondered how people could believe that the world was round--and not flat, as his group taught. Oscar figured that most people were just stupid and don't think about what they believe.

Dr. Weednut, a leading figure in the Flat Earth Society, had an entertaining way of explaining why society has deceived itself into believing that the earth is round, when everyone can see that it is obviously flat. Oscar liked Dr. Weednut the very first time he met him. He stimulated Oscar to think, and he made thinking seem so easy. Oscar was glad he had someone whom he could trust to explain everything to him."

Comments

Anonymous said…
This parable sounds strangely familiar...
-student