Flowers for Algernon | Daniel Keyes

Originally published at: Flowers for Algernon | Daniel Keyes — Рустам Агамалиев

Flowers for Algernon | Daniel Keyes

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

Сколько раз читано и перечитано Собачье Сердце, ровно столько же раз игнорированы Цветы для Алджернона. Удивительно трогательная история американского Шарика. Его зовут Чарли и он дурак, умственно отсталый, идиот, даун, чудак над которым весело издеваться и который ничего не сделает в ответ. Но однажды история Чарли приняла неожиданный поворот.

Есть книги, которые оставляют приятное послевкусие, есть после прочтения которых, сколько руки не мой, все равно чувствуешь себя грязным. А есть такие, как эта, после нее с лица не сходит улыбка, и хочется плакать. В ней нет смерти, разлуки и тоски, нет чрезмерной жесткости и психологического насилия. Только интеллектуальное взросление отдельного взятого человека. Эволюция от нуля до бесконечности и обратно. Печально тут еще от того, что нас всех это ждет. Хотим мы этого или нет, старость, утрата остроты ума и забвение. Кто бы, что ни говорил о Навале, может мы не мартышки на летящем камушке, но то что мы будем забыты – это абсолютно точно. После нас может остаться только наша работа, достижения и память. От кого-то хорошая, от других плохая.

Чарли, одинаково остро переживает время когда он был дурачком и то когда стал гением. Интеллект – это и дар и проклятие, неподготовленный человек не может вынести это бремя. Оно очень похоже на власть, не всякий, испив из чаши силы сможет отпустить ее.

Отличная, острая, пронзительная книга.

🎨 Impressions

Cried like a baby at the end. One of the most moving books in the past several years.

How I Discovered It

Read once, during teenage years. Completely different perceptions, just read my notes, from it.

Who Should Read It?

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

How my life / behaviour / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

There is no greater joy, than the burst of solution to a problem.

📒 Ideas

The best reason to get yourself to University

Now I understand one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you’ve believed in all your life aren’t true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.

[[Лучшая причина учиться, вести картотеку]]

  • The best reason to go to the university, what is it?
    • Obviously, to get better, get educated.
    • But what the reason for all the trouble?
    • What deal will you get if you choose to go.
    • Actually, it’s not only about university, it’s about school.
    • My children at school always doubt the need to attend school, or they do it because mom said so.
      • I used to be like this, and only when I graduated from the first university I’ve gotten some notion, why I’d been visiting for the past five years.
  • It is to learn that the things you’ve believed all your life are not what they appear to be.
    • Everything is a lie and mystery. Solve it! Become rational being.
      • [[What is rationality]]

Connect disconnected ideas

  • Interestingly, even here knowledge management haunts me.
    • Charlie at one point, when his intelligence improved enough, reflects that things apparently seperated hang together.
    • We have to look carefully to see the link, but it’s there, as fruit on the top of the tree.

Backlash of being intelligent

  • To be intelligent is a curse.
    • The smarter you are, the farther you are from other people. You have to demonstrate self restrain.
    • Do not fall into the trap of self-centeredness and selfishness.
    • No matter how smart you are, be kind and respectful. This exactly what Charlie failed to achieve in the beginning.

Hive mind of humanity

  • Not long ago, my friend and partner in book club asked me about hive mind. What I think about it and will we be able to reach it. ^01c5fd
    • The answer to this question is simple, if you know where to look.
    • We are already a semblance of a hive mind. Maybe it’s not working, as it has been described in various sci-fi novels.
      • We are not connected to complicated machines, and our consciousness doesn’t roam digital space.
      • We are not a blob of energy floating in a great nothing.
    • But actually we are. I have a note that could be used in the context of hive mind.
    • [[А что после]] we begin our work on a problem for real only after it has been solved.
    • After Einstein presented theory of relativity, Planck had taken from there with quantum theory, and before him Newton worked with thermodynamics and after Feynman with quantum electrodynamics.
    • The work of science is a succession of one theory after another, build on the shoulder of a previous one.
  • There is nothing new in the science. What counts is what each person contribute to the sum of knowledge of humanity.

Intelligence must be tempered

  • Not tempered, raw intelligence is a dangerous thing.
    • A highly intellectual person can and will harm himself, if the might of a mind hasn’t been harnessed.
    • An educated mind, without an affection, doesn’t worth a lot and should be cared with caution.

Looking at the world through a window, or a screen

  • It’s pretty mighty statement, even though the book has been written in 1959, it still brushes touchy cords.
    • Charlie affiliated a window with TV screen.
    • In modern days, we can substitute TV with social networks and programs with accounts, which show beautiful life of its owners.
    • This is not necessary true, but still we are attracted to it, and look at synthetic life through a screen of a smartphone
    • Gawking and the beauty of the girls, whiteness of sand on a beach.
  • [[Экран VS жизнь]] we live our lives as if they are drafts of a manuscript which later could be corrected and edited at will and printed for everyone to enjoy.
    • Which is obviously not the case.
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