Monday, June 2, 2014

High School Reading--Short, Inexpensive: 4, yea 6

From my odd perspective, I've found these4 short stories to be useful for youngsters, possibly.
Science fiction.

1--'What Was the Name of That Town,' by R. A. Lafferty.  By going through a series of questions about seemingly unrelated cultural evidence, a man discovers that Chicago (it wasn't in the encyclopedias anymore--there was a gap) had been destroyed by a nuclear accident (the name of the young of a bear was no longer around either) and that someone had also forgotten that he had invented a machine to do so. [This is a small scale 'Man in the High Castle'?]

2--'Jerry Was A Man,' by Heinlein.  A very interesting lawyer orchestrates the court case that shows that the enhanced intelligence chimpanzee is what thetitle says--he sings 'Way Down Upon the Swanee River' as the climax of his appearance in court.

3--'Gulf,' by Heinlein.  I think these may be in the same collection.  Written in 1948, shows barcodes in standard use.  I've seen no response to the linguistic theories presented here, which purport to expand intelligence by using phonemes for each of 500 Osgood and Osgood basic words in any language, so a word is a sentence. Pitch, etc. expand communication possibilities.  Two secret agents vow while dying--true speech.

4--My favorite of the 4.  'Brownshoes'.  also known as 'The Man Who Learned Loving'.  A hippie discovers free energy.  How does he get power to the people, and what price does he pay?

Bonus: A novel, based on the work that was voted the greatest trilogy in SF history. [You know that the Golden Age of science fiction is 12, right?] This 'In the Country of the Blind' is by Michael Flynn.  Get a version that has his charts and graphs in the back.  A melanin-blessed woman real estate inventor tracks down a secret group that uses mathematics to understand society, and finds other groups who are secret also, but who are manipulating.  In the end, she finds love also, and the mathematicians are in  a musical jam session.  Based on Asimov's (signed Humanist Manifesto) Foundation trilogy.  If there are enough humans, they are subject to sociological equations.  Deep discussion after this could get one into things such as ERH's mathematics for Waters Under, words for Earth Beneath, names for Heavens above.

Another bonus:  You can get all of ERH's lectures in English in transcript for $30. Buy the DVD that has his SPOKEN lectures at Dartmouth for $30, the one that includes Universal History 1954 and other Universal History courses.  His classificatin of societies and social orders (tribe, empire, Israel, Greece) on 4 fronts (in-out-forward-back) should be of great help for a HS student.

Love in King Jesus,

Charlie 'Chuck' Hartman
PS: These are CHEAP too!
PPS: A list of online resources might be useful to have also. Twentyfive25WebsitesThatMakeYouLookLikeAGenius

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