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(Salon)   Study: Reading novels makes us better thinkers. New research says reading literary fiction helps people embrace ambiguous ideas and avoid snap judgments   (salon.com) divider line 81
    More: Interesting, literary fiction, academic journal  
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2032 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jun 2013 at 12:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-15 11:10:39 AM
This message brought to you by the American Council of People Who Couldn't Get Degrees Involving Math.
 
2013-06-15 11:47:24 AM
FTR: Ayn Rand's works aren't literary.

/most definitely fictional though
 
2013-06-15 12:19:20 PM
So that's why people read Salon.
 
2013-06-15 12:31:46 PM
I immediately disagree.

/DNRTFN
 
2013-06-15 12:36:08 PM
What a novel concept.
 
2013-06-15 12:38:23 PM
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

/dnrtfa
 
2013-06-15 12:39:01 PM
This should be required for everyone in the politics tab.
 
2013-06-15 12:40:27 PM

Sim Tree: This should be required for everyone in the politics tab.


It's funny that when I was there yesterday, I had just said "Books make you smarter." I wish I was always so quickly justified.
 
2013-06-15 12:41:06 PM
izit.org
 
2013-06-15 12:42:30 PM
[teachingladyu-s-a.jpg]
 
2013-06-15 12:42:56 PM
Weird, I read Fark Politics everyday, and I still make snap judgments
 
2013-06-15 12:44:59 PM
Twilight still sucks
 
2013-06-15 12:45:54 PM
Excepting those whose lips have to move when they read.
 
2013-06-15 12:47:58 PM
FTFA:

They expressed their agreement or disagreement with such statements as "I don't like situations that are uncertain" and "I dislike questions that can be answered in many different ways."

I guess that someone like Paul Erdos or Bertrand Russell would not be considered creative to these guys.
 
2013-06-15 12:48:08 PM
I'm not sure about that:
cdn.www.carm.org
 
2013-06-15 12:51:09 PM
For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.
 
2013-06-15 12:52:13 PM
This message brought to you by the American Council of People Who Couldn't Get Degrees Involving Math. I have a PhD in a Physics and am an avid fiction reader. I can see the results they are talking about by just talking to people. People who read fiction have a lot of practice with the "what if..." means of problem solving, they tend to be more open minded about other ways of doing things and find it easier to see things from a different point of view. People who don't read fiction tend to be more focused on the here and now and want concrete answers. Ironically, the real world often gives us situations that are uncertain, have more than one solution, and where concrete answers that seem immediately obvious, are generally wrong.

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

You need to get out more - try the politics tab.
 
2013-06-15 12:53:21 PM

Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]


Usually, the religious people who you need to worry about are the ones who haven't read it. Most jesus nuts haven't actually read the bible, they've read books (who are we kidding, they've read pamphlets) picking and choosing passages, out of context, for them to pay attention to.

On a different note, I challenge anyone to read a book like Les Miserables and come out with the same perspective on life they went in with. Go ahead, I dare you.
 
2013-06-15 12:54:12 PM
Well im not reading until they come out with one of them "Reading For Dummies" books!

Now if y'all excuse me, I gots to go play my banjo and oil mah guns.
 
2013-06-15 12:54:45 PM
For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

People reading religious texts think they are reading non-fiction and respond accordingly.
 
2013-06-15 12:54:56 PM
Well that's just, like, your opinion, man.
 
2013-06-15 12:55:04 PM

NotARocketScientist: Ironically, the real world often gives us situations that are uncertain, have more than one solution, and where concrete answers that seem immediately obvious, are generally wrong.


For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
-H. L. Mencken

\Love that quote.
 
2013-06-15 12:55:46 PM

netgamer7k: [izit.org image 550x550]


yup...close the thread...we're done here
 
2013-06-15 12:56:24 PM

Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]


Damn you, Quaker, and your scornful mocking of my delayed posting and failure to use Forbes' Insoluble Dry Plates.
 
2013-06-15 12:58:14 PM

Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]


Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.


Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.
 
2013-06-15 01:03:09 PM

flucto: This message brought to you by the American Council of People Who Couldn't Get Degrees Involving Math Aren't Willing to Do What It Takes to Make Their Lives What they Want Them To Be, and Instead Opt for Constant Escapism.


Not necessarily a fix, just another option.  I know someone who reads only fiction and cheerfully admits it's escapism.  I prefer making my reality pleasant to escaping it because I don't like it.  Plus, I don;t have the aded wkwardness of being slammed back to reality from time to time.
 
2013-06-15 01:04:25 PM

Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.


Kind of like Shakespeare.  And yet everyone thinks they can quote it.
 
2013-06-15 01:06:10 PM
When they came up with this brilliant observation I wonder if they considered the "attitude/expectation/mindset" of the people reading a particular text.

Most of us don't have the same "attitude" toward the text when we read a "holy text" or essay as we do when we read Harry Potter. I would expect that to affect our state of mind as much as the text itself.
 
2013-06-15 01:08:25 PM

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.


Actually, the best way to become an atheist is to actually read the bible.  Most Christians do not do so, and the same is true of most religions and their holy books.

I was raised Mormon.  I was always told to read the Book of Mormon, in order to improve my belief in the church.  Every time I read it, I only had more doubts.  Then I realized I was not supposed to actually read it, only feel guilty for not having read it.  Same thing went for the Bible or other religious books.  You read them, then you realize that the authors were a bunch of bronze aged goat herders who were trying to justify some pretty ugly behavior.  Well, except for the Book of Mormon, that was Bible fan fiction.
 
2013-06-15 01:09:25 PM

Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.


This has always surprised me.  Granted some people don't know how to read, but that is about the only excuse.  If I thought there was a benevolent loving god in the sky who wanted me to praise him, worship him, love him, etc, then I would damn sure read the book he gave us. Of course the counter-point is that god didn't write the bible even if he exists.  But in that case, why be "religious" at all instead of just spiritual and contemplative?

Oh right, people are farking idiots.
 
2013-06-15 01:14:35 PM
There's a problem with having most of our studies of humanity come from undergrads - humans going through some of the most tumultuous, unsettled periods of their lives. I don't know about you, but I read metric tons of fiction growing up, and was very inflexible in my world view (althoug I was highly creative). I had just started to be comfortable with ambiguity in college, but hadn't yet been bit++-slapped by life, into understanding how darn ambiguous life gets.

Some people though take that same experience and harden their world views. So maybe the fiction overdose gets the credit after all.
 
2013-06-15 01:16:59 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.

Kind of like Shakespeare.  And yet everyone thinks they can quote it.


newsinfilm.com

Frowns on your shenanigans.
 
2013-06-15 01:22:34 PM

Some Coke Drinking Guy: I was raised Mormon.  I was always told to read the Book of Mormon, in order to improve my belief in the church.  Every time I read it, I only had more doubts.  Then I realized I was not supposed to actually read it, only feel guilty for not having read it.  Same thing went for the Bible or other religious books.  You read them, then you realize that the authors were a bunch of bronze aged goat herders who were trying to justify some pretty ugly behavior.  Well, except for the Book of Mormon, that was Bible fan fiction.


See, I was raised a Pentecostal and I came to the same conclusion.  Weird.
 
2013-06-15 01:24:53 PM

cptjeff: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Usually, the religious people who you need to worry about are the ones who haven't read it. Most jesus nuts haven't actually read the bible, they've read books (who are we kidding, they've read pamphlets) picking and choosing passages, out of context, for them to pay attention to.

On a different note, I challenge anyone to read a book like Les Miserables and come out with the same perspective on life they went in with. Go ahead, I dare you.


Gotta give them a little credit, though. They're great at rote memorization. Specifically bits of data in the format of Seymour 173:12. Granted, they just cite it, for you to look up later if you can be bothered. I have yet to see evidence that they can actually recite the passage...

/Hasn't read the Bible.
//Keeps meaning to.
///Meh.
 
2013-06-15 01:33:43 PM
tl;dr
 
2013-06-15 01:41:32 PM

FrancoFile: Benevolent Misanthrope: Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.

Kind of like Shakespeare.  And yet everyone thinks they can quote it.

[newsinfilm.com image 180x220]

Frowns on your shenanigans.


Actually, I think he would agree.  I read very little fiction, but I do read Shakespeare.  For fun.  And it grates me, how many inaccurate - or just plain mis-attributed - "Shakespeare quotes" I hear.
 
2013-06-15 01:44:44 PM

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.


modern academia was basically started by the church but no, you're right: it's religious people with their "reading" who are dumb.
 
2013-06-15 01:47:09 PM

Canton: /Hasn't read the Bible.
//Keeps meaning to.
///Meh.



Slowly working on a cover to cover reading of the KJV, myself, in between other stuff. It is probably the most significant work ever written, and the KJV is the version that really shaped the english language and english speaking culture, so it's something you should read, if for no other reason than that. Besides, the poetry of stuff like psalms and proverbs really is beautiful. Psalm 23, as written in the KJV, is one of the best bits of poetry the human race has ever written. So while I'm not so hot on a lot of aspects of organized religion, it has given us some really wonderful stuff. Art, literature, poetry, architecture, music...

Everybody should read at least some of the more culturally significant parts of the Bible and at least a few of the more significant plays of Shakespeare. And to complete the trifecta, a book about Abraham Lincoln.

Yes, Lincoln. The top three most written about people in history, at least in English (and very possibly including other languages) are, in order, Jesus, Shakespeare, and Abraham Lincoln.
 
2013-06-15 01:48:41 PM
The problem doesn't seem to lie in people reading the Bible per se.  The problem seems to lie in the fact that far too many people read it as non-fiction.  Reading it the same way you'd read Star Trek expanded universe novels seems fine.
 
2013-06-15 01:52:55 PM
I dislike reading fiction most of the time.  I often feel like the author is trying to shove their ideology down my throat, using a contrived, fictitious story as supposed evidence.  Often I just find myself gleaning things about the author's personality and conclude I dislike the author, or she/he isn't very intelligent/has a narrow worldview.

Why read a novel when I could be reading something interesting or useful? (Ok, so I do like watching movies and tv.)
 
2013-06-15 01:53:56 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.

Kind of like Shakespeare.  And yet everyone thinks they can quote it.


Hey prick! Do I not bleed?
 
2013-06-15 01:55:49 PM

Dion Fortune: I dislike reading fiction most of the time.  I often feel like the author is trying to shove their ideology down my throat, using a contrived, fictitious story as supposed evidence.  Often I just find myself gleaning things about the author's personality and conclude I dislike the author, or she/he isn't very intelligent/has a narrow worldview.

Why read a novel when I could be reading something interesting or useful? (Ok, so I do like watching movies and tv.)


Because people like those, and because reading is always preferable to not reading.

Also could you tone down the pretentiousness?  It's a bit hard to read your post through your narrow worldview.
 
2013-06-15 01:57:10 PM

Some Coke Drinking Guy: Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Actually, the best way to become an atheist is to actually read the bible.  Most Christians do not do so, and the same is true of most religions and their holy books.

I was raised Mormon.  I was always told to read the Book of Mormon, in order to improve my belief in the church.  Every time I read it, I only had more doubts.  Then I realized I was not supposed to actually read it, only feel guilty for not having read it.  Same thing went for the Bible or other religious books.  You read them, then you realize that the authors were a bunch of bronze aged goat herders who were trying to justify some pretty ugly behavior.  Well, except for the Book of Mormon, that was Bible fan fiction.


Similarly, so much of the Old Testament is repetitive directions on how to perform rituals people stopped doing over 1,000 years ago, various long lists and lengthy descriptions of inconsequential things.
 
2013-06-15 02:03:25 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: FrancoFile: Benevolent Misanthrope: Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.

Kind of like Shakespeare.  And yet everyone thinks they can quote it.

[newsinfilm.com image 180x220]

Frowns on your shenanigans.

Actually, I think he would agree.  I read very little fiction, but I do read Shakespeare.  For fun.  And it grates me, how many inaccurate - or just plain mis-attributed - "Shakespeare quotes" I hear.


I actually thought you were doing an Edward DeVere or Roger Bacon troll...  ;-)

/lurve me some Fluellen quotes
 
2013-06-15 02:17:47 PM
I'm a reader and say death to philistines and heretics!!!!  We will start with the twilight crowd and move on to the Shades of Grey crowd.  Not sure where we will go from there (perhaps the mortal instruments crowd) but those two should keep us occupied for awhile at least.

Also, I will recommend enrolling in a creative writing class or something along those lines at least once.  Try doing some writing.  You really come away with a greater appreciation for good authors (or at least that was my experience.)
 
2013-06-15 02:18:04 PM

FrancoFile: Benevolent Misanthrope: FrancoFile: Benevolent Misanthrope: Slaxl: Quaker: I'm not sure about that:
[cdn.www.carm.org image 224x184]

Munchkin City Coroner: For thousands of years, religious texts have proven that reading fiction does not lead to open-mindedness.

Perhaps, but for at least 1500 years of Christianity very few people had the chance to read a bible themselves, and for the last 500 years everyone has pretended to read it and just sorta guess whats in it based on hearsay... actually, that's 2,000 years, when was the bible first written? 400-500ad? Later? Ok, let's just forget that and say that almost no one ever reads the bible.

Kind of like Shakespeare.  And yet everyone thinks they can quote it.

[newsinfilm.com image 180x220]

Frowns on your shenanigans.

Actually, I think he would agree.  I read very little fiction, but I do read Shakespeare.  For fun.  And it grates me, how many inaccurate - or just plain mis-attributed - "Shakespeare quotes" I hear.

I actually thought you were doing an Edward DeVere or Roger Bacon troll...  ;-)

/lurve me some Fluellen quotes


If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb? In your own conscience, now?

/seemed appropriate for Fark
//Ian Holm was the Best Fluellen EVER.
 
2013-06-15 02:28:37 PM

Dion Fortune: I dislike reading fiction most of the time.  I often feel like the author is trying to shove their ideology down my throat, using a contrived, fictitious story as supposed evidence.  Often I just find myself gleaning things about the author's personality and conclude I dislike the author, or she/he isn't very intelligent/has a narrow worldview.

Why read a novel when I could be reading something interesting or useful? (Ok, so I do like watching movies and tv.)


As mentioned above, stop reading Ayn Rand.
 
2013-06-15 02:31:49 PM

Dion Fortune: I dislike reading fiction most of the time.  I often feel like the author is trying to shove their ideology down my throat, using a contrived, fictitious story as supposed evidence


What fiction are you reading? If you can detect a blatant agenda in fiction, it could be a sign that the fiction isn't very good. Authorial bias is always there. Good authors try to make it subtle and/or natural; they usually don't beat you over the head with it. There are a lot of bad authors out there, though.

Why read a novel when I could be reading something interesting or useful? (Ok, so I do like watching movies and tv.)

Novels do certain things better than movies/TV. It's quite difficult to depict what a character is thinking on a screen, while it's insanely easy to do that in a novel. Since movies/TV cost more to make than novels, movies/TV have to chase eyeballs and revenue more blatantly than novels do. This means that movies/TV tend to lack subtlety and cater to whatever's currently fashionable. (OK, novels are fashion-driven to some extent, but most novelists don't have as many producers and focus groupies hollering at them demanding more fanservice/more fight scenes/more product placement.)
 
2013-06-15 02:44:09 PM

danceswithcrows: Dion Fortune: I dislike reading fiction most of the time.  I often feel like the author is trying to shove their ideology down my throat, using a contrived, fictitious story as supposed evidence

What fiction are you reading? If you can detect a blatant agenda in fiction, it could be a sign that the fiction isn't very good. Authorial bias is always there. Good authors try to make it subtle and/or natural; they usually don't beat you over the head with it. There are a lot of bad authors out there, though.

Why read a novel when I could be reading something interesting or useful? (Ok, so I do like watching movies and tv.)

Novels do certain things better than movies/TV. It's quite difficult to depict what a character is thinking on a screen, while it's insanely easy to do that in a novel. Since movies/TV cost more to make than novels, movies/TV have to chase eyeballs and revenue more blatantly than novels do. This means that movies/TV tend to lack subtlety and cater to whatever's currently fashionable. (OK, novels are fashion-driven to some extent, but most novelists don't have as many producers and focus groupies hollering at them demanding more fanservice/more fight scenes/more product placement.)


Excuse me, but 2 out of those 3 are definitely fought over in the fanspace of writers.  Replace product placement with sex, and you have the basic talking points of any fan review or fanfiction.  Go read 50 Shades of Grey and get back to me about pandering in fiction.

Seriously, the popular fiction I see these days coming through the library is absolutely abysmal.  I could do better, but I don't have the time or interest to write a novel, and it would never get published due to lack of mommy-porn.  Novels are driven by the lowest common denominator of the anticipated audience.  And that is low indeed.
 
2013-06-15 02:46:24 PM

danceswithcrows: Dion Fortune: I dislike reading fiction most of the time.  I often feel like the author is trying to shove their ideology down my throat, using a contrived, fictitious story as supposed evidence

What fiction are you reading? If you can detect a blatant agenda in fiction, it could be a sign that the fiction isn't very good. Authorial bias is always there. Good authors try to make it subtle and/or natural; they usually don't beat you over the head with it. There are a lot of bad authors out there, though.

Why read a novel when I could be reading something interesting or useful? (Ok, so I do like watching movies and tv.)

Novels do certain things better than movies/TV. It's quite difficult to depict what a character is thinking on a screen, while it's insanely easy to do that in a novel. Since movies/TV cost more to make than novels, movies/TV have to chase eyeballs and revenue more blatantly than novels do. This means that movies/TV tend to lack subtlety and cater to whatever's currently fashionable. (OK, novels are fashion-driven to some extent, but most novelists don't have as many producers and focus groupies hollering at them demanding more fanservice/more fight scenes/more product placement.)


Read genre fiction.  Go grab some of the classic mysteries of the early 20th century - Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie.  Humor is also good - PG Woodhouse, Carl Hiaasen - even the Bridget Jones books.  You'll see great stuff about interpersonal communication, foibles that we all have, and lots of witty banter.
 
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