Audiobooks

They always taught me that it was through books that one learned. School cemented this: the most important things in school were the books, or the notes, or the slides that the teachers projected during class.

But it is always worth reassessing our beliefs. It is possible that the book has emerged as the main learning mechanism for purely technological reasons. Speech is a much older ability than writing; it makes sense that our brains are more apt to capture information through the spoken word.

In antiquity there was no way to preserve sound. The oral tradition was very strong, but it suffered from the inherent limitations of memory, and what information was transmitted through that mean was corrupted as it passed from generation to generation.

I have always been reading and writing: highlighting passages, elaborating marginalia. Not doing so is almost heresy. It pains me to believe that I can learn more (or retain the knowledge better) by simply listening. After all, reading and writing is an art that I spent much of my life mastering.

Yet, I can not deny that some podcasts, some interviews, some audiobook sections have left a much stronger imprint in my memory than most of the notes I’ve made over the past few decades.

It’s time to explore this further.

Seasons

It’s easy to be cynical about Christmas. It is easy to say that the spirit of family, of generosity and fraternity should accompany us all year round. And to argue that there is no reason for these values to come up on this specific date.

But to think this way is to assume the human being as a purely logical entity. We do not work that way. Nor is it just a matter of us being managed by emotion; we are beings of volatile emotion. As much as we recognize these values as desirable, we can not take them up on a permanent basis.

It is our nature; we are creatures of seasons.

The Dream

Aurora’s paws felt soft against the hard stone floor. She was running, nose down to the ground. With the moon shining above, she leaped over a wall here, climbed onto a parapet there. It felt strange, but at the same time, it felt familiar.

Sometimes the moon disappeared behind one of the tallest buildings, or was obscured by one of the many bridges that connected them, but the darkness did not take away from her momentum. She felt the space around her, in front of her, and kept running. Is it still called “running” when you do it with four legs?

She… She remembered having two legs. This did not look … It felt… weird? But at the same time, it was her… She was herself… It was right!

Aurora blinked. The priestess came to her senses in an alley, face to face with a black cat. The cat stared at her with one bright amber eye: the other one was closed, covered with a scar. In the dark night, the quasi-golden eye shone brightly.

“Meoooooow.” Said the cat, before disappearing between buildings.

Aurora blinked again, and looked at her hands. They were dirty, but they were hands, not paws. Her knees were sore, and the faint moonlight did not let her look, but she imagined her nightgown was ragged.

Why was she here? She could not remember anything after having lied down at sunset…

She noticed then that in front of her stood an unusual building. Most of Jahaara’s buildings were cubic and rectangular, always with terraces instead of roofs, so that their occupants could lie outside, soaking up the sun and moonlight. These buildings were relatively squat, never more than three stories high. But the one towering in front of her was formed by three twin towers, each one higher and thinner than the last, each crowned with a round dome.

The priestess felt a shiver, and folded her arms across her chest.

Writer. Podcaster. Marketer. Dental Surgeon. Gamer.