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9 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Have you been snacking on a steady unwholesome diet of Dystopian Science Fiction? Does anyone write Utopias anymore? Kimberly revisits Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and considers how this work influenced her thinking (and ultimately influences her work with Socratica). Buy your copy of Brave New World here: https://amzn.to/2TjyH9CMy first book - How to Be a Great Studentebook: https://amzn.to/2Lh3XSPPaperback: https://amzn.to/3t5jeH3Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/3atr8TJTRANSCRIPTWelcome everybody, to Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the co-founder of Socratica. We make beautiful - really, incredibly gorgeous videos about math, science, computer programming, and even learning about HOW to learn. At Socratica, we like to say we’re building the education of the future. It should come as no surprise, then, when I say that our work has often been inspired by the LITERATURE of the future - science fiction. That’s what this podcast is all about. There are lots of book review podcasts, but this... is not that. This is a personal journey. I’m retracing my steps. How did Socratica come to be the way it is? To quote You’ve Got Mail - “You are what you read.” (I think the Finnish astronomer Esko Valtaoja may have said it first.)or...Dr. Seuss, when he said The more that you read, the more things you will know.The more that you learn,the more places you’ll go.It’s a sentiment shared by a lot of people. And I do really believe that the books we read influence our thinking. There’s a reason why oppressors like to burn books. They want to control the message. But more than specific information, what we read can influence our very outlook. Are we hopeful? Are we fatalistic?That’s why I’m focusing on Science Fiction in this podcast. Reading science fiction trains you to think simultaneously about the future - the possible future - and where we are now, and to think about the road we’re on. We can’t KNOW the future. So - going to college, trying a new job, starting your own business, like Socratica - these are all acts of faith and hope in much the same way science fiction is. We assess where we are, think about where we want to go - and try to point our feet in the right direction. I think the books we read about the future are enormously helpful to us, even just on a subconscious level - especially when we’re facing transitions in our lives. Every time we read another book, we add more experiences we can draw on. We’re not on our own.Today I’m thinking about a book I read just as I was about to start high school. I went to a very high-powered prep school for 9th through 12th grades. 100% of their graduates go to excellent colleges. It was kind of like a dream world - perfect students, perfect teachers - and when I got in, I thought okay, I’m on my way. The future is bright. It turns out, I was woefully underprepared. I had attended rather indifferent schools up 'til then, and I really didn’t have any study skills, other than being a voracious reader. I share the story of how I figured it all out, the hard way, in my book How To Be a Great Student - you can find a link in the description. The book that helped me make this leap into a new society when I was 13 was Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley. And here’s why I think it was so helpful at the time, and continues to be helpful, virtually every time I start a new endeavor. It’s because this book describes a Utopia. No one starting a new job or a new school thinks to themselves they’re making a bad decision. We’re all too willing to just see the superficial nice things, so we feel good about our choices in life.A Utopia, by definition, is an idealized place that doesn’t exist. It’s interesting to me that so many current writers go for the obviously unpleasant dystopian picture of the future. Of course as readers we’re going to reject that and feel repulsed and think that could never happen here. We’d see it coming and make different choices. Books that feature utopias work in a more subtle way. You’re seduced by all the pleasantness, all the happiness and security. Then at some point the bottom falls out, and you’re horrified by what you thought was a good idea. This is MUCH MORE like real life, and that’s why I think Utopian novels are actually more effective. The book begins with an epigraph in French written by the Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdiaeff. I’m going to roughly translate it for you. Berdiaeff says, “Utopias appear to be more achievable than we used to think. Now, we have to ask ourselves how do we PREVENT utopias? They ARE possible. Life marches on TOWARDS utopias. Maybe a new era is beginning, one in which the intellectuals and the cultured class of people will dream up ways to avoid utopias and return to a society less PERFECT and more FREE." Huxley’s choice of this quote makes it very clear that this book is to be taken as a cautionary tale.The setting of Brave New World is especially provocative to me as a biologist, because we’re not reading about how society might be changed by a warp drive and interstellar travel. Instead, almost all of the science fiction in this book comes in the form of applied biology. Basically, eugenics, with some psychology and brain washing thrown in. Using these tools, a new peaceful society has emerged in the year 632 A.F. That’s 632 years after Henry Ford introduced the Model T, so sometime in the 26th century. Say THAT 3 times fast. There are a lot of fun references where Ford has basically replaced God, even in mild swear words, and people make the sign of the T instead of the cross. Religion doesn’t exist anymore in this society, neither does literature or anything that might bring about strong emotion like romantic love or family. No one has parents anymore. Mother and Father are obscene words. Babies are decanted from artificial wombs - children are raised by the state. The elites are all very attractive, and they spend most of their time as consumers, dressing in fancy clothes, swapping partners and they’re drugged into a state of simple-minded bliss. There’s also a huge artificially created population of clones who do all the grunt work that keeps the trains on time. Everyone has their place in society, and because of psychological conditioning, they’re all very happy in their predetermined roles. Well, almost everyone. We meet Bernard, who is not quite as perfect of a physical specimen as he should be, and mentally - something has happened. His socialization didn’t quite take. He doesn’t fit in, and he’s resentful. Despite this freelove society, women reject him. Wanting to make a big impression on a girl, he takes her on a vacation to visit a reservation where a small population of Native Americans live like they did before this Great Society. It’s like a zoo for people. On this trip, Bernard discovers a young man named John, a Noble Savage who quotes Shakespeare and has a secret connection to Bernard’s world. Bernard brings John back with him and introduces him into society as a novelty and Bernard’s social ranking rises. But really, this device allows us to step back and see the world fresh through John’s eyes. While he was initially seduced by the vision of a beautiful young woman - here he quotes Miranda from Shakespeare’s Tempest “Oh Brave New World that has such people in it!” - the more he learns about how this Great Society works, and what mindless drones the citizens are, the more horrified he becomes. This is the big takeaway for me. Just because a new place is shiny and exciting, and it’s easy to be impressed by new people living a different kind of life - there is probably a tradeoff. You don’t get a fantasy for free. How much of yourself will you have to give up to live this way?
6 minutes | May 4, 2021
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
EPISODE DESCRIPTION: When Flowers for Algernon came out in 1959, It was science fiction. What if you could go in for surgery and come out with more intellectual potential? In this episode of Socratica Reads, Kimberly ponders how some of this concept has actually come to pass (informed by her stint in Joe Tsien's "smart mouse" lab). How has this book influenced our work at Socratica? The message of the book is clear, and sadly at odds with much of academia. Get your copy of "Flowers for Algernon" here:"https://amzn.to/3eFla2NTranscript:Welcome Everybody, to Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the cofounder of Socratica. You know us from our educational videos about math, science, programming, and how to be a great student. Socratica Reads is a podcast about the books we’ve found influential. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that people dedicated to making the education of the future were heavily influenced by science fiction - the literature of the future. Today’s book is “Flowers For Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. Do you think of this book as science fiction? I read it when I was around 12, and it wasn’t in the sci-fi section of the library, but it certainly follows the typical sci-fi premise - imagine a world with a certain technological advance. How will people behave in this new slightly tweaked future? How will society respond?In this world, as imagined in the late 1950s, there is cutting-edge brain research underway. You can go in for surgery, and come out with a higher IQ. You might think the Algernon from the title is the main character, but no - Algernon is a mouse - a test subject who has had this surgery, and become much smarter than your average rodent. The funny thing is, when I read this book as a kid, it was still science fiction. But when I was in grad school at Princeton, I spent a little time doing research in Joe Tsien’s lab, where we made smart mice. We did this by overexpressing a certain gene active in the brain called NR2B. Mice with extra NR2B could learn how to solve a water maze faster, and they could remember better. Reality was catching up. It is still science fiction to imagine this being used in people, and in Flowers for Algernon we have a cautionary tale. The main character is Charlie Gordon who has very limited abilities, and can only follow simple directions. Even Algernon can beat him at maze puzzles. Charlie goes to a night school for challenged students, and learns to read and write, but will never progress as much as he wants to. He is a man trapped in a body that doesn’t respond to his hard work. He longs to connect with other people, but of course, people are cruel, and they don’t think of him as a real person, and even the people Charlie thinks are his friends play cruel tricks on him. Could this surgery deliver Charlie into a better life?The researchers ask him to keep a journal, so we hear Charlie’s thoughts.March 11th, the day after the operation. Charlie writesIf your smart you can have lots of frends to talk to and you never get lonley by yourself all the time.I will say it’s hard going reading through Charlie’s journal entries. You ache for him, even as he rapidly improves. You see how he does suddenly understand how people saw him before - there’s a sort of Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge moment, where he is ashamed. Very, very briefly, he’s able to connect with his fellow human beings. But he rapidly passes them. May 15 ...strange how when I’m in the college cafeteria and hear the students arguing about history or politics or religion it all seems so childish.I find no pleasure in discussing ideas any more on such an elementary level. People resent being shown that they don’t approach the complexities of the problem - they don’t know what exists beyond the surface ripples. This is the beginning of his downfall. Charlie becomes MEAN. He hurts everyone around him with his superiority and his attitude that his work means more than being a decent person and having meaningful relationships. It’s interesting that Charlie can the truth of this when it comes to the scientists:August 11 “You’ve become cynical,” said Nemur. “That’s all this opportunity has meant to you. Your genius has destroyed your faith in the world and in your fellow men.” “That’s not completely true,” I said softly. “But I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there’s one thing you’ve all overlooked: intelligence and education that hasn’t been tempered by human affection isn’t worth a damn.”This is where the book really makes me sad. I’ve been around brilliant people all my life. And you might think that the smarter you are, the less foolish you would be. But some of the smartest people I knew - the people I went to college with, my professors - so many of them were really just idiots about basic human kindness and decency. This reminds me of another quote, from a play about a simple man who understood simple truths - Harvey, written by Mary Chase. It was made into a movie starring James Stewart as Elwood, a man with an imaginary 6 foot, three and a half inch rabbit as a best friend. They want to lock Elwood up. But Elwood was such a GOOD person, why would you want to keep him out of society and leave nasty people out in the world, just because they were smart? “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. ”
8 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game is an essential read for gifted kids and adults who were gifted children. And anyone who is supposed to be raising or educating gifted kids. We don't just root for Ender. We ARE Ender. Although Ender's Game is ostensibly science fiction, much of it reads as a slice of real life for gifted kids. They've all experienced the mix of pride and shame when a teacher singles them out for praise (enraging other kids). They've felt the loneliness and isolation. And they've been let down by the one-size-fits-all education they're required to spend their entire childhoods on. At Socratica, we're very much focused on this essential question: how do you give people the education they NEED and DESERVE? That may be why this book speaks to us. Purchase your copy of Ender's Game here: https://amzn.to/3thefTfThanks for listening. 💜🦉Watch our beautiful educational videos at https://www.socratica.com/Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/socratica or https://www.paypal.me/socraticaTRANSCRIPTWelcome Everybody, to Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the cofounder of Socratica. We make the educational videos of the future. Or educational videos for YOUR future. On the Socratica Reads podcast, I share some of the books that have inspired us, and it’s almost always that literary genre for dreams and dreamers - science fiction. Today I’m revisiting ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card. This is one of those books I wish I had read as a kid. I think it would have helped me channel some rage. It was written in the mid 80s, but I didn’t come across it until I was an adult. I first read Ender’s Game right before I was going to start teaching in my old high school - which was a super high-powered prep school. I am glad I read it then, because it reminded me of what it was like being a smart kid (all the kids I taught were also really smart, and it helped remind me of the situation they were in). This book doesn’t shy away from the power and potential of children. I suspect that makes a lot of people uncomfortable - and I think that’s why, when they did a movie adaptation, they wrote the script with MUCH OLDER kids. But we’re not talking about the movie here on Socratica READS.The other thing I’ll say is that I wish this book was the only book in the series, and not the start of the Ender Wiggin Cinematic Universe. This book is practically perfect, and I was so happy to re-read it. I have no desire to re-read any of the other books, especially because at some point they got REALLY WEIRD about embryos and Petra and Bean could only talk about their potential children? I mean, someone was obsessed. So, anyway, I’m going to do my best to pretend this was the one and only book about Ender. I was thinking about how different the experience is to read a book as a kid, when maybe it’s the first time you’ve ever come across your own thoughts verbalized. What is it like for a smart little kid to read Ender’s Game - what a kindness to create this book for them. I felt so alone as a gifted child - no one knew what to do with me, and everyone pretty much ignored my special needs as long as I wasn’t causing any trouble. At least my parents were able to put me in a private school where I was PHYSICALLY safe - I wasn’t getting beaten up for being smart, but I was certainly verbally bullied and socially excluded. The actual education I received in my grammar school was indifferent at best. I can say it probably did me no harm. Michael, my sweet brilliant husband, grew up in a very small town with very few educational options - I’m pretty sure he was the smartest person in a hundred mile radius - and he DID get into trouble, apparently - he was always getting scolded for talking in class. And he DID have to physically defend himself at times. I imagine he was bored, and lonely, and surrounded by people who didn’t understand him. What DO you do with a gifted child? No one knows what they’re doing. So, you stick them in piano lessons. I’m joking, but also I’m not joking - Michael took piano lessons, and so did I. I’m sorry, that really did nothing for me. I’m sure it didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t the ANSWER. This is one of the giant questions we are trying to address at Socratica. Who speaks for the bright kids who want to learn? What’s out there for them? Can we serve this under-served group of learners.Ender’s Game tells the story of what happens when a brilliant child IS properly educated - at least, properly educated in order to achieve a certain goal. In Ender Wiggins’ family, he’s one of three brilliant children. It’s sort of a Goldilocks problem - his elder brother is smart but disgustingly cruel. His elder sister is smart but too gentle to do what it takes. But Ender, the third child, is just right. Just the right blend of intelligence and when it calls for it - the killer instinct. The book begins in a post-war era. Humans narrowly escaped complete annihilation by insect-like alien invaders. They’re called Buggers and they’re incomprehensible. They still exist, somewhere out there on their home planet, and they’ll be coming back, so people have to get ready. And that means training the next generation of military leaders who can think creatively and beat the technologically superior Buggers. While the bugs reproduce like mad and spread out across the universe, humans on Earth have learned to control their population. Families are limited to two children, except in exceptional cases. And Ender’s family was exceptional. I actually wish there was a little more time spent with Ender’s brother and sister, who have secret identities online as intellectual giants, even though they are still children. I find that part of the storyline amazingly prescient for a book written just at the start of the internet age.There’s an element of Harry Potter receiving his letter to go to Hogwarts - I think every bright kid hopes that someone will recognize their special talents and they’ll be rescued from their dreary life and be taken away and properly nurtured and educated. But the downside of that is something that most gifted kids have experienced - they are pointed out in class as being exceptional, and the other kids hate them for it. I think a lot of readers will be fascinated by the *specific* training games that Ender is put through in this weird space boot camp. But the intricacies of the game don’t matter, it could have been anything. It’s that Ender is pushed to the limits of his ingenuity. Here’s a short quote from Ender, who recognizes the meta-nature of his training: “most boys in this school think the game is important FOR ITSELF, but it isn’t. It’s only important because it helps them find kids who might grow up to be real commanders, in the real war. But as for the game, screw that.” I wonder how many kids recognize this about their own real-life education - that it’s not so important that you read and analyse THIS book or derive THIS math formula - it’s that you CAN analyse a book and you CAN derive a math formula. It’s training for your brain. Maybe school would feel different if kids could appreciate that a lot of their education is arbitrary - it’s like eating your vegetables or doing exercise. But then again, you’d like to be able to enjoy what you are doing, not just for the long-term benefit. I’m interested in pulling out what is it about this book that is so satisfying - even though it’s science fiction, and much of it is set in a fantasy space boot camp, there’s something so FAMILIAR about what happens to these kids. These scenarios COULD happen anywhere. The smart little kid is picked on and grownups let it happen. The smart kid learns that the grownups have their own issues and limitations. Even though much of the book is sad and scary, ultimately, there is a message of hope - you will graduate to freedom, if you are smart enough to see it, and seize it.
11 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
One of the silver linings to the very strange pandemic year we've all lived through, 2020, was the Octavia Butler renaissance. People woke up to the fact that she was a brilliant writer, and her book "Parable of the Sower" shot to the top of bestseller lists. The book was eerily predictive for 2020, in a lot of ways. Kimberly shares her thoughts. Purchase your copy of Octavia Butler's prescient novel here: https://amzn.to/3qDzFbPThanks for listening. 💜🦉Watch our beautiful educational videos at https://www.socratica.com/Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/socratica or https://www.paypal.me/socraticaTRANSCRIPTWelcome everybody to Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the co-founder of Socratica. We make futuristic learning videos. What do I mean by that? We teach math, science, and programming that will take you into the future. Your future. You may think you can’t see your future, but you can. Maybe not with perfect clarity, but you can LEARN to speculate in a powerful way. You NEED to envision your future, to know what you have to do to get there. Unless you’re okay just living your life like you’re floating in a river, being carried helplessly to some unknown destination. This is what I’m doing in this podcast. I’m focusing on what we read at Socratica that helps us think this way. It’s mainly science fiction. Sci Fi has an undeserved reputation as being lightweight reading, and Sci fi authors as being lightweight writers. As if just anyone could make up a picture of the future that is compelling, and possible, and internally consistent, and TRUE. I have enormous respect for Science Fiction writers. They have to capture the truth of our society, our technological capabilities, as well as our human psychology, and then they have to imagine what would happen to our society if something were tweaked. How would we respond as human beings. What would happen next. These people, these Science Fiction writers - there’s a certain wizardry to them, to be able to envision the future so well. You may really think Octavia Butler was psychic, if you’ve read Parable of the Sower, which she wrote in the early 90s. This book has surged in popularity this year, since we’ve been living in PandemicTime, because it captures so much of the strange collapse of normal life that we are experiencing. I feel a certain kinship with this author. Octavia Butler was born in Pasadena, like me. She was an only child of an impoverished family, like me. She LIVED at the library, like me. We were both determined to succeed. But she also saw a different side of Los Angeles that I did my best to avoid and turn a blind eye to. She was keenly aware of the frailties in the system, and she captured the frayed ends in her work. This book starts in Los Angeles in the 2020s. There’s been a sad slide of American society into disrepair and crime. It’s not completely spelled out, but you get the impression that the environment has suffered a radical change. It only rains once every six or seven years in LA, and water is a very expensive commodity. The main character lives in a kind of constant lockdown, in a gated community. Not because they’re wealthy - it’s just too dangerous to go outside. The kids haven’t gone out to school for years. Her father takes his life in his hands to go out to work. Fire is a constant threat. A lot of this feels like our year 2020. I’m going to read you a couple short passages from the beginning of the book. Notice how Butler investigated this very thing that has preoccupied our thoughts so much this year: what changes will this experience cause in all of us? And are we prepared to change? When put to the test, what would we quickly give up, and what would we think is essential. Are you ready? Let’s begin. All that you touchYou Change. All that you ChangeChanges you.The only lasting truthIs Change. God Is Change. EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVINGEach chapter of the book starts with a quote like this from the main character and her new spiritual practice she calls “Earthseed.” She experiences a call to create this new religion, even though she’s raised by a Baptist minister. This next passage is what she says right after they all risk their lives to leave their safe compound and go a few blocks away to get baptised in a real church:A lot of people seem to believe in a big-daddy-God or a big-cop-God or a big-king-God. They believe in a kind of super-person. A few believe God is another word for nature. And nature turns out to mean just about anything they happen not to understand or feel in control of. Some say God is a spirit, a force, and ultimate reality. Ask seven people what all of that means and you’ll get seven different answers. So what is God? Just another name for whatever makes you feel special and protected?There’s a big, early-season storm blowing itself out in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s bounced around the Gulf, killing people from Florida to Texas and down into Mexico. There are over 700 known dead so far. One hurricane. And how many people has it hurt? How many are going to starve later because of destroyed crops? That’s nature. Is it God? Most of the dead are the street poor who have nowhere to go and who don’t hear the warnings until it’s too late for their feet to take them to safety. Where’s safety for them anyway? Is it a sin against God to be poor? We’re almost poor ourselves. There are fewer and fewer jobs among us, more of us being born, more kids growing up with nothing to look forward to. One way or another, we’ll all be poor some day. The adults say things will get better, but they never have. How will God - my father’s God - behave toward us when we’re poor? Is there a God? If there is, does he (she? it?) care about us? Deists like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson believed God was something that made us, then left us on our own. “Misguided,” Dad said when I asked him about Deists. “They should have had more faith in what their Bibles told them.”I wonder if the people of the Gulf Coast still have faith. People have had faith through horrible disasters before. I read a lot about that kind of thing. I read a lot period. My favorite book of the Bible is Job. I think it says more about my father’s God in particular and gods in general than anything else I’ve ever read. In the book of Job, God says he made everything and he knows everything so no one has any right to question what he does with any of it. Okay. That works. That Old Testament God doesn’t violate the way things are now. But that God sounds a lot like Zeus - a super-powerful man, playing with his toys the way my youngest brothers play with toy soldiers. Bang, bang! Seven toys fall dead. If they’re yours, you make the rules. Who cares what the toys think. Wipe out a toy’s family, then give it a brand new family. Toy children, like Job’s children, are interchangeable. Maybe God is a kind of big kid, playing with his toys. If he is, what difference does it make if 700 people get killed in a hurricane - or if seven kids go to church and get dipped in a big tank of expensive water? But what if all that is wrong? What if God is something else altogether?Next we learn something significant about what else is happening out there:One of the astronauts on the latest Mars mission has been killed. Something went wrong with her protective suit and the rest of her team couldn’t get her back to the shelter in time to save her. People here in the neighborhood are saying she had no business going to Mars, anyway. All that money wasted on another crazy space trip when so many people here on earth can’t afford water, food, or shelter. This looking towards Mars is really the essence of Earthseed, and you’ll learn more about this idea throughout the book.Sometimes when we read dystopian fiction, or science fiction, we have to suspend our disbelief. We have to accept that things are really that bad, or that certain technological wonders are really possible. Do you find it believable that in the face of this sad state of affairs that they would still be going to Mars? If you think this is unbelievable fiction, I would remind you that the same year that China set off a global pandemic, and kept 11 million people in Wuhan locked in their homes, they went to the moon to gather rocks. More than 4 million acres burned in California this year, but we also had SpaceX launching astronauts twice to the international space station. Here in the real world, in 2020, our lives were a mix of devastating loss and sublime achievements.I wonder how readers today will respond to the spiritual roots of this book. I will say I’m very grateful to have read the Bible as a work of literature when I was in high school. You may or may not be religious, that’s your personal business - but if you read much of anything, you’re missing a lot of references if you don’t have a grounding in this fundamental work. The title of Butler’s book, Parable of the Sower, comes from the New Testament. There are versions of this story in three of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Jesus draws an analogy between the farmer’s soil and the human heart. The seed is the Word of God. He says there are four different reactions to the word of God, like there are four kinds of soil. First, the hard heart, where the seed will fall along the roadside. The seed can’t even start to grow here. Second, the shallow heart. Superficially, it looks like the seed will grow, but just below the surface are stones. The plant will wither.Third, the crowded heart. There’s a lot going on here - thorns, weeds - lots of other things growing that will choke out the seedling and prevent it from thriving. And finally, the fourth kind of soil, the fruitful heart, where the message can take root and flourish. The soil is receptive. Which of these will you be? Will you be able to receive the message we’re getting from living through the Pandemic? I feel like I’ve been all four, at various times. Be well, Socratica Friends.
10 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Every year Kimberly reads The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, in remembrance. Did you put away your childhood loves? What do you remember? What have you been collecting since you were a child? Purchase the Ray Bradbury short novel The Halloween Tree here: https://amzn.to/35P9WUOThanks for listening. 💜🦉Watch our beautiful educational videos at https://www.socratica.com/Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/socratica or https://www.paypal.me/socraticaTRANSCRIPTWelcome, Everybody! To Socratica Reads. I’m Kimberly Hatch Harrison, the co-founder of Socratica. We spend our time at Socratica making beautiful educational materials like something out of the future and also something out of the past. We’re leveraging the full power of new media, but at the same time, we’re careful to hold up the traditions of scholarship - stretching back to the age of Socrates. You can learn a lot very efficiently with computers, and videos, but at the same time, the heart of education is a dedicated teacher who can tell a story.In this podcast, Socratica Reads, I’m sharing some of the primal influences that shaped who we are. I spent most of my formative years with my nose in a book. And so I feel very close to the authors who were there with me, helping me figure out the world. I lived at the library, and about once a week, my mum would take me to Vroman’s - the oldest and most extraordinary independent bookstore in Pasadena. Back in the day, you could buy three books for five dollars, so that five dollar bill with Lincoln on it still holds a special place in my heart. Even though money was scarce in our house, books were not. And almost all of my Ray Bradbury books have a picture of a pumpkin and a kind message from my favourite author.Ray Bradbury looms large in my imagination and really - he helped shape how I see the world and the people in it. In this podcast I’m focusing on science fiction, because I believe that genre almost more than any other, has the power to develop your understanding of the world whilst simultaneously allowing you to run thought experiments about how the world might be different. Ray Bradbury IS a science fiction author, but he’s also a fantasy author, and a historian. All of these genres come together in his book The Hallowe’en Tree. I associate Ray Bradbury with Hallowe’en - and that’s not by accident. Every Hallowe’en, he would visit Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, and he would read to us from The Halloween Tree. He would be very formal - suit jacket and tie, sitting at a table, reading. Underneath the table, he was wearing shorts and white tennis shoes. I loved him so much, this grownup little boy. He was so jolly. It was like Santa was visiting, except on Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en Santa.Every word that he spoke, every expression on his face - you could feel how much he loved the world. He had endless enthusiasm for rockets, outer space, mysterious creatures like dinosaurs and the Loch Ness Monster. Hundreds of people lined up for the chance to exchange a few words with him as he signed books. I never heard him utter an unkind syllable. I used to bring him a white pumpkin every year. I have no idea why I decided to do that, it just seemed right. I loved those weird white pumpkins, and I figured he would, too. He would draw a little pumpkin in my book, and ask me about how my studies were going. One time we talked about albinos and why their eyes were affected. He thought albinos always had blue eyes - maybe because of white cats and dogs. By this time I knew about white mice and how their eyes were pink. He knew just how to find what we were both interested in, within a few seconds! Ray Bradbury helped me feel comfortable being a collector of odd bits and pieces of information. Every magpie enthusiasm was worthy of paying attention. What made you happy, what made you frightened, it all meant something. You never knew when it could come in handy, whether I was watching Jeopardy or writing something for school. Nothing was off limits. I saw how Ray Bradbury had collected every shiny thing he loved and put them all into his books. He once told the story of how some jerks tried to make him feel bad for collecting Buck Rogers comic strips as a boy - can you imagine? But he had the presence of mind, at nine years old to stand up for what he loved. Spacemen and carnivals and magicians and World Fairs and he bottled them up and preserved it all for us in his books. This book, The Halloween Tree, is a supernatural story. There’s some time travel, and fantasy elements, and a historical unraveling of the myths we may not realize we are retelling with our Hallowe’en traditions. The Halloween Tree is set in an ordinary town, full of ordinary boys who run around in sneakers and drink soda pop and dare each other to have adventures. But on Hallowe’en, the best day of the year for these boys, there is something terribly wrong with their friend Pipkin - the most adventurous of them all. The gang of boys stop by his house to pick him up for Trick or Treating, and he’s not dressed in a costume. He looks awful. Is he sick? Pip tells his friends he’ll meet them at a scary old house on the other side of the Ravine. And that’s where their adventure starts. I’ll read a little for you - this is when you’ll meet the owner of the house where the Hallowe’en Tree stands. Are you ready? Let’s begin. Let me introduce myself! Moundshroud is the name. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud. Does that have a ring, boys? Does it sound for you?It sounds, the boys thought, oh, oh, it sounds,...!Moundshroud.“A fine name,” said Mr. Moundshroud, giving it a full sepulchral night-church sound. “And a fine night. And all the deep dark wild long history of Hallowe’en waiting to swallow us whole!”“Swallow us?”“Yes!” cried Moundshroud. “Lads, look at yourselves. Why are you, boy, wearing that Skull face? And you, boy, carrying a scythe, and you, lad, made up like a Witch? And you, you, you!” He thrust his bony finger at each mask. “You don’t know, do you? You just put on those faces and old mothball clothes and jump out, but you don’t really know, do you?” “Well,” said Tom, a mouse behind his skull-white muslin. “Er- no.”“Yeah,” said the Devil boy. “Come to think of it, Why am I wearing this?” He fingered his red cloak and sharp rubber horns and lovely pitchfork. “And me, this,” said the Ghost, trailing its long white graveyard sheets. And all the boys were given to wonder, and touched their own costumes and refit their own masks. “Then wouldn’t it be fun for you to find out?” asked Mr. Moundshroud. “I’ll tell you! No, I’ll show you! If only there was time-”“It’s only six thirty. Hallowe’en hasn’t even begun!” said Tom-in-his-cold-bones.“True!” said Mr. Moundshroud. “All right, lads - come along!”He strode. They ran. At the edge of the deep dark night ravine he pointed over the rim of the hills and the earth, away from the light of the moon, under the dim light of strange stars. The wind fluttered his black cloak and the hood that half shadowed and now half revealed his almost fleshless face. “There, do you see it, lads?” “What?” “The Undiscovered Country. Out there. Look long, look deep, make a feast. The Past, boys, the Past. Oh, it’s dark, yes, and full of nightmare. Everything that Hallowe’en ever was lies buried there. Will you dig for bones, boys? Do you have the stuff?”He burned his gaze at them. “What is Hallowe’en? How did it start? Where? Why? What for? Witches, cats, mummy dusts, haunts. It’s all there in that country from which no one returns. Will you dive into the dark ocean, boys? Will you fly in the dark sky?” The boys swallowed hard. Someone peeped: “We’d like to, but - Pipkin. We’ve got to wait for Pipkin.”“Yeah, Pipkin sent us to your place. We couldn’t go without him.”As if summoned in this instant they heard a cry from the far side of the ravine. I hope you will pick up a copy of The Halloween Tree. Visit your local library, visit your local bookstore. And revisit your memories and keep them alive the way Ray Bradbury did.
14 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
2001 by Arthur C. Clarke
On the first day of Autumn, Kimberly looks back at another fall day when she first read the book 2001 and her life changed for the better. Does this book still inspire hope for humankind?If you'd like your own copy of Arthur C Clarke's 2001, consider purchasing using our affiliate link for an easy way to support this podcast.Amazon link: 2001: a Space Odysseyhttps://amzn.to/35RdGEXThe complete Space Odyssey series: 2001, 2010, 2061, 3001https://amzn.to/2YRpBBnTRANSCRIPT:Welcome everybody to Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the co-founder of Socratica. We make educational videos about math, science, and programming. I hope you can sense that we make our videos from a certain viewpoint - of optimism and hope about the future. One of the reasons I’m doing this podcast is to give you a window into our sources of inspiration. What makes us think the way we do?I’ve spent almost all of my life reading. I haven’t been picky, honestly. I read everything.But out of the thousands of books I’ve read, there have been a few that appeared at just the right time and nudged me in a certain direction. That’s what this podcast is really about. I have to warn you, this is not your typical book review podcast. There are plenty of those out there already, doing a great job. Socratica Reads is a personal journey. It’s an exploration of the profound effects that the right book at the right time can have on a person. Today is the first day of Autumn. I always associate the Fall with going back to school. It’s another kind of a New Year. You re-enter school with a new identity. Now you’re a sophomore. Now you’re a junior. It’s another chance every year for things to go differently.The year I started seventh grade, I was 12, and deep in my ugly duckling years. When I look back at photos now, I don’t quite see it. But to kids my age, it was really obvious. I wonder what was it that marked me as a social outcast. I had very heavy glasses (this was before they were making nice thin polycarbonate glasses - if you had a strong prescription, your glasses were as thick as your thumb), and even with my glasses I didn’t see very well, so that meant I was really clumsy - I was a disaster at sports. And plus, I was just a weird kid, I loved to read, I got along well with adults - so my classmates rejected me and at every moment reminded me that I didn’t belong. We had a new science teacher that year. Brian Miller. He had thick glasses, like mine, so immediately I felt some kinship. On the first day of school, to break the ice, he asked the class what did we do over the summer. I said I had been to the East Coast to visit family, including a trip to New York where I saw some plays and musicals. One of my regular tormentors was sitting behind me, and she started chanting under her breath, “New York. New York. Yeah, I went to New York.” You know, the stupid stuff that bullies do, it’s never anything clever, it’s just incessant taunting. This was letting me know that nothing had changed, she still despised me for existing. The next kid went, and the next, and my bully got a bit louder, enjoying the laughter of the kids nearby. But then she went too far, and Mr. Miller heard her. He yelled at her. “What the HELL is your problem?” he said. That was all he said. He motioned for my classmate to go on with their story. My bully was stunned into silence, and I felt a strange sense of emptiness - but in a good way. The absence of taunting was like a vacuum - and who knows what was going to move in in its place. There was the POSSIBILITY, all of a sudden, of a new kind of life for me, one where I wasn’t being constantly picked on. Now. What does this all have to do with the book we’re talking about today. Well, this wasn’t the only way science teacher Brian Miller changed my life for the better. He brought in a shelf of books into the classroom that we could borrow, and he put Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 into my hands. There wasn’t any sci-fi section in the kids’ library that I usually went to. I really didn’t know anything about the genre. This was my first real sci-fi book. And it was all about how humans were capable of EVOLVING into something rich and strange. For a kid who desperately needed to grow up and grow out of her punishing environment, it was absolutely the perfect book at the perfect time. I want to read you a quote from Arthur C. Clarke: "There's no real objection to escapism, in the right places... We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality... It's a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can't think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality."Science Fiction was a powerful new tool I was being exposed to. It was a way for people to imagine different ways of life, possibly better, possibly worse. This is so self-referential - my first sci-fi book was 2001, and the book itself acted like the 2001 monolith - it was showing me, working on me, to help my brain grow in new directions. 2001 was made simultaneously into a movie, directed by Stanley Kubrick, and the making of the movie influenced the book, and of course the book, as it was being created, was the source material for the movie. Now I can see this isn’t like your typical sci-fi book. There’s a bit of emptiness to it, like a scaffold that the movie seems to hang on. I’m not sure you’ll completely understand the movie without reading the book, and the imagery in the book is certainly enhanced by Kubrick’s movie. I do think when most people think about 2001 they focus on the later parts of the story set in space, because of the incredible visuals provided by the movie. But I’m not here to talk about the movie. This is Socratica READS, after all. So I mentioned the monolith, and it’s an image from the book that is inscrutable and unnatural and unknowable (is that a word)? We see the monolith allowing humans to leapfrog ahead in evolution. Later we see it act like another kind of shortcut - through time and space, a wormhole. But I’m most interested in what it does in the beginning of the book. We meet a tribe of early proto-humans, who are on the brink of extinction. They’re not really hunter-gatherers, they’re just gatherers. They’re not going to be able to survive eating berries. But this greater intelligence in the universe has recognized that they have the potential to do more, to be more. And so one night a monolith appears to test them and to instruct them.I’m going to read you a passage that just fascinated me when I first read it. The idea being - what would the most sophisticated teacher in the universe be like. Could we understand its methods at all? Are you ready? Let’s begin.They were still a hundred yards from the New Rock when the sound began. It was barely audible, yet it stopped them dead, so that they stood paralyzed on the trail with their jaws hanging slackly. A simple, maddeningly repetitious vibration, it pulsed out from the crystal, and hypnotized all who came within its spell. For the first time - and the last, for three million years - the sound of drumming was heard in Africa. The throbbing grew louder, more insistent. Presently the man-apes began to move forward, like sleepwalkers, toward the source of that compulsive sound. Sometimes they took little dancing steps, as their blood responded to rhythms that their descendants would not create for ages yet. Totally entranced, they gathered round the monolith, forgetting the hardships of the day, the perils of the approaching dusk, and the hunger in their bellies. The drumming became louder, the night darker. And as the shadows lengthened and the light drained from the sky, the crystal began to glow. First, it lost its transparency, and became suffused with a pale, milky luminescence. Tantalizing, ill-defined phantoms moved across its surface and in its depths. They coalesced into bars of light and shadow, then formed intermeshing, spoked patterns that began slowly to rotate. Faster and faster spun the wheels of light, and the throbbing of the drums accelerated with them. Now utterly hypnotized, the man-apes could only stare slack-jawed into this astonishing display of pyrotechnics. They had already forgotten the instincts of their forefathers and the lessons of a lifetime; not one of them, ordinarily, would have been so far from the cave, so late in the evening. For the surrounding brush was full of frozen shapes and staring eyes, as the creatures of the night suspended their business to see what would happen next. Now the spinning wheels of light began to merge, and the spokes fused into luminous bars that slowly receded into the distance, rotating on their axes as they did so. They split into pairs, and the resulting sets of lines started to oscillate across one another, slowly changing their angles of intersection. Fantastic, fleeting geometrical patterns flickered in and out of existence as the glowing grids meshed and unmeshed; and the man-apes watched, mesmerized captives of the shining crystal. They could never guess that their minds were being probed, their bodies mapped, their reactions studied, their potentials evaluated. At first, the whole tribe remained half crouching in a motionless tableau, as if frozen into stone. Then the man-ape nearest to the slab suddenly came to life. He did not move from his position, but his body lost its trancelike rigidity and became animated as if it were a puppet controlled by invisible strings. The head turned this way and that; the mouth silently opened and closed; the hands clenched and unclenched. Then he bent down, snapped off a long stalk of grass, and attempted to tie it into a knot with clumsy fingers. It’s really tempting for me to just keep reading. I find myself rooting for this tribe, like they’re my distant relatives. You see the impact of these visions that are implanted in these pre-humans. They learn how to use three tools: the stone club, the toothed saw, and the horn dagger, and it’s up to them what they will do with them. They conquer hunger, they conquer their predator, and they conquer their competition, the Others. At some point, speech allows them to pass their knowledge on to the next generation. We know what’s in store for them.At this point in my life, when I’m 12, I’m still being educated in grammar school, and a lot of the time I don’t know why I’m asked to do certain things - I don’t understand the methods or the reasons behind my schooling. But reading that passage made me crazy hungry to get my own monolith. I wanted my mind to be expanded and fiddled with so I could evolve into a better human. It planted a seed of something - a vision of a more direct way of learning. There’s another passage later in the book that also made my heart go pitterpat as a kid who loved learning. We’re now with Dave Bowman, a man from our world, or one very like ours. He is a well-trained astronaut, but there’s nothing about him that makes us think we’re not just as capable of being chosen for his fate. We read this:“Bowman had been a student for more than half his life; he would continue to be one until he retired. Thanks to the twentieth-century revolution in training and information-handling techniques, he already possessed the equivalent of two or three college educations - and, what was more, he could remember 90 percent of what he had learned.” I am not surprised to re-read this and realize that I’ve been dreaming of a coming revolution in education my whole life. At least one part of this promise has come true - if you want, you can keep learning for the rest of your life. I know I’m not going to stop. When I first read this book, 2001 was still in the future. Many of the technologies Clarke proposed are commonplace today. I wonder what it’s like reading this book for the first time as a kid, now. Does it seem quaint? It feels timeless to me. And so hopeful. I hope kids still get that sense that humans have incredible potential. I hope.
11 minutes | Aug 22, 2020
Happy 100th Birthday Ray Bradbury
Happy 100th Birthday to one of our greatest sources of inspiration - Ray Bradbury, who wrote beautiful stories about regular humans in extraordinary circumstances. Kimberly discusses the first Bradbury story she ever read, All Summer In a Day.Purchase the Ray Bradbury story collection A Medicine for Melancholy here: https://amzn.to/3aA3UK4Thanks for listening. 💜🦉Watch our beautiful educational videos at https://www.socratica.com/Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/socratica or https://www.paypal.me/socraticaTRANSCRIPTWelcome everybody to the first episode of Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the co-founder of Socratica. We make beautiful educational videos. We specialize in futuristic learning - math, science, and programming like you’ve never seen it before. When I’m not making videos, I spend a lot of my time reading. In this podcast, I’m sharing the books that have inspired us and sparked creative ideas.I’m focusing on Science Fiction - which is like imagination personified. Personified isn’t really the right word. Encapsulated. It is an AUSPICIOUS day to start this venture. August 22nd, 2020. We’re celebrating Ray Bradbury’s 100th Birthday. Ray Bradbury said, (I’m gonna read a quote) “Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about."You tell ‘em, Ray.Ray Bradbury has been an important figure in my life since I was 9 years old. When I was 9, I started the 4th grade, and at my grammar school every year they would hand out a small book called a reader - that was how we studied English. These little readers had a lot of grammar exercises, and about a dozen short stories. I would always take my reader home and read ALL the short stories in a day or two. Yeah, I was that kind of kid. Well, that year, for the first time, I read a story by Ray Bradbury. It was about a little girl, 9 years old, who didn’t fit in with her classmates. They all scorned her because she was different. I couldn’t believe it - someone was writing about ME. He was telling MY STORY! I mean, not LITERALLY, but still. By some miracle, Ray Bradbury understood me. I was a VERY bookish girl who got thick glasses in the beginning of the 4th grade (although I really should have gotten them in the 3rd grade), and I started pulling away from my classmates academically, socially, in all ways, really. I was like a little adult in the 4th grade. And my classmates could sense that I was something different, and they didn’t want to be around me anymore. My best friend unceremoniously dumped me, just stopped talking to me. And so I really related to this girl in the story. It was called “All Summer in a Day.” I remember saying out loud, when I finished it - “This is the saddest story I’ve ever read.” And I still think that. I’m going to read you an excerpt. This story is found in the collection “A Medicine for Melancholy” and I’ll include a link in the show notes. I hope you will go buy this collection of Ray Bradbury stories if you don’t already have it, or many on your shelf, like I do. Now let’s hear Ray Bradbury’s words on this, his one hundredth birthday. Ready? Let’s begin.The children pressed to each other like somany roses, so many weeds, intermixed,peering out for a look at the hidden sun. It rained. It had been raining for seven years;thousands upon thousands of dayscompounded and filled from one end to theother with rain, with the drum and gush ofwater, with the sweet crystal fall of showersand the concussion of storms so heavy theywere tidal waves come over the islands. Athousand forests had been crushed underthe rain and grown up a thousand times tobe crushed again. And this was the way lifewas forever on the planet Venus, and thiswas the schoolroom of the children of therocket men and women who had come to araining world to set up civilization and liveout their lives. "It’s stopping, it’s stopping !" "Yes, yes !" Margot stood apart from them, from thesechildren who could ever remember a timewhen there wasn’t rain and rain and rain.They were all nine years old, and if therehad been a day, seven years ago, when thesun came out for an hour and showed itsface to the stunned world, they could notrecall. Sometimes, at night, she heard themstir, in remembrance, and she knew theywere dreaming and remembering gold or ayellow crayon or a coin large enough to buythe world with. She knew they thought theyremembered a warmness, like a blushing inthe face, in the body, in the arms and legsand trembling hands. But then they alwaysawoke to the tatting drum, the endlessshaking down of clear bead necklaces uponthe roof, the walk, the gardens, the forests,and their dreams were gone. All day yesterday they had read in classabout the sun. About how like a lemon itwas, and how hot. And they had writtensmall stories or essays or poems about it:Ithink the sun is a flower,That blooms for justone hour. That was Margot’s poem, readin a quiet voice in the still classroom whilethe rain was falling outside. "Aw, you didn’t write that!" protested oneof the boys. "I did," said Margot. "I did." "William!" said the teacher. But that was yesterday. Now the rain wasslackening, and the children were crushed inthe great thick windows. Where’s teacher ?" "She’ll be back." "She’d better hurry, we’ll miss it !" They turned on themselves, like afeverish wheel, all tumbling spokes. Margotstood alone. She was a very frail girl wholooked as if she had been lost in the rain foryears and the rain had washed out the bluefrom her eyes and the red from her mouthand the yellow from her hair. She was an oldphotograph dusted from an album, whitenedaway, and if she spoke at all her voice wouldbe a ghost. Now she stood, separate,staring at the rain and the loud wet worldbeyond the huge glass. "What’re you looking at ?" said William. Margot said nothing. "Speak when you’re spoken to." He gave her a shove. But she did notmove; rather she let herself be moved onlyby him and nothing else. They edged awayfrom her, they would not look at her. She feltthem go away. And this was because shewould play no games with them in theechoing tunnels of the underground city. Ifthey tagged her and ran, she stood blinkingafter them and did not follow. When theclass sang songs about happiness and lifeand games her lips barely moved. Onlywhen they sang about the sun and thesummer did her lips move as she watchedthe drenched windows. And then, of course,the biggest crime of all was that she hadcome here only five years ago from Earth,and she remembered the sun and the waythe sun was and the sky was when she wasfour in Ohio. And they, they had been onVenus all their lives, and they had been onlytwo years old when last the sun came outand had long since forgotten the color andheat of it and the way it really was. But Margot remembered. "It’s like a penny," she said once, eyesclosed. "No it’s not!" the children cried. "It’s like a fire," she said, "in the stove." "You’re lying, you don’t remember !" criedthe children. But she remembered and stood quietlyapart from all of them and watched thepatterning windows. And once, a month ago,she had refused to shower in the schoolshower rooms, had clutched her hands toher ears and over her head, screaming thewater mustn’t touch her head. So after that,dimly, dimly, she sensed it, she was differentand they knew her difference and keptaway. There was talk that her father andmother were taking her back to Earth nextyear; it seemed vital to her that they do so,though it would mean the loss of thousandsof dollars to her family. And so, the childrenhated her for all these reasons of big andlittle consequence. They hated her palesnow face, her waiting silence, her thinness,and her possible future.I really do hope you read the rest of this story, if you haven’t already. Because if you were anything like me as a child, you will recognize how miraculous it was, that Ray Bradbury wrote a story about us. Somehow, as a grown man in the 1950s, he knew what it was like to be a weird 9 year old girl in the 1980s. I was not alone.This is the power of really good science fiction. It opens the door to examining people in a different way. Somehow, because you accept this otherworldly scenario, you also buy in to these characters. I’m not sure that Ray Bradbury would have gotten away with telling a straightforward narrative about a weird 9 year old girl. We’d say, well what does HE know about it. But because he’s telling us a made-up story about Venus, he can SNEAK in with these dead accurate insights about human nature. There’s a kind of a thread running through a lot of Bradbury, this affection for the oddballs who are true to themselves. You read his stories and you come away with a lot of love and understanding. I carry that with me, and I think maybe you can sense that in our work at Socratica. We will never talk down to you or make you feel strange because you love to read or you like to study science or you collect dinosaur toys. You’re safe with us, you’re among friends. So I say to my friend Ray Bradbury on his birthday: I love you, thank you, Live Forever!
1 minutes | May 28, 2020
Welcome to Socratica Reads
Where do we get our ideas at Socratica?We went to school, of course, and that set us on a certain path, studying math & science & computer programming….But we believe strongly in Lifelong Learning here at Socratica. You don't have to stop learning when you leave school. The best way to continue developing your mind is to READ. I’m Kimberly Hatch Harrison, the co-founder of Socratica. And this is: SOCRATICA READS, where we share the books that are inspiring us. In this podcast, I focus on one of my favourite genres - Science Fiction. A lot of people look down on Sci-Fi, like it’s some kind of literary junk food. But the truth is, Sci-Fi has the power to sneak up on you and TEACH you things while you were busy looking at the shiny rocketship. Things about human nature, and eternal questions like who am I and why am I here. I hope you’ll join me. 💜🦉Watch our beautiful educational videos at https://www.socratica.com/Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/socratica or https://www.paypal.me/socratica
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