Starting off on the 'Write' Foot

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"...describing the persons and functions of the Muses for whom he composes his introductory hymn.  To begin with, they are the offspring of a union between Zeus and Mnemosume, usually translated as "memory"..." (Havelock, 79).

Eric Havelock's talk of Greek Muses, from "The Muse Learns to Write", in the beginning of the chapter The Special Theory of Greek Orality, made me think of the Disney movie Hercules.  Immediately the song from the beginning of the movie got stuck in my head, "We are the muses; protectors of Gods and heros like Hercules."  I also thought of the Olympics.  Coincidentally the winter Olympics are occurring right now, so it has been on my mind since I usually watch as much as I can.  

The Olympics were in Athens, Greece not too many years ago.  As I read these pages I really felt the sophistication of Greece and its people.  What's interesting is that I don't think people have a lot to say about Greece right now.  It is a beautiful country but it has been on the "down low" for a while.  However, look at everything they have accomplished; the scholars who created the greek alphabet, and the creators of the Olympic games. These are some big milestones.

"By the beginning of the fourth century, literate intellectuals began to attend to the act of memorization itself, considered as a necessary technique to be learned.  The need would only occur to them as the result of delayed recognition of an exercise that was slowly but surely becoming obsolete in their own day..." (Havelock, 80).

The idea of memorization being transformed from something that seemed weak to something that was a tool for strengthening knowledge shows how mature we, as people, continue to grow.  I had always said, as in my other blogs, that memorizing is a way to further connect with the material you want to get to know.  Now, the weak seem to be the ones who do not take the time to memorize and therefore, forget what they are even studying in the first place.  It is too interesting to think of how these intellectual people came up with memorizing.  This is something that seems like an all-too obvious act of learning material but it had to have been created somewhere; so it stated with these people.  It started with the idea that once one starts to take too much time in responding or recognizing something, then there must be a way to prevent it from happening: Genius.

Centuries later, this kind of revelation seems so obvious but what other revelations have we not come up with that might seem obvious in the future?  I always think of this.  When I see new inventions or new ways of learning I always think, "Well of course!  This makes sense and I don't know why I wasn't the one who thought of it." I wasn't the one who thought of it because to most people, nothing seems that obvious.  We are living in a world where we have every kind of technology and many ways that make things easier for us; as a result, there is nothing more we can imagine.  All of this just means we are looking too hard, and maybe we should take a lesson from the Greeks and other scholars and take time in searching for the ideas that will make life better in some ways.


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