EDCMOOC discussion

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Flowers for Algernon > Discussion for March 1st (21:30-22:30) - add themes/topics here

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message 1: by Kc (new)

Kc | 126 comments Mod
This is the read for February for twitter chat on 1st March 2014 (21:30-22:30 GMT)

Download as ePUB here http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=BF5...

... or as PDF here http://www.oglethorpe.edu/faculty/~m_...

We need a moderator!


message 2: by Rick (new)

Rick Bartlett | 31 comments Mod
Thanks for the link to the book. I'll check my calendar and see if I can moderate on that day


message 3: by Kc (new)

Kc | 126 comments Mod
That would be great if you can. Really enjoyed this book, very moving. Will add comments nearer the time.


message 4: by Rick (new)

Rick Bartlett | 31 comments Mod
I'm about 1/4 of the way through. It's powerful already.

For moderating, I've got it on my calendar. I believe it will work.


message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick Bartlett | 31 comments Mod
I just finished the book. What a story!

I am planning on moderating. Please feel free to add your questions and thoughts to this discussion and I'll add them to the chat.


message 6: by Ping (new)

Ping (pingl) | 61 comments Great!

Of all the stories we've read so far, this one really hits in the gut. It's like a what-if (techno-)intervention, but although just as conceptual as all the other ones have been (sci-fi/spec-fic), the intimate inner details shared touch 'what-it-means-to-be-human' characterisations & feelings in real depths.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris | 24 comments Mod
About a quarter way through and anticipating what is to come based on the above comments! So far I've enjoyed the way the narrator's voice changes ever so slightly as he's writing his progress reports. It really mirrors how we as the reader are trying to work him and the story out. It's a really effective narrative device I think.

I'm seeing quite a few themes that chime with some of the other books we've read:
- education: how do we develop or even control this in individuals?
- human happiness: what makes us happy? Being smarter means we might know more, but we might also despair at being able to see other people's foibles & hypocrisies in a clearer light.
- Science/technology: like Frankesntein or Brave New World, what are the moral & ethical implications of tampering with genetics and the "natural order" of things?


message 8: by Kc (new)

Kc | 126 comments Mod
This is the best book I've read for a while. Really glad it was put up here!

Great points Chris. I really liked the theme about the value placed on intelligence and development of the IQ. His other development was still immature - one at the expense of the other?

There was an introduction in my book which asked the question "Would you rather be Socrates or a Happy Pig?" which is similar to the point above. What do we lose when we become more aware and knowledgeable?

In relation to edcmooc - the transhuman elements were there - would you want to live in a world that consisted only of super-intelligent beings?

The narrator-led style was very effective too - it really put the reader in Charlie's head!

Looking forward to the chat
Kirstie


message 9: by Rick (new)

Rick Bartlett | 31 comments Mod
Just to confirm since my comments previously were a bit tentative. I'm planning on Moderating on Saturday. Talk to you all then.


message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne Robertson | 14 comments I too found this book really moving. There is both a sense of deep humanity as well as a lack of humanity in the way that Charlie is treated. His happiness , his awareness of self and feelings of self-worth, innocence and growing consciousness are part of the journey of a child growing up. The old saying " ignorance is bliss" comes to mind....


message 11: by Sue (new)

Sue B | 1 comments Many thanks for the link to the free ePub version. I'm really pleased I found this group and the recommendation to read this book. I thought it very moving and much better than most books I have read recently even though I'd seen the film, with Cliff Robertson, so already had some idea of the story and was expecting the ending.


message 12: by Asta (new)

Asta | 18 comments Mod
What a great book! Finished it earlier today, just in time for our discussion.
Thanks a lot for bringing it to my attention!

Here are two quotes that I highlighted:

"Now I understand one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you've believed in all your life aren't true, and that nothing is what it appears to be".

" "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."


message 13: by Ping (new)

Ping (pingl) | 61 comments Sue wrote: "Many thanks for the link to the free ePub version. I'm really pleased I found this group and the recommendation to read this book. I thought it very moving and much better than most books I have re..."

Welcome Sue! See you soon*


message 14: by Kc (new)

Kc | 126 comments Mod
Yes, welcome Sue. Asta - nice quotes - this book had so many layers.


message 15: by Rick (new)

Rick Bartlett | 31 comments Mod
Thank you all for the great discussion. My family is tired of hearing me talk about all the aspects of this book. ;-)


message 16: by Kc (new)

Kc | 126 comments Mod
You did a great job! I've been raving about this book took. I had friends over while chatting. They got involved with the questions too.


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