Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ways to Learning What's Worthwhile and Bertrand Russell

Rather against conventional wisdom, I've found most of what I've learned that I thought was in any way worthwhile (precious little though it may be) has been in odd unheralded moments and passing chat.

And I was reminded of this again yesterday, re-reading the Sandra Jobson Darroch biography of Lady Ottoline Morrell - the great hostess of the Bloomsbury Group, described by Virginia Woolf as like a great Spanish galleon hung with gold coins and silken sails.

Taking her daughter Julian out of school, Lady Ottoline declared:

You'll learn much more sitting by the fire listening to Bertie Russell talk

And though I've read a bit of Russell (the autobiography, Human Society in Ethics and Politics and other stuff) it's really watching film of him interviewed that's had the most impact. And lead to the most fruitful conversation.

Like this wide-ranging 1959 interview where Russell talks over much of what happened during his life. The beginning of first part gets a bit bogged down in introductory stuff - but things begin to get interesting around the four minute mark ...

I've just watched it again ... this time with a friend, and again it's almost magically lead to excited discussion.

Hope you get something out of it - as we did.

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