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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


by Mark Haddon

Versions of Reality Quotes in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

Also people think they're not computers because they have feelings and computers don't have feelings. But feelings are just having a picture on the screen in your head of what is going to happen tomorrow or next year, or what might have happened instead of what did happen, and if it is a happy picture they smile and if it is a sad picture they cry.

This is quite a claim. What do you think? Are feelings "just having a picture on the screen in your head"? Or is something deeper going on? Also: usually when we talk about feelings, we talk about the heart rather than the head. Do you think it's significant that Christopher places feelings in the mind instead?

Quote #11

But most people are lazy. They never look at everything. They do what is called glancing which is the same word for bumping off something carrying on in the same direction [...]

But if I am standing in a field in the countryside I notice everything. (181.3-4)

This may not technically be a "version of reality," but it's certainly a unique way of experiencing it. Once again, Christopher doesn't mince words in proclaiming his own way as better. It's not quite right, however, to call other people "lazy," since they can't experience the world in his way any more easily than he can experience it theirs.

Quote #12

There are three men on a train. One of them is an economist and one of them is a logician and one of them is a mathematician. And they have just crossed the border into Scotland (I don't know why they are going to Scotland) and they see a brown crow standing in a field from the window of the train (and the cow is standing parallel to the train).

And the economist says, "Look, the cows in Scotland are brown."

And the logician says, "No. There are cows in Scotland of which one, at least, is brown."

And the mathematician says, "No. There is at least one cow in Scotland, of which one side appears to be brown."

And it is funny because economists are not real scientists, and because logicians think more clearly, but mathematicians are the best. (181.9-13)

Is this the only possible conclusion one can come to here? Try to flip it around: is there a way to criticize the mathematician and praise the economist?

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