Walking and talking are great companions in learning. Socrates did a lot of wandering around, we understand, and he was reasonably smart, so there may be something in it.
On Sunday one of my discussions was entirely peripatetic, walking the hallways and stairways of a vast newspaper building with a young reporter. He was a philosophy student previously, so he also appreciated the Socratic course the conversation took.
On Monday, after a two hour sit-down interview with an old friend, I walked with another as he headed out on an assignment to cover a cultural event. A small and early khamaseen earlier in the day had done its usual trick of making the traffic even crazier than usual – I swear that fine dust blows into people’s brains just as effectively as it does into eyes, lungs, computers and underwear. So he decided against a taxi, and we retraced one of my earlier walking routes in the opposite direction, heading along 26th July Street towards Maspiro and over the bridge to Zamalek. Walking and talking (and navigating the crazy mess that is a busy Cairo street). Something about the movement helps the brain work, even if full of dust. A stimulating if gloomy conversation.
Among the fruits of the past couple of days’ talking and thinking, a brief definition that I posted on Twitter:
Self-censorship is a state of mind in which you don’t state your mind if the state would mind