Well, suppose you’re on a computer and you have a lot of information and you don’t have a lot of memory. So for example your mouse pointer appears black on your screen when the computer is not running. You try to find something on a computer by clicking into this black spot and seeing where it’s pointing. Then you don’t have any information and suddenly you’re reading a book in a library.
Now suppose you can read a book in a different room, not on the computer – and you didn’t have a computer in the first place. What does a mind reader do? They see the image and then they read the book and then they come back to this spot where the image was. It takes a lot of mental energy but you can learn to do this without going on a reading programme. So, when you hear somebody saying “Do mind reading”, you can understand that it means that you do that mind reading for a living.
So, it’s not just words. It could be drawings that you see on a computer screen – I was reading something from the Internet and I came across a picture of the New Mexico desert from the mid 18th century – so you can imagine a person sitting there and reading a map. And then it’s a little more complicated than that, because we do have to go to a bookstore, or a cafe, and buy books. If you don’t have books on hand, it’s a little bit different.
What’s amazing is that you can do this kind of reading with no equipment if you want to. I suppose this is true for other things such as reading, and music – but it really is true for a lot of things. And there are a whole lot of books.
Q: And so when you’re an artist then how do you develop your writing skills?
A: A lot of times, writing a book takes a whole lot of time, I suppose. Well it would take me half a career just to write “A Boy and His Dog ” – or whatever that is – so it would take around 15 years before I could write a serious and complex book. So to develop that skill I’d start off with a simple story. And maybe I’ll finish it at some point and use it in a longer story.
Sometimes I have a friend who has a story and thinks he knows what he’s doing, and then in a few days he writes it up. I’m more of the opposite: I like to think a lot
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