“Never forget where you are.”
That’s one of the first things I was told when I started teaching classes in the prison. Initially, the warning seemed absurd; if you’ve ever been in one of these places, you know that you can no more forget where you are than you could if you were to suddenly materialize at the bottom of the ocean. It was also vaguely threatening, redolent of sudden attacks, and covert manipulations by desperate, irredeemable men. For the record, I have never experienced any of those things. But there is wisdom in the warning, nonetheless, and I often receive stunning reminders of “where I am” just as I begin to feel comfortable.
For instance, last week we were talking about deductive reasoning, and what can happen when you try to make a deduction based on imperfect evidence, or no evidence at all. I admitted that the very first…
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