You may wonder why I'm paying so much attention to creating emotional involvement? To understand the reason, think about how involved we can get in a great movie or great video game. People may find themselves moved to tears in a great movie, or experience tremendous euphoria after solving a game puzzle. Years later, they may be able to quote lines from a movie scene they saw only once. This strong connection comes because the people who create movies and video games focus on emotional involvement first, and intellectual content second. Viewed from a traditional intellectual point of view, that sounds like a put-down. But what the creators of the movies and games appreciate deeply -- and what many intellectuals do not -- is that emotional involvement is the foundation for understanding. Even when explaining abstract, intellectual subjects -- perhaps, especially when explaining abstract, intellectual subjects -- creating strong emotional involvement is crucial. If someone's desire to understand is strong enough, they can overcome tremendous obstacles. Part of what we can learn from the movie and game makers is how important such desires are, and the art of creating them.

Michael Nielsen

Excellent, as usual.