Thursday, July 14, 2016
has us "glaring at each other across cyber-chasms of flaming verbal magma." Nice image. Words can be such fun. As excerpted from this post from my favorite optimist.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
" Self-knowledge is at the core of our quest for enlightenment, and the knowledge of our genetic ancestry is essential this process. 'Know thy ancestors, know thy self,' we might put it, in a riff on the motto at the Temple of Delphi. Mukherjee's opus is illuminating, cautionary, and a riveting read. Race may be a social construction, but genes and mutations are real. All humanists and social scientists should read this book, especially those who haven't taken a science class since sophomore year in high school.”
-Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as excerpted from this short review of The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee (a copy of said book has just been ordered from Mr. Bezos's crew).
Monday, July 11, 2016
"Why is it possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than you presently know about yourself, even though you've been stuck with yourself all your life”
-Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book
information on the Crab Nebula here and here
I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to, no one, that is, who really wants to listen. When it does at last dawn on a man that you really want to hear about his business, the look that comes over his face is something to see.
"In reality, the reason so little gets done in Washington is not because “bad” people are stopping the good people. It’s because different groups of people have different definitions of what’s good and what’s bad. And even when they finally agree on something, its effect may well be negligible, unforeseen, and slow to materialize."
-Jonah Goldberg, as excerpted from this 2006 post, as pointed to here
.....................................(beside the fact they involve mathematics):
What economists call "models" are interpretive frameworks. They are presented mathematically, with proofs that connect initial assumptions to ultimate predictions. However, the predictions are not falsifiable. The models' predictions hold only when other things are equal, and other things are never equal.
-Arnold Kling, Specialization and Trade: A Re-Introduction to Economics
........................................................reading Hegel is hard work.
The perpetually recurring misapprehension of freedom consists in regarding that term only in its formal, subjective sense, abstracted from its essential objects and goals; thus, a constraint put upon impulse, desire, passion (which is only unseemly to the particular individual as such), of caprice and pleasure. We should on the contrary look upon such limitation as the indispensable proviso of emancipation. Society and the state are rather the very conditions in which freedom is realized.
-G.W.F Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of History
Sunday, July 10, 2016
................the weekend in sunny Newark, Ohio. The Jazz and Ribs Festival was held at the Canal Market Place this year. A great venue for the event. Our friend John Carson and friends entertained the crowd quite well:
The ribs were tasty, the corn was sweet. A delightful afternoon:
Later, we stopped by the fabulous Weathervane Playhouse for the final performance of Music Man. The theatre was sold out. The story is timeless and the cast and crew did it justice. Kudos and a standing ovation to all involved.
The Tao doesn't come and go.
It is always present everywhere,
just like the sky.
If your mind is clouded, you won't see it,
but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
All misery is created by the activity
of the mind.
Can you let go of words and ideas,
attitudes and expectations?
If so, then the Tao will loom into view.
Can you be still and look inside?
If so, then you will see that the truth is
always available, always responsive.
Brian Brown Walker, Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu
If the answer is no, I'm sorry to hear that. Wakers are my favorite people.
A waker is someone who is very good at waking other people up from their metaphorical slumber, temporary or otherwise.
Some people just have the gift. Being around them or their work just makes you feel more alive, more inspired, more motivated, more awake. The best wakers will make you do crazyass things, like quit your boring job and start your own business, write that song, move to Thailand, forgive that someone who once hurt you, or finally tell that girl that you love her.
A waker reminds you on a constant basis just how alive you really are. Just how much human potential you really have inside of you. And their is something about their influence that makes you utterly unable to go back to "sleep" ever again, despite your best efforts.
Wakers can be great artists - Jeff Buckley, Picasso, Harper Lee, Beethoven, Judy Garland, Charlie Parker, Leo Tolstoy, Louis Armstrong, Ralph Steadman, Dorothy Parker, etc. - but they don't have to be.
Wakers can be great spiritual leaders - Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammed, Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Joseph Campbell, etc. - but they don't have to be.
Wakers can be great public figures - Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, Carl Sagan, John Peel, Susan Sontag, Alistair Cook, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Murray, etc. - but they don't have to be.
I know great wakers who are bartenders, bus drivers, waitresses, teachers, receptionists, plumbers. Theirs is a gift, not a job title.
If you are a waker, I'm happy for you. There is no better way to spend one's life that being a waker; I truly believe that.
The human race needs you, like flowers need sunshine. The human race would die out within three generations without you. Thanks for being here. Seriously.
If you're not a waker, don't you thing you should be? Serious questions.
-Hugh MacLeod, Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination
Decide to become Rock Star Good, i.e. really, really good at what you do, and aim to do this with as many aspects of your job as you can over time. E-mail is a pain if you don't have a system. If you dread the monthly presentation to the board, it will cast a shadow over much of your job: decide to become really good at doing that presentation. Who knows where it might lead? We keep coming back to this point: don't be seduced by the obvious, the childhood dream, the hobby. Get good at what you do now and what you are best at will be revealed and you can begin to follow the path.
-Nicholas Bate, as excerpted from You, Only Better: Find Your Strengths, Be The Best And Change Your Life
Is the very mechanism for the universe to come into being meaningless or unworkable or both unless the universe is guaranteed to produce life, consciousness and observership somewhere and for some little time in its history-to-be?
-John Archibald Wheeler
photo (enlargeable and explained) via