Saturday, November 24, 2018
34. Press on steadily, keep to the straight road in your thinking and doing, and your days will ever flow on smoothly. The soul of man, like the souls of all rational creatures, has two things in common with the soul of God: it can never be thwarted from without, and its good consists in the righteousness of character and action, and in confining every wish thereto.
-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, from Book Five
We practice the Three Dharma Seals to realize liberation. If you memorize a 5,000 page book on the Three Dharma Seals but do not apply the teachings during your daily life, the book is of no use. Only by using your intelligence and putting the teachings into practice can they bring you happiness. Please base your practice on your own life and your own experiences - your successes and your failures. The Buddha's teachings are jewels, but we have to dig deep in order to touch them fully.
-Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation
Friday, November 23, 2018
"And then I started to cry, too, because I was thinking of Michael and what was lost, and Kevin and what I hope won’t be lost. And because, more and more, it seems that Donald Trump’s genius for hate and division has driven us all into a canyon that we won’t easily be able to climb out of."
"I worry that it will be a long time before we can talk across our jangly, angry chasms. "
Don't indulge in the off-loading of your estrangement onto Donald Trump. There will always be political figures out there, setting us off, stirring up hostility and anxiety. Find the estrangement that originates in you, and take care of that. "Just remember, when you really need somebody, the only one that’s going to be compelled to run toward you is your family...."
-Ann Althouse, from this post in which she quotes Maureen Dowd
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
27. Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours. At the same time, however, beware lest delight in them leads you to cherish them so dearly that their loss would destroy your peace of mind.
-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, from Book Seven
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute. A man's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man's; they are brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own and not another man's. His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within. As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.
-James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
People don't believe what you believe.
They don't know what you know.
They don't want what you want.
It's true, but we'd rather not accept this.
Sonder is defined as that moment when you realize that everyone around you has an internal life as rich and as conflicted as yours.
Everyone has noise in their heads.
Everyone thinks they are right, and that they have suffered affronts and disrespect at the hands of others.
Everyone is afraid. And everyone realizes that they are also lucky.
Everyone has an impulse to make things better, to connect and to contribute.
Everyone wants something that they can't possibly have. And if they could have it, they'd discover that they really didn't want it all along.
Everyone is lonely, insecure, and a bit of a fraud. And everyone cares about something.
As a marketer, then, we have little chance of doing marketing to others, in insisting that they get with our program, that they realize how hard we've worked, how loud the noise is in our heads, how important our cause is . . .
It's so much more productive to dance with them instead.
-Seth Godin, from This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See
..........not acknowledging that scientific truth is fairly elusive:
Religious and ideological dogmas are still highly attractive in our scientific age precisely because they offer us a safe have from the frustrating complexity of reality. As noted earlier, secular movements have not been exempt from this danger. Even if you start with a rejection of all religious dogmas and with a firm commitment to scientific truth, sooner or later the complexity of reality becomes so vexing that you might be driven to fashion a doctrine that shouldn't be questioned.
-Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Monday, November 19, 2018
Military power and idealism about bringing perceived civilization to others are a prescription for frequent conflict in any age - and no ancient state made war more often than did 5th Century imperial Athens. ...
Consequently, many have carefully read Thucydides in just that historicist context. Our leaders and pundits are eager to learn from the Athenians' mistakes and successes. They are unsure whether the fate of Athens is to be our own, or whether Americans can yet match the Athenians' civilization and influence while avoiding their hubris. Perhaps never has the Peloponnesian War been more relevant to Americans that to us of the present age. We, like the Athenians, are all-powerful, but insecure, professedly pacifist yet nearly always in some sort of conflict, often more desirous of being liked than being respected, and proud of our arts and letters even as we are more adept at war. ...
Most wars do not end as they start.
-Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War
.......................also seem to be captured by "communal groupthink"
The world is becoming ever more complex, and people fail to realize just how ignorant they are of what's going on. Consequently, some people who know next to nothing about meteorology or biology nevertheless propose polices regarding climate change and genetically modified crops, while others hold extremely strong views about what should be done in Iraq or Ukraine without being able to locate these countries on a map. People rarely appreciate their ignorance, because they lock themselves inside an echo chamber of like-minded friends and self-confirming news feeds, where their beliefs are constantly reinforce and seldom challenged.
Providing people with more and better information is unlikely to improve matters. Scientists hope to dispel wrongs view by better science education, and pundits hope to sway public opinion on issues such as Obamacare or global warming by presenting the public with accurate facts and expert reports. Such hopes are grounded in a misunderstanding of how humans really think. Most of our views are shaped by communal groupthink rather than individual rationality, and we hold on to these views due to group loyalty.
-Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessors for the 21st Century
Sunday, November 18, 2018
..........................................Newark and Licking County:
Reason #37: The Granville Turkey Trot
So my Sweetie has been a part of the organizing committee for the Granville Turkey Trot. Held annually (for 13 years now) on Thanksgiving morn, this 5K run/walk raises funds (over $625,000 so far) for the Food Pantry Network of Licking County. It is a tremendously fun family event with over 2,500 participants of all ages.
Three Tigers Brewing is helping out this year with their creation of Tater Trot, a sweet potato brown ale. A bit of every glass sold will be donated to the Turkey Trot. I suspect much fun was had in both brewing the Tater Trot and making this video. Bottoms up!
I would certainly classify Prince as a major artist of the late twentieth century, but I must admit some disappointment with how this brilliant career developed or failed to develop over time. His great period was his early one, from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, when he created a brand-new sonic landscape and used the emergent genre of music videos as a flamboyant medium of performance art. Musically, he downscaled Rick James' massive macho funk chords into a bewitching web work of intricate rhythm, intimate and sensual. As a sexual persona, he borrowed transgender motifs from Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix and refashioned himself first as a half-naked s&m rent boy and then as an aristocratic dandy, dripping silk and lace. ...
The news about Prince's death two weeks ago was announced while my "Art of Song Lyric" course was meeting. We were in fact doing the period from James Brown through soul, disco, and funk. I was incredulous when I got back to my office and saw the shocking headline on the Drudge Report. At our next class, I immediately showed Prince's "Kiss" video (1986) to demonstrate what pure talent looks like. What a low-budget masterpiece that beautifully edited video is - nothing but dance, gesture, seductive rhythm, and witty warmth.
-Camille Paglia, The Death of Prince from Provocations: Collected Essays
Jack Reacher caught the last of the summer sun in a small town on the coast of Maine, and then, like the birds in the sky above him, he began his long migration south. But not, he thought, straight down the coast. Not like the orioles and the buntings and the phoebes and the warblers and the ruby-throated hummingbirds. Instead he decided on a diagonal route, south and west, from the top right-hand corner of the country to the bottom left, maybe through Syracuse, and Cincinnati, and St. Louis, and Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque, and onward all the way to San Diego. Which for an army guy like Reacher was a little too full of Navy people, but which was otherwise a fine spot to start the winter.
It would be an epic road trip, and one he hadn't made in years.
He was looking forward to it.
He didn't get far.
-Lee Child, Past Tense