Friday, November 23, 2012

More examples of BAD engineering in the electronic world:

1.  Android OS - Contacts applet - No provision made to enter a new contact.  You cannot start from zero -- you cannot CREATE a contact.  All you can do is (a) IMPORT a set of contacts from certain compatible pdm-type systems (eg, GoogleMail) or (b) SAVE a phone number you're already using as a new contact.  INTELLIGENT DESIGN:  Always have a Contacts option along the lines of "Contact - New".

2.   Various electric appliance designs:  No off button.  No way to stop using electricity or to shut the machine off short of pulling the plug.  I used to encounter this in software, too:  Windows defaults set to "Standby" for the power button (hint:  a Power Button should be an ON/OFF toggle for the POWER).
Built-in energy-saving modules & their firmware are great - but once again, a fundamental of all appliances has been left out in favor of bells & whistles that no one needs.  Perhaps PG&E had a hand in such designs?  Or the idea is that only millionaires and tech-savvy-istas will be the ones to use hardware in the cyber-junk age?  INTELLIGENT DESIGN:  Always incorporate a prominent OFF Switch. 

3.   Back to Android:  A media player that cannot be paused, except by hunting thru various levels of the album's track displays until you find the precise track in the precise album that's playing and pull it up.  INTELLIGENT DESIGN:  Always have (when audio or video medium is being played) a PAUSE button or link visible.  ALWAYS.

4.   For media players in general - Windows, Android, whatever mainstream mess we're looking at: Players that, while wanting to catalogue everything on your device, fail to offer any File Browsing capability. INTELLIGENT DESIGN:  Always allow "File-Browse" for a media player, so you can hunt up files, check their properties, save them to playlists, etc., without having to second guess the various and confusing ways the media player's own software catalogs files.

And so on and so forth. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ei qui hoc legat ~

I am hoping (aside from wanting to finish & digest Mr. Clor's volume) to re-read Marcus Aurelius soon. I've only been through it once, and there was a lot there.  As always, the problem is practice, putting notions into practice, which enterprise is commonly fouled by attachments, desires - the pull of pleasure and the drag of habit.

I wish I was free to read; retired or in hospital or whatever; there's a lot I want to browse or study.  Generally, either work or family or my own fatigue intervene, and then (pro pudore) my own indolence or hyper-susceptability to distraction take care of what little time remains.  Add to it that I'm a slow reader, a slow reader with a near-useless memory, and you can plainly see that I'm swimming upstream in regard to my reading. 

Saturday I found the Hayward Library street-corner book-sale going on.  While my Lovely Elle went to the bank and the farmer's market, I reviewed the books, and even after thinning out and re-pruning what I was interested in, I still took away some six or seven books. 
  • Coming Out Conservative by Marvin Liebman - an anti-communist activist, Conservative fundraiser and propagandist, a buddy (more or less) of Wm. F. Buckley Jr., etc., these are his memoirs about being Gay in the heart of the straight & narrow, and coming out only late in life. 
  • The Accidental Activist by Candace Gingrich - Newt Gingrich's cousin or somesuch, who also came out as a Lesbian after years of keeping it under wraps, her memoir.
  • Letters of Jefferson (purely pleasure reading)
  • a life of Sacajawea - for I'm woefully ignorant of the Lewis & Clarke travail - and I've always been interested in what her story was.
  • And ---
The Upstairs Nothing intervenes - I cannot recall the other books!  They seemed important enough at the time to add to my burgeoning collection of fact, fantasy and filibustering, but damned if I can recall them. 

However, I do recall a couple of the ones I put back:
  • Alexandre Dumas, Los Tres Mosqueteros, en Español.
  • Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography and quotes from Poor Richard's Almanac (which, actually, I may have picked up). 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Moderation, by Harry Clor.  Have begun this again - will try to study and grasp and evaluate his essays.  At this point:  Recommended; a sober look at the lost virtue. 
12-SEP-2012 id est 12-SEP-2765 AUC

Rant-orandum to Self: 

It is hard to stay bouyant.  The world, unfolding as it would, seems hopeless - economically, in terms of work (my laziness trumps my pursuit of goals), in terms of my poor old children (none of them normal enough to get ahead in the world), and in terms of those never-to-be-fulfilled desires that cling to me "Like Tiberian bats" (Star Trek reference).  By definition, as it were, the world is in no way under my control!

But when I say "the world" - what am I really talking about?  The objective congregations of humans, existing and animated, that I encounter wherever I go?  The greater flow of mass-struggles and political events as revealed in the news?  Or is it a world defined or outlined by my contacts & interactons with whatever portions of the world happen to have been surrounding me at any given time? 

Have started Seneca - On a Happy Life.  Sometimes the old gasser admits he's well schooled in vice and temptations -that is, sensual pastimes, intoxicating pleasures, dalliances, schemes and manipulations?  He doesn't elaborate.  It's tempting to rationalize my own stupra based on his scant admission. Certainly, I do go 'round and 'round with my problems, and think and re-think my relationship with the Stoic code.  It may help to pin this relationship down.

Pursuit of pleasure is natural, desire for pleasure is natural - it is natural (to some degree) to desire beautiful women who are not your spouse, or to desire sweets or meats instead of brussel sprouts.  But these desires, while understandable, do not lead to the apatheia that would free us, but rather, as desires, they warp us to self-serving ways (the self being desirous), such that we form Emotions (false opinions) which then entail frustrations, envies, jealousies, dismays and despairs.  Worse still if you are born with a neuro-chemical setup that perpetually drags back in the direction of dismay. 

Yet here is a crux - if Nature is provident, why does it provide so many failures, so many weaknesses?  What would be ruined if we were ALL active, capable, vigilant, virtuous?  If Reason is man's natural Good, why isn't it enfranchised?  Why do we linger over sex and provender?  I expect that, actually, Virtuous folk don't, but we Merely Physical (merely animated) folk do.  We vulgarian folk pursue the back alleys and broad ways, seeking pleasure or success, even if we have no clue or hope of ever finding such: that pursuit remains an imperative, a default orientation. 

Myself, I remain astonished and stymied by my inability to interact, my inability to command my self, my inability to respond swiftly and well. Where is the will to power?  The will to enjoy the game? 

Just now, I am at my workplace.  I have an obligation to support my family, but my distracted and lazy nature has me "philosophizing" instead of working at my assigned tasks.  Such conduct could easily translate into being fired or laid off.  This is irrational, given my obligation (to provide income); I should be responsive to what I am obligated to do. 

On the other hand, it isn't that I ever sought employment for any selfish reason - survival, yes, inegration into the human world, yes, the basic respect of others, yes - but not for any spontaneous urge, not as a desire.  So, while it is rational that I work (to support my kids and preserve the home), it is not out of desire but domestic necessity.  There is no unity in my purpose; there is an assent to employment, but very little will involved.  I pursue that which I would (naturally) avoid. 

Again, where is my will to enjoy the game, to take part and run with the pack?  If I am intended to be Other, to be lazy and silly instead of effective or sexy, then ... why?  Oh, my God!  Back to the "Why?" question!  There is no "why" to it - it is chaos and causation, it is Fortune.  Give it up.  Move along.  Don't loiter in the "If Only" neighborhood!  I have been given a defective whole - there is no other, better whole for me; I am what I am. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reflections on Reading a Biography of Desmond Tutu

Reading a biography of Desmond Tutu.  Amazing how South Africa, despite the 30-odd years of violence and strife, has managed to pull itself together and not just explode, Balkans-style.  Amazing how the trite Episcopal/Anglican pop-theology of Bishop Tutu held throughout that time, helped calm and inspire people for decades, helped reconcile bitter enemies once South Africa was re-established as a modern nation. 

For me it's wonderful endorsement of Christianity - not the hair-splitting, arch-moralistic part of it, not at all - but the pop notions: Forgiveness, Coexistence, Morality.  And that peculiar God of theirs, that hard-to-define, impossible combination - the utterly inhuman Shiva-type destroyer, the heretical, light-filled Egyptian Mono-God, the Old-Testament Tribal Godhead, all in contradiction identified with Christ and Love and Forgiveness!  That God is given center-stage by Bishop Tutu, who speaks for him like a modern-day prophet and mouthpiece, speaks for the God of Justice and Forgiveness and Love, and helped to guide a whole nation to what was and is, really, a Moses-worthy sort of Civil Promised Land. 

Tutu credits a lot of this to African morality - to what is called ubuntu, a spirt of reciprocity, magnanimity, communalism.  The author of the biography, John Allen, or one of his sources quotes a Xhosa proverb on this subject - "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu", translating it as "A person is a person through other people" - we exist as people because of our communion with people, you might say.  To the extent South Africans have held onto this trait, it has helped, it seems. 

And then what of ubuntu for a spoiled, wimpy, odd American socio-phobe like myself?  How do I (someone like ficititious TV detective Adrian Monk) find myself through other people?  I guess for some of us ubuntu will not be a living, gay, vibrant business.  For folks of my ilk, ubuntu has been in those times where we learned - somewhat bitterly - that we had to be humble to be better, that the basics wouldn't come easily. 

Who have I learned from?  The list is shockingly narrow.  From my children, each of the three, in trying to help them to get them through their disappointments, to have them avoid absorbing only the lesson of despair, to pick themselves up and move ahead again.  Their tail-chasing troubles have humbled me and my fraudulent built-in expectations of success or serenity or happiness, whether for them or for myself. 

Even my morally- and emotionally-disastrous relationships with women, all failed or aborted, have taught me things, bit by bit; have gainsaid & tamped down mis-guiding expectations of romance or satisfaction.  Other people I've parted from, friends who gaily and lightly abused me in expectation of some display of verve and confidence on my part, from whom I parted because I had no such reflex to reply with.  Even their nonsequiturs, intially absurd, inept and oppressive, have often turned out, with time, to have had a certain basis in Chaos, in "the way the world works".

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It has always bothered me - astonished me, really - that banks and such are legally able to sell MY debt.  It seems to me - at a human level - that if I owe someone - or in this case, a company - money, then I don't owe it to anyone ELSE. 

Shouldn't this should be a paramount notion in consumer finances?  If a corporate debtor-entity no longer wants MY debt, then it can forgive me the debt - otherwise, I will continue to pay, as agreed.  To sell my debt to another entity is - again, at the human level - absurd and truly feels criminal. 

And then I remember that nowadays so much money is "made" in exactly that way, by selling and re-selling other people's obligations, from false-front securities entity to false-front securities entity, from here to the Cayman Islands.

Decent Words in a Rotten World (from 2008-01-22)

From 22-JAN-2008....

Decent Words in a Rotten World 

There's something wrong here. And there. Look around the corner - scan the news - recall your folks' life - review your own. Something's wrong. Everywhere. It's called Life, the Big Picture, God and the Devil, Cause and Effect - it has many names. "Adversity" is a favorite one, too.
How can one deal with it? What about state terrorism? What about subversive terrorism? What about nuclear terrorism? What about starvation? What about AIDS? What about torture and the unbelieveable cruelties that are visited on relatively innocent people every day? What can one do about it?

Not a great deal. But the only way you can sleep at night is to NOT WORRY. This is not actually a cop-out. The fact is, it is utterly impossible for you to take care of the whole world, to have an effect on all the hideous swirl of life near and far.  You can't even affect a slice of it - it's often impossible to affect even the little world right around you yourself! Since all organizations and mass movements become in one way or another cesspools of chaos, corruption and cruelty, they are not really much of an answer.

So, to stay sane, and to avoid endless combat, you have to draw lines for yourself. Despite how you feel about the evils around you, you have to discern (a) things you cannot control, and (b) things that you can control. This is the starting point for avoiding suicide and madness. These are decentia verba, in my bad Latin, appropriate words for living, for being here.


Politics.... (an old rant from 2009 or 2010)

(An old rant, from sometime in 2009 or 2010) 

My head's in a spin.

Reading George Lakoff's 2006 book, "Whose Freedom?", his take on U.S. politics in recent years (post-911, and pre-economic debacle).  I'm trying to digest it.

It's disturbing for me, as politics always is.   He's describing & giving his personal/ professional analysis of the whirl of ideas, words and meanings that have been found in the politics of what I deem the Reagan Age (1981-present).

Unlike Lakoff, I find that a certain amount of the Progressive notions he holds dear are flawed.  For example, it is not true that the "economic safety net" fails to lull people into complacency; it tends to.  While the various Conservatives louldly assert that it does so in all cases (and so become liars or fools, just like the men who, during the Depression & the New Deal kept saying that same thing), a lot of Lefties simply think that that in itself is a non-issue (which is equally false).  It is not human or humane to simply condone failure and foolishness.  To re-phrase an old maxim, "Moderation and prudence, in all things."

These occasional epiphanies nudge me back toward the GOP/Conservative side of things.  But that can't last - for every time a GOP/Conservative smear-artist opens his mouth and sounds off in the unmistakable tones of "We're right, you're wrong - anyone who disagrees with us is a Traitor!" I find myself thrown back to the Liberal/Progressive side of things.  A "Winners-Only" Wall Street world, surrounded by struggling poor - the object of modern, Neo-Conservative, GOP policies, is simply not a humane or desirable one.

The political center - a conventional wisdom positing that people are (more or less) still people, despite political differences, and that Moderation and Toleration are the key virtues in Society, along with Prudence * - seems to have become a thing of the past, to judge from the media.  Everyone - Left and Right - is clinging to his or her Pole, and the poles of the media are more and more articulated, as Lakoff correctly points out, by the lusty, violent, demagogic idiots of 'talk radio' and its much bigger younger brother, Fox News.

I think that the Left has a lot to answer for, even if they do see the world through culturally amoral spectacles.  I think there is no doubt that the 60s destroyed the functionality of American private life, shredding traditions and restraints and self-esteem.  Its critical thrust may have been overdue in intellectual terms or in terms of enfranchising people held back by prejudice, but it also required a suspension of self-worth in everyone else

But that was something that rowdies and hotshots are never willing to do.

White Americans (especially men) found themselves saddled with a permanent general burden of putative guilt based on things that other men had done in other times.  The conventional wisdom had shifted to: men are bad, families are bad, white people are bad, heterosexuality is bad, restraint of any kind is bad, etc.  That, along with increased drug-addiction, was the negative legacyof the 1960s. White American men were seen simply as 'the bad guys', or even as 'the defective guys', in favor of every other group imaginable. To be 'okay', the media and schools implied, you had to be non-white, non-male, or - if a white male - you had to be queer.  So after years of that implicit denial of human value to plain old white guys, there came - from Reagan forward - a re-reaction, an insistence and a rebuke, an assertion that decent men should hold up their heads as people.

Surprise! - harassed native virtue joined with vicious ignorance & barbarism - and rebounded as anti-Liberal rage, and the GOP's Neo-Conservative & Wall Street & Bible Belt coalition was born.  (At least that's as far as I understand it.)

* It's interesting that even the word "Society" has become a dirty word for the Right. Apparently, in their mental universe, Society and Freedom cannot co-exist.

That Evil Socialist Healthcare Bill was Passed (an old rant from 2009 or 2010)

(An old rant, from ca. Spring, 2010) 

The Healthcare Bill - it's crappy enough, yes. I'm trying to figure this all out. If you hate Liberals, don't read the rest of this....

Re the Bill itself - we do have Market Forces to thank for it. Because a "free market" medical insurance and medical product environment has repeatedly been run as a business rather than as the medical service it exists to be, and so there was a need to do SOMETHING. While this big medical aggregate (a) tried to show a bright Corporate face, on one hand, on the other (b) it obstructed and denied coverage to its clients on a regular basis; while it (a) kept pumping up drug & medical services consumption and demand, it (d) simultaneously kept its prices as high as possible. In other words, it operated to make corporations and their higher-ups rich while becoming simultaneously less and less affordable to the rest of us - to the point where without "medical insurance", we couldn't even be treated.

Medical services should - really - start in the home. Hygeine; 911; stopping bleeding; eating real food instead of what's marketed; eating less (since we work less); and so on.  But there relatively fewer and fewer homes as years go by.  It often seems that only the rich and the simple even have homes, to speak of; the rest of the nation lives as a bunch of greedy mono-souls: "Hooray for me and to Hell with thee" is the modern motto, it often seems.  And yet crazy homeless wildlings shouldn't be denied medical help just because they don't have a stable and moderate way of life. Everyone should be able to get at least a basic bit of health care.

Where has the old 'middle-class' gone to? Now that the easy wave of American Prosperity is over, they have either moved up into the Rich, or fallen to wayside and become Poor. The USA needs to decide if it still wants to preserve a middle class at all, or just devolve into a Hong Kong sort of setup.

What the US really needs is this (so I think):
- The American people as a whole need to accept that people do get sick and die; as it is, no one seems to accept that death is a part of life, and we blame the doctors and the medical system for our lack of invulnerability and immortality;
- A Basic Local Care revolution - barefoot doctors, as it were, for the greater part of the USA, and not just a few super-high-tech medical centers; but if we leave it to 'the market', God only knows what that would bring! This needs to be a decently Regulated program, whether local or national.
- An interface of both Basic Local Care and Professional and High-Tech Centers: we need both, we need a balance. But since regular medical services are disappearing, merging into fewer and fewer single large centers, the AVAILABILITY of nearby medical care decreases. The model should be - illness, see the Local; serious illness, see the Professional; really serious illness, see the Medical Center.
- Responsibility on the part of the people RECEIVING medical care: stay clean, eat better, don't play with guns and STOP CHEATING and faking when you don't have medical coverage;
- Better still, we need a Universal Health Care system, so that oafs don't HAVE to cheat all the time to get care.  In other words, as long as the Market denies people health care, they will certainly cheat and not pay bills in order to get it.

So, instead of a 2,400-page document, we need a short, clear guide, a Medical Manifesto that mandates expanding basic care; requires education of the dolts who need usually need it so that they can take care of themselves (or actually be liable to blame for not doing so); that integrates the Local Basic Care providers in a simple & effective way with the medical upper echelons - the more expensive Professional Medical providers, and then beyond that the ultra-expensive Centralized Highest-Tech systems.

All that aside, I'm still trying to find out how the Obama & Pelosi-led Medical legislation will work, in point of fact.  If it survives the attacks from the Right.

"Not Wanted" Ads (an old rant from 2009 or 2010)

(An old rant, from ca. 2009 or 2010)

Want ads are a funny business. They reflect the dog-eat-dog nature of economic life: those hiring always want better and still better employees, and the rest of the applicants can take a hike. But as I've survey the last 40 years of changes in the pink-collar world that I'm familiar with, it becomes obvious that employment itself is becoming passé - while a few hard-core staff people will be needed in companies, other staff jobs - secretaries, mailroom staff, file clerks, messengers, receptionists - are first of all targets for lay-offs and attrition, and beyond that these positions themselves seem to be disappearing.

In the old days, weren't lay-offs more or less seasonal? Demand might drop, people were let go - but when Demand was up, they or others were hired back. Not so much these days. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Now, ignorance - in a general sense - is what constitutes our mental life: we can sense things (receive impressions) but never have complete knowledge - we cannot know HOW life works, how electrons and quarks can exist, or even if they do exist in the way we've imagined them.  Our ignorance is general, complementary to our little bits of knowledge. 

Beyond this, we also create from our sense impressions, new impressions - pro-facta you might call them:  a class of impressions not based on direct, immediate, concrete sensation, but rather things deduced or guessed at or constructed from intellectual conclusions we have made.  The realm, in other words, of ideas - such as the numeric world of algebra or the hoped-for world of an afterlife.  We can construct and impress these images on our selves. 

And then there is another category - God.  We fight over what God is because no one can truly prove it one way or another, as you might with a question of a rock's concrete qualities.  A bridge that stands against the wind is pretty good positive proof of an engineer's theories.  Given the ignorance, we shouldn't fight about what we don't know and can't demonstrate - but our urge to know (our innate dissatisfaction with our own ignorance) also engenders belief, in which we for emotional reaons enshrine pro-facta as hard facts or even as divine facts.  And if one gets onto the Platonic bandwagon of divinity, counting the divine as more real than reality, one gets into a war of Belief against Belief. Because every individual believes that he or she is right, and the rest of the world mistaken.

In a simple sense, the word 'belief' denotes the indefinite realm of the pro-facta.  I say, "I believe it's two in the afternoon," meaning it's my hunch that it is two, but I believe it and don't know it because I don't have my watch on. 

But 'belief' in a hard sense denotes something else.  It is the psychological realm of the True Believers, whose lives are dedicated to the pro-facta that they have enshrined as more real than real.  And it is here that the biggest fights start - not because of the necessary non-existence (in a technical sense) of these Beliefs (they are ideas, not things) but because the Beliefs are used to serve our own impulses, emotions and psychological needs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My three-eyed blog still exists here on Blogger!  Despite Google's "New Blogger" dashboard. 

News?  Diverting factoids?  Rants? 

Not much today; but I did find a nice blog by an apparently mammary-obsessive girl (girl?) who styles herself "samuraifrog".  (Maybe it's a guy?)  "Electronic Cerebrectomy" is, I think, her blog's title. 

What's so attractive about her blog?  Let me count the ways....

  1. Her photos & self-portraits - beautiful visage & some oddball humor.
  2.  She has a "100 Favorite Playboy Playmates" entry - hard not to take a peek at that.
  3. She follows a lot of the same blogs I do - such as -
  • Random Acts of Geekery
  • Booksteve's Library
  • "Hooray for Wally Wood!"

 and so on. 
     4.  But most importantly, she's a Star Trek aficionada - and gives useful commentary as she DVD's her way through the episodes of the canon....  DS9!  Voyager!  and so on. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dancing with Tragedy

Salvete, qui legant -

I don't read much fiction. What fiction I do read is usually something I missed a long time back but want to experience, or further stories by authors I relish.

But a while back I came into possession of a relatively new (& relatively immense) little pocketbook titled, "A Game of Thrones" by Geo. R. R. Martin. We're treated here to a fantastical realm, very concretely laid out but still very much a fantasy world: Westeros. And the narrative's master arch is of two widely-separated but converging story lines - of the Stark family of Winterfell (think medieval Europe) and of princess Daenerys Targaryen (think of a child of the Mediterranean betrothed to the kha-khan of the Steppes). Martin is a very capable writer, his characters were interesting and three-dimensional, and pretty soon I was hooked.

I marveled at Martin's gift for concluding every chapter with a twist, usually sad and retrograde, never letting his reader relax in his or her pursuit of the resolution of the characters' troubles. Finished with the first book, "A Game", I snapped up the whole series (as it stood at that point in time) and eagerly started the second book, "A Clash of Kings". The first book had seen the collapse of an inwardly troubled regime, and the outbreak of general hostilities between the various nominally feudal powers of Westeros, and instead of Tolkien's Battle of Five Armies, it was now the Armed Politics of Five Kingdoms.

The chaos becoming deeper and grimmer with every chapter, and the characters never getting an even break except that it was followed by two or three or four chapters of misfortune, slavery, mutilation or death of loved ones, I found myself tiring. Martin's "gift" for twists and unwelcome turns became less and less engaging, and more and more dismaying. Finally (for me) comes the moment when the - well, no spoilers; but suffice it to say that we receive a HEAPING helping of fictional tragedy mid-book in the third one, "Storm of Swords", so much so, and of such an undeserved sort, that I just folded up the bloated little paperback and filed it away. I was through.

Some have called him "the American Tolkien". I differ. While it's true that J. R. R. Tolkien's books had their own grim insistence on evil, it's also true that those elements were balanced with moments of sensual pleasure, comedic interludes, and heroic fights. Boromir is tragic and doomed, but goes very far towards redeeming himself at the the end of his life. Frodo struggles and suffers and suffers and struggles, and in the end, but for chance, succumbs to the evil of the Ring, yet he survives wounded and tired, and goes his way, still accompanied by Sam, even unto the Grey Havens, the final resting place for the Elven.

But in Martin's universe, most everyone seems to be Orcish - not literally, but morally and in terms of their luck. His heroes soldier on, suffering disfigurement and abuse, but - like God above - Martin has no particular love for them, and strives to defeat our expectations that have naturally arisen from the story-telling - expectations that order will return, that a good decision will be made by somebody somewhere, that people will finally choose life instead of foolishness and infamy and suicide. But, in the post-Night of the Living Dead pop-ethos that this age prefers, Martin keeps the bad guys winning, as fish after fish eats or mutilates or betrays the other fish around him or her. Breaking with sword & sorcery tradition and formula, Martin leads us through a hopeless Inferno of political and personal crime, without any hint of reprieve, and brings forth a truly Jacobean pot-boiler of a series. But his Sadism quotient is simply too high, and any appellations of "American Tolkien" are sadly off target, as well.

Bene valete.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Too Much, Too Little - Eheu

Experience overwhelms us or starves us, the contented medium being either merely passed through as a station in the swing of events, or at worse times, simply bypassed altogether as we go from pole to pole.

Can you tell I'm of a fatigued & tired disposition today?

If one reviews the past, one can always think of "how it might have been", but that is of little use aside from passing warnings on to your children. Psychologically, it's an eddy of grief and anger that you can be locked into forever. So phooey on it, to coin a phrase. I can (a) set forth my errors, but (b) I must also acknowledge the good things, that I am not in chains, that my family are not in chains, that I have a decent family to begin with. The negatives are endless; the positives few - so we need to keep their value high in our estimation. To brood on the dispreferred Indifferentia of life is, again, to circle forever in an eddy of grief and anger.

We are saddled with debt and employment - Adam's Curse - and although the debt might have been avoidable, not all of it was, and it is - in any event - a legacy of the irremediable past. On to the future, sore and saddled.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Old Age, Fatigue

Iis qui legant - Salvete.
My theory is that when old age starts to shut us down, our simple, common human facets are worn away first, and what's left of our selves clings to our obsessions and fetishes. Smiles fade, patience fades, but the desire to control remains, and in proportion to our loss of strength, perception, ability, we turn to our addictions for comfort, and reliance on them characterizes our decline.

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