Just some snips from my notebook. Observations, opinions and thoughts. Nothing important. Harmless, really.
“Guards…seize him!” A phrase which is woefully underused in our society. I would like to have guards around me so that they could seize people that I deem seizable, usually for being stupid. Then they’d be put in a dungeon, or something.
Small Dogs. Dogs should be over 25 pounds. Real dogs should be over 50 pounds. If they are not, they are at risk of being punted. Small dogs fall into the “if you’d wanted a cat, you should have gotten a cat” category.
Teachers. I teach critical thinking, logic, argument, cognitive bias and structured analysis to adults. I’ve never taught in my life. It is the most demanding gig I have ever had, and crazy fun. Drained and sapped at the end of the day, but good fatigue. Our public teachers should get paid more. They deserve it.
Obama. Wunderkind. Right; got it. His inexperience is troubling, though, especially in the geo-political realm where we see Russia getting its mojo back and an ascendant China. I’d like to see some more specific policy positions over the next months. Great orator. McCain will struggle to keep up in the debates. No one will be surprised when Barry makes John look wooden and bewildered. BHO will win in November by 4-6 percent. Biden an understandable if uninspired VP choice.
The Third Culture. A concept worth considering. Makes the meaningless cookie-cutter pundits’ political cut and paste blather we experience daily seem like what it is: The Archies, in a world which needs Bach. Seeking out interesting new people and ideas and believing they are important. Imagine. We need to amp up our collective game.
Equestrian Sports. Should not be in the Olympics. The athlete in the event should be human. No? If we must have horses, let’s play buzkashi. The Afghans would always win, but so what. That’s riding.
Pasta Sauce in a Jar. Never. I’d rather dine on rendered Manchurian toad fat. Buy fresh and make your own. It’s easy.
Existential Risk. Is of great concern. Humans, especially American humans, aren’t very good at taking the long view of things. Caution is warranted in the realm of nanotech, AI, warming, biotech. We’re all probably amusing avatars in a game built by a hyper-advanced race anyway. That would explain a lot. The meaning of life? Amuse others. The end of humanity? The switch is flipped. See ya in the metaverse, or maybe I already do.
McCain. Big respect for his service, sacrifice, and heroism. Extra points cuz he’s Navy. Unfortunately, neither original nor bold. And his age is a real and significant issue. So is his propensity to redden up and act on impulse. Stop pussy-footing around it. Sarah Palin? Feels sort of desperate at first, but could turn out to be pretty savvy. Michael Palin would have been an excellent choice, too. The Maverick has turned into Hoss. I’m so sick of cowboys.
Libertarianism. A very cool economic theory. Worth exploration. The free market works well enough, but it is also the institution that gets our kids to drink Gatorade with colors that don’t exist in nature. The market does not get everything right, however free. “Informed” self-interest is a pipe-dream, especially when the interest part of that is defined by a machine driven exclusively by profit, and not ethics or altruism. Ron Paul was always the most fun of the bunch.
The Large Hadron Collider. We obsess about Michelle Obama’s angry blackness, but we don’t care about a new experimental complex at CERN which may actually discover where mass comes from. Do you know that we don’t even know what mass is? Probably not. Do you know Oprah has a weight problem? Probably. Sad. Strangelets and super-symmetry trump the dull void hum of Fox, CNN and E! every time.
Moving the Family to Leelanau County. Still up in the air. My father-in-law is researching an old farmhouse and some land for sale, so we’ll see. I hope it works out.
Knowledge. Take 20 minutes, sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, and see if you can define it. And don’t go search Google and hit Control-C. Just sit there and do it yourself. Everyone should think about this and try to work it out on their own, at least once in their lives. Enjoy a glass of wine or a pint of ale while you do.
NASCAR. I still don’t get it and likely never will. And I’m OK with that.
South Ossetia. If I were Putin (oops, I mean Medvedev), I would have acted too. Georgia got all full of themselves, feeling emboldened by a NATO “sure thing.” Cocky. And stupid. U.S. missiles in Poland, gray-hulls all over the Black Sea, and a surging alliance push to the Russian South and West. We see relationship-building and strategic engagement. Vlad sees neo-containment.
British Radio Personalities. The worst in the world. Except for Terry Wogan, of BBC 2, who is great; and Melvyn Bragg, of BBC 4, who is a world-class elitist, pompous, arrogant jackass, but talks about interesting things with his guests. They interrupt songs mid-tune, drone on about bad restaurants, snort mindlessly about Labour, Tories, and Lib-Dem inadequacies whilst reading the headlines off of loudly crinkling papers, and bore us with their tales of some recent holiday to the Costa del Sol, or Greece, where they no doubt wore Speedos and bikinis, and revolted even the heartiest of Mediterranean folk with their pasty and phosphorescent plumpness.
Cities. The countryside is eminently more preferable. Going to the city and folding in with the heaving, seething mass of others inevitably makes me feel like part a virus cluster. I don’t like feeling like part of a virus cluster. Individual people are usually pretty nice though, but in small groups. Is a misanthrope someone who does not like People? or people?
Pi. Fascinating thought that there may be a message in there. And Sagan wasn’t the first to say so.
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