I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 11, 2015 - 12:48 p.m.
I didn’t do anything yesterday. That means I can write about any of the thousand things I've been wanting to write but haven't had the space to. Yeah right, like I can remember any of them. It is really hard not having a brain.
I'm not sure if I left the house yesterday. Did I go shopping? Yes I did. I went to Trader Joe's. I remember because when I made dinner I realized I needed butter. I thought about it when I was there but thought I didn't. So what I actually remember is my stupidity.
My landlady has some strange ideas about health. I've told you about some, like she's afraid Wi-Fi makes people sick. She has this expensive water filter built into the house. All the water, not just the drinking water. So my shower water is filtered. As a practical matter this causes problems with water pressure. Taking a shower is an adventure. So imagine my surprise when I went into the kitchen when I got home the other day and found a water filter attached to the kitchen sink. Yes she's filtering the filtered water. This also causes practical problems as it come down from the regular faucet and there's not enough room to wash some things under it. I won't start discussions on this but she brought it up and said the purpose is to make the water alkaline. That's a new thing, it hasn't been shown to do anything but somebody claimed it does and some people believe him.
This always get me, people who have no knowledge of science will get strong opinions going against scientific consensus. What are they basing it on? It's not like this is uncommon. I run through my Facebook feed and see it all the time. I talk to lots of people that do the same thing. Why don't they believe most doctors or scientists but believe this one guy. It's because the one guy tells them what they want to hear. Scientists will tell you that while lifestyle changes make a difference, they don't work miracles. People want miracle foods. They also want demons. Things that cause all the problems. If they eat the miracle foods and avoid the demons they can live forever. The reality is that there's a lot of luck involved. Making a wise choice in parents is the best thing you can do. And even then so much is random. People are averse to that so they listen to the people that tell them they are in control.
This is the same thing that goes on in politics, especially on the right. Conservatives economists have been wrong in every prediction but that doesn't stop people from listening to them. They tell conservatives what they want to hear. And it isn't only conservatives. Liberals do it to, but it's far more the people that aren't in power. It's like when I read that most people agree with Bernie Sanders. Most people describe themselves as conservatives. I took the Pew Political Typology Quiz. I am solidly liberal as I'm sure Sanders is. We're 15% of the population. That's not most people. But people want to believe he can win. Now he might be able to if he could come across as not solidly liberal. But that's his whole identity. He calls himself a socialist for god's sake, an anathema to most Americans.
OK now for something totally silly and stupid. I'm on Instagram now; Horvendile of course. The user names are all one word. I parse them wrong for so many people. I'm going to show you my misreadings.
That's whose in my feed now I get these wrong every time I see them. It took me forever to correctly read cmahoney. I think I had to see people that we both know to get it.
What do the last two topics have to do with each other? They are both of the way the brain functions; a topic that always fascinates me.
Damn, what's the religion thing I've been thinking about? I forgot the cool one. I do remember this one. Bertrand Russell lumped religion and ideology together. To him communism and Nazism were like religions and I agree. Right and wrong is determined by an outside authority. If it's against the orthodoxy it's wrong. This hit me thinking about gay rights. In the west homophobia is the province of religious people. The rate of thinking homosexuality is immoral is much higher among people that go to church often than those that don’t. In most of the world it's like that. The exceptions are China and North Korea, countries in the grip of ideology.
Now for the most important thing. Eating. I'm giving myself a lunch treat today, French toast. That means the grand slam breakfast, bacon and scrambled eggs too.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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