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
March 15, 2016 - 12:28 p.m.
Yesterday was Monday but I did not go to therapy. I can't afford it any more. My therapist agreed that was best. I don't think she was helping me enough in any event. I should have switched therapists long ago.
OK I started with something hard to write about let's see if that makes finishing this easier. Of course since I didn't go to therapy I didn't go out yesterday. I did think of going to the bagel store near the therapist of half-priced bagels but the weather was bad so I didn't. That means I won't have bagels this week. I think I have one in the freezer that I'll likely eat today; sausageeggandcheese on a bagel is therapy too.
Wise Madness's readership has been double its normal levels this month. I was excited for a while thinking more people were reading me. But now I think it's just Google spidering the site incessantly; I have a ton of hits from Google in Mountain View, more hits from an unknown source in Springfield MO, and lots of hits from site with no real information. For human readers I usually get a location and domain name and a referring URL. Knowing that it's probably bots doesn't stop me from at least getting a bit happy from the higher number of views. I mean some of them might be people. I'd like to think that people read and enjoy Wise Madness.
As my numbers will be kept up by the bots I'm going to write about what I've been thinking about and not worry if people want to read it. When I'm home I see a lot of Facebook and there are repeating patterns that I find disturbing. It's not from most people but the people that do them tend to post a lot so it seems more prevalent than it is. See I always try to keep biases in mind. That's important. Much of what bothers me involve two closely related ideas, the Golden Rule and the Theory of Mind. You all know the Golden Rule, the most common version is, "Do unto others as you'd have other do unto you." I'll give the opening of the Wikipedia article to explain the Theory of Mind; "Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own." They are both aspects of putting yourself into someone else's shoes. When people don't do this is when I'm disturbed. Now I know that some people can't help it. Autism often involves an inability to form a theory of mind. But others just don't want to think about how others think because it leads to conclusions they are uncomfortable with. Hell I'm getting that right now. I'm afraid you are reading this and thinking I'm being pretentious or pompous or foolish. Why? Because if I were reading this I might feel that way. I'm not sure of course. I think I probably wouldn't. I know the writer not being clueless to how this might sound would make me feel better about the writer. OK now I'm getting stuck in a self-referential bog, I could go on like this forever but I wouldn't like a writer who did that. Norman coordinate!
Back to other people, much easier to write about other people. There are things that I read and hear that make it difficult to put myself in the other person's shoes. They try and justify their unreasonable actions and I go, Can't you hear how you sounds? I can't talk about any people that I know but I can say, just look at any dispute in the Middle East.
It happens in American politics which I am encounter more often too. Every day I read things in my paper that get me furious at the right. They so often ignore what's going on in the heads of immigrants, blacks, the poor, immigrants, women … . But I don't know these people and they are not reading this so what good does it do to write about that? I have all of two friends that I have seen defending Trump. What good would it do to argue? They aren't going to listen. Would I listen to them? I almost commented on what one of them wrote, that until this election absolutely nobody accused Trump of being a racist. This is a matter of fact not opinion and she was wrong. I searched on Google for Trump racist between the years 1980 and 2000 and found so many examples. But I didn't even correct that because what's it going to do? She would object to the sources. She'd object to something. All it would do is make our friendship uncomfortable. Yes I put myself in her place.
But I also see it in liberals, what most of my friends are. I see it in supporters of both Hillary and Bernie. I prefer Hillary but would enthusiastically support Bernie for president if he won the nomination. It's great when I see my friends saying how great their candidate is. What's not great is when I see them gloating over victories, or even worse gloating over defeats and calling them victories. When it comes to the horse race I just want analysis like Nate Silver brings to the table. I don't want to hear, "Look what a great victory we had!" on days when they won less delegates." Or even
And I forgot what was the entire impetus for writing this. What happened to the Trump rally in Chicago. I wish I knew more facts. Everything I read seems to be opinions on what happened. But I do know how people are talking and that's what I want to discuss. I've read people saying that Trump is horrible so it's OK to go to his rallies and disrupt them. If you think that then you should think it's OK if Republicans came to rallies for Hillary or Bernie and tried to disrupt them. It's right for both or it's wrong for both. I read a column on how it's not a violation of the First Amendment as that constrains government action. That's right. It doesn’t violate the law, it violates the Golden Rule and civil behavior. There are more constructive ways to protest. Want to go on the streets and picket and demonstrate? I'll be there with you. I've done it. But doing it in the midst of the opponents is a recipe for trouble. Don't shout Trump down. Do you want Bernie and Hillary shouted down? I like the ACLU's take. The First Amendment only applies to the government but it's principles should be respected by everyone. They aren't absolute, I said respected.
This is in no way defending Trump's actions or words. I don't expect better of him but I do of his opponents. At the top of this page there's a quote by H.L. Mencken. I'll save you the trouble of looking up and repeated here. "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, the ultimate cynic understood the Golden Rule.
And now I understand that I have to eat. I'm out of coffee other than decaf. Let's see if I can face the day without it.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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