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
-Bertrand Russell

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

August 16, 2012 - 11:32 a.m.

Grave Thoughts

I've been in therapy for months and I don't think that I'm improving. I'm back to having problems with emails and last night I even had an anxiety attack. Will I be able to bring up with my therapist that I'm having doubts that she's the right person for me?

I didn't do much yesterday other than go to Rona's mother's funeral. I took the LIRR to Jamaica where Lori not LORi and Joe picked me up. I felt strange as I couldn't wear my usual funeral clothing, a dark suit. All of mine were in storage. I ended up wearing my dress linens, not the white suit. It was comfortable but not what I feel comfortable wearing at a funeral. The service was held in the same funeral home that we used for my parents. I felt strangely nostalgic.

The service was by the cantor was nice. The best part was when Rona spoke. That's one thing I've learned from unfortunate circumstances, funeral services are best when the speakers are family and friends.

As always under these circumstances I think about my funeral. My sister Sue says mine will be a hootenanny. Carey will play the kazoo. Too bad I won't get to hear it. I need to arrange it so that the memorial service is held when I'm still alive. Doesn't that actually make more sense? Why waste all those good words (the literal meaning of eulogy) on someone that can't hear them?

I ran through my usual thoughts about death. It really shouldn't be sad. We all know that everyone we know will die, including ourselves. Talk about accepting the things we cannot change. I know it's illogical to expect people to act logical under the circumstances. Of course we are going to be sad. But I think it helps to think about it that way and most people do; at least when the deceased lived to old age.

When the service was over and the doors to the parking lot were opened we saw that it was pouring. It seems like it rained for the funeral for everyone in my family that was buried. I always wondered if that is why my father wanted to be cremated; he didn't want another funeral standing in the rain, not even his own.

After the service Joe and Lori drove me back to the subway in Forest Hills. As there was no time pressure for the return I figured I'd take the cheaper subway. There is no marginal cost as I have a monthly. I don't think it was worth it. I waited forever for the E train and it was about 5,000 F in the station. Then I just missed the connecting G train to take me home. It had stopped raining and the sun was out when I got on the subway so I didn't switch to the C train that stops right by my house. That was a mistake as it was pouring when I got home. I had my emergency WFUV poncho but my legs got soaked walking the two blocks home.

Now for a strange line of reasoning I had about reasoning.

During the Olympics the track and field announcers kept bringing up that Usain Bolt couldn't lose because he was taller than all the other runners so had to take less steps to run 100 or 200 meters than his competition. Bolt is 6'5" most runners are closer to 6'. Do you realize how stupid that is? If being tall was such an advantage all the best runners would be that tall. That's what happens in basketball and high jump and volleyball. There is no shortage of athletes taller than that. In fact we know from experience that being very tall does not make you faster. Are the fastest players on basketball teams the 7 foot centers? No they are usually the slowest. The fastest are the point guards that are close to 6 feet tall. The reason most sprinters are about 6 feet tall is that it's the optimal height for a runner. Yes being tall makes you need to take less steps but it also means carrying around more weight. It's a trade-off. It is more about power to weight ratio than anything. Are the biggest animals the fastest? No. Elephants aren't fast at all. Even giraffes with their long slender legs are not as fast as cheetahs, horses, and gazelles. Yet the announcers kept repeating the same fallacious reasoning. They didn't catch their error and nobody at the network did either.

Nothing disturbs me more than poor reasoning. It's the bane of civilization. Politicians can get away with policies that go against evidence and only get called on it by the opposition. It is somehow considered biased if reporters point out that they are actually wrong, as if there were no objective reality.

I see it among my friends. They will believe in things that are totally irrational. Some of the smartest people I know believe in nonsense like homeopathic medicine. I know that people will be upset that I'm saying that medicine that is so diluted that it is nothing but pure water, without a single molecule of the supposed active ingredient isnt effective.

More than two thousand years after the Greek philosophers and four hundred years after Galileo made the most important scientific discovery, that science works, people see nothing wrong with basing opinions on what make them feel good. Pretty much the only thing that I find as frustrating is my own inability to act rationally thanks to my anxiety.

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Horvendile August 16, 2012
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