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

January 10, 2013 - 12:07 p.m.

Me and Sancho

I didn't do much yesterday, that means I have to write about ideas. Be brave. I still have not picked up my eyeglass prescription. That MUST be done today. I want to be able to see. I did get to my P.O. Box and got a package from Hudson Harding. That was nice. Then I went to eat at Whole Foods. They had duck! I never saw that there before. I stopped by my office and got my pay check. Then went down to Chelsea, to pick up my prednisone prescription. I filled it there because it's a refill and I was living there when it was first ordered. I was rewarded for going there when I ran into Honor. I got a conversation, a smile, and a hug all of which were worth the trip. Not only that but I can use meeting her as in intro into some things I wanted to write about.

At this point I wish I could write two things and have you read them simultaneously. Can you split your brains in two? If you can I write it in two columns and you could do that. You can't? I didn't think so. Just remember it's your fault that this is going to have a discontinuity in it, not mine.

I saw Honor and immediately felt good. She's one of my favorite people. She's one of my people. And that's what got me thinking because when I think about how I define myself she doesn't fit the definition. So now I have to jump.

There are a lot of ways that I self-identify but the deepest one is as rationalist and empiricist. If there is a dispute between my communities I find myself pretty much always siding with the scientists. When I veer from liberal orthodoxy it usually because the Frankenstein complex is rearing its ugly head. The head of the Royal Society was discussing people being anti-science and lumped, someone reluctantly, people who are against genetically engineered food with evolution deniers and I felt the same way. Even when I agree with someone I object when they incorrectly reason or don't consider evidence.

It's my approach to everything. I love the whole sabermetric movement to understand baseball and will choose the statistical evidence over my gut. I object when I feel the methodology is faulty as it is when they try to quantify defense and especially when they take those questionable numbers and combine them with offensive stats that have a much more secure foundation.

I object to fad diets, sociology, psychology, and health theories. Something sounding good does make it true or even more likely to be true. I cringe when I hear the word "spiritual." Of course it is such a vague term I'm sure there are people that would describe me as spiritual. Mysticism is my bte noir.

So then there's Honor and many other of my friends, maybe you. She is on the other side of the great divide and is at least friendly to many of the things I just said I objected to,. But that in no way stops her from being one of my people. I feel kinship. That's what's so odd and what I've been thinking about. So why do I like her? Sure she's brilliant and talented and funny but so are other people I don't feel that way about. So the more I thought about it the more I realized that anything I came up with would be a just so story. I wouldn't be rational and empirical. I'd be coming up with something that sounds good. Yes I'd be crossing the divide. And I'd be crossing it in one of the ways that annoys me the most, it would be by pretending to be rational. So why do I like Honor? Sancho Panza has it right.

Sometimes being rational means accepting that you can't explain something. You hope to someday but for now you don't and making believe you do is irrational.

OK once again I'm wasting too much of the day. I have to do laundry, get that damn eyeglass prescription and if possible order glasses. Tonight I'm seeing Miss Tess. I have a lot of music coming up even by my standards.

One more thing out of left field. At John Platt's On Your Radar on Tuesday several people told me that I looked like I lost weight. I hadn't weighed myself in ages but judging from my clothes I hadn't Yesterday by total coincidence Arwen Undomiel fixed the Last Homely House West of the Mountains' bathroom scale. It needed batteries. I weighed myself, 183.4 lbs. that is just about what I weighed the last time I checked. Now this was in the afternoon not morning and I had more clothe on than usual when weighing myself. I'll check again now on my way down to brunch as I haven't eaten yet.

Now off to my poached eggs.

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please hold me accountable.

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Horvendile January 10, 2013
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