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

March 22, 2016 - 1:31 p.m.

Reading This Is Magic.

I broke the cycle and didn't sleep late this morning. I was all ready to blog early and then got bogged down in other things. I did do some nice editing and added annotations to a video of the Yanks I took on St. Patrick's Day and if YouTube finishes processing it soon I'll show it to you here. I had to ask Isaac Alderson who plays a solo on the piece for the title, it's an instrumental. And sadly I had to ask where the break between two songs was in the medley. I had an actual excuse. There was a glitch right at the boundary and that threw me.

Ok now it's after noon and I'm really just getting started. This is not good. I'm going to write before I eat today. The problem is that I don't know what I'm going to be writing about. I didn't do anything yesterday. I did get my phone working better. The charging port had gotten wet and corroded. That meant it had trouble charging. But I saw that micro USB cable end was corroded and replaced that with another one I had around and the phone is back to charging.

Hey the video finished processing. Watch it.

I have liked precisely 2.48 gazillion things on Facebook. So what did I do yesterday? I for the first time took advantage of the fact that Wise Madness's Facebook page can like pages. That's a much more exclusive honor. I also had my On Your Radar and Budgiedome pages like things. It's a more exclusive honor than me liking things as myself. OYR and the Budgiedome are not just me so I was more circumspect with who they liked. It had to be acts that played there or I know that the other people involved like too. Of course you can like the Wise Madness page. That's not a hint, that's a straight out request.

I am looking at my page of ideas for blogs and none of them are appealing to me. No that's not true. I started thinking about one of them and now I'm inspired.

What makes something magic? Why if we talk to and see someone far away with a crystal ball is it magic but if we use Skype it isn't? A computer on the internet does so many things associate with magic, it's a crystal ball, a magic mirror on the wall, and an oracle answering questions. A plane does just what a magic carpet or flying broomstick does only better and in more comfort. Anyone else ever worry about the wind and cold when traveling by broomstick? Terry Pratchett did. It's a lot more comfortable in a plane. We can see through things with x-rays. We can travel to space. We can make things turn on and off with our voice. Why are none of these things considered magic? Often magic involves controlling things with your mind, and guess what we have started to be able to do that. Perhaps magic is technology that's physically impossible and if we figure out how to do it, it ceases to be magic. For myself I think anything that does things which we used to think impossible is magic and it should give us the same sense of wonder as magic does.

And that reminds me of something that infuriates me in the Harry Potter stories. There are rules against enchanting muggle objects. But all wizards do, they use broomsticks and watches, and mirrors. Just about every magic object in the books is an enchanted muggle object. The books have a mindset that every invention after some arbitrary cutoff day is different than the inventions that came before.

What constitutes magic crosses the border into what constitutes a miracle. To me it's always been obvious that nothing can be supernatural as if it exists it's natural. If miracles happen they aren't miraculous except in the sense of highly unlikely, as in the Miracle Mets winning in 1969.

I'll keep this short today. I'm going to press some buttons on my keyboard and somehow you living wherever you are, perhaps as far as Australia, will be able to read this almost instantly. That's magic and you should appreciate it that way. And the fact that I spun this edition of Wise Madness out of straw is a miracle.

It's late but I'm still going to make myself pancakes because I want a treat.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile March 22, 2016
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