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

November 01, 2012 - 12:10 p.m.

Gain and no Pain

I'm going to start this at McDonalds then move to the Hotel New Yorker. I can't find an open outlet here. I have a few more hours left on the computer but I'd like to have everything charged by the time I finish blogging. You know what? I should just make the move now. I want to get out and walk around today and survey the damage. So I'll get back to you in as soon as I'm set up there.

I'm back, I've read the Opinion section of the Times and I'm ready to rumble. I mean blog.

After updating yesterday I went back home, mini-Hagrid spent the night with a friend so it was a bit lonely. I just made hot dogs for dinner. I was going to make potatoes but I couldn't get the oven lit. I should take a look when it's light to see if there is a place to manually light it. I might need long matches. I tried calling friends but couldn't reach anybody. I finally gave up reaching the outside world and decided to read. I started "The Last Continent" by Terry Pratchett; yes another Discworld novel. I just finished "Guards! Guards!" Discworld is comfort literature. Reading by candlelight is not easy. We have tea lights, they aren't the best candles for shedding light. I might have to buy larger ones. I mirror would help too. I ended up going to bed early, before midnight. I really should have made a bathroom expedition. I didn't have to go but I'm sure I could have. If I had I wouldn't have woken up feeling like I was having a Crohn's attack. It wasn't one. I just had to go. With my plumbing they are related. It's a funny thing but my digestive system knows when bathrooms are inconvenient and shuts down to some degree. I knew I didn't have to worry about diarrhea like I often have. I have to pat myself on the back, I spelt "diarrhea" right the first time.

OK enough TMI.

Instead of walking up to the Mariotte Marquis I went to McDonalds and had breakfast there. First I used the bathroom then I used their free internet. The only thing I couldn't do is plug in and charge things. At the New Yorker I'm not being an outlet hog I plugged my computer into the wall and the phone into my computer. The computer is now fully charged and the phone 74%.

I'm spending my morning the way I usually do. I played the WFUV question of the day.

Now that the city and you are getting back to work (hopefully). Send us a song suggestion about work. Tell us what you do and send us a song suggestion about work!

You should know what song I requested; Jim's Big Ego's "Math Prof Rock Star."

Then I took care of my internet life and listened to the radio. The only thing out of the ordinary is that I'm not at home but in a hotel lobby.

The Chicks with Dip "Blue" concert is canceled for Friday. On Saturday I'm going up to Dobbs Ferry to see Abbie Gardner, her dad Herb, and their band play a swing dance. I don't want to miss that and my weekend plans will revolve around getting there. I have to find out if there is school tomorrow. If not I might go to Alison's in New Paltz and see if she wants to join me at the dance and then we can drive in her car. I'm sure there will be school on Monday so I'd come home on Sunday night. If you live someplace with electricity and want to go to the dance and would be willing to put me up please let me know.

Paul Krugman wrote an article on a book or paper some other economist wrote that said the reason the information revolution didn't boost the economy as much as the industrial revolution is that the benefits are simply not as great. As he put it which would you rather do without, the internet or indoor plumbing. I can tell you that for me it's the plumbing.

There's a beautiful woman sitting on the floor 5 feet from me charging her phone. I wish I had the nerve to talk to her. Of course I'd probably end up talking about plumbing and that's would be the last she ever wanted to hear from me.

Ahh I remembered what I wanted to write about. At least one of the things. Last night's sleep wasn't the best. My nasal congestion was so bad even though breathing strips only worked partially. I told you about my digestive issues. To top it off I got that sinus headache I've been prone to lately. I immediately took an acetaminophen. There is no virtue in suffering. That's a lesson people need to learn. They get afraid of taking drugs. Acetaminophen is incredibly safe. I don't take aspirin or other analgesics because they are bad for my Crohn's disease. I make informed choices. I don't blindly take drugs but I don't blindly reject them either. I don't put it off as long as possible. If I need something I take it as soon as possible. Why prolong suffering. If my nose doesn't clear up I'm going to buy a decongestant. Are there risks? Yes but losing sleep has risks too.

The idea that suffering is virtuous is a dangerous Puritan fallacy. It affects national policy. It makes people think austerity is a good thing as it requires sacrifice. It's even more alluring as it is sacrifice by other people, not the people making the decisions. Then there is the Puritan notion that people are poor or suffer hardship because they are sinful. It's their own moral failing. People might not put it in religious terms but it is the way they think. Some feel that if a woman gets pregnant she should pay the price for it. If you think about it the rape exception in some abortion laws is predicated on that pregnancy not being the woman's fault, with the implication that other pregnancies are. If the argument was purely on the personhood of the fetus that wouldn't make a difference.

The idea of morality being tied to pleasure and pain with pleasure being bad and pain good is built into our thinking. Look for in your own mind and resist it. It is never a sufficient reason to do something. Double check to see that you are being rational, not just rationalizing. I used to do that with meds. No longer. I listen to Bertrand Russell.
"The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good."

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile November 01, 2012
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