Culture Views and Politics

CULTURE VIEWS

Well Scripted Redux

“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited Journalists are not the only group wittingly or unwittingly conditioning our thinking. Nor are they the only group…

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Pardon Gray

“What’s in a name? a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare Fashion in naming our children is whimsical and changes often. Reusing names from family history is a perennial favorite. When I was young, saints were in vogue and still maintain a small, but avid, following. In the sixties and seventies, there was a wave of inventiveness. I knew children named Morning Star, Apple (the record company, not…

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Turtles All The Way Down

From this Quora question: In a Joe Rogan podcast, mathematician Eric Weinstein stated that the basis of all math is founded upon a few assumptions that cannot be proven. Can someone explain this to me?   One good answer from a frequent Quora poster, Andy Lund: [i] …… Now suppose you have the number 1 and I give you another number 1, what number do you have? There is no number 1 in the physical universe. There is…

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Transcendent

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo Buonarroti On Pentecost Sunday in May of 1972, Laszlo Toth, a Hungarian-born Australian geologist, attacked with a hammer and seriously damaged Michelangelo’s marble Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City[i]. He was never charged with a crime, but in a pretrial hearing he was found mentally incompetent. Sentenced to two years in an Italian mental institution out of “One Flew Out…

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POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Well Scripted

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World[i] Back in the mists of the early seventies for about a year I was a correspondent for a regional daily paper in Boston. I remember well the cigarettes smoldering in our ashtrays and cold coffee and typewriters at eleven at night trying to beat a deadline with coverage of a local town’s selectmen or planning committee meeting…

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Swine, Double Speak, and Bringing Home the Bacon

“It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt.” Thomas Paine [i] Recently I read an article about a bacon crisis looming in California. [ii] Sad is the plight of the owner of a small breakfast diner who survived the pandemic restaurant crisis but may be put out of business because her staple, bacon, eggs, and home fries, might soon be missing…

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Maximum Benefit, Minimum Wage (Part Two)

“Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.” Abraham Lincoln There is no substitute for what we learn in our early jobs. In 1968, minimum wage was set by the government at $1.60 per hour. The $15 an hour minimum wage proponent today claims that $22 or even $24 an hour is necessary just to remain even with inflation since then. But is that true? I did a quick…

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Slow Loris

“I love inventing names, but I also collect unusual names, so that I can look through my notebook and choose one that suits a new character.”  — J. K. Rowling I like the sound of words, especially names, and they make me curious. The slow loris is a genus of nocturnal, slow moving, slow reproducing mammals, mostly in Southeast Asia and the nearby islands[i]. All the identified species are listed as “vulnerable” or…

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