Print Story So would you kiss a corpse?
Diary
By lm (Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 06:58:05 PM EST) (all tags)
Venerating the relics of a saint sounds far less icky.

A cousin of mine once famously said that Alexander Hamilton was an asshat in general and, in fact, he and Aaron Burr deserved each other. If you're interested in how he was an asshat in particular, feel freed to read my analysis of Federalist No. 6 in which I detail The influence of Thomas Hobbes on Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 6.

Blather, and a deep dark secret revealed, below the fold.



The reviews coming out about the film adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife made the plot seem vaguely familiar to me. I know that I've never read the book. But then it dawned on me. The superficial description of the story sounds remarkably like the plot of Poul Anderson's There Will Be Time which is one of the few time travel stories that I've read that I like. (Two other's being the book in Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch, but only the first book of the series and Ray Bradbury's vignette ``The Last, the Very Last)'' in Dandelion Wine.) Mostly time travel in either books or movies, leaves me cold.

But to be fair, there are elements in just about any romance set against the back drop of time travel that will sound the same upon a superficial description. And, at any rate, the reviews I've read of the film adaptation of Niffenegger's book suggest it is overly melodramatic and doesn't do justice to the plot. I think I'll skip for now. Sooner or later, it'll pop up on the Sci-Fi channel or TNT and I'll catch it then, complete with commercial breaks. And as far as the book goes, I might make time to read it someday. But right now my casual reading time is taken with Carlo Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli which is positively stupefying in its beauty of prose. And after that, let's just say that there is a long list.

:: :: :: :: ::

I'm starting to get really jonesed up about class starting in a few more weeks. But I must wait. On the one hand, they're all topics that I'm really looking forward to leaning about. On the other hand, I'm really looking forward to a less grueling schedule. That may sound odd that adding classwork on top of work being less arduous. But I'll be cutting down to about half time hours at work. Even given an appropriate amount of studying, I don't think that adding classes to that will add more than it will take away from the number of things that must be done.

The semester was the first one that posed some difficult choices for me class wise. In the 2008/20009 academic year, three fourths of the graduate courses were on various writings of Thomas Aquinas. While I have a lot of respect for Aquinas as a thinker, I feel mostly done with him. Admittedly, I've barely scratched the depths of his thought and extant writings. And I do think that some familiarity with his ideas, especially his ideas that have so heavily influenced both law and the philosophy of natural law in the western tradition. But he's a horrible writer: terse, convoluted, overly wordy and lacking in style. Some of his works approach being readable, for example, On the Unicity of the Intellect. But its a struggle for me to pay attention.

But this semester, there are more courses offered that I want to take than I can take. Among the one's I'm leaving behind are a study of Plato's Timeaus, Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, Descartes on the passions of the soul, and a survey course on the topic of illumination. Nonetheless, a class taught on Hobbes' Leviathan by a keen scholar of phenomenological bent and a course on Avicenna's Metaphysics of the Healing by a notable scholar of medieval Arabic philosophy will veritably RTFO.

:: :: :: :: ::

Speaking of future situations I must wait for, I also must wait for my new shoes. I ordered them a week and a half ago. That gives me four and half more weeks to wait. And, so, wait I shall.

:: :: :: ::

I shocked and awed to see an interview with a CEO on the subject of management filled with common sense.

Ferris Bueller's Lessons on Life by the Man Reputed to Have Inspired the Character. I  never got into Ferris Bueller's Day Off the way some people do. I didn't even know that it was directed by John Hughes. But I find the anecdotes from the movie far funnier when placed into a real life context. 10,000 miles off the odometer. Oops.

Aslan Freedemocracy is on the march!

Nietzche famously said of religion ``God is dead'' and of science ``that His shadow remains.'' The NY Times has a nice piece the consciously compares the works of the ancient religion of the Mayans to the contemporary work of today's scientists, When Mortals Work on Cosmic Time. The most illustrative quote was at the end.  CERN's spokesman James Gillies spoke of the impact that the project would have on human knowledge and hoped that ``we will have left a big enough imprint on science that people will not have to speculate on what the priesthood of CERN was up to''. Nietzsche would wager not.

I still can't get over how great this story is. Young novelist writes about a community he wishes was there. That community then comes into existence. I grew up in a mileau where my friends and I would mimic the people and communities we saw on screen that we could identify with to an extent far larger than most of the communities we lived in. To my knowledge none of those communities have sprouted like the tawqacore movement. It's a veritable dead poet society except with punk rock Muslims.

The advent of communications technology has made an old problem even more difficult. Is it real or is it astroturf? Perhaps Arlen Spector has the best path forward on it. ```A lot of it is grassroots and some of it was organized ... I'm very careful not to criticize the people who organized.'' As a tangent, a funny thing occurred to me while reading that article on Spector. The folks crying `censorship' are conflating the freedom of speech with being heard in a public forum. Those appear to me to be two separate things.

The Beeb has a heart breaking op/ed piece on Liberia

CNN has a nice piece on Sesame Street as a instrument of world peace. Some bits are really funny, ``When I saw Gerry Adams wearing a Cookie Monster watch, I knew we had made it in Northern Ireland.'' But other bits are both insightful and worrying, ``Anything the Muppets do, anything they say, any idea they transmit, the children accept.''

Best headline I've seen in ages: Cheney unloads on Bush. There is better coverage elsewhere. But that headline is golden.

:: :: ::

In what I think is a first, I started the work week weighing less (173) than I ended the previous work week (174). For purposes of evaluating my weight, I always take my weight at the same time of day, in the same conditions (fresh after my workout) , and wearing the same clothing (my eyeglasses).  Even if it isn't `fair' that I weigh myself after having sweating out a good deal of fluid, the important bit to me is that my weights are always comparable. But Tuesday, I was back up to 174. Then later in the week I hit a new low of 169.

And, as promised, hitting 169 means I must reveal a deep and dark secret. This is a secret I've told no one, for it has horrendous ramifications should word get out. Our bedroom scale is five pounds off. The first implication is obvious. It means I'm really clocking in 174 instead of 169. But that isn't really so bad. I can live with that. After all, it means I'm still scientifically demonstrated to be not fat. But there is another, far larger problem which I will not spell out here. But consider this: My wife also uses that scale. I shall never again mention this in public. And should anyone share my secret with my wife, my vengeance will be both swift and certain and you and your descendants to eight generations shall curse the day that you came in existence from nothing.

No changes in the morning weight lifting routines to speak of. I started drinking a few mouthfuls of water before each circuit. I get dizzy and lightheaded quite a bit less. But it's still hard. I sweat a lot. My upper body is sore a good portion of the day after I lift. But none of that is really new. My arms are starting to look less disproportionate compared to my legs. I guess that's news of a sort.

Still haven't got a new watch to time my morning run. Some of the mornings this week have been beautiful for being outside. With the days getting into the eighties and nineties with high humidity, the mornings have been a welcome relief. So have been a couple of the evenings. Last evening was a beautiful day to be out and about.

:: ::

My eldest daughter recently came back from Alaska. The night she of her arrival, she was all moody, weepy and distraught. Little wonder. She had a journey of 24 hours involving boats, planes, layovers and about 3 hours of sleep. That's enough to make anyone more than a wee bit emotional. Return to a regular schedule should help her sort things out in fairly short order.

It sounds like she had a great time. Day to day projects included digging trenches, moving rocks, painting interiors and the like. Free time activities included wandering through the Alaskan wilderness, boating to Spruce Island to venerate the relics of Saint Herman, visiting the old WWII fortress on Kodiak Island, driving into town to go shopping at Wal-Mart, attracting stalkers, wrestling with greased bears in steel cages, and hunting Sara Palin's political enemies. I'm envious of a time and place where the sun doesn't set until ten or eleven and temperatures in the fifties and sixties during the summer.

Anyway, I'm glad to have her back. She's a good kid.

::

Some old cow-orkers of mine are in town this week. They're doing an implementation of facilities and maintenance management software at the FDIC. So one night I caught up with two of them, my former boss and a guy I would have to classify as one of the smartest and most capable men I've ever met. It was a good time. I got caught up on all the gossip, who had divorces, who had new girlfriends, who finally moved out of their parents' basements, what kind of business deals they were doing.

So this morning I woke up feeling a tiny bit nostalgic for Ohio. Not Ohio per se, but rather some of the people I know that still live there. Many of the people I miss the most left Ohio either before our family came out to DCia or shortly after. So its not like my homesicknesses could be cured by moving back even were I willing to do so.

Also, it was fun telling my old boss how much I pay in rent. Her eyes came so close to popping completely out of her head that I was already bending down to retrieve them from the floor. That's another thing Ohio has going for it, cheap land.

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So would you kiss a corpse? | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Hamilton by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 08:04:26 PM EST
Might I recommend:  tinyurl.com/mkczbg

Link goes to a Hamilton biography on Amazon.


Considering writing at least a partial response to your  Hamilton post.  Don't really disagree, but I think his background is the basis for his lack of faith in human nature.


Gedvondur

"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
Backgrounds do tend to color vision by lm (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:04:12 PM EST
And, most likely, I am being too flippant. But all the same, being able to have sympathy for why someone believes someone doesn't have anything to do with whether or not what they believe in is morally repugnant.

I will have to put that Hamilton bio on my ever increasing to-read list.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Asshats by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:11:15 PM EST
I find history a fairly depressing display of humanity.  Over a year, I read Will Durant's Story of Civilization, well over 10,000 pages of history filled with thousands of biographical sections, and in all that text I ran across only one person who I felt was not, at least partly, an asshat by some human standards.

(If you care, that person was Saint Patrick. I cynically feel it may just be that the asshat parts were forgotten.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I half agree with Hamilton by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 09:41:52 AM EST
Asshattery is certain part of human nature. To be human is, in part, to be an asshat.

Where he and I seem to differ is the extent to which it is necessary that our asshattery control our destiny. Nobility is also part of human nature.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Time Traveler's Wife by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:11:56 PM EST
I found the book to be a decent enough read, but pretty forgettable.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
"moody, weepy and distraught" by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #5 Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 02:20:25 AM EST
Dude, I hate to break it to you, but that's probably not 100% travel-related. You can research this phenomenon on Wikipedia.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Yes by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 07:53:59 AM EST
I think it's called "being a teenaged girl".

[ Parent ]
You should go easy on ammoniacal by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:44:57 PM EST
I think its his time of month.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
PRECISELY, DEAR WATSON! by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 02:24:47 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
weighing in by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 06:48:29 PM EST
I weigh myself as soon as I get up, or right ater I get outta the shower.

The loss is really slwoing down the lately.


--
Click

God is dead by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 08:19:26 AM EST
Years ago I saw a t-shirt that had "God is Dead, Nietzsche" on the front and "Nietzsche is Dead, God" on the back.

That's another thing Ohio has going for it, cheap land.
Head out to the Delmarva. Lots of cheap land there, too.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Sure, or further west, say Cumberland by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 07:45:18 PM EST
Or for that matter, I could pay about a third of what I'm paying in rent if I lived by CUA.

But I suspect it doesn't compare. In 2005, a guy tried to sell me a house two blocks down from the one I was trying to get rid of. He offered it to me for $7,000.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Ouch. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 08:00:31 AM EST


Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
So would you kiss a corpse? | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback