A Thought for the Day
Among the most common and obvious paradoxes of the human condition, often the easiest to see and understand, are those that deal with compulsions and obsessions of one sort and another—gaming and cleaning and ordering and entire arrays of erotic entanglements that fascinate and delight all manner of folks: that such behavior can help woebegone and needy members of a tribe adapt and prosper, if not precisely bloom salubriously, appears as clear as occasional periods of repeated and necessitous developments that require similar outcomes over and over again, at which junctures those who have obsessed will display their skills and help out themselves and their cohorts; equally so, of course, such activities can so distract and outright waylay erstwhile performers’ attentiveness to such a degree that even easily avoidable natural phenomena, from beastly bears to terrorizing tornadoes, will damage and perhaps slay the inattentive fiend who can’t stop doing what comes so naturally and irresistibly to hand, activity, as well, that carries often profound opportunity costs in its obsessive and insistent persistence.
This Day in History
One thousand three hundred ninety-one years ago, Slavic and Avarian armies abandoned the then-ongoing siege of Constantinople; four hundred eighty-four years prior to today’s light and air, the baby boy was born whose fate was to rise as a Spanish roustabout and powerful Hispanic post, Alonso de Ercilla; a hundred forty-six years later, in 1679,across the wide Atlantic in an extension of European power, men towed the French brigantine, Le Griffon, to the entry waters of the Niagara River, allowing it to become the first oceangoing ship to sail the upper Great Lakes; exactly three quarters of a century subsequently, in 1754, Henry Fielding made a last ditch attempt to stave off pending death due to illness by leaving England’s colder and wetter climes for sunny Portugal; a half decade shy of half a century still later on, in 1789, the United States established the honestly-named Department of War; five years hence, in 1794, President George Washington claimed the authority under the Militia Acts of 1792 to suppress by force the Whiskey Rebellion; a hundred ninety-eight years prior to the present pass, forces under the command of Simon Bolivar defeated a Spanish army in the Battle of Boyaca; a hundred forty-one years back, the girl child who became Mata Hari came onto the scene; three years afterward, in 1879, across the English Channel, the Poor Man’s Palace opened in Manchester, England; two dozen years to the day beyond that moment, in 1903, a male infant entered the world in the usual way en route to a life as acclaimed paleontologist Louis Leakey; eighty-nine years ahead of today, the baby girl entered this realm who matured as popular and powerful young adult storyteller Betsy Byars; two years past that point in time, in 1930, bigots and killers near Marion, Indiana, brutally murdered the last two Blacks lynched in the North; three years past that point in time, in 1933, Iraqi soldiers slaughtered over 3,000 Assyrian civilians from the village of Simele; five years further on, in 1938, Nazi builders began construction of the Mauthausen, and Russian actor, teacher, and thinker, Konstantin Stanislavsky, who perfected ‘Method Acting’ and more, had his final scene; three years after that moment in time, in 1941, Indian Nobel Literary Laureate Rabindranath Tagore died; three hundred and sixty-five days beyond that juncture, in 1942, the male infant who grew up to become Garrison Keillor uttered his first cry; two years still nearer to now, in 1944, International Business Machines began selling the first program-controlled calculator, dubbed the Harvard Mark I, while the struggling Nazi war machine resulted in the first ever closure of Volkswagen factories; three years subsequent to that day, in 1947, the balsa brainchild of Thor Heyerdahl, the wooden raft, Kon-Tiki, crashed on a Pacific Island reef after it had made a 7,000 mile journey, to demonstrate the feasibility of traversing the Pacific over open ocean millennia before the modern age; eight successive years past that point in time, in 1955, Sony-Electronic’s immediate predecessor sold its first transistor radios, and the boy baby who became author Vladimir Sorokin came into the world;precisely another year onward, in 1956, a massive and still unexplained military ordnance explosion in Colombia claimed over a thousand lives and razed multiple blocks in central Cali; eight years afterward to the day, in 1964, Congress accepted the Department of Defense’s bogus Tonkin Gulf incident take and passed the resolutions that authorized Presidential use of force against Vietnam; exactly one year henceforth, in 1965, Merry Pranksters and Hells Angels held a psychedelic party at Ken Kesey’s La Honda estate; a further year onward, in 1966, the male child came along whose destiny was to help create Wikipedia as Jimmy Wales; four years beyond that, in 1970, also in California, police stormed a courtroom where Black Panthers were trying to free George Jackson, killing the judge and others held hostage as well as many militants; eight years later, in 1978, in Washington, President Carter declared a toxic emergency at Love Canal in New York, one of many Superfund sites hence discovered and brought to light; a dozen years henceforth, in 1990, President and former CIA Director George Herbert Walker Bush ordered carnage in commence in Iraq that would use hundreds of thousands of pounds of Depleted Uranium weapons and claim hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives; just a half decade further on, In 1995, British novelist, critic, and campaigner for social reforms, Brigid Brophy, died. Three hundred sixty-six days afterward, in 1996, bombings at U.S. embassies in the capitols of Tanzania and Kenya killed over 200 people; three years after that point, in 1999, Chechnyan rebels invaded Russia’s Dagestan province; eleven years henceforth, in 2008, Georgia attacked South Ossetia, seeking to reclaim it from the Russians; five years before the here and now, critic and thinker Judith Crist died.
"commons versus property" OR "critique of private property" OR "problems with private property" OR "corruption of private property" OR "alternatives to private property" = 373,000 Results.
Interesting People Places Things of Note
A Conversation post that looks at a trendy if fetishistic new way of perceiving existence: “In this way, transhumanism becomes a kind of “techno-anthropocentrism”, in which transhumanists often underestimate the complexity of our relationship with technology. They see it as a controllable, malleable tool that, with the correct logic and scientific rigour, can be turned to any end. In fact, just as technological developments are dependent on and reflective of the environment in which they arise, they in turn feed back into the culture and create new dynamics – often imperceptibly.”
Writers Tools Issues
An Edge look at processes that enhance learning and teaching, a useful idea for all who seek to read and write: “Sometimes you think you understand something, and when you try to explain it to somebody else, you realize that maybe you gained some new insight that you didn’t have before. Maybe you realize you didn’t understand it as well as you thought you did. What I think is interesting about this process is that it’s a process of learning by thinking. When you’re explaining to yourself or to somebody else without them providing feedback, insofar as you gain new insight or understanding, it isn’t driven by that new information that they’ve provided. In some way, you’ve rearranged what was already in your head in order to get new insight.
The process of trying to explain to yourself is a lot like a thought experiment in science. For the most part, the way that science progresses is by going out, conducting experiments, getting new empirical data, and so on. But occasionally in the history of science, there’ve been these important episodes—Galileo, Einstein, and so on—where somebody will get some genuinely new insight from engaging in a thought experiment. “
General Media & ‘Intellectual Property’ Issues
An exchange that highlights the perils and consequences of the interplays of social media and privilege: “First, had this exchange occurred with a Republican, or with one of the sons or daughters of a famous Republican, say Eric or Ivanka Trump, I have no doubt that I’d be hearing nothing but lusty cheers and congratulations, particularly from Democratic Party partisans. I mean these are folks who manage to muster a fresh cackle at every prodigy of stupidity the right manages to produce on any given day. But Chelsea Clinton is part of the team, so, well, the obvious. And that’s fine; I don’t begrudge people their partisanship. But I do ask that they cop to it and not pretend that I’ve somehow transgressed a norm they’d never acknowledge if the other party were on the receiving end of it.”
General Past & Present Issues
An Evonomics post that studies the actual role behind corruption in social structures: “There is something very natural about prioritizing your family over other people. There is something very natural about helping your friends and others in your social circle. And there is something very natural about returning favors given to you. These are all smaller scales of cooperation that we share with other animals and that are well described by the math of evolutionary biology. The trouble is that these smaller scales of cooperation can undermine the larger-scale cooperation of modern states. Although corruption is often thought of as a falling from grace, a challenge to the normal functioning state—it’s in the etymology of the word—it’s perhaps better understood as the flip side of cooperation. One scale of cooperation, typically the one that’s smaller and easier to sustain, undermines another.”