Thursday, November 24, 2011

"How Jack the Weakling Slaughtered the Dance-Floor Hog"

From the back covers of comic books of yore.

"Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!"

Over the river and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

[Complete poem here. I worked hard on it.]

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On the great value of Twitter

(NEWSER) – A Texas teen tweeted 144 times in six hours about being molested by a family member and being forced into prostitution. Then 18-year-old Ashley Billasano killed herself—after announcing to some 500 Twitter followers she was going to do just that, reports theHouston Chronicle. No one sought help for her, reports Fox News Houston.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sharing the tick

If you learn what a thing consists of, what parts make it up, you will come to understand the more complex whole. If you can't explain something simply, you don't know it well enough; you haven't studied the parts closely enough. An investigator gathers and sorts parts until the big picture materializes. Some children like to take things apart. Why? To find out what makes the thing tick. Often they are not so keen on putting them back together. Why? Because they have already discovered what makes the thing tick and putting it back together is redundant; it doesn't further their inquiry.

To be helpful, though, the gathered and sorted parts must have conclusions drawn from them, and, to be worth anything, those conclusions must be shared with others, usually by publishing. Research shouldn't be simply about personal edification. What good is that to the world? Helpful research is done by people who not only discover what makes it tick, but who explain it and leave a record. If this note-taking and journal-keeping is done as you go, and restated and interpreted as you go, then there will not be a big book to write at the end; it is already complete. I think too many books go unpublished because writing them is redundant for the researcher who already knows the material. He is like the child who learns what makes a thing tick, but doesn't share that knowledge. Do it as you go. Write daily. Take notes as you take things apart, not down the road.

Some people go through life trying to find out what makes things tick.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thoughts are things

If there is a God (and there is), how it must laugh to watch mortals deep in heavy-duty thought debating its existence or it's form. I say "laugh" because any God that exists must surely have a sense of humor when it comes to humans.

Anselm: God exists because we can conceive of such a thing in our minds. The very conception of something means it exists. Thoughts are things. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean that thing doesn't exist.

Aquinas: So you really think you can conceive of God and what God is? Only God knows what the nature of God is. God exists, but not because you can conceive such an entity exists. Only God can think those thoughts with true knowledge of his nature. Your vague conceptions suck.

Descartes: I think, therefore I am. You don't have to know the nature of God. You only have to conceive that God is perfection, whatever his "nature" is. Give me a break. God exists because I can conceive of a perfect entity. Je pense donc je suis. Cogito ergo sum. Or did I say that already?

Relax Max: Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum. Contemplatum hurtus cabeza. I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am. Thinking makes my head hurt.


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