Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Carry on with your religion

   My irreligion inspires me, activates my humanitarian instincts, makes me happy, reconciles me to my human nature, mortality, cosmic insignificance etc. etc. AND, I want to share all that with the religiously-benighted world.

Does my impulse to share make me no better than a proselytizing  missionary, desperately seeking personal/ideological validation through tribal association?

Maybe. It certainly makes me human. 

(See the whole Oatmeal cartoon here.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gone fishin'

Actually I hate fishin, which to me is too much like piddlin' & not enough like loaferin'... but it's just a metaphor.

And a state of mind.

Hey to Goob.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thoreau on "success"

He's not talking about James's bitch-goddess* here.
“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal — that is your success.”
Happy Birthday, Henry David Thoreau: On Defining Your Own Success | Brain Pickings

*The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That — with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success — is our national disease.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Carl Sagan's Reading List

In 1954 he was already taking the more expansive view of life and the cosmos for which some of us so admire him. He read "Who Speaks for Man?" and later asked "Who Speaks for Earth?" His ultimate question, of course, was always about who else than us might ever speak for the cosmos?
Besides books immediately relevant to Sagan’s work as a scientist and educator in cosmology and astrophysics, he took great care to also touch on history, philosophy, religion, the arts, social science, and psychology..." 
Carl Sagan's Reading List | Brain Pickings

Monday, July 9, 2012

Going for a deeper meaning

Andy Taylor was a wise man.
"'ve been goin' on & on, talkin' & talkin'...I've never seen anybody that knows everything... And it doesn't hurt to listen, once in a while."

"We study more than the whys and the wherefores... we go for a deeper meaning. The root, the philosophy of why things happened the way they did... What I mean is, you better study real hard while you're young. 'Cause it's hard to learn anything new when you're old."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My favorite secular holiday

The impulse to re-read Richard Ford's Independence Day is significant here...
The impulse to read Self-Reliance is significant here, as is the holiday itself —my favorite secular one for being public and for its implicit goal of leaving us only as it found us: free.
And we're as free as can be this year on the 4th, in the Magic Kingdom. Accelerating Intelligence News