Saturday Idle Talk


Pic of the day, part i:  Bamboo, by Unknown

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Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.

Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, chapter ii Philosophy for laymen

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Viddy of the day:  The Most Honest Three and a Half minutes of Television, EVER

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I watched the above video and was stunned by it.  Well spoken and well written.  Yes it is for television.  Actors.  Scripts.  Camera angle, lighting.  Made to heighten the depth and feel and dramatic impact of whatever thought the person or persons directing and producing a piece want you to feel.  Usually with varied levels of success.

Aaron Sorkin, the guy who created the West Wing did this, created this show, and frankly knocked it out of the park.  Best political speech of the year so far.

The greatness of America seems like, sounds like, feels like, something in the past.  The economic troubles the country is, or feels it is in, one being as good as the other to the mass of Americans.   The state of our politics, our distrust of leadership that we put in place eats into our ability to feel like anything good is getting done for our combined futures.  And we are moving steadily down the ladder in things that actually matter, and have been doing so for a long long time.

Our kids are not as smart as they used to be.  They…We are not as good at math and science as we used to be.

Our workforce is not as resilient as it used to be.  Jobs are things that disappear and never come back, whole industries dry up, seemingly never to return.

Our leaders are followers. They follow the talking heads on TV like they’re trained dogs.

Our military is too large for the small threats that the world presents to us.

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The viddy is from a new HBO series called the Newsroom.  The scene above shoots holes in the empty rhetoric of American greatness, and I believe that whoever wrote that bit is 100% correct, not just with facts but everything. The way it was portrayed, stated, struck a chord.  I want America to be great, but I want that greatness to be real. Not just canned rhetoric that the media and politicians use when they want us to feel good about being … us.

Which they do all the time.

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Pic of the day, part ii:  Tiger, by Isen’in Hoin Eishin

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The world at present is obsessed by the conflict of rival ideologies, and one of the apparent causes of conflict is the desire for the victory of our own ideology and the defeat of the other. I do not think that the fundamental motive here has much to do with ideologies. I think the ideologies are merely a way of grouping people, and that the passions involved are merely those which always arise between rival groups.

Bertrand Russell, What desires are politically important?

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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