The Journal of Applied Impossibility
Remember Gorolbrax? Remember fuchsia Gorolbraxians and magenta Gorolbraxians? Did you find yourself wanting to read more? Craving speculative fiction set in the same universe? Well, here you are. A word of caution: like all works of fiction, this is completely unrelated to anything in reality. Please remember: never attempt to learn things from fiction!
If you're anything like me or the French army in 1859, the color fuchsia and the color magenta are hard to tell apart. But that just shows that you aren't a Gorolbraxian. It could be that they sense things in the infrared spectrum, or that magenta and fuchsia are incorrect translations from the Goralbraxian language, which is beyond the capacities of normal human speech.
At any rate, whatever their comparative merits when it comes to
I came across an article alleging that California students were being taught to take an oath to Aztec Gods and accused Christianity of "theocide." There is an article in Newsweek about the controversy, but the only people weighing in on what was actually being taught seem to be conservative Christian news sites and someone named Christopher Rufo. The upshot is that I don't know if the accusation of accusations-of-theocide are real, but they certainly are believable. That is, I don't know whether or not they were actually leveled by anyone against anyone, but it sure sounds like the sort of thing I can imagine happening. And if I can imagine a perspective, I can imagine responding to it.
Describing the Christianization of cultures as 'Theocide' is simultaneously too little and too much. Let's take those both in turn. It is too little because
Today (April 7th -- again hesitating to hit 'publish'!) I had a shower-thought regarding the operation of the university:
I used to think of 'not-for-profit' as a statement about the university of the same kind as 'founded in 1892' or 'Located in Miami.' It was something intrinsic to the school. The thought that popped into my mind was this: being-not-for-profit is not a statement about the nature of the institution, but about how it is currently navigating the tax policies of the country currently hosting it.
That is, being not-for-profit is often portrayed as part of an institution's identity the way its mission is a part of its identity. But in fact, if it were more in the interests of certain people in certain offices to be profitable, they would pursue it with the utmost fervor. The non-profit university only exists because it is profitable to not be profitable. That is, it is profitable in some ways to eschew other means of profit.
There is nothing I can do to unbreak this world.
The utmost Sisyphean work -- to slam oneself against the crushing, towering, unrelenting, nigh-omnipresent, spectral mass of spacetime -- cannot suffice.
The warp and woof of our universe is aught but the coiled spring against which my efforts cannot prove so much as an escapement. How could I hope to slow, or even to regulate strictly everything in its inevitable creep toward the heat death?
The watch I keep upstairs runs down.
The candle I kindle indoors burns out.
And nothing: nothing, nothing can stanch the wound spring uncoiling.
The internet ate my blogpost. It was better. There was an attempt...
Today, I ask:
Are the saints alive?
Note: I thought that I had updated the scheduled draft, but I was mistaken so the post I had written was lost. Part of what it means to meditate on something is that the meditation is temporally indexed. Which is to say: an attempt to recover it is unlikely to succeed. Here, then, is a new meditation for today on the same subject.
Last time, I promised to meditate on one question per entry. Here is today's:
What sense does it make to ask for the prayers of others?
For Lent, I have undertaken a number of practices -- where "have undertaken" means what it always does for me: to promise and yet fail to fully deliver (God's mercy be praised). I am taking up a daily prayer called The Angelus, which is to occur at 6 AM, Noon, and 6 PM (or, stumbling out of bed at 6:15, it happens around 10 when I remember, and so on).
I was raised a protestant. Actually, I was raised nothing. I did not regularly go to church until I was almost ten. But when I did start going to church, it was a protestant church. It was Methodist, at a time and place where there was still some old time religion present there. It was very austere: no images in our sanctuary. There was one picture of ginger Jesus, and of that ubiquitous drawing of praying hands in the fellowship hall and the singing room to the side. And that was it.
A short post today, while I prepare for the future*.
1.) Aristotle recognized that virtues are careful balances between two extremes. It is good neither to starve nor gorge oneself. Healthy eating means taking the correct amount. It is no virtue to be a miser. But profligacy is also a vice. We ought to give, not to waste. etc., &c.
2.) I had a conversation with a friend in which I cautioned that some bleeding-heart policy or other he wanted would lead to unintended consequences that might well be awful. He responded that unintended consequences are the Devil's back door into history. I think that he's right in this observation, regardless of the merits of his policy.
3.) We see an excellent illustration of this very thing in the Rankin Bass animated adaptation of The Hobbit, which is on my mind because our family watched it this past weekend. Thorin calls Bilbo a coward for not wishing to engage the armies of men and elves together in open battle with a force of fourteen individuals of below average height. Bilbo recounts his deeds with
Originally Written March 21, 2018. Away, cowardice!
On March fifth (2018), Bruce Pardy and Jordan Peterson participated in the inaugural discussion of the Liberty Lecture series at Queen’s University. Variations on the next lines have become so commonplace that they now bore rather than shock us. Protesters interrupted a civil discussion with profanity, bringing a sign on stage, and spraying something onto people in the audience as they left. This time, the room quieted down, and the conversation resumed. When the protesters, now outside, began pounding on the windows
Kant has a point worth acknowledging about the function of lying with respect to truth telling. He points out that in order for a lie to work the way its speaker intends, most people have to be telling the truth most of the time.* This is sometimes expressed by saying that lies are parasitic upon truth. Habermas will talk about strategic discourse (i.e. telling you what it takes in order to elicit certain outcomes I prefer) and how it makes use of communicative discourse (i.e. telling you true things for the sake of clear and accurate communication). Strategic discourse (parallel to, but not exactly equivalent to lying) depends on communicative discourse, but the reverse is not the case. If there's something I don't like about "the wokism" it's this: It
I write about all sorts of things. This is one of the places where I do it.