Archive for March, 2019

March 30, 2019

ENCHIRIDION OF EPICTETUS

17

Remember that you are an actor in a play, and the Playwright chooses the manner of it: if he wants it short, it is short; if long, it is long. If he wants you to act a poor man you must act the part with all your powers; and so if your part be a cripple or a magistrate or a plain man. For your business is to act the character that is given you and act it well; the choice of the cast is Another’s.

Wikipedia edit

March 29, 2019

This is the passage from Osiris & Isis that should contain (according to this wikipedia page) mention of the tamarisk, but I’m not seeing it, and edited it from the page. Here is English, story of the ark begins here.

ἐκ δὲ τούτου πυθέσθαι περὶ τῆς λάρνακος, ὡς πρὸς τὴν Βύβλου χώραν ὑπὸ τῆς θαλάσσης ἐκκυμανθεῖσαν αὐτὴν ἐρείκῃ τινὶ μαλθακῶς ὁ κλύδων προσέμιξεν ἡ δ᾽ ἐρείκη κάλλιστον ἔρνος ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ καὶ μέγιστον ἀναδραμοῦσα περιέπτυξε καὶ περιέφυ καὶ ἀπέκρυψεν ἐντὸς ἑαυτῆς: θαυμάσας δ᾽᾽ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ φυτοῦ τὸ μέγεθος καὶ περιτεμὼν τὸν περιέχοντα τὴν σορὸν οὐχ ὁρωμένην κορμὸν ἔρεισμα τῆς στέγῃ ὑπέστησε.

March 28, 2019

1er avril 1824… J’ai vu le masque moulé de mon pauvre Géricault. Ô monument vénérable ! J’ai été tenté de le baiser… sa barbe… ses cils… Et son sublime Radeau ! Quelles mains ! Quelles têtes ! Je ne puis exprimer l’admiration qu’il m’inspire.

March 27, 2019

[English]

1.30.4:

κατὰ τοῦτο τῆς χώρας φαίνεται πύργος Τίμωνος, ὃς μόνος εἶδε μηδένα τρόπον εὐδαίμονα εἶναι γενέσθαι πλὴν τοὺς ἄλλους φεύγοντα ἀνθρώπους.

March 26, 2019

Behind the gates of the wealthy
Food lies rotting from waste
Outside it’s the poor
who lie frozen to death.

–Du Fu (tr.)

A Basic Take On Our Geopolitical Moment (appropriated / inappropriately hashed together from various sources)

March 25, 2019

A time in which humankind is experiencing repercussions, negative and positive, environmental and social, of the widespread adoption of advanced technology. (The forces that have driven us since the dawn of the industrial era have begun to push in palpable ways against hard boundaries.)

This is a challenge to the climate, most glaringly through greenhouse gas emissions, and a challenge to the Democracies of developed nations, through (a) globalization (and resultant creation of extreme economic winners and losers); (b) the balkanization of the news and information (and resultant tribalism); and (c) the emergence of serious low cost cyber and drone threats. [Question: how closely does the development of technology track that of Democracy. If one were to be slowed or stopped, the other would…?]

A path forward for the U.S. would involve: (i) raising taxes and increasing services (universal pre-K, “medicare for all”, infrastructure) and paying down debt (ii) massive investment in renewable energy, cyber-defense and drones (but not aircraft carriers or next generation jets.)

If I were to actually attempt to enact this agenda in a real political environment (as incoming president, for example), this would be my order of operations: Universal Pre-K (as my signature initiative); “medicare for all” (which would be a big name for a minor seeming but quite important tweak to Obamacare: the inclusion of a public option); infrastructure (because everyone loves infrastructure). With respect to climate, I would pursue an Obama-like all-of-above approach, doing two things to secure Republican support: (1) giving nuclear energy its due as our most reliable source of carbon-free energy (maybe even marketing my climate strategy as a nuclear strategy) (2) massively funding a manhattan-project-style initiative for a clean energy source through the D.O.D.

With respect to the debt, finally, I would like to be forward thinking and, while actually paying for the programs we implement that don’t qualify as investments through taxes, would really like to try and create a structure that will take as much out of the hands of future politicians as is possible with respect to it: have a commission of experts to determine what is a reasonable amount of debt for a country like the U.S. to take on, then have automatic cuts to expenditures and raising of taxes when that limit is reached… There’s clearly a problem with that as expressed (during the fiscal crisis, for example, our debt shot up, but government spending should have increased, not decreased) and I don’t know to what extent debt reduction can be automated like that, but at the very least it would be great to have a hard, informed national answer to the question of — how much debt is it reasonable for a nation like ours to have?

March 24, 2019

Thuc. 3.45.7

ἁπλῶς τε ἀδύνατον καὶ πολλῆς εὐηθείας,ὅστις οἴεται τῆς ἀνθρωπείας φύσεως ὁρμωμένης προθύμως τι πρᾶξαι ἀποτροπήν τινα ἔχειν ἢ νόμων ἰσχύι ἢ ἄλλῳ τῳ δεινῷ.

*

“In a word, it is a thing impossible and of great simplicity to believe when human nature is earnestly bent to do a thing that by force of law or any other danger it can be diverted.” [Hobbes]

Inventions

March 23, 2019

Sneeze Fixer. Tired of having your back almost broken from sneezing while reclining in a chair. This handy device, when pressed, would catapult you out of the chair right before you sneeze, so that you would sneeze while in mid air or (with practice) at the moment you land.

Scroll-o-cloth. This is like a regular paper table cloth that you could write on or spill whatever you liked on only this one has been written on by an actual scribe for at least one hour.

March 23, 2019

If memory serves I was at his 84th (but, a moment’s reflection reveals it couldn’t be correct) I might have been at his 74th or 78th. Indeed I have no idea, a vague recollection of having seen him dance in the City Light…. Happy 100th Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti!

March 22, 2019

………………….
………………….colon etymology ……..i
………………….mondegreen, Helen .m
………………….Levitt …….p
………………….algal, ……….l
………………….blat ……………… i
………………….Appanage…………. c
………………….Keeling Curve…………a
………………….Dan Semour in ………. t
………………….Superman episode ….u
………………….Love’s Labour’s Won..r
………………….…….………………………..e
………………….i m p l i c a t u r e

de fraîches molécules.

March 20, 2019

J’ouvris largement la bouche, et mes poumons se saturèrent de fraîches molécules.