Category Archives: Politics

About the Nature of Us

Soldiers heading off to war in 1914. Credit.

I will briefly tell you a single thing
About the nature of us
That will itself explain to you
Many things about this troubled world
Provided you will but take the thing
For a walk from time to time
And let it have its say:

It is harder to persuade
Many young men to
Look something up in the Bible
Than to persuade them to go
Half way around the world
To fight a war.

The Know-Better Leaps

People are messy, and once you’ve got some years under your belt, it’s really not all that hard to find some fault in what they say or do, in their attitudes or beliefs about things. If you pay much attention at all to someone, it’s likely that it won’t be long at all before you know better than something they’re doing, thinking, or saying. And at the moment you realize that you know better, if you’re like most people, you’re very likely to make some irrational leaps in your mind. You can easily make the unjustified mental leap from “I know better in this…” to other thoughts and attitudes such as:

  1. “I know better in this…therefore, I know better about everything than this person does.”
  2. “…therefore, I’m a better person than this person is.”
  3. “…therefore, I know pretty much everything, more or less, about the topic in question.”
  4. “…therefore, I should be a teacher of, or an authority on this topic.”
  5. “…therefore, we should start a new organization based on this.”
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“The Fake Get In Where They Fit In”

I saw this meme posted on Facebook and what follows is my response.

The meme seems to presuppose that people are either 100% real or 100% fake, when in actuality, we are a mixed bag—maybe 100% real about this, but not about that.

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The New Old World

There are three particular things I will not suppose, and one that I will.

I dare not suppose I can fully understand from my American home in this “New World” the perspective of those who live in the old country―for whom our one or two handsful of American generations would seem but a cute beginning.

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The Decline of Care and Personal Responsibility in This Consumer Age

I’m sorry that I don’t have statistics for this, because I know that impressions can be inaccurate. Even so, it seems to me that I am detecting some important and troubling society trends that need the immediate attention of an increasingly inattentive society.

It is my impression that in my youth, there were a great many people here who could not only make a phone call to get directions, and write them down, but also follow them successfully to the destination, and then show up on time, ready to be a functioning part of whatever group was meeting.

Today, however, it seems increasingly rare to find a human who can successfully follow a hyperlink to your About page and read it for comprehension. Rather, they will message you with the questions that occur to them, but it does not occur to them that they should naturally need to know the general information you have written for all your customers to know.

Continue reading The Decline of Care and Personal Responsibility in This Consumer Age