|KHftCEA 1999-11.2 November|
KHftCEA 1999-11.2 November
"She left a trail of hopeful, broken hearts behind her a mile long and ten feet deep."
Rereading Oliver Sack's "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat". Some of the patients' ability to construct narratives and create consitent but entirely fanciful explanations for the bogus data their neurological systems are sending them seem singularly amazing until you realize that's probably *extremely* similar to the stories our mind makes as we dream.
Similarly, I'm captivated by the idea (not directly from the book) that maybe many people who have "quirks" and odd elements in their personalities suffer from extremely mild forms of serious neurological conditions- like how Bill Gates may be borderline autistic. While reading the book I briefly considered that my bizarre outbursts when I'm alone in the bathroom may be a distant cousin of Tourette's, but researching that condition, I think it's an insult to the real sufferers, since I have no trouble controlling those outbursts in public. (Though there was that odd way I suddenly starting poking at Mo's Car's cd player screen to see the LCD shimmer.) Over all this search for clinical names is me looking to be 'special'.
When faced with the tough choice of either seeking the truth at the risk of his life or cozying up to an all-powerful ruler in return for comfort and security, 17th-century French mathematician and problem gambler Blaise Pascal didn't think twice before doubling down on the latter. "If God does not exist, one will lose nothing by believing in him, while if he does exist, one will lose everything by not believing," Pascal wrote famously, adding that only an idiot on the order of Jimmy the Greek could pass on that sort of action. Given such great odds, Pascal concluded with Pete Rose-like certitude, "We are compelled to gamble."
"Pascal's Wager" became the model for the self-serving justifications and moral hedging that have characterized the French nation ever since (indeed, we need only substitute "Hitler" and "win" at the appropriate moments in Pascal's formulation to understand France's collaborationist strategy during World War II).
Watching "Mississippi Burning". I'm kind of bothered that I don't have the easy vocabulary to express my contempt for the racist cracker barbarian asshole klansmen that they have for the groups that they hate.
"I'm the total package: all the lurp, none of the unpleasant smell."
(presenting myself as a lurpy but good smelling guy)
"Life is a struggle. Nobody gets through it unmarked."
"You could point to every item in the Sears catalogue and somebody, somewhere, wants to sleep with it."
--Detective Dietrich, "Barney Miller"