(Still more) Thoughts and Images not otherwise classified.

"There is no memory which time does not efface,
nor any pain that death does not destroy."
(Don Quixote; Part I, Ch. XV)
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"There is more to the surface than meets the eye." (Aaron Beck)
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[ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ] Daily fashion exercise. Check whether the emperor's clothes -- new or old or even "second-hand"... -- fully cover his or her nakedness. Note all area(s) not covered, and what attributes are thus disclosed: moles (aka "beauty marks"), ingrown hairs, sores and rashes, "fat rolls", asymmetries, etc. Record your detailed observations, and track changes and trends over time in a log book.
Personal objective: Develop your sensitivity to what is really happening around you and to you. Every day, make a point of trying to [ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ] see something obvious -- something that's hiding in plain sight --, and then try to figure out how it could have happened that you never previously noticed it, even though, now that you have become aware of the matter, it is clear that you never should have taken it for granted. (Do you know what myths you believe in, and what those myths are doing with your life? Also: Always keep in mind that "little things" may be iceberg tips!)
Public objective: To not just "remember" the Titanic, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Challenger[fn.10c[ Go to footnote! ]], the Concorde, the Kursk, "911", etc., but to [ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ] prevent being surprised ("blindsided"...) by more of them. [There is a book by Alice Miller, with the telling title: Thou Shalt Not Be Aware.[ See immediately below! ]]
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--It is indeed [long past...] time for a genuine: "novus ordo seclorum".
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Listen to: The peremptory discourse of petty power!
Start making sense!
True story of overlooking the obvious (30Jul04): Two persons are standing over a tin of salmon with two can openers. I come by and tell them to be careful not to hurt themselves (cut themselves on a sharp edge of the can...). They say they can't get the can open, that neither can opener works. I try it, and I can't get the can to open either. Then, entirely unexpectedly, I move one of the can openers a way that I notice the lid of the can starts to lift on one side. We all notice this and soon see that the lid is completely open, and had been open at least since I poked my nose in. Somehow the people had opened the can and not noticed they had. I then recalled that, from when I first looked at the can, I had seen a fine "bead" of broth, like you would expect to see in a tin of salmon, around the top edge of the can. I noted that I had "dismissed" this observation (repressed it?), instead of attending to it and asking how the fine bead of salmon broth could be there if the can was not open. The two persons had opened the can but not noticed they had, and I "bought into" their mis-perception, too....[ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ]
[ ] Just because a memory is "false" (does not correspond literally to specific events that happened to occur) does not mean it is therefore worthless. A "false" memory may be an index to things that happened but were obfuscated or hidden altogether, whereas a true memory may simply perpetuate the successfulness of the coverup.[ See immediately above! ]
Correct mistakes, by all means! But also: Before you erase a mistake (as opposed to merely marking it as superceded!), ask yourself and others how you may be impoverishing our world by thus denying persons opportunity to entertain the idea you will thus have caused to disappear? (Compare Santayana's well-known dictum that those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it.)
Please read quote from Sigmund Freud on this issue: Click here[ >> ]
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[ ] Why was the chicken afraid to cross the chalk circle? Because the chicken had witnessed the same people who were watching it now, chop off the head of its friend when the other chicken had stepped over the line. (Learn also: Chicken Little's story.)
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Them. Before I was 6 years old, I had learned how to stick out my tongue further than the doctor wanted, in hopes that would be enough for him and he would not use the tongue suppressor which I really did not (still do not...) like because it made (still makes...) me gag. This is an epitome of my life: trying to give "them" (parents, teachers, etc.) enough of what they wanted out of me that they would lay off impinging on me. (In school, I would turn in assignments two weeks early to at least be able to pretend to myself that I had some freedom.) I never had the thought that they might stop impinging on me "for good", or, a fortiori, that they might do something I would feel was really good -- something (anything...) that would really appeal to me.
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I sometimes think of St. Augustine and his conversion toward God and away from "this world". "They" wanted me to turn toward their Go[o]d without letting me first enjoy the pleasures of this world. They should be satisfied with what they took (there's surely no hope of them feeling contrition and trying to make amends!). They should let me get on with having in middle age what it is still possible for me to recover of the pleasures I did not have in my youth, i.e., at the time when I could have built up a storehouse of such pleasures to be able, like St. Augustine, to renounce them in later life. (A person cannot give up what he or she never had.)
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Read more about my childhood: The Sorrow and the Pity[ >> ]
I did it my way. There was something I wanted to be able to do on the computer at work which I presumed had been disabled for security reasons (it is not something really bad, but a person with bad intentions could use it, like many other things, e.g., the Xerox machine, to do harm). There had even been a memo which sounded to me like one could not do what I wanted to do. After a lot of effort, I figured out a quite convoluted way to do it. I felt pretty pleased with myself for having found a somewhat obscure "hole" in the system, to get what I wanted. Many months later (01Oct01), I see something which makes me think there may be a more direct way. Sure enough, I find the company had installed on my computer a program that does in a simple and direct way exactly what I persevered so hard to figure out how to do on the presumption that it was a function the company had removed from the system.
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"My way": I presume I won't be able to get what I want, so I sometimes miss obvious ways to get it. Of course, this is not really my way: It is a result of a childrearing, where I was not even enabled to find out what I might want, and where I had to "take" a lot of things that, even though I didn't know enough to clearly understand that I did not want them, did not make me straightforwardly happy or satisfied.
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Read: How I keep putting my foot in my mouth[ >> ]
Also: Chart my course in life[ >> ]
I often make progress two steps forward and one foot in my mouth.
[Unnamed] knows how to motivate me to do something I have no interest in: They threaten to do it themselves in some way that wastes the little money I have.
[ ] "Free enterprise" is a form of social planning. On National Public Radio (Tue., 1 Dec 99?), I heard someone explain the free trade logic why third world nations must vigorously enforce first world nations' intellectual property rights, especially, to keep people in their countries from manufacturing, without license, pharmaceuticals their people cannot afford at the price set by first world drug companies. The person said that if people in the third world made these drugs illegally, there would not only be risk of defective products hurting the people they were supposedly intended to help, but also it would be a thing very bad in itself: It would lead to the chaos of a "wild west market", instead of the orderly development of a "free market". --This seems a lucid explanation of how the "freedom" of so-called "free markets" is really a form of coordinated social planning: "Free markets", as the "free trade" advocate explained, cannot exist without pervasive interventions to control the activities of individuals and groups (enforcement). [See also: Quote #187.]
Econ. 101. Was man made for the market, or was the market made for man? If the former, then the market is God Whom We Obey (like others obey Allah, etc.). If the latter, then the role(s) [if any...] of the market in our lives is something to be decided through shared deliberations of the persons affected (aka "us").
Econ. 101 (cont'd). Socialist: "So free enterprise is the right way to go?" Capitalist: "Absolutely." Socialist: "But counterfeiting, fraud, restraint of trade and so forth need to be prevented?" Capitalist: "Well, yes. But, so?" Socialist: "Then we really aren't so different, are we? We both believe in socially controlled enterprise, or what we might call a 'managed economy', just we differ about what specific controls are desirable."
Survival of the fittest in the marketplace. I seem to recall (ref. lost) that when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked if he was concerned about the impending bankruptcy of MCI-WorldCom, because the Department of Defense has large communication infrastructure contracts with MCI, Rumsfeld responded that he was not worried. He went on to explain that the reason he was not concerned that an MCI bankruptcy might disrupt DOD communications was that whenever a corporation with significant assets that is providing an important product or service fails, the assets do not simply vanish, but rather they are reorganized some way or other, without prolonged disruption, into a new entity which henceforth provides the same product or service the old entity provided. I would extend this notion: In general, uncompetitive corporations should be allowed to fail, but the "little people" who depend on them for a paycheck, medical benefits, pensions, etc. should be protected from getting hurt in this "weeding out" process.
[ ] An Evolutionary Tale. According to an article in the NYT Science Times (ref. lost), some scientists believe that, had the large dinosaurs not been wiped out by a big meteor impact some 65 million years ago, they were evolving in the direction of large-brained bipeds: a reptilean Charles Darwin? Margaret Thatcher? [whoever]? [See also: Aphorism #36.]
[ ] My father told me that, when he was in the Army Air Corps in World War II, they had a sign in the mess hall (cafeteria): "Take what you want. Eat what you take." I think that's a good policy.
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[ ] [ Britons choosing fun and comfort before having babies... ]"Oochy! Woochy! Coochy! Coo!" Don't miss out on the good things in life! Please: Take time to smell the roses infant and toddler fecal matter.
How to discourage raccoons opening and digging in one's trash cans and strewing garbage all over the place every night? Place a bag of "poopy" diapers at the top of the trash in each garbage can.
Particles or waves? Grapes are particles; pureed baby food is waves. If the child throws grapes on the floor, they remain discrete units that can be picked up. If the child throws pureed baby food on the floor, it diffuses everywhere and can be cleaned up only by scrubbing the whole area. Grape throwing is a reversible process (the grapes can be put back in front of the child to be thrown on the floor again); puree throwing is not reversible, since generally the puree cannot be reconstituted by separation from the rug, furniture, books, etc. it landed on, or from the cloth, sponge, mop, etc. used to clean it up. Crackers are particulate but fissionable (the baby can crumble them). Infants increase entropy. Did Freud think up "destrudo" by watching small children?
An upper bound to the amount of mess a child can make can be computed from the number of objects in the child's reach and their size (fewer and bigger yield least upper bounds for mess potential).
Let sleeping babies lie! (Please....)
Poem: The Fall of Icarus (after Peter Brueghel the Elder's painting)
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I push a baby stroller down a quiet residential street.
A lawn slopes down, and I look down, and I notice a man
Who seemingly does not notice me,
Pushing a lawnmower up the hill in my direction.
I find "creepy", infants whose skin still looks like you can see thru it -- like eggs that aren't yet fully cooked.
Why are adults so determined to get toddlers to say what they want them to say? Mother dials grandparent on the phone. "Say: 'Hello, [whatever name toddler calls grandparent, e.g., "Pop-pop"]'! What do you want to say to [Ditto]? [Parent demonstrates desired answer for child because parent knows child will not produce it spontaneously:] 'Hello, [Ditto]!'" Child whines and squirms about being pressured, and maybe says: "No", which it not the response the adults desired. "[Ditto] does so many nice things for you! Can't you just say: 'Thank you, [Ditto]!'?".... [See also: Example from the world of managers and employees[ See manager prompting employees for coerced willingness! ]]
Homes with toddlers in them should have refrigerators with glass [OK: plexiglass, which won't break...] doors, because toddlers like to stand there forever looking at what's inside the refrigerator, and, if the refrigerator door is not see-thru, this implies that the toddler stands there forever with the refrigerator door open.
"Pregnancy is not a disease. . . ." said Leslee J. Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. (Ceci Connolly, "More Women Opting Against Birth Control, Study Finds", The Washington Post, 04Jan05, p.A01)
Since having an infant in the house, I have come to appreciate the exigency for extended family living together (and/or for needing servants...). In most other aspects of life, I could "design out" most of the repetitive, discouraging (Sisyphean...) chores, housework... ("pragmatic agenda"). But the mess babies make and the custodial attention they require seem largely refractory to rational dissolution: e.g., dirty diapers and the changing of them do not seem amenable to being engineered away thru functional analysis and lifestyle remodelling ("less is more", "form follows function", etc.). More hands are needed to lighten work that can't be averted.
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[ ] Why population growth is important: ....The manager was deeply depressed -- despondent, actually --, because (s)he worked in a small company, which did not afford him(her) opportunity to rise very far, or to rise above very many.
"I almost missed!" This item moved (11April 2005), to new page: GO/golf.html. Please read it in its new location[ >> ]
[ ] Climbing mountains vs standing on the shoulders of giants. Climbing mountains is a symbol for all struggles against adversity: when you are finished, if you survive -- and even if you overcome --, you go back down and return to the same limited routine of life from which you originally set out. Standing on the shoulders of giants is a different model: When you come to understand the whole world in a more clear-sighted and insightful way, "everything changes", and you can never go back to where you came from, because you now look down on all that, and "see it for what it is" instead of unwittingly being immersed in it. Furthermore: Climbing mountains is dangerous, whereas a giant's broad shoulders may afford commodious rest area.
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Sign posted on coworker's office door (--Art Appel, ca. 1983; quoted from imperfect memory):  [ ][ Where is AOL man going? Where are you going? ]
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[ ] Three things are not possible:
The desire of the rich to have more,
The desire of the sick for something different,
And the desire of the traveller to be any place but here.
Printed on a calendar in which every month was 30 days long, hanging on the wall in another coworker's office:
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[ ] Was man made for the Sabbath, or was the Sabbath made for man?
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[ Madonna looking like Monica Vitti ]
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[ Anouk Aimee looking like Monica Vitti ]
[ ] Real persons sometimes look like other persons. (This is not a problem except when both are together, e.g., both employees where I work.) In movies, I often can't tell who is who or is this character here now the same as that character who appeared a few minutes ago? At top left is picture of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (b.16Aug58), and, bottom left, Anouk Aimee, each looking like Monica Vitti (right), who, top right, is not looking unmistakably like herself, and, bottom right, looks like Amanda Lear. --I practice not trying too hard to figure out who is who, in the movies, because it usually doesn't make much difference (Is this a step toward Buddhistic "enlightenment"?). In reality, inability to tell one person from another makes me avoid both to avoid the embarrassment of addressing one as the other, which is a problem when I need something from one of them. [ ]
[ Monica Vitti ]
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[ Monica Vitti looking like Amanda Lear ]
[ Saddam Hussein after U.S. captured him hiding in a hole ] [ ] All deposed dictators on the run (or, a fortiori, deceased...) look alike. Picture at left is Saddam Hussein immediately after U.S. forces captured him 13Dec03, hiding in a small underground bunker -- looking like dead Che Guevara (right)? Saddam had been on the run for approximately 7 months. When discovered, he had US$750,000 in his pocket. He surrendered just in the nick of time: the soldiers who had discovered the hole were about to throw a hand grenade down into it in case any enemy were hiding in the dark.... See also picture of Al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, after U.S. forces got him 07Jun06 with 2 precision guided 500lb bombs during a meeting in a "safe house", looking, dead, like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn alive. [ ] [ Che Guevara ]
In the movie Escape from Alcatraz, Patrick McGoohan ("The Prisoner") is the warden. Right: George W Bush looking like McGoohan playing Alcatraz warden[ Bush looking like McGoohan as Alcatraz warden...! ] [ ] [ George W Bush looking like Patrick McGoohan as the warden in Escape from Alcatraz... ]
[ ] mini[malist]-Koyaanisqatsi ("n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living. Life out of balance."[ Go to citation info for this quote! ]): In early November 2002, I read that the watchmaker, F.P. Journe's new website will be up December 15 [http://www.fpjourne.com/]. "The 15th" comes and I notice his site is not up on the day they said it would be. I check a week later and it is still not up. Yet another week goes by and I check, and the site is still not up: it's now two weeks late! I speculate how the web developers probably promised a project completion date that they could not meet. Then, for some reason, I note that the date is still not yet December 1st. To my surprise, I now realize there are still two weeks to go until the due date. They are not late after all (at least not yet...)! ~ How could I for so long and so self-confidently have thought the website was late, even though, in the rest of my life, I knew it was still November, so I should have known they still had several weeks to go?
[ ] 14 July 2001 ca. 12:25EDT. The telephone rang. I picked it up, and heard what sounded like a computer-generated ("speech synthesized") voice say: "I'm sorry. I dialed your number in error."
22Sep02. The new integrated cordless telephone and answering machine my wife buys and sentences me to install is so complex that I am frightened and daunted by the prospect of trying to install it. To be precise: the difficulty I had setting up the previous answering machine predisposes me to be afraid of this new one, even before I find out how hard this new one really is to use.
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Copyright © 2002 Brad McCormick, Ed.D.
bradmcc@cloud9.net [ Email me! ]
10 June 2006 (2006-06-10 ISO 8601)
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