Smitten: just kinda

She wears the ugliest shoes you’ve ever seen, but from there on up she is totally smokin’. And the way she smiles at you when her boyfriend is not around…

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fantasy baseball 2010: so far so good

I know I will jinx myself by saying this, but I am totally smokin’ my three fantasy baseball leagues right now.  And it ain’t just luck.  I made some very good trades and pickups after my drafts at the beginning of the year.

OK, I can already see myself in second place tomorrow.  Oh well, a month in the sun is better than none at all.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

New girlfriend?

She’s 21 years old.  The other day she told her friend that I was her boyfriend.  Good thing I like her.

Don’t worry.  I’ve learned my lesson: never fall in love with anybody whose parents are younger than you.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

King James Bible: yeh-ah!

OK, I’ll admit it, I am a sucker for the King James Bible even though I am a pagan.  (I haven’t been happy since the Christians and such like destroyed the ancient Greek temples.)  Here’s an oldie but a goody.

How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow  down my spittle?

Job 7:19

And there’s more where that came from.  (Note for file: quote the King James Bible each and every day.)

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 8:28 am  Leave a Comment  

King Solomon: that was great, see you in another four years

While browsing the King James Bible this morning, I read this about King Solomon (I Kings 11:3): “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.”

Now, I know why they called him The King and why they didn’t have divorce and alimony back in those days.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 7:43 am  Comments (1)  

Chess: get some

The fifth Anand/Topalov world chess championship game is about to begin.  I wish a tiny fraction of their knowledge or intuition would rub off on me.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Your bed

You wake up in your own bed.  What next?  Might anything be possible?

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 6:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Feel the clock tick

You are watching a world chess championship game.  You study the current position as the minutes tick off the clock.  You can’t explain this extravagant use of your time.  Other than to say, it’s a honey of a chess game–mesmerizing.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  

More insomnia

I now view insomnia as my body’s way of telling me I need to wake up and have a good read.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 6:41 am  Leave a Comment  

World Chess Championship

Anand/Topalov WCC game four starts in 27 minutes.  Match all tied up.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 6:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Postcards again

Note: write a postcard everyday.  Leave some kind of record.

Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Postmodern death

Went to Jane’s funeral this weekend.  Came back to Chicago feeling quite sad.  All five of my parents are gone.  I’m truly an orphan now.

Read Barnes’s A History Of the World In 10 1/2 Chapters this weekend too.

I wonder whether the narrative you have created about a person close to you remains frozen in time when they die.  Do you create new narratives?  Do the current ones just decay and fall apart like a dead body?

Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Debunking and literature

Some of us read Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy for something beyond philosophy, although philosophy is in it.  We like it because it’s Russell trying to debunk prevalent philosophical myths.  And that is one of the reasons why I still admire Russell.

You testify, Bertrand.  After all these years, I’m so glad I am reading you again.

Shitfire, it’s actually literature.

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

The immortal soul: hmm?

I’ll admit it, I find the notion of an immortal soul absurd.  In my experience, there is no evidence for it.  (In fact, the notion of the soul seems a little fuzzy to me.)  However, since I am a sceptic, I will reexamine my own beliefs and study again the matter this year by rereading what the philosophers have to say about it, beginning with Plato’s dialogue, Phaedo.  And just so you know, I’m not in the mood to take any answers regarding the question of the immortal soul on faith.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Questions, paper, and pen(cil)

I think it prudent when traveling, even a short distance, that we take paper and pen(cil) with us.  In the course of a day, questions come to us and they should be recorded lest we forget.  The answers to the questions should be recorded also–should they be readily available.  Someday, the questions or answers might be important.

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Watching Lost

I’ve been watching Lost for the past couple of weeks (from the first episode) since I have never watched an episode live on TV.  I find it half engaging and half tedious.  But  it is interesting enough that I think I’ll watch the whole thing.  It doesn’t raise as many philosophical questions as did Battlestar Galactica, so that is a strike against it.

And that’s my TV experience and nothing but my TV experience right now.  After all, there is still so much to read.

Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

The feeling of what happens when introduced to science

Sagredo:  My brain already reels.  My mind, like a cloud momentarily illuminated  by a lightning-flash, is for an instant filled with an unusual light, which now beckons to me and which now suddenly mingles and obscures strange, crude ideas.

Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences, Galileo Galilei

Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Thinking yourself into delusion

I think I have finally got it.  It is not about belief, but the suspension of belief.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Omniscience

I spent a gorgeous afternoon playing chess at the North Avenue chess pavilion on Lake Michigan and thought about what it would be like to be omniscient–what I could infer from it,

The gorgeous spring day and those thoughts about omniscience conspired against me.   I lost six hard fought chess games and won none.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Reading in the summer of 1968

It was the summer of 1968 in Vietnam.  Finding something good to read was hard to do.  A friend was going home.  He gave me two books: John Fowles’ The Magus and Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy.  Those were the two good books I read in Vietnam.

I think I’ll reread them again in deep gratitude for a summer not entirely wasted.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

The sun shines on the materialist

Each morning in my place, I look out at the narrow space through the canyon of tall buildings carved by the street called Delaware Place.  In the morning, the sun during its transit above the lake shines briefly and directly down the street and into where I sit at this computer.  On clear warm mornings such as this, the light blinds me.  I never look behind me to see if the light casts my shadow on the wall.  Sometimes, it feels as though it does; on others, it feels as though I am transparent–no shadow at all.

I’ll never check.  Even hardened materialists need some illusions.

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pederasty, faith, and informal logic

The priest, convicted of tying up and abusing two young boys in a California church rectory, wanted to leave the ministry.

But in 1985, four years after the priest and his bishop first asked that he be defrocked, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a top Vatican official, signed a letter saying that the case needed more time and that “the good of the Universal Church” had to be considered in the final decision, according to church documents released through lawsuits.

That decision did not come for two more years, the sort of delay that is fueling a renewed sexual abuse scandal in the church that has focused on whether the future pope moved quickly enough to remove known pedophiles from the priesthood, despite pleas from American bishops.

New York Times

Of course, some of us feel moral outrage and revulsion.  I often feel revulsion of another kind too.

I try not to be militant about my atheism unless I am provoked and drunk.  God doesn’t exist, but what’s the point of arguing with people of faith.  I sympathize with those who say their faith brings them joy and comfort.  The flip side of that coin is that faith also brings sadness and anxiety.  The words of praise for the lord are also accompanied with words of anguish.  The anguish is simply forgotten or given short shrift by most people of faith.

For me, the question of god is quite simple.  Somebody says that god exists.  I say, oh goody, can I meet him.  My interlocutor replies, yes, pray.  No, can I meet him in the flesh, I say.  God’s  not that kind of thing, the interlocutor says.

And there you have it.  God’s not that kind of thing.  All attempted proofs of god, no matter how sophisticated, have been shown to be fallacious.  Two people disagree about the existence of an entity.  One says it exists.  The other says it doesn’t.  In a logical argument, the burden of proof lies on the person who says an entity exists rather than someone who has never been shown solid evidence for the existence of that entity.

What if I called 911 and reported a unicorn cavorting in the park across the street?  Keep in mind it is against the law to make crank or frivolous calls to 911.   As the police arrest me, I say, but you must have faith.

Having faith in something that is not true, nor even any evidence for it is philosophically foolish in my opinion.  Especially when the falsehood leads to immoral and harmful events.  Such is the case with the Pope.

If I need aid and comfort, I’d rather have the here and now of people giving it to me than a belief in a being that does not exist.  I’ve almost come to believe that the belief in god is like a virus.  Benign in a lot of people, not toxic or dangerous, but in all too many others it is another cause of evil in the world.

As for the church running the state, that makes my passive atheism turn militant.

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 6:58 am  Comments (5)  

New narrative

Woke very early.  Walked to the lake.  First light spread over the water.  The waves slapped the shore.

I began creating a new narrative.  I smiled.

Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Empiricism

Another day of soothing cool rain.  Clouds shroud the tops of the taller buildings.  Some clouds thunder.

I exist.

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just another sighting

She appeared briefly Sunday night.  Said a quick hello.  Then quickly disappeared.  I wish it didn’t matter, but it effects me deeply whenever I see her.

I have ruined all my personae and their attendant narratives.  (Shit!)  Time heals everything through reconstruction.  Too bad it might take until after you are dead.

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment