(About a 5 minute read)
I once read that on a moonless night, no more than about 5,000 stars are visible to the naked eye. Yet, to us that number might as well be a million, given how poor our judgement of numerical quantities is.
Apparently, most of us cannot instantly, without counting, recognize the difference between such a small quantity as eight and nine items — let alone the difference between 5,000 and 1,000,000.
Can you imagine what a paradise this earth would be for (especially) young men if women did not need to fear getting to know them? Not only would it be easy to get a first date, but you could take her just about anywhere.
You wouldn’t need to stick to public places. You could, say, propose an overnight camping trip in confidence that — if she were interested — she’d readily grab her sleeping bag and be off with you.
One of the best things about getting older is women no longer see you as dangerous until proven innocent.
One of the worse things about getting older is women no longer see you as “dangerous” in the best sense of the word!
“The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.” ―
I recently read that the segregation the ages — which seems to be increasing in America — has reached a point that it is now causing an alarming loss of knowledge, and possibly even wisdom. I recollect when I was a young man, old and young mixed more or less freely, but apparently that is no longer so. At least not outside the workplaces. Today, the ages are so segregated that elders have no one to pass down their life lessons to.
What is often overlooked in such stories is that young people have no one to pass up their enthusiasms and new ideas to.
My cleaning lady, Evelyn, was only half joking the other day when she told me she didn’t want her teenage daughters becoming more like her, but she wanted to become more like them — for they use less discriminatory and prejudicial language than she herself had been taught to use.
How much harder it will be for our society to preserve what is best while changing for the better if the ages become totally segregated?
The oldest propaganda on the books? One candidate for that noble distinction must surely be, “Today’s kids are lazy and have no respect for their elders”.
Years ago, I confess I was such a nerd that I kept a book of Egyptian and Sumerian literature on my bedside table. I loved reading — over and over again — the stories, proverbs, and so forth from those two cultures.
If I recall, the Sumerian clay tablet was about 5,000 years old. On it were written words to this effect, “The young scribes today do not want to study writing and have no respect for their teachers.” The really funny part was, it was a tablet used in teaching young scribes to write.
The ancient Greeks had a reputation for being unruly centuries before the Athenians suppressed the power of the nobles and invented democracy.
An Assyrian clay tablet of around 800 BC speaks of a Greek man in one of the Assyrian provinces who had stirred up an independence movement by claiming (to put his claim in modern terms), “The king is no god but puts his pants on like everyone else.”
In the first few years I lived in Colorado, I was stalked twice. Once by a man, once by a woman. The woman stalked me daily for two weeks — apparently because she wanted a date! But she eventually lost interest and that was that.
The man was twice as persistent as her. He stalked me for a month. He had also staked his ex-wife. She had a restraining order placed on him — which he had broken and then been arrested for.
The man began stalking me after losing to me in a chess game. Took me a month to figure out that was his motive. Once I did, I arranged a rematch that I lost on purpose. He promptly quit stalking me.
Wish all stalking could be resolved so simply as those two cases.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” — Often misattributed to Einstein, most likely from a 1981 pamphlet of the Narcotics Anonymous organization.
“Get knocked down seven times, get up eight.” — Japanese Proverb.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” — British Proverb.
So which is true? Which is right?
I believe I can see how they can all be true. Persistence is not just admirable, but in this world, all but absolutely necessary to accomplish much of anything. But doing exactly the same thing over and over while expecting different results is indeed unwise in most instances. But what do you think?