Disjointed Thoughts (While Recovering from Surgery)

surgery-dog

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charitable-dudeI just read about a millionaire who “adopted” a poor neighborhood in south Florida. Crime has dropped like a stone, as has the use of street narcotics. High school graduation rates have risen appreciably, along with college acceptance of those graduates. This is how a rich individual with a social conscience invests his wealth!

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greek-dudeThere is currently a fundamental lack in our society of what the Greeks called αρετή (arete): excellence and moral virtue. We’re in a period of decline similar to that which characterized Athenian society at the time of Socrates. Socratic thinkers (and questioners) are badly needed to provide a countervailing force to the greed, dishonesty and corruption that have become systemic.

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dawkinsFrom whence comes the strange notion that any and all opinions are deserving of respect? Human opinions run the gamut from the well-informed and fully considered to the ignorant and thoroughly ridiculous. I’m reminded of a line from Professor Dawkins: “I respect you too much to leave your more ill-considered opinions unchallenged.”

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Why do conspiracy theories proliferate? Actual explanations are typically laborious and difficult; conspiracy theories, while often convoluted, are easier to digest and more entertaining. They also imply that someone strong is in charge and has control over things. Even if the implications are nefarious, these explanations may serve that puerile psychological need.

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reichOur society is seriously ill. Until we do something about our national love affair with deadly firearms, the prognosis is poor. Fortunately, we have commentators like Robert Reich: his is one of the increasingly rare high-profile voices of reason, intelligence and compassion in the country.

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Due to its grounding in objective inquiry, science is a self-correcting system, perpetually open to new insights and better theories. It stands in stark contrast to dogma and doctrinaire belief, both of which are based on revelation by authority and reinforcement by tradition.

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happy-catChemical antidepressants and feline love are mutually potentiating.

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pink-flowreA friend of mine has a fine idea– to offer Internet flowers as a means of nourishing seeds within us all that are fresh, hopeful and life-affirming. I’m down with that! She says:
“The intention is to fill up Facebook with flowers to break the saturation of negative images and videos on your timeline. If you like this post I will give you a flower to post.”

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From Comfortably Numb:
“When I was a child, I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look, but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now;
The child is grown, the dream is gone.”

I always interpreted that passage as referring to the half recalled, seemingly magical memories of childhood.

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