Monday, July 26, 2021

The Maker

The poet is, etymologically, the maker.  Like all makers, he requires a stock of raw materials -- in his case, experience.  Now experience is not a matter of having actually swum the Hellespont, or danced with the dervishes, or slept in a doss-house.  It is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing the significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and coordinating.  Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.  It is a gift for dealing with the accidents of existence, not the accidents themselves.  By a happy dispensation of nature, the poet generally possesses the gift of experience in conjunction with that of expression.  What he says so well is therefore intrinsically of value.

-- Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 - 22 November 1963), British author, most famous for his novel Brave New World, Texts and Pretexts (1932) p. 5

Friday, July 23, 2021

Any Other Olympics

I saw a headline today that read, "Three Czech Athletes Test Positive" and all I could think was: Any other Olympics, and that headline would refer to a test for banned substances.  Not for Tokyo 2020.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

My Position Is Mistaken

In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.  They really do it.  It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful.  But it happens every day.  I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

-- Carl Edward Sagan (1934 - 1996), American astronomer and popular science writer, Keynote address at 1987 CSICOP conference, as quoted in Do Science and the Bible Conflict? (2003) by Judson Poling, p. 30

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

If We Are Uncritical

If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories.  In this way it is only too easy to obtain what appears to be overwhelming evidence in favor of a theory which, if approached critically, would have been refuted.

-- Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902 - 1994), Austrian and British philosopher, and professor at the London School of Economics, The Poverty of Historicism (1957) Ch. 29 The Unity of Method

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Listen Closely

We are all climbing different paths through the mountain of life, and we have all experienced much hardship and strife.  There are many paths through the mountain of life, and some climbs can be felt like the point of a knife.  Some paths are short and others are long, who can say which path is right or wrong?  The beauty of truth is that each path has its own song, and if you listen closely you will find where you belong.  So climb your own path true and strong, but respect all other truths for your way for them could be wrong. 

-- Daniel Arca Inosanto (24 July 1936 -), American martial arts instructor who is best known as a training partner of Bruce Lee, from his website at

Monday, July 19, 2021


The number of covid cases is climbing surprisingly quickly.

7/18/2021: 32,287 new cases / day -- Now (7-day average)
6/22/2021: 11,299 new cases / day -- Nadir
5/17/2021: 32,025 new cases / day -- Previous comparable rate

The climb in cases was so quick, it doesn't show up yet in increased deaths.  The nadir for cases was 13 days before the nadir for deaths.  Presumably the ~3x growth in cases will show up in deaths in the next 13 days.

7/18/2021: 266 new deaths / day -- Now (7-day average)
7/05/2021: 213 new deaths / day -- Nadir for deaths
6/22/2021: 323 new deaths / day -- Nadir for cases

Friday, July 16, 2021

Plant Trees

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.

-- Nelson Henderson, WW I veteran and farmer near Minitonas, Manitoba, Canada