Friday, December 02, 2022

Anew Each Day

The autonomous individual is stable only so long as he is possessed of self-esteem.  The maintenance of self-esteem is a continuous task which taxes all of the individual's power and inner resources.  We have to prove our worth and justify our existence anew each day.  When, for whatever reason, self-esteem is unattainable, the autonomous individual becomes a highly explosive entity.  He turns away from an unpromising self and plunges into the pursuit of pride, the explosive substitute for self-esteem.  All social disturbances and upheavals have their roots in crises of individual self-esteem, and the great endeavor in which the masses most readily unite is basically a search for pride.

-- Lee Jun-fan (1940 - 1973), commonly known as Bruce Lee, Hong Kong American martial artist and actor, Tao Of Jeet Kune Do (1975), p. 217

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Transparent Or Opaque

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.  Whether this being different results in dissimulation or a real change of heart, it cannot be realized without self-awareness.  Yet, it is remarkable that the very people who are most self-dissatisfied, who crave most for a new identity, have the least self-awareness.  They have turned away from an unwanted self and, hence, never had a good look at it.  The result is that most dissatisfied people can neither dissimulate nor attain a real change of heart.  They are transparent and their unwanted qualities persist through all attempts at self-dramatization and self-transformation.  It is the lack of self-awareness which renders us transparent.  The soul that knows itself is opaque.

-- Lee Jun-fan (1940 - 1973), commonly known as Bruce Lee, Hong Kong American martial artist and actor, Tao Of Jeet Kune Do (1975), p. 216

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

RIP Christine McVie

For you, there'll be no more crying
For you, the sun will be shining
And I feel that when I'm with you
It's alright, I know it's right

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score

-- Christine Anne McVie (12 July 1943 - 30 November 2022), English musician, singer, and songwriter, lyrics from Songbird, from the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours (1977)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Respect For Marriage Act

This bill provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.

Specifically, the bill repeals and replaces provisions that define, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage that is valid under state law. (The Supreme Court held that the current provisions were unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor in 2013.)

The bill also repeals and replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, or national origin. (The Supreme Court held that state laws barring same-sex marriages were unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015; the Court held that state laws barring interracial marriages were unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia in 1967.) The bill allows the Department of Justice to bring a civil action and establishes a private right of action for violations.

-- Summary of S. 4556, Respect for Marriage Act, passed by the US Senate 29 November 2022, expected to pass the House and be signed into law by President Biden

Monday, November 28, 2022

Not What They Appear

Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.

-- Siddhārtha Gautama (c. 563/624 - c. 483/544 BCE) also called the Gautama Buddha, monk, philosopher, teacher, and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded, believed to have lived in ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, Shurangama Sutra, as quoted in 1,001 Pearls of Wisdom (2006) by David Ross

Friday, November 25, 2022

Now It Is Our Turn

Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand.  Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933.  Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics.

-- David L. Goodstein, in the opening sentences of his textbook, States of Matter (1975), as quoted in Kannan Jagannathan's review of Eric Johnson's Anxiety and the Equation: Understanding Boltzmann's Entropy, American Journal of Physics 87, 765 (2019)

Thursday, November 24, 2022

No One Would Be In Need

"But whom do I treat unjustly," you say, "by keeping what is my own?"  Tell me, what is your own?  What did you bring into this life?  From where did you receive it? ...  For if we all took only what was necessary to satisfy our own needs, giving the rest to those who lack, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, and no one would be in need.

-- Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (~329 - 379), Byzantine bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), Homily 6, "I Shall Tear Down My Barns," C. P. Schroeder, trans., in Saint Basil on Social Justice (2009), p. 69