After 12/7/2011, this blog will no longer be updated, although content will remain. Please visit my new blog at Hidden Latitudes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On Original Sin

Only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king. — G. K. Chesterton

On confronting pretentiousness

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. — from the preface to Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.

Friday, June 13, 2008

We are all more alike than we presume

"She felt or fancied, then, that the scarlet letter had endowed her with a new sense. She shuddered to believe, yet could not help believing, that it gave her a sympathetic knowledge of the hidden sin in other hearts. She was terror-stricken by the revelations that were thus made. What were they? Could they be other than the insidious whispers of the bad angel, who would fain have persuaded the struggling woman, as yet only half his victim, that the outward guise of purity was but a lie, and that, if truth were everywhere to be shown, a scarlet letter would blaze forth on many a bosom besides Hester Prynne's?" Nathaniel Hawthorne—The Scarlet Letter

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On the idea that we can control the environment

"If the Earth came with an operating manual, the chapter on climate might begin with a caveat that the system has been adjusted at the factory for optimum comfort, so don't touch the dials." —Dr. J. W. C. White of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado. Quoted in a 1993 NYT article.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sent to me from a friend who knows

We do not first get all the answers and then live in the light of our understanding. We must rather plunge into life--meeting what we have to meet and experiencing what we have to experience--and in the light of living try to understand. If insight comes at all, it will not be before, but only through and after experience. John Claypool, Tracks of a Fellow Struggler