-thoughts and ideas

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

from Mark Twain

"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions; one private , which we are afraid to express; and another one--the one we use--which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until the habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics. Look at the candidates whom we loathe one year, and are afraid to vote against the next; whom we cover with unimaginable filth one year, and fall down on the public platform and worship the next--and keep on doing it until the habitual shutting of our eyes to last year's evidences brings us presently to a sincere and stupid belief in this year's. Look at the tyranny of party--at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty--a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes--and which turns voters into chattels, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master."

from "The Character of Man",
Mark Twain's autobiography, Vol. II (January 23, 1906)

--just thought I'd share that...

cut from a letter

I'm actually going to be on the farm near the very end of April. I'm actually looking forward to it. It's another one of those things that I now know about myself that I didn't know then.

I'm looking at finishing my degree in either Computer Sci or possibly Physics. It's something I really regret putting off. Technically I'm not a drop-out since I do have my A.A.S. in Electronics, but it doesn't hold much weight. But that's not the reason I'm going back. I'm going back because I know now what I didn't know then. I'll just leave it at that.

More Feynman

I can tolerate fools. Definitely, in fact I can be quite entertained by the mere thought of one. I can even work with them. Ordinary fools that is. Now there's another kind that I don't fair well with and that's the Pompous fool. Ordinary fools are honest, but the pompous fool uses his efforts in a way to make himself illegitimately "superior" to those around him. In other words taking credit for other fools' hard foolish work.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I don't even have rabbit ears hooked up to my TV let alone cable, dish, or any other television broadcast medium (although we do have a VCR & a DVD player hooked up and will, thanks to our tv show enabler, watch taped episodes of "Lost" and fine movies in the mail from Blockbuster), though I still can't find the time to read as much as I'd like to. I don't know, I could very well just be making excuses. Anyway, I'm reading "Surely you're Joking, Mr. Feynman" isbn # 0-393-01921-7. If you're even remotely interested in physics or sciences, or just curious characters, then I highly recommend this book. I've also been checking out the audio books on his lectures on physics. I've been able to gain so much from my brief introduction to the guy's work in several different areas, it's just remarkable how it hits. Good stuff.