Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Small Immortals

December 26th, 2015 by G.

Like the Christmas Star, a light hangs in the firmament unnoticed except by the Wise; the rest see darkness.  But for them as can see it shines out. As Lewis put it: “be confident small immortals. You are not the only voice that all things utter, nor is there eternal silence in the places where you cannot come.

 

-thus Richard Fernandez

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December 26th, 2015 16:48:25

The sorcerer’s apprentice

December 23rd, 2015 by Vader

On the dangers of mass movements:

… In fact Gandhi’s own ashram, with his own very expensive ‘simple’ tastes and innumerable ‘secretaries’ and handmaidens, had to be heavily subsidized by three merchant princes. As one of his circle observed: ‘It costs a great deal of money to keep Gandhiji living in poverty.’

… The events of 1920-1 indicated that though he could bring a mass-movement into existence, he could not control it. Yet he continued to play the sorcerer’s apprentice, while the casualty bill mounted into hundreds ,then thousands, then tens of thousands and the risks of a gigantic sectarian and racial explosion accumulated. This blindness to the law of probability in a bitterly divided sub-continent made nonsense of Gandhi’s professions that he would not take life in any circumstances.

— Paul Johnson, Modern Times

(more…)

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December 23rd, 2015 19:47:01

Compensatory Blessings

December 14th, 2015 by G.

Compensation is the universal rule of life – as Ralph Waldo Emerson intuited.

When worldly fellowship is lacking, God will ensure that we do not lack for other-worldly fellowship.

-thus Bruce Charlton (more…)

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December 14th, 2015 06:51:27

Divine Absence

November 30th, 2015 by G.

The best way for Man to live his mortal life, probably the only way for Man to live as a Man; is for him to grapple with and solve problems for himself , including making mistakes. That is the path of theosis.

-thus Bruce Charlton

Update: Mark Citadel makes a great comment below. He reminds me one of my formative spiritual experiences. I was questioning the existence of God as a teenager and it was made clear to me that what I saw as the apparent absence of God was more like the 1% absence of God and the 99% presence that I had become used to, and in fact couldn’t function without. The divine “absence” that is necessary for personal growth towards theosis is only relative.

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November 30th, 2015 07:48:31

In the Country of the Blind

November 19th, 2015 by G.

the one-eyed man must pretend he cannot see.

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November 19th, 2015 10:36:51

The Golden Thread

November 12th, 2015 by G.

The Golden Thread is a person’s real autobiography – the sequence of deep, significant, mythic-seeming, remembered experiences stretching back into childhood like a Golden Thread

 

-thus Bruce Charlton.  Read the whole thing.  I think I mostly don’t know my golden thread.  I don’t see it whole, anyhow–different glimpses in different moods–which is to be regretted. (more…)

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November 12th, 2015 09:00:10

Joy without Limits

November 08th, 2015 by G.

Eternal joy is eternal growth.

-thus Brother Joseph Anderson

 

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November 08th, 2015 07:52:05

Capitalism is Casting Your Bread Upon the Waters

October 28th, 2015 by G.

I loved this quote:

 

The market mechanism is loosely efficient. But the idea that efficiency is the main virtue of free markets is wrong. Competition itself is highly inefficient. In my home town, I can buy food from about eight different places; I’m sure this system could be much more ‘efficient’ if Waitrose, M&S and Lidl were forcibly merged into one huge ‘Great Grocery Hall of The People No. 1306’. I am equally confident that after a few initial years of success, the shop would be terrible.

The missing metric here is semi-random variation. Truly free markets trade efficiency for a costly process of market-tested innovation heavily reliant on dumb luck. The reason this inefficient process is necessary is that, though we pretend otherwise, no one knows anything about anything: most of the achievements of consumer capitalism were never planned; they are explicable only in retrospect, if at all.

 

-thus Rory Sutherland

I love that quote. But I would go further. Sutherland is comparing capitalism to standard Darwinianism. Capitalism is more like mutational load Darwinianism, as championed by our own Dr. Charlton. The secret sauce of the market mechanism is failure.

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October 28th, 2015 05:55:20

Diversity doesn’t Sleep

October 13th, 2015 by Man SL

Diversity lusts to consume all that lives, grows and is Good. But its hunger is never assuaged, not in the slightest degree. If we feed Diversity, it grows in strength but is never satisfied.
Ultimately Diversity would consume the world – and then, when nothing else was left to eat, consume itself.

-thus Bruce Charlton

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October 13th, 2015 09:58:18

Who is My Neighbor? Juxtapositions XI

September 28th, 2015 by G.

Prudence with an infinite time horizon is not empirical anymore; it’s metaphysical.

-thus E. Anthony Grey

(more…)

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September 28th, 2015 08:16:21

Christ, the New Adam

September 18th, 2015 by G.

[As Adam] slept a rib was taken from him and the woman, Eve, was created. There is no doubt that this first man Adam before he sinned typified the Redeemer. For as the Redeemer slept in the stupor of suffering and caused water and blood to issue from his side, he brought into existence the virgin and unspotted church, redeemed by blood, purified by water

thus Bishop Gregory of Tours

It’s really remarkable how much the Bible prefigures Christ, if you look for it.

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September 18th, 2015 13:17:24

Ruled by Broken Statistics

September 18th, 2015 by G.

There is a famous example from Paul Samuelson who noted that if a man married his maid, then, all else being equal, GDP would fall. Or if a nanny has a child and quits her nanny job to take care of that child, GDP falls, despite the total amount of child care being produced remaining the exact same.

The most glaring absence from the “goods basket” is leisure time. And in fact any non-economic good is excluded: working on the house, taking care of children, doing private research, writing a book to distribute for free over the Internet. Nor is the quality of goods measured. Every time I walk down the main street of my city, I lament how every new building is so ugly and drab, compared to the gorgeous ornamental work of the buildings 100 years ago. GDP does not tell us how much we have lost in our ability to create beautiful buildings.

thus Devin Helton

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September 18th, 2015 12:58:42

This is my country

September 13th, 2015 by Vader

… these are a savage and brutal people, given to all manner of atrocities. They eat each other, they starve each other, they kill each other. They have no art and only the most primitive of science, yet such is their violent nature that even with so little knowledge they are now energetically using it to exterminate each other, tribe against tribe.

— “The Moderator”
Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit – Will Travel

(more…)

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September 13th, 2015 14:03:01

Democracy

September 09th, 2015 by Marie Antoinette

Democracy that really listened to all the people would be an authoritarian nightmare.

Thus Brian Caplan

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September 09th, 2015 09:13:08

Boys with sticks

September 08th, 2015 by Vader

Yes, well. When your daughter is the one who’s lying barely conscious on the front yard of some frat house, my sons will be the ones who will know enough to charge in, swinging sticks to chase the brutes away. They’ll know because we let them have sticks, we let them find out what sticks can do, and we told them what sticks are for.

Violence doesn’t take over when boys are allowed to have sticks. Violence takes over when no one tells boys what sticks are for.

Thus Simcha Fisher

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September 08th, 2015 09:52:39