May 24, 2019

Friday Four

It’s funny how any time work lets us go early on a holiday weekend, everybody in our neighborhood is already home. I got home around 3pm and Dave, 28, is home working in his yard. As was neighbor Ron, 45, and other neighbor Larry, 55, and Mike down the street, 36. (All ages approximate.). It’s really like I wonder if anyone works anymore. It’s like I live in a retirement villa only everyone is young enough to be working.
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It’s funny how enthused I get about the smallest of things regarding the new Honda. Like how I can open it without getting the keys out, or how there’s a small compartment above me that holds my sunglasses. You press on it and it releases a mirror and, of course, the sunglasses. The ergonomic ease of use is what pleases. And yet it’s a ridiculously tiny savings of energy over where I used to put them, in the door of the driver’s side. And I should want to move more, stretch more, even to the point of cursing those (wonderful) automatic windows that roll down sans effort. “Ease of use” is not how humans have evolved. Use it or lose it.

Part of my appreciation is surely the cool factor, of something hidden coming to light like how some rooms have a bookcase that when you press a button moves out and reveals a hidden room. Or like how James Bond could press a button in his apartment and his bed folds out. This was a tool in his seduction ploy, by making the barrier to entry, so to speak, between making out and sleeping together less cumbersome.

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Oh the astonishment of summer eves after the grind of winter! How fresh this season of May with her long tresses of days and occasionally jaw-dropping warmth? How regal this season before the flies and mosquitoes and humidity, when bounties come without price.

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Intrigued by Blinkist - a little 15-minute summary of thousands of non-fiction books. I’m on the free trial period now and gobbled up Fukayami’s Idenity about, what else, the bane rise of identify politics. His thesis is that Socrates said man needs three things: physical necessities (food, water, etc), rational thinking (i.e. ability to forego rotten meat even if hungry) and thymos which “yearns for dignity and recognition from other people”. That explains a lot, he says, like how the gay movement was not just about getting treated fairly but being positively viewed and esteemed. The rise of it just as religion gets downplayed makes sense because if you don’t have a view of your dignity as child of God you’ll seek it in other lesser incantations like your skin color and sexual preference. He says that individualism combined with identity politics has made the government become on the hook for its citizen’s mental health and so therefore is in the business of laws toward that goal (like “hate” crimes).

Also read a biography of Martin Luther and a bit on Brexit. It’s a pretty cool way to digest books I would never likely read but for this app - or it might just lead me to buy these books based on the snippets.

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