Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LX Hymn of Time: The Key to Everything

I'm what you call a deathbed Catholic

 Happy 60th Birthday, Michelle Pfeiffer! 

Michael's 60th Birthday

The Michael Jackson Estate has announced that there will be a special celebration for what would have been Michael's 60th Birthday

"An honest man is always a child" (The Day We Were Born)
- Socrates 

Beer (and wine) is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. 
- Benjamin Franklin

Věk je jen číslo. Seniory čeká boj o medaile

Start at 60
Starts at 60

when you are 60 from
16 May 2018 Now that I'm turning 60 , there's no confusion in my life. It's been replaced with a delicious sense of ...
      During the course of my stay in Russia, which lasted some five or six years, from time to time I was killed and/or executed by various organisations and individuals
     When I returned to the fatherland, I found out that I had been hanged thrice, shot to death twice, and quartered once at the hands of savage Kyrgyz rebels on the shore of Lake Kale-Yshela. Finally and definitively, I had been run through with a knife during a wild skirmish with drunken sailors in a certain.
      Finally and definitively, I had been run through with a knife during a wild skirmish with drunken sailors in a certain Odessa tavern. Of all these variants, this one seems most likely to me.

Good News – Life gets better after 50: why age tends to work in favour of happiness

The Guardian – Jonathan Rauch, author of The Happiness Curve, was relieved to find an explanation for his gloom – academics say adulthood happiness is U-shaped
“Academics have found increasing evidence that happiness through adulthood is U-shaped – life satisfaction falls in our 20s and 30s, then hits a trough in our late 40s before increasing until our 80s. Forget the saying that life begins at 40 – it’s 50 we should be looking toward. Rauch, a senior fellow at the US thinktank the Brookings Institution, was so relieved to have found an explanation for the gloom that hit him and, he believed, many others in middle age that he became evangelical about spreading the word. He has written a book, The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 (out in the US 1 May and UK 14 June), which includes personal stories, the latest data and illuminating interviews with economists, psychologists and neuroscientists…”

Why Czech lager is just better | DRAFT Magazine


“Hopefully, somebody who at 55 or 60 has decided, ‘This is all I can do,’ they will realize they have 35 more years to get things together,” Steel said. “Start now. It’s never too late. … Keep your mind open and keep faith in yourself that you can do this thing. All you have to do is step out there.”
~ Woman of Steel: After Retiring From The IRS At 58, Dorothy Steel Started Acting At 88 And Hit It Big At 92 In 'Black Panther'

Global Wine Production Down To Lowest Level Since 1957

Women — and residents of Japan — dominate the list of [remaining] oldest people. The 22 oldest are women, and 13 of the 24 oldest people reside in Japan ... Amen 

CLOCKWINDER, STREET SCRIBE: The Atlantic’s Alan Taylor collected these images of people doing work that likely will not exist in the next decade or two

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago, the New Yorker published a cartoon that became the most republished in the magazine's history. It depicts a canine sitting at a computer, looking down at its friend, a smaller pooch, and saying, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

It captured well the reality of the time. In the early 1990s internet, you could communicate with anyone and browse websites in almost complete anonymity. The tools to track you down or get your "real name" did not exist.

Today, things are different. Increasingly, our electronic devices are connected to the internet and, intentionally or unintentionally, are used to spy on us. Almost all of our personal information is harvested.

Peter Steiner's cartoon, as published in The New Yorker

Security leak about spy agency referred to AFP, Labor raises concerns with Government

Ariel Dorfman: The Writer As Displaced Person

Dorfman reflects on the curious reality of living everywhere and feeling at home nowhere – always being a stranger, an observer. “Not to belong anywhere, to be displaced, is not a bad thing for a writer.” He pauses. “If you can deal with it. If it doesn’t destroy you.” To survive the rootlessness, he says, it helps to have a moral compass and a strong family. “More than a traveler, I’m a displacer. In other words, I’m a person who is constantly meditating on what it means not to arrive at a place, but to be on my way somewhere else.”
  More than half of the world’s wealthy investors say they expect to live to 100.
↩︎ Bloomberg
The book was like a blow to the head that wipes out all memory of the recent past. For six months after I first read it I could hardly remember the person I had been beforehand.
For six months I believed I had all the space I needed. My own personal space, a fit setting for whatever I wanted to do, was all around me wherever I looked…my space coincided at last with the place that was called the real world. But the world was much wider than most people suspected. I saw this because I saw as the author of On the Road saw. Other people saw the same streets of the same Melbourne that had always surrounded them. I saw the surfaces of those streets cracking open and broad avenues rising to view. Other people saw the same maps of Australia or America. I saw the coloured pages swelling like flower buds and new, blank maps unfolding like petals.

Is it mere coincidence that it was Kerouac, the most Catholic of Great American Writers, whose ecstatic landscapes opened the imaginative plains to Murnane? Kerouac himself suffered deeply from an authorial uncertainty until he deigned that his duty toward writing was to tell, directly, the truth as he lived it. It was some conception of the Truth that drove Kerouac to write his novel about ‘Two Catholic buddies in search of God’ in On the Road, a work on his experiences traversing America in the forties. It is the characteristically ornate aesthetic of Catholicism that permeates the work of both these great writers, an aesthetic that is in essence an attempt to express the experience of an infinite, divine creativity present in the material world. Both Murnane and Kerouac attempt in their works to distil the unfathomable depths of finite matter through an ecstasy of revelation and praise.
Jozef (Patrick)  Imrich  wishes to inform you that he will be available to listen to some of the stories and gossip today, but he does not feel obliged to be present for all the confessions, and may come and go at varying intervals. He would like it to be known that he is licensed to serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and that the bar will be open for both from 2 pm onwards, with the bar’s license permitting service until midnight. Anyone wishing to purchase an alcoholic drink will be required to sign the Havel's Charter 77 ledger located on the bar. While there, Jozko would like to invite you to read a three thousand word palindrome that he has composed, located on the opposite side of the bar.
If you are an Iron Cutain Crosser, communist archives hold perpetual ironies. Because the gaps and silences are where you find yourself. . . . “The stutter is the plot.” It’s the stutter in Bohemian literature that interests me. I hear the stutter as a sounding of uncertainty. What is silenced or not quite silenced. All the broken dreams.

The message of many things in this world is “Like this or die.”
— George W.S. Trow, Within the Context of No Context, 1980

My family mastered the art of locking away secrets. I searched digital archives to learn my great-grandmother’s maiden name, the names of her parents, her date and place of birth, and the date she lost her home. I searched because I wanted to understand my family’s history—my history. Stumbling through the present unaware of the people and circumstances from which I came was like walking in the dark.

Almanac: Merrill Markoe on the difference between actors and comedians

Rule of thumb: Actors are people who know how to pretend to be someone else. Comedians are people who know how to pretend to be themselves.” Merrill Markoe (Twitter, March 6, 2018) ... read more

Almanac: G.K. Chesterton on vanity and equality

“The doctrine of human equality reposes upon this: That there is no man really clever who has not found that he is stupid. That there is no big man who has not felt small. Some ... read more

“The moment is not properly an atom of time but an atom of eternity,” Kierkegaard wrote in contemplating the paradoxical nature of time half a century before Einsteinforever changed our understanding of it. As relativity saturated the cultural atmosphere, Virginia Woolf was tussling and taffying with time’s confounding elasticity, the psychology of which scientists have since dissected. We are beings of time and in time — something Jorge Luis Borges spoke to beautifully in his classic 1946 meditation on time“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.” River of Hymnal time 

Your Body is a Teeming Battleground

It’s time to rethink the quest to control aging, death, and disease—and the fear of mortality that fuels it.

The Key to Everything New York Review of Books

Music by the Second

  • Sometimes I’m amazed when I realize the number of clocks I encounter every day:  on the wall, on the stove, on the phone, on the screen I’m typing on now.  Reminders of the passage of ... read more

Book launch to mark MEdia Dragon's original  birthday (conceived in Vrbov born in Kezmarok ;-) is by   Thomas Piketty, and the subtitle is Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998.  This is a reprint and translation of the author’s original French work from 2001.  It appears to be a very seriously researched volume.

Chris Bowen MP
Shadow Treasurer of Australia
'Budget Reply Address'
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

Tyler Cowen's  Conversation with Agnes Callard
She is a philosopher at the University of Chicago, here is the transcript and audio.  We covered Plato and Socrates, what Plato is on about at all, the virtues of dialog and refutation, whether immortality would be boring, Elena Ferrante, parents vs. gangsters and Beethoven vs. Mozart, my two Straussian readings of her book, Jordan Peterson, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the best defense of reading the classics, and the Agnes Callard production function (physics to classics to philosophy), all in suitably informationally dense fashion.
Here is one excerpt:
COWEN: I have a friend who’s interested in longevity research…and he tells me there’s maybe a 10 percent chance that I actually will live forever due to possible scientific advances. I’m skeptical, but let’s just say I were to live forever. How bored would I end up, and how do you think about this question?
CALLARD: [laughs] I think it depends on how good of a person you are.
COWEN: And the good people are more or less bored?

Innovating is like dancing 

Just as skilled dancers can sequence steps to a song, so too can innovators draw on skills to address new policy challenges in new ways. If you are in business of ‘dance instruction’, training other public servants to innovate, we invite you to read our blogsign up to our community platform and join our ‘Innovation Skills Builders’ discussion group where we connect with colleagues and share practice.  

Adopt me, said Grandpa Han (Jozef ;-)

His greatest fear? That he would die in his bed, that someone — much later — would find his bones.

That’s why retiree Han Zicheng, a survivor of the Cultural Revolution, China’s civil war and Japan’s invasion, wrote an ad asking someone to adopt him.

“Lonely old man in his 80s. Strong-bodied,” he wrote. “Can shop, cook and take care of himself. No chronic illness … My hope is that a kindhearted person or family will adopt me, nourish me through old age and bury my body when I’m dead.”

A woman in his neighborhood posted a picture of his note, adding, “I hope warm-hearted people can help.” Local media reported the story, and the Washington Post’s Emily Rauhala and Yang Liu got interested, meeting him at his home in Tianjin for the first time on Jan. 3.

“Our plan was to follow him until he was adopted,” Rauhala told Poynter early Thursday. “Unfortunately, that did not happen. All told, we followed him for about three months.”

Grandpa Han’s written plea — and the stories such as the Post’s, which ran Wednesday — shed light on a huge social issue in a nation that lived under a One Child policy for decades. Where to go when you are old and lonely and there is no family? For the Post, Rauhala tries to tell big stories through people, as do reporters at local outlets, but her beat holds 1 billion people.

“It’s a matter of patience, both in terms of finding the right person to anchor a story and letting them tell it on their own terms,” Rauhala said by email. “Grandpa Han knew he had a story to tell and he wanted, very much, to tell it. He wrote up the adoption notice and posted it on a shop window. He gave interviews about his life. He shared his fear. We listened.”

These are the types of stories the Beijing-based Rauhala adores, both as a writer and a reader.

“In the last few years, I’ve profiled a Filipino cop who refused President Duterte’s call to kill, a worker-poet who jumped to his death and an Uighur pop star trying to make it in the Chinese mainstream,” she said. “Each of them told their story in a different, revealing way.”

Without revealing spoilers — or the twist ending — Rauhala says Grandpa Han’s unvarnished honesty captured the readers who have sent her notes on the story.

“I think a lot of people can relate to his story,” she said, “and were moved by his willingness to speak so candidly about things most of us don't talk about — loneliness, illness and age.”
Here’s Grandpa Han’s story, via Rauhala. You won’t regret the time you spend reading it.