Ice Cream day, and back to the park. Lower air temperature than in the last couple of weeks. Almost enough to require additional clothings.
It should be obvious by now but I read. That’s my primary mode of knowledge acquisition these days since FD SCP watches over my experiments. (Still can’t build that trebuchet!) Yesterday I finished Robin Waterfield’s “Why Socrates Died” (Not bad, I give it a solid C+ rating. Almost impossible to read in places and inflated with fluff and impedimentia by 0.5 but as books go these days, acceptable. But it does explain why I got it at a remainders store.) (And why did Sokrates die? Patriotism. Which should serve as a lesson in how even the brightest do stupid things sometimes.) and I delved into my to-read (non-fiction) pile and ran across Philip Ball’s “Critical Mass”.
I purchased this book quite a while ago. I believe from a Books-A-Zillion that has since closed from suburban ennui. It’s another turgid read, at least so far, but that’s the nature of modern authors. More about connections than talent, at least based on observation. Anyway, Ball is mumbling semi-coherently about Hobbes and comes out with a marvelous statement
“The greater the religious diversity, it seemed, the greater the intolerance.”
which, if we take out the “religious” seems to fit very well with modern (contemporary, none of this illogical, unintelligible post-modern stercus) times.
This, obviously, refers – again – to the Charleston assassin. Reason dictates that we should view this as a case of a whacked individual who was influenced by other people’s intolerance and being whacked decided to implement a solution. The key bit, for those bogs who can’t get it, is “whacked”. And no, I am not going to go off on a gun control rant. I am going to go off on a whacked ignorance rant.
Our society ignores mental illness. The most rational reason for this is individual insecurity. We are so fearful that we are whacked that we refuse to do anything as a society about whackedness lest it come home to visit us. And the politicians are happy to abet this studied ignoring because it means they don’t have to spend public monies on treating the whacked and instead can spend the public money on their corporate masters.
So instead of recognizing that this is an individual human who needed (needs) medical (?) help, some of us focus on external, unsubstantiated signatures. And then we determine, again without any form of substantiation, that these signatures are causative and should be abolished. Which antagonizes others who are emotionally attached to these same signatures, again for no rational reason and often strikingly inaccurate and irrational, and the result is conflict. Over irrelevancies. Often illogical.
Take the Confederate battle flag. It’s not even official. It’s just an ad hoc symbol of dedicated soldiers, most of whom were not fighting to preserve slavery but were fighting to keep invaders off their ground. (Patriotism, what can I say?) And that fighting failed to accomplish its intent. The Union prevailed. The Confederate battle flag is a symbol of failure, a failure that resulted in the abolition of overt, ethnic slavery in the country.
And a group of people treasure that symbol of failure because their ancestors failed. And another group detest that flag because that failure assured their ancestors’ freedom. Please tell me these two groups are rational and right-thinking. Because both seem somehow horribly twisted in their outlooks. And this makes their animosity suspect.