| Go/Return to
||may offend some persons.
||I subscribe to a mailing list that sends me a
different new vocabulary word each day ("A Word a Day"). I rarely if ever incorporate these words
into my vocabulary, because I do not feel they "fit" -- i.e., I can't imagine a situation
in which I would feel comfortable (or, perhaps less commendably: clever...) using them. Following are examples of "A Word a Day" words I
have not added to my vocabulary:|
Atrichia: Absence of hair.
Crispin: A shoemaker.
Renitent: Resistant; recalcitrant.
Pinguid: Fat; greasy; unctuous.
Skookum: Powerful; first-rate; impressive.
Peri: A beautiful, graceful girl or woman.
Diriment: [adjective] Nullifying.
Holus-bolus: All at once.
Ebrious: Inclined to excessive drinking; tipsy.
|Some words that do have special rhetorical import for me:
Anent: Concerning. People: A group of human beings
who identify themselves as part of the group instead of as individuals [e.g., a
contrast with: Persons:
Two or more human beings considered in a way that affirms each one's individuality and personal
self-accountability (albeit who
perhaps also relate with each other). Albeit: Notwithstanding; but also nonetheless.
Less worse: Not really desirable, but less worse(sic) than the alternatives,
when one is offered no desirable option (also: Least worst).
Problematic: [noun] "Problem space"; bounding conditions for questions deemed relevant
by and that can be raised within a particular interest or concern.
Abwelt: A less-than [fully humane] world; a defective human social environment
(aka: lifeworld; German: Lebenswelt); a so-called community that is "sinking in darkness and choking on its own poison gases"
Tor-mentor: Any teacher who hurts a student's prospects in life or
even "just" unnecessarily adds to the student's pedagogical oppression (e.g., by assigning
lots of homework, by being a "tough" grader, etc.).
Brephocentrism: The belief that infants (Greek: brephoi) and
toddlers are the center of the universe (compare: geocentrism, heliocentrism...).|
aspect of reading material selection:
I will read a book from which I expect to learn less (e.g. a book
about the role of the Internet in contemporary American representative "democracy"), instead of a book from
which I could learn more (e.g., a book about Edmund Husserl's philosophy), if reading
the former gives me an opportunity to write a book review for a scholarly journal, whereas
reading the latter merely further elaborates my solipsistic cultural self-formation. I find active
engagement -- however "small" -- in the discourse which shapes the
cultural world more appealing than just talking to myself. I find producing (creating)
more satisfying than consuming.
[See also: an objection to school assignments.]|
||Taxonomic vs honorific senses of "the
Just now (ca. 04:54EST, 19Jan05) I read: "What kind of religiosity will it take to give culture,
history, ethics and so forth, all of which entail a complete affirmation of the human, the freedom
to pursue their own standpoint, while at the same time insuring
equal freedom of activity for the sciences, whose standpoint is one of
indifference to the human, and then to unify the two standpoints?" ~
Now, let's see: Science, indifferent to
the human, can produce both Zyklon-B and penicillin. Culture, which completely affirms the
human, can produce both ritual genital mutilation and torture, and Husserl's Vienna Lecture.|
Taxonomically, affirmation of the human means applying techniques to persons in ways that
logically depend on affirming that persons are not inorganic things (e.g.: One cannot
ritually genitally mutilate or torture a rock).
Honorifically, affirmation of the human means [to me, BMcC -- others may disagree, see "However"
nurturing the individual's physical vitality and cultural self-formation
and providing a facilitating environment for the individual to freely elaborate their abilities and interests.
Would you rather be treated humanly by being ritually genitally mutilated or tortured,
or be treated scientifically and cured
of a crippling or fatal disease by taking a medicine (applied organic chemistry) or having a surgeon
operate on your body to remove a tumor (like a watchmaker fixing a watch movement)? However: The persons who
ritually genitally mutilate persons [aka circumcise them] believe this act makes
the person honorifically human [e.g., because this act enters the
person into G-d's covenant with His people...] whereas before the ritual mutilation the person had merely been
taxonomically human, i.e., endowed with the potential to become honorifically human.
The taxonomic is a logical precondition for the honorific: The philosopher Martin Heidegger defined
the essential quality of human being as: "Care". In the taxonomic sense, a torturer cares about
their victim: if the torturer did not care about the victim, the torturer would not
bother to torture him or her. In an honorific sense, a nurturing mother or mentor cares about
their child or tutee. The torturer does not care about their victim in an honorific sense.
Another way to say it: The taxonomic is what something in our life is [happens currently to be].
The honorific is what something in our life can be for
|A bon mot:
"...when human nature calls...." (heard on NPR "Car Talk", 10Apr04)|
Bronowski observed that Leonardo da Vinci
wanted to fly -- but to fly like a bird flies (ref. lost).
I also seem to have heard or read (again, ref. lost -- I would appreciate if anyone can confirm
this!) that the philosopher Martin Heidegger, who was critical of modern technology and
theorized deeply about "inauthenticity", enjoyed flying as a passenger in
infamous [Howard Stern, radio "shock jock"...]
episode was on DC101 Radio in Washington D.C.
in which Stern called Air Florida Airlines and asked what the fare was for a one-way
ticket from National Airport to the 14th Street Bridge. He was making light of the
crash of an Air Florida flight into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington D.C.
one-day earlier and as a result of this bit he was fired by DC101." (This item is
posted in numerous places on the Internet: do a Google search on: '"howard stern" and "14th street bridge"' --
I heard it from someone who lived in D.C. at the time. Note that the 14th St. Bridge is
at most a couple miles from the end of the National -- now: Reagan National -- Airport runway.)|
||Some thoughts that just won't go away:
(1) Iceberg lettuce: It's a wonder they can still get away with calling it: "lettuce".
(2) Bush's K-12 education policy: "No child's behind left."
(3) From the Reichy Horror Picture Show: "Let's do the Goose Step again!"|
| Yet again: |Happy the land that breeds a hero.Unhappy the
land that needs a hero.[fn.112h]
Right) Ukranian Nov. 21, 2004 presidential Election reform/opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko supporters.
Yushchenko himself (Below) nearly died, and his previously handsome face was left pockmarked and prematurely aged from Sept. 5 dioxin
poisoning (Below, before & after).
("Protesters Challenge Ukraine Election Results", The Washington Post online, 17Dec04; "Yushchenko Poisoned With Pure TCDD",
AP, NYT on the Web, 17Dec04, Filed at 11:21 p.m. ET)|
|KIEV, Ukraine. Dec. 27  -- Nearly complete official returns
showed opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko taking a commanding lead over Prime
Minister Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine's repeat presidential runoff election on Sunday....
The rerun election followed a Nov. 21 vote, which was invalidated by the country's
Supreme Court amid widespread charges of fraud. Yanukovych had been declared the winner of that vote.
"It happened," said a jubilant Yushchenko, speaking in the capital at 2 a.m. Monday.
"For 14 years, we were independent, but now we are free. . . .
Today, I am convinced that it is fashionable to be a Ukrainian. It's stylish. It's beautiful."
(Peter Finn, "West-Leaning Leader Appears Headed for Win In Ukraine Vote",
The Washington Post, 27Dec04, p.A01)|
However: West-leaning opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko looked certain Monday to become Ukraine's next president,
but his opponent Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich refused to concede defeat....
"Yushchenko must consider that in several regions [incl.: the Russian-speaking community in eastern Ukraine]
people consciously do not want the Ukraine that Yushchenko wants," said independent political analyst
Oleksiy Holobutsky. (Reuters, "Yushchenko Certain Victor in Ukraine But PM Won't Quit", 27Dec04, 02:22 PM ET)
|The Annals of Rudeness.
Where I work, to enter the men's restroom, one has to go thru a small vestibule (ca. 3+1/2 by 6+1/2' feet) which
has one door to the public hall and, opposite, a door that enters into the restroom proper. Just inside
the inner door is a paper towel dispenser with a large trash bin next to it.
When exiting the restroom, I often notice dirty paper towels
on the floor in the vestibule (See picture). I can understand paper towels on the floor around the trash can
in the restroom when it
overflows. But it strikes me as wilfully offensive for persons to throw their used paper towels
on the floor in the vestibule. I wonder: Who do the depositers think is
going to pick this stuff up off the floor? I would expect it is the persons who
clean the restroom. Their job seems to me dirty enough, without adding entirely unnecessary offense
by throwing trash where there is no receptacle when there is a very convenient receptacle nearby:
just to the right of the door as one leaves the restroom. I wonder if some of the trash-throwers,
to confirm to themselves how important they are, intentionally withhold tossing their dirty
paper towels in the trash can, and carry their trash the extra couple feet thru the door, just
be able to have what must be -- to them -- the satisfying pleasure
of throwing them [the paper towels, not themselves!] on the floor.
See: counter-example from the world of haute couture.
|See used paper towels discarded on restroom floor
|Read more about how I (BMcC) try to live decently
||Rating system for techno gadgets etc..
In trying to install TiVo on the television, I had to shout GODDAMMIT! only once! That's
quite remarkable -- remarkably GOOD!
This suggests a rating system for technological stuff
[products, processes, etc.]: GODDAMMITs.
The techno[whatever] gets a rating of the number
of GODDAMMIT!s I am led to utter before the [whatever]
is successfully completed. Obviously, as with the Roman
Catholic model of the spiritual Heavens (or Cantor's
notion of higher infinities...), there are further
levels of escalation (i.e., more negative ratings!),
the two which immediately come to my
mind being: (1) Smash the goddamned thing!
And: (2) Have a heart attack. I don't think I've seen this rating system used before,
but I think it would help balance the "stars" system one often sees.
Somewhere, under the rainbow....
||The Annals of Miracles. Category: Stigmata. Importance: Minor.
I woke up this morning (09Jul02) to find I had a splinter in the palm of my right hand.
I cannot find any explanation for how it could have got there.
|New Yorker cartoon you don't have to see to "get":
Three water glasses in a row, each half-filled with water. Each glass has a caption:|
||"Half a glass|