Arrogance as garnish for contention…

Okay, so here’s the deal…..we’re going old school again today. After this brief but brilliant opening paragraph, you will find a series of Pearls, all selected for inclusion with the others because they all speak, mostly, to the same points, and ultimately, taken together, they make a complete jigsaw picture of the actual meaning of the menage. Don’t worry, it’s not fatal, or even particularly dangerous, as long as you keep an open mind. I will say this in warning: do not attempt to make sense of this if you have any intention of approaching these nuggets of knowledge with less than an open mind. They could easily cause brain malfunction of a major sort, and you’ll find yourself at Macy’s, looking at the latest arrivals to the women’s lingerie sector. If you are not one of our female readers, this could cause serious damage to your self-esteem, as well as your reputation……

If, however, you can take all of this in and apply a bit of mental elbow grease to finding the hidden meaning, you will find yourself uplifted, with your mind keenly honed to a perfect edge of inquiry, a song in your heart, and a smile of accomplishment on your face. Add this to the bonus karma points, and it’s a grand start to the day. With no further drivel, we now take you to the regularly scheduled program, and hope you enjoy today’s effort……..

“I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.” — Robertson Davies

Please be aware, the following notes have been edited for the ironically impaired…….

A serious public debate about the validity of astrology?  A serious believer in the White House?  Two of them?  Give me a break.  What stifled my laughter is that the image fits.  Reagan has always exhibited a fey indifference toward science.  Facts, like numbers, roll off his back.  And we’ve all come to accept it.  This time it was stargazing that became a serious issue….Not that long ago, it was Reagan’s support of Creationism….Creationists actually got equal time with evolutionists. 

The public was supposed to be open-minded to the claims of paleontologists and fundamentalists, as if the two were scientific colleagues….It has been clear for a long time that the president is averse to science…In general, these attitudes fall onto friendly American turf….But at the outer edges, this skepticism about science easily turns into a kind of naive acceptance of non-science, or even nonsense.  The same people who doubt experts can also believe any quackery, from the benefits of laetrile to eye of newt to the movement of planets.  We lose the capacity to make rational — scientific — judgments.  It’s all the same.” — Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe Newspaper — Company-Washington Post Writers Group

Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked. Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an effect on our characters, lives, or destinies?  What force or influence, what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human beings and affect our development or fate?  No amount of scientific-sounding jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central problem with astrology — we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . .

Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions — like those of any scientific field — should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have generously done such testing for them.  There have been dozens of well-designed tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them.

I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by the firelight, afraid of the night.” — Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,  — “Why Astrology Believers Should Feel Embarrassed,” — San Jose Mercury News, May 8, 1988

“A society that lacks the patience to read, and loses the ability to do so, is rendered defenseless against its most profound stupidities.  As an example, consider the ease with which Americans came to regard a president known for his inaccuracy and imprecision as the great communicator, and by the tendency of American elections to give victory to the candidate who can afford the greatest number of
30-second TV spots.” — Mike Schmoker

“In spite of the recent progress in science, the depths of human imbecility have not yet been plumbed.” — H. Ellis

“Intellect annuls fate.  So far as a man thinks, he is free.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.” — Edward Abbey

Well, if that isn’t clear by now, it won’t ever be so…..hopefully I didn’t come close to boring y’all today; it was a fairly lengthy & a  heavy load of information to process. If so, well, better luck next time, big fella….. y’all take care out there…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




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