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In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

-- G. K. Chesterton

I LOLed

Feb. 19th, 2008 06:09 pm
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a grim, committed drive to prove that the Peter Principle is wrong, and that, indeed, one can rise beyond one’s level of incompetence, perchance to explore heretofore unknown, virgin realms of incompetence none have ever seen before.
(John Scalzi speaking about Andrew Burt)
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This apparently takes only a little math. Now, I don't know a little math, but I know people who do know a little math. -- Blaine Cook
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I think the plural of "mutex" is "annoyance".

I prefer to read in the nude, the way God intended.

Hi! I'm from the Church of Ethical Living and Bountiful Loving. Have you heard of casual sex? Would you like to know more?

What is the word for a plurality of lesbians? A "fist"!
And what's the plurality of gay men? An "enthusiasm".

That outfit is even more flamboyant than yesterday's.
But yesterday I was wearing FM boots, microskirt, and a bustier!
Yeah, but this dress has more colors.

Doesn't anyone have a television anymore? I wanna watch Desperate Housewives in an hour!
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Rope is the new leather.
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A USENET thread, wherein someone is argues that permitting freedom in choices is something to be avoided. I wouldn't have believed that someone would make the argument, but then, I'm a reactionary libertarian whackjob. (My words are in the blue.)

The "right one" is irrelevent and mostly illusionary. Most choices don't even have an intrinsically "right answer", they are purely personal preferences.
Most choices? No, not really. There are lots of choices that people can make very cogent arguments should be the "norm" and we need mechanisms of handling the driction that that entails in a society. We don't have the luxuary of everybody doing their own thing anymore.
And so once again, we're in the weird position where:
  • the "reactionary nutjob" (that's me) is arguing in favor of freedom, individuality, and respect for the actual diversity of people and thought.
  • and the "liberal" is arguing in favor of enforced comformity.
Your argument is exactly the same one made by the pre- and anti- enlightment cohort. They were wrong then. Why are you right now?
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In a thread elsewhere in LJ, the following was posted:
Pfft. Like anybody actually enjoys being moral. We enjoy the fruits of morals (like not getting mugged repeatedly) but the act of self-restraint and consideration is rarely enjoyable. You don't have to like it, you just have to know how to do it.


I pondered over it for a while, and responded with:

I disagree. Self-restraint and consideration is often enjoyable, both in themselves, and in the "fruits of the harvest" that come from having self-restraint and consideration, to people who have the ability and inclination to think things through!

Having a very short time horizon combined with an attitude of indulgence results in a life experience that is full of poverty, loneliness, and physical disability.

This aspect of existence is a feature, not a bug.

fallenpegasus: (Default)
"No seat in this airplane will go to Hawaii today. Every seat in this airplane will go to Boise, and they will all arrive in Boise at exactly the same time. So please don't waste any time looking for that one special seat when you board." -- Southwest Airlines Gate Clerk
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every art should accept the moral obligation to be intelligible or silent link
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"An empty life costs as much as a full one." -- [livejournal.com profile] amythis
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"He thought he could walk on water.

That's what sank the ship."
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"'very' is the limp-wristed fag of adverbs" -- Elf Sternberg
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Actually the real question is whether we can afford to keep burning hydrocarbons, wherever we gets 'em from. x
So you do your part in conviencing the folks around you to be pro-nuke, yes? x
Indeed I do .. and yourself? x
I try. The problem is, it seems that everyone who already isn't convienced, the moment someone says "nuke", their brain turns off. Of course, it seems that for people who do think about energy and pollution and who are not already pro-nuke, the "brain turn off" function is already either on a hair-trigger, or is welded down. It's worse than the goddamn "for the sake of the children" problem. x
Atoms make baby Jesus cry. That's about the only explanation I can give for some people's reactions. x
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You know what this means? I am no longer a futurist. I am a presentist. Everyone else is simply living in the past. link
fallenpegasus: (Default)
If you're playing the Depeche Mode because you like the beat and you think the lyrics are amusing, that's one thing. If you're playing it because you really think that the message of misery speaks so profoundly to your deep and tortured soul, then, yeah, grow up. link

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Mark Atwood

November 2016

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