Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Year: 2020 (Page 1 of 2)

Gutenberg

I’ve activated the Gutenberg Editor in WordPress. I’ll be able to switch between it and the Classic Editor (which I prefer), but I know that I’ll need to learn it. It’s very similar to Wagtail’s StreamField editor. You create blocks to build your page. It’s supposed to be more flexible and powerful.

I don’t care. It’s very different and, frankly, a pain in the ass to switch. It’s like going from Word 97 to Word 2003 (I don’t remember the exact names). It required learning Word all over again. This is on a smaller scale but it is a big change.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche

It also pisses us off.

Me

Somewhere in the middle of Nowhere, Arizona.

Three Quotes That Define America

When I saw the last quote I was reminded of the other two. I think all pretty define the problem we face in America. But is it really a problem? Short answer Yes. Long answer,  I’ll try to explain in a later post.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

Newsweek: “A Cult of Ignorance” by Isaac Asimov, January 21, 1980, p. 19.
https://aphelis.net/cult-ignorance-isaac-asimov-1980/

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time—when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

Americans are, of course, the most thoroughly and passively indoctrinated people on earth. They know next to nothing as a rule about their own history, or the histories of other nations, or the histories of the various social movements that have risen and fallen in the past, and they certainly know little or nothing of the complexities and contradictions comprised within words like “socialism” and “capitalism.” Chiefly, what they have been trained not to know or even suspect is that, in many ways, they enjoy far fewer freedoms, and suffer under a more intrusive centralized state, than do the citizens of countries with more vigorous social-democratic institutions. This is at once the most comic and most tragic aspect of the excitable alarm that talk of social democracy or democratic socialism can elicit on these shores. An enormous number of Americans have been persuaded to believe that they are freer in the abstract than, say, Germans or Danes precisely because they possess far fewer freedoms in the concrete. They are far more vulnerable to medical and financial crisis, far more likely to receive inadequate health coverage, far more prone to irreparable insolvency, far more unprotected against predatory creditors, far more subject to income inequality, and so forth, while effectively paying more in tax (when one figures in federal, state, local, and sales taxes, and then compounds those by all the expenditures that in this country, as almost nowhere else, their taxes do not cover). One might think that a people who once rebelled against the mightiest empire on earth on the principle of no taxation without representation would not meekly accept taxation without adequate government services. But we accept what we have become used to, I suppose. Even so, one has to ask, what state apparatus in the “free” world could be more powerful and tyrannical than the one that taxes its citizens while providing no substantial civic benefits in return, solely in order to enrich a piratically overinflated military-industrial complex and to ease the tax burdens of the immensely wealthy?

Three Cheers for Socialism
Christian Love & Political Practice
By David Bentley Hart February 24, 2020
https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/three-cheers-socialism

Should I blog more?

Yes, yes I should.

Currently surviving COVID-19 pandemic.  Staying safe as best we can.

Could things be better? Yes, yes they can.

Will they get better? Unknown.

Are other countries doing better? Yes, there are countries less advanced than ours that have the pandemic under better control.

Ich lerne Deutsch

I am using Duolingo to brush up and learn more German. It’s fun and I am learning but it is not an end in it self. I need other tools. I’ve started watching Babylon Berlin with German subtitles (watching with English subtitles is not conducive to learning the language). It’s amazing how much you can follow the story without knowing the language.

If you are a fan of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, you will recognize this reference. And now you know how to say it in German:

Die Antwort is zweiundvierzig. Was ist die Frage?

 

Ich mag Duolingo. Es ist sehr gut.


I like learning languages. I actually have a minor in Russian, but I’ve forgotten most of it (Я забыл как говорить по русски). I can still read it. I studied both Spanish and German in high school. I preferred German but was talked into taking a little Spanish. I also took a semester of Japanese at a community college. Other languages I have studied on my own: Scottish Gaelic and French.  I am not fluent in any of these. However, now is as good as time as any to become fluent in one of them. And German was my first (language) love. Ich habe Deutsch in meinem herzen. My second love is Scottish Gaelic. ‘S toigh leam Gaidhlig.

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