November 30, 2010

Nothing or interesting

Deer season in West Virginia came in last week. While I'm not exactly on the hunting varsity team, I did spend a bit of time in the woods.

Even though no deer came my way, I find there's a lot to be said for sitting quietly in the woods and just watching and listening. In my case, there were plenty of squirrels raising hell and lots of woodpecker action.

I also used the time on the hill to re-read another book of my old pal Nietzsche, The Gay Science, sometimes also known as The Joyful Wisdom. If someone asked what the book was about, I'd be hard pressed to answer except to say "all kinds of things."

Nietzsche is the master of the one liner or short epigram. Here are a few that caught my eye this time around:

After a great victory.--What is best about a great victory is that it liberates the victor from the fear of defeat. "Why not be defeated some time, too?" he says to himself; "Now I am rich enough for that.

Always in our company.--Whatever in nature and in history is of my own kind, speaks to me, spurs me on, and comforts me; the rest I do not hear or forget right away. We are always only in our own company.

Against many a defense.--The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.

Against embarassment.--If you are always profoundly occupied, you are beyond all embarassment.

I especially like this one:

Dreams.--Either we have no dreams or our dreams are interesting. We should learn to arrange our waking life in the same way: nothing or interesting.

A BETTER WAY. The Economic Policy Institute, Demos, and The Century Foundation have come up with an alternative for dealing with deficits and the recession.

GOT SPINE? Here's a call for progressive backbone in the deficit debate.

CHILD POVERTY. Also from EPI, this snapshot shows that the Great Recession pushed more children into poverty.



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