You are what you think

by phil on Friday Oct 8, 2010 9:31 AM

See there!

Etymologies give me little hits of pleasure sometimes. For example, voila which is defined as "used to call attention, to express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic" is French, literally meaning "see there." Which makes me think of other words like view, vision, and vista, which I never thought to connect to the word voila.

Present tense

I read that psychologists have determined that the human perception of "now" is about 10 seconds long. Actually, some psychologists figured that a sense of now can be as short as a few seconds to in some cases an hour. I imagine that for truck drivers, living in the present means being present in hour-long time spans. I imagine that for professional athletes in flow, time dilates and "now" slows down to fractions of a second. Slugger David Ortiz, who is known for his long saunters up to the plate, said that when the pitcher throws the ball, he sees it coming at him in slow motion.

Quaker happiness

The issue of the Quakers always concerns me; they have absolutely none of my aspirations, but also none of my unhappiness.

Tea Party problems

Do you remember Dr. Laura's rant? She accused a caller of being hyper-sensitive about racism. Dr. Laura said, "Turn on HBO and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger. If any white people say it, it's horrible. But when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing." So her primary concern with accusations of racism is that it's "confusing." This gets me riled up. It's as if that's the hardest thing in the world right now, how confusing it is to know what racial terms you can say and what you can't say. To a certain segment of the population, the worst problems in America right now are illegal immigration and too many people on welfare. No, the worst problem in America is that this is the land of imprisonment. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. It's almost like we keep talking freedom this, freedom that, in the hope that if we say it enough times, it'll make up for the reality that we're not the land of the free.

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