Category Archives: iThinks

Repository for review-like categories and opinions.

15 Authors of Influence

Two of my friends have prodded me with this one, so I have given in to the pressure.  I hope you find benefit in my list.  Ask me in ten years and the list may change.  Who can say?

  1. E E Cummings (if ever there were a god made flesh…)
  2. Hemmingway (especially Old Man and the Sea)
  3. Henry Miller (especially Sexus)
  4. Gertrude Stein (especially The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas)
  5. Benjamin Franklin (the word autobiography was coined to explain what he’d written)
  6. Walter Kaufmann (premier Nietzscheian scholar and his Critique of Religion and Philosophy is amazing)
  7. Anaïs Nin (especially the five novels in her so-called continuous novel)
  8. Harlan Ellison
  9. Erich Fromm (ostensibly a psychologist; you can start with You Shall Be as Gods)
  10. Charles Bukowski
  11. Edna St Vincent Millay (especially her poem Renascence)
  12. Jean Baudrillard (French phenomenological philosopher)
  13. Donald Barthelme (excellent short story writer)
  14. Woody Allen (he has written many short stories as well as all those screenplays and stage plays)
  15. Stan Lee (nuff said)

When Is Rapid Not Rapid?

Someone on Fb was giving away a Dash Rapid Egg Cooker.  I don’t go in for kitchen single-use gadgets but I hit the search engines to see what rapid could mean since a hard-cooked egg only takes ten minutes in boiling water.

I found this video of someone praising the utility of the device:

So, you see from the video that this device will hard-cook eggs in a little more than sixteen minutes.  Very impressive.


Contemplating Dreadful Experiences

We often forget that we are not the one who commits suicide but only the recipients of realizations relating to the other’s decision to leave us.  It’s easy to forget.

The media, as a general rule, does not report on suicides.  The reason for this is that when the media reports on suicide there is a corresponding uptick in the suicide rate.  We might think of this as a sort of permissions slip passed around the news rooms and living rooms of this Earth.  However, when the person who commits suicide is a celebrity there is little avoiding that reporting:  we all want to know what has happened, the consequences be damned!

Last night one of my all-time favorite bands lost a singer and friend.  Let us take a moment.

That angelic voice, you will note is silent.  This is the future echoed from the past.

Please take some time out to say hello to your old friends.  They may appreciate hearing from you.

Good-bye, Chris.


Consilience by Edward O Wilson

A good read but probably narrowly of interest to those who read in the area of the history and philosophy of science.  Regardless it would be an important read outside of that sphere.

This quote is taken from page 241 in my copy.

On religion I lean toward deism but consider its proof largely a problem in astrophysics.  The existence of a cosmological God who created the universe (as envisioned by deism) is possible, and may eventually be settled, perhaps by forms of material evidence not yet imagined.  Or the matter may be forever beyond human reach.  In contrast, and of far greater importance to humanity, the existence of a biological God, one who directs organic evolution and intervenes in human affairs (as envisioned by theism) is increasingly contravened by biology and the brain sciences.

Here are some literary archetypes he lists out from page 223 and 224.

In the beginning, the people are crated by gods, or the mating of giants, or the clash of titans; in any case, they begin as special beings at the center of the world.

The tribe emigrates to a promised land (or Arcadia, or the Secret Valley, or the New World).

The tribe meets the forces of evil in a desperate battle for survival; it triumphs against heavy odds.

The hero descends to hell, or is exiled to wilderness, or experiences an iliad in a distant land; he returns in an odyssey against all odds past fearsome obstacles along the way, to complete his destiny.

The world ends in apocalypse, by flood, fire, alien conquerors, or avenging gods; it is restored by a band of heroic survivors.

A source of great power is found in the tree of life, the river of life, philosopher’s stone, sacred incantations, forbidden ritual, secret formula.

The nurturing woman is apotheosized as the Great Goddess, the Great Mother, Holy Woman, Divine Queen, Mother Earth, Gaia.

The seer has special knowledge and power of mind, available to those worthy to receive it; he is the wise old man or woman, the holy man, the magician, the great shaman.

The virgin has the power of purity, is the vessel of sacred strength, must be protected at all costs, and perhaps surrendered up to propitiate the gods or demonic forces.

Female sexual awakening is bestowed by the unicorn, the gentle beast, the powerful stranger, the magical kiss.

The trickster disturbs established order and liberates passion as the god of wine, king of the carnival, eternal youth, clown, jester, clever fool.

A monster threatens humanity, appearing as the serpent demon (Satan writhing at the bottom of hell), dragon, gorgon, golem, vampire.

And finally this gem from page 290.

Much of the technology required to reach that goal [“the diminishment of the total ecological footprint” of humanity] can be summarized in two concepts.  Decarbonization is the shift from the burning of coal, petroleum, and wood to essentially unlimited, environmentally light energy sources such as fuel cells, nuclear fusion, and solar and wind power.  Dematerialization, the second concept, is the reduction in bulk of hardware and the energy it consumes.  All the microchips in the world, to take the most encouraging contemporary example, can be fitted into the room that housed the Harvard Mark 1 electromagnetic computer at the dawn of the information revolution.


Separated at Birth? (John Mayall v Wilco)

I have long been interested in songs which have (in my admittedly warbled mind) a musical connection.  This is my first in what I hope to be a series of posts designed to offer these relationships to them Interwebzians like yourself.

First up I came across this old John Mayall song which reminds me of a Wilco song.  I’m not claiming thievery (any more than all art is on some level fantastic thievery); no, I’m merely saying these have a musical relationship which a casual observer might enjoy.


First we have John Mayall’s “I Still Care”.

Followed by Wilco’s “Hate It Here”.

After hearing a melodic connection I then noticed that the messages of the two songs have much in common.

Your opinions are welcome in the comments.