The Book of Good Living: The Social Minimum

I've struggled for a long time to figure out the simplest way to say this, and never gotten it down to a short formulation. But here it is at last, I think:It's not your job to cater to others. But you DO have to live your life in such a way that they're not forced to cater to you.Unpacking this brings out a lot of little specific rules such as:Don't pee on the toilet seat, forcing the next guy to wipe it off before he can sit there. Don't park in the supermarket entryway, forcing … [Read more...]

Death & Dying, Unbeliever Style

Comforting-Thoughts

I'm late to the party, but Greta Christina has a new book on death and dying as it relates to unbelievers. So far available only in audiobook and digital versions, ordering links to Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God are listed on her blog.An earlier post on Alternet covers the ground on  what to say as a bystander to someone dealing with death -- When It's Not God's Plan: 8 Things to Say to Grieving Nonbelievers.Finally, one of my own thoughts on the … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: How to Avoid Being Killed By A Train

Train

Metro-North Train Hits S.U.V., Killing 7 in Railroad’s Deadliest Accident When a train hits a car, it's pretty much never the train's fault. If you just arrived on this planet, here are some tips on How to Avoid Being Killed By A Train:1) Look for the big silvery steel rails, spaced about four feet apart. They will run for miles in each direction to your left and right. The rails themselves are a huge warning sign, and if all else fails, they will be there. However ...2) Where the big s … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Being Grownups on Planet Earth

Cowboy Dad

For most of the years I knew him, I unconsciously thought of my Cowboy Dad as “the grownup” in my life. Since he died, I’ve realized there were several side-effects of thinking that. One is that I cheated him out of all the years of ME being a grownup, so that we could be ... well, friendly equals, fellow MEN together. The other is that I cheated myself out of all those years of me being a grownup. All the endeavors and relationships in my life were approached in some degree of a child … [Read more...]

Zoning Out on Liberal vs. Conservative Issues

Con vs Lib

I woke up this morning with this diagram in my head.I tinkered it up in Illustrator later. Probably could have chosen brighter colors or a better layout, but I got tired of messing with it. You may have to click-and-embiggen it to see all the details.Especially note that the center vertical bar is labeled to indicate a gradation from Greater Factual Information (More Informed) at the top to Lesser Factual Information (More Ignorant) at the bottom, whereas the center section is labeled … [Read more...]

Looking Past the Bright Sun of Crazy

sun

[ This is about somewhat the same subject as my recent “bracket” post – the ignoring of the full array of facts on a subject at hand by narrowly focusing one's attention – but spotlighting a somewhat different aspect of it. ]I saw some people taking a “group of happy friends” picture a week or two back at one of those highway rest stops. Watching them, I felt an urge to take the camera away from them and reshoot the picture, because I just knew what they were going to get – a silhouette with … [Read more...]


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