The Book of Good Living: Innocent Until Proven Guilty

innocent

A common thread that has run through many of the stories we’ve seen in the last few years, about the public outcry over genetically modified crops, and over the PCBs which GE dumped in the Hudson River here in Upstate New York, is that there is insufficient proof of the dangers. The implication is that anyone harboring baseless suspicions about these things, which are after all the result of scientific progress, is either a Luddite or a superstitious primitive.Nobody ever says it out loud, b … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Favors

begging rabbit

I was in a position to witness a young woman asking people for a cigarette at a highway rest stop a few days back. “Could you give me a cigarette? No?? Oh, please, please, please! It’s just one cigarette, and I really NEED it. It’s just one lousy cigarette!”She ended up crying (!), complaining tearfully about how rude people are nowadays. “I just don’t understand (sob) how people can be so RUDE. Anytime I have cigarettes and someone asks me for one, I (sob) give it to them. Some people are su … [Read more...]

Book of Good Living: The Risk Rule

risky

My approach to risk is tuned toward the more sensitive end of the spectrum. (We're not counting the bull riding, which was a 20-something macho-guy one-off.)As I said in my last post, I've gotten to the age of 62 without a stitch, a broken bone, or a major accident of any sort. I've done it by following a rough rule for dealing with risks.So here's my Risk Rule. (Note that this applies mainly to physical dangers, and not to existential hazards such as being turned down when asking … [Read more...]

Book of Good Living: The 5 Second Rule

5 seconds

No, this has nothing to do with dropping food on the floor. This is about the OTHER 5 seconds, the one that gives you a cushion of safety in everyday life.The simplest statement of the rule might be: “Look 5 seconds ahead ... in every direction.”Every person who drives is familiar with the concept of looking ahead. Some of us do it badly, and end up in rear-end collisions, or even pileups. Some of us do it well and see cops on the side of the highway a half mile or so in advance, so we ca … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Standing in Line

Too harsh? Anything you'd add? The General Rule It all comes down to fairness. It’s fair that the guy who got there first deserves to be waited on first. If there are people behind you in line, NOTICE THEM, and remember you’re taking their time too. Do the deed and move along.If you were in traffic and the light turned green, other drivers would expect you to move off immediately, not sit there texting or talking or dithering. And so would you. They’ve got 30 minutes for lunch, they’re late … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Book of Good Living … Again

good stuff

If you're a long-time reader here, you may remember a couple of Beta-Culture-related posts from 2012 about The Book of Good Living. If not, it's like this:You know all that wisdom the Bible supposedly contains? The Talmud? The Koran? What if you could get wisdom about life without all the goddy freight mixed in? Without all the "GOD SAYS DO THIS, DO THAT, OR BURN IN HELL FOREVER!" Might not be a bad thing, huh?The general model for where you get all the good advice is your parents, aunts … [Read more...]


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