Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

This cartoon illustrates the limits of our freedom.

There is another existentialist puzzle buried in this cartoon – namely, “Who the hell do those ducks think they are?”

From the book Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar.

It’s Raining Plastic

Over the years as I have considered different apocalyptic scenarios, death by plastic was completely off my radar.

Restraint and refinement are not mankind’s strong suits. The opposites – excess and barbarism – has resulted in 8 billion metric tons of plastic waste produced since 1950.

And there is more everyday, in every store, in every country.

Since there are gaps in my ability to understand everything, perhaps there is an alternative explanation for the plastic rain. Something other than climate collapse and ecosystem ruination.

Words from The Wizard of Oz are running through my brain. Specifically, the final words of the wicked witch of the west:

“What a world; what a world.”

If you somehow missed this good news story, you can read about it here.

Don’t Be Too Quick to Turn Your Phone Into Your Wallet

(But first, a correction about yesterdays post. My point was based on images of garbage. You had to click on the green highlighted word “mad”, which most people missed. I will make my links clearer in the future.)

I can’t remember what website I found this on, but it is good information. And maybe the consequences are something you hadn’t thought of.

“An anonymous reader quotes this opinion piece by former derivatives broker Brett Scott: Banks are closing ATMs and branches in an attempt to ‘nudge’ users¬†towards digital services — and it’s all for their own benefit… I recently got a letter from my bank telling me that they are shutting down local branches because “customers are turning to digital”, and they are thus “responding to changing customer preferences”. I am one of the customers they are referring to, but I never asked them to shut down the branches… I am much more likely to “choose” a digital option if the banks deliberately make it harder for me to choose a non-digital option. In behavioral economics this is referred to as “nudging”. If a powerful institution wants to make people choose a certain thing, the best strategy is to make it difficult to choose the alternative…

“Digital systems may be “convenient”, but they often come with central points of failure. Cash, on the other hand, does not crash. It does not rely on external data centres and is not subject to remote control or remote monitoring. The cash system allows for an unmonitored “off the grid” space. This is also the reason why financial institutions and financial technology companies want to get rid of it. Cash transactions are outside the net that such institutions cast to harvest fees and data.”

“A cashless society brings dangers. People without bank accounts will find themselves further marginalized, disenfranchised from the cash infrastructure that previously supported them. There are also poorly understood psychological implications about cash encouraging self-control while paying by card or a mobile phone can encourage spending. And a cashless society has major surveillance implications.
While a cashless society might make it cheaper to run a bank, “A cashless society is not in your interest…” argues the author.”

“We must recognize every cash machine that is shut down as another step in financial institutions’ campaign to nudge you into their digital enclosures.”

Cash is freedom. Cashless is another step in the direction of too much control over your life.

I’m Glad I’m Old

I have joined the Collapseatarians like Daniel A. Drumright because unlike the rest of the world, I know you can’t have infinite growth in a finite universe.

Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last says “If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”

And the writer Anne Lamott said, “Yet no matter how much we recycle, believe in our Priuses, and abide by our local laws, we see that our beauty is being destroyed, crushed by greed and cruel stupidity.”

We are a long way from Eden. Mankind has truly gone mad.

House Cleaning Tips

  • Choose grout in the colour of mould.
  • Wear Fridge Mittens with stainless steel appliances, to eliminate fingerprints. Works for dishwashers and stoves too.
  • Support the fledgling industry of Cat Clothing, by wearing clothes woven from cat fur. This will free up all the time and money spent on lint brushes.
  • Install tile in 4 x 8 sheets, like drywall, thus eliminating the need for mould coloured grout.
  • Take a tip from the Scandinavians, and fall in love with blonde wood. It makes dust invisible using the same magic of the cloaks that the elves gave to Frodo.
  • Embrace your inner John Pawson and build floor to ceiling storage walls with slab doors in every room. That way, everything you own is hidden from view, making clean up a snap.

Your Social Credit Score

You will like this if you believe “If you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear.”

You will not like this if you remember that the yardstick for measuring “wrong” things is elastic and changes with the whim of the powerful.

https://internationalman.com/articles/chinas-social-credit-system-its-coming-to-the-united-states/

That Was a Long Intermission

The line ups to the washroom and the popcorn concession took forever! Three weeks in fact.

In reality, I didn’t have enough tech info with me at the cabin to be able to access my blog.

My royal consort just got a new iPad Pro, so we should be able to figure out how I can post from the great white north. And when I say we, I mean asking our brilliant tech friends how to do it.

Thanks for hanging in and not hitting the unsubscribe button.

FYI – the heat and biting insects are atrocious up north.

Summertime, And The Blogging is Breezy

In other words, a little more relaxed and infrequent than usual.

But don’t despair, I will still be navigating the uncharted waters of the hydroquogosphere, and reporting back whenever I can.

In the meantime, scroll through the blog backwards to the beginning. The posts are all quite short, so it won’t take much of your time. You will revisit old LOL favourites, and maybe learn something new and fresh. That’s why reruns exist – we humans are self-forgetting machines.

Slan go foill (which is Irish for goodbye for now, and sorry, but I don’t know how to add the accents above the letters on WordPress).

Generosity Is a Bad Investment

The birds in my yard have just had their welfare payments reduced. In my zeal to be St. Francis of Assisi, I have realized that I might actually go bankrupt. Honore de Balzac said that behind every great fortune lies a crime. Behind some bankruptcies, there are dozens of well-fed squirrels and birds. The amount spent on birdseed in the eight months from November until now totals what some people spend sending their kids to university.

So now the cycle is one day with feeders filled, and one day where they are forced to forage. Since I have probably interfered with nature and increased their populations, the foraging day might look like a scene from Lord of the Flies.

Feeding the birds is a good thing to do, but being a helicopter parent to wildlife was not a good idea. So now they are relearning bird homesteading skills, and I still help them on alternate days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWJ9ADAs6b8

Generosity Is a Good Investment

Instead of leaving all of your plunder to greedy or well off relatives, consider giving some to charity.

Why give all your money to people who already have enough? There are charities for everything, and they need your money. Religious Organizations; Wildlife Care Centres; Music Programs for Underpriviledged Kids; Libraries; Missions for the Blind; The Owl Foundation; The Bruce Trail; Jane Goodall Institute; Friends of the Earth; Cultural Organizations; Mennonite Relief Agencies. The list is endless. Or give money to plant trees in parks or provide benches – you can even put your name on it for posterity.

And if you have a sizeable estate, remember to include the assets as part of your giving plan. Most people only consider the 10% of an estate that is in cash when they divvy it up. So if they want to give 10% to something near and dear to their heart, it ends up being 10% of 10%. Think of how much better it would be to help out by giving 10% of the full 100%.

So, for example, if you have two children, consider making a charity your “third child.” By the time you are dead, everybody will probably have all the stuff they need. But for people who help the helpless, the needs are endless.

Something to think about.

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