The Dead Fish

"King Charles II once invited members of the Royal Society to explain to him why a dead fish weighs more than the same fish alive; a number of subtle explanations were offered him." excerpted from After Virtue-a study in moral theory by Alasdair MacIntyre

Can you explain the scientific reason why?


Covenant: It Has Always Been Thus

Skeptically embrace any innovator's claim to have resolved any of the fundamental difficulties of work, whether claiming to eliminate drudgery or ensure success. There have always been touts claiming mastery over gravity or the seasons, and none have ever delivered on their promises.

Focus, instead, upon honing your ability to cope with the normal, easily anticipated, eternal complications of your work. Calluses defend what no glove could protect.

It Has Always Been Thus. We yearn for liberation, expecting the good guys to ride in on foaming horses or the eleventh hour benefactor to magically appear. Fortunate synchronicity when it occurs. No evidence of bad luck when it does not.

The game of Three Card Monty is not a game of skill for anyone but the one inviting you to play. They've learned to tickle your switches. Can you recognize when someone is tickling yours?


Industrial Regulation

I quite innocently started my research where I expected to find the answer. This, probably the result of Google Poisoning. I'd even taken the researcher's orientation class, taught by the author of The Oxford Guide To Library Research, and he'd cautioned me. "You won't find what you're looking for where you expect to find it."

The problem with keyword searches? They give you what you've asked for, not what you really needed but were too ignorant to know you needed. That's why libraries catalogue their holdings by subject categories. Some books are general, some more specific. The specific are not classified as subsets of more general classifications. You want a book on blue crabs, ask for blue crabs, not the more general crustaceans. Slip over here for more ...


Sweet Dreams

The deck looks less lush without the resident spider plant I delivered to Amy's office on Friday. Rose noticed, and lay forlornly near where the spider has sat. The cats are not yet resigned to apartment living. They still shake their little fists at whatever gods got them here, and seem to remember lounging in the shadows beneath endless expanses of plant shadow and yard. Rose munches on the cat grass occasionally, and spends every night when it's not thunder-storming holding watch on the beige artificial carpeting on the balcony. Outside, sniffing the breeze, neither purring nor sleeping. Watching. Listening. Perhaps seething.

Crash is mostly sociable. He seems pleased whenever either one of us returns, but also crying plaintively as if mourning. I've taken to offering a few kitty treats when I return, which, I know!, encourages infantile behavior. I scratch heads and switch out their water bowl for some cold water from the filter pitcher from the fridge. I don't expect them to drink the musty tap water here either.

Slip over here for more ...


Covenant: Carry Your Own Water, Cook Your Own Food

Continuing with the long-interrupted series considering the fundamental understandings behind effective work, the personal covenants forged between the worker and his work that seem to enable effective contribution. ... Where do these originate? Some are personal discoveries. Others get whispered from father to son, mother to child, mentor to aspirant, and stick. Those unfortunate enough to not carry their covenants, whatever they are (and these I present in this series represent no universal exemplary set), find themselves luffing in the wind. Their work does not sustain them because they do not sustain themselves.

Carry Your Own Water, Cook Your Own Food refers to more than toting and frying. It relates to a self-sufficiency, responsible for its own sustenance, not dependent upon servants, slaves, or supplicants to tend to basic needs. Slip over here for more ...



We all understand that no map is the territory it portrays. Whatever the chosen projection, glaring differences remain between what can be drawn and what's being represented. Prague famously proclaims that there are no accurate maps of the place, and that getting lost is the only way to learn how to navigate the city. Their map explicitly misleads. Not to be perverse, but to help map readers better cope with the inevitable.

If only every map-maker was this thoughtful. It seems to me that every map suffers from the same shortcoming as Prague's. Whether it's a hastily-drawn scribble intended to guide someone to the neighborhood deli or some laminated intended-to-be permanent portrait of a city's streets, it's wrong, and wrong in some indefinable but none-the-less situationally significant aspect. The value of each incorrect projection ultimately depends upon the perspective of the user, not the accuracy of the map.

And there's no better perspective for any map user than the one reminding themselves that the guide they are following is wrong in some indefinable way. This to avoid over-dependence and to help each remain open to accepting the unavoidable misunderstandings encountered when following any map. Slip over here for more ...