moseying about on thurs a.m.

A little slow getting going this morning.  Got up and made coffee and started goofing around with some left over unread articles from yesterday beginning with David Brooks: What’s the big idea? | Books | The Guardian. In this article, David Brooks the NYT columnist surprisingly describes himself as a “socialist,” admittedly with some qualifications.

This article mentioned the fact that Brooks is unusual because he likes Trollope’s novels. As do I. This led me to begin downloading some free ebooks to my new netbook. My old one was full of them. I began with the book that the Brooks article actually mentioned: “The American Senator” by Anthony Trollope (link to free download page for this book).

I went ahead and downloaded it in the Kindle format because that’s already installed on my netbook.

After noticing on the Writer’s Almanac page that today is Thomas Hardy’s birthday, I pulled down a collection of his poetry, “Time’s Laughingstocks,” and read the first poem, “The Revisitation.”

My wife has been talking about the web resources available through the local library. I tried to check it out today. But it frustrated both of us that I could not quite get their free downloading of music page to work.

Then I went to the ebook page and decided I should try that out.  This led me to download and install the free  Adobe ebook reader software.  This reminded me that U of Chicago had released an interesting title for their free ebook of the month.  I was reminded because it is Adobe ebook format. So I pulled that off their site and even stuck it up on Facebook because I thought it might interest several  “friends” on Facebook, including my beloved nephew Ben who is a bit of history buff. This book seems up his alley.

Interestingly, I had a “friend” comment who seemed to think this book wasn’t worth checking out. Hm. I found myself a bit defensive and tried to respond without sounding too reactive.

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3 thoughts on “moseying about on thurs a.m.

  1. Intellectuals have long been saturated with the idea that socialism is a good thing. It is not. I repeat it is not. This idea that someone else knows best how you should live your life, is ridiculous. There are plenty of examples of failure of these kinds of social order in Europe, from one extreme to another. The true issue is about individual freedom.

    Are you free? Free to write? Free to think? Free to start a business? Free to speak? Socialism limits these freedoms. Of course all for good reasons. This is the way it always works. Who decides? Who is responsible?

    Well, shouldn’t it be the individual?

  2. Sarah, I find Per amusing. I like his sense of humor. I engage people who disagree with me in an attempt to establish conversation in which I and they can comment and ask questions to clarify our thoughts and provoke more consideration. This seems to have occurred in my last back and forth with Per, so cool beans.

    Ray, You obviously feel strongly about socialism. However, I find your sweeping generalization about intellectuals and vague rhetorical questions incoherent. To imply that people who use their intellect (intellectuals) are saturated with ideas you disagree with is illogical and self-contradictory since you are attempting an “intellectual” proposition yourself when you do so. Your series of questions seem to imply that socialism prohibits free thought and speech which would surely surprise conservative commentators like Brooks not to mention entire countries like Canada and the U.K. where socialist politicians depend on and espouse the very things you are accusing socialism (by implication) of “limiting.”

    If you are espousing capitalism instead of socialism as an expression of individual freedom of thought, I find this also confusing. But maybe that’s not what you mean. FWIW Capitalism can (and does in the USA) stifle the same kinds of individual freedoms that you accuse socialism of doing as well. The market tends to only entertain and support free thoughts when these can be used to make a profit. It actually can suppress free conversations and new ideas by limiting their distribution via the market. See all TV news. Bigger enterprises gobble up smaller ones and limit freedoms of individuals to start their own businesses. And so on.

    Socialism, capitalism, individualism are all fraught with both strengths and weaknesses as are most “isms.”. When I think of them (which is not often) I try to understand them on their own terms and make sense of people who espouse them. Not always successfully.

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