Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weekend Edition--


What I am reading

  • David Kaiser's latest Time article. I have had The Fourth Turning on my e-reader for some time. This reminds me I really should finish it. Also need to get cracking on Daniel Boorstin's The Image which he wrote in the late 1960s but seems relevant to what is happening now.
  • "The Enemy Is Not Death; The Enemy is Needless Suffering"--good take on medical practice as it is now and as it should be. Some years ago I read an article about an elderly man who opted for expensive, experimental, and painful treatment when cancer that had been in remission came back. He was a Holocaust survivor and, having survived against long odds and in brutal conditions, was willing to grasp at any straw to keep living. I was in my 30s when I read the piece and one would think I would have agreed. I did--for him. He thought the process worth while. For me--not. Those kinds of decisions involve the delicate balancing of beliefs and values.
  • Oxford Dictionaries has chosen its word-of-the-year: post-truth. I remember answering a student's question on how people in the past could act or think the way they did in the face of contradictory facts. I forget the exact era of history we were studying at that point. However, I tried to point out that sometimes belief trumps triumphs over facts. If you believe 1) witches are real, 2) they are always malevolent, 3) they are a danger to society, and 4) your religion condemns them, you might just act on that belief.
  • Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History and Harvesting Color. I read a couple of chapters at a time. Don't read anything much at one sitting any more and may put it down for a week or more.
What I am doing
  • I started on the winter wreath yesterday. After getting the foliage and flowers trimmed--a difficult task because of the wire cores. Everything is arranged and today I will wire the pieces down.
  • Continuing to make progress on the shawl. Did another two rows and will do more today.
What I am reading

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