• Adages,  Parenthood

    Proud parenting moment – Halloween edition

    When we were wrapping up trick or treating we were talking about the prevalence of 15 foot skeletons. Either me or the wife mentioned that people left them up year round, and the Halloween skeletons became Thanksgiving skeletons, then Christmas skeletons, and so forth, and how this angered neighbors and neighborhood associations. After clarifying that the neighbors did not in fact buy the skeletons somehow, Marleigh had the memorable line

    That’s ridiculous – just because they have opinions doesn’t mean they have rights!

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  • Adages,  Freeman Dyson,  Wisdom

    Must all good things be compatible

    I’ve been pondering this quote from Isaiah Berlin (as seen in Rob Henderson’s newsletter)

    “The optimistic view…that all good things must be compatible, and that therefore freedom, order, knowledge, happiness…must be at least compatible, and perhaps even entail one another in a systematic fashion…is not self-evidently true…Indeed, it is perhaps one of the least plausible beliefs ever entertained by profound and influential thinkers.”

    Which also had the nugget

    Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow

    Which brought to mind the adage, first seen by me from Freeman Dyson of

    One law for the lion and ox is oppression

    The above is an illustration of the facts that the two ways of life are incompatible – the lion cannot digest plants, and the ox cannot digest meat. A law that said no eating animals, only plants, would lead to the lions starving, and a law that said eating animals is fine would lead to the deaths of the oxen.

    Examining incompatibilities between beliefs is immensely interesting, and probably one of the better signals of thoughtfulness.

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  • Adages

    Quote of the Day from CS Lewis

    I’ve probably posted this before, but

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

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