Posts Tagged ‘Time of Icarus’

I was born in the United States of America in the mid-20th century.

I only remember one house, in an old suburb of a big city. I walked and biked to school, and in the summer my buddies and I roamed the neighborhood largely unsupervised, catching crawdads in the drainage ditch, playing various sports in the vacant lot, and flying (and wrecking) various kit-built and homemade model airplanes in the parking lot behind the Baptist church at one end of the street. There was a Methodist church at the other end; that was where we went until I was about 10 and my father decided that Sundays were better spent at the beach! It’s parking lot was smaller than the Baptists’ and had trees, making it unsuitable for our aeronautical adventures.

My parents loved me. Though my father was strict and had a temper, he also had a fantastic sense of humor (which some say I inherited) and went out of his way to create happy memories. If it was fun, inexpensive (free counts), and legal, we probably did it. We went on a family driving vacation every summer. We went fishing. We went to lots of baseball games. He took us to the stock car races and the wrestling matches. Many evenings at dinner were punctuated with all of us laughing so hard about something that had happened at work or at school that we couldn’t stop. My parents are still married. My mom was a gradually retiring nurse, loving but no nonsense.

My wife and I are in our third decade of marriage, the first for both of us. Her parents are still married too. We’re a genuinely happy couple. We like each others’ company more than just about anything else in the world. We each genuinely enjoy too-seldom times with our in-laws and other extended family. We’re both pretty healthy, and we have a wonderful adult daughter who’s moved away but calls a couple of times a week.

Even for an American, I’m the freak show. (more…)

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Last week, a friend referred me to a TED talk by Kathryn Schulz, “On Being Wrong.”

The talk is only 18 minutes long and I found it worth a listen. She points out that being wrong feels just like being right until we find out that we’re wrong. Then it feels awful. So we avoid checking to see whether we’re wrong—a bad local optimization if there ever was one.

If we really are in the Time of Icarus, a lot of us have been wrong about a lot of things. I can’t find the source, but, “There is no such thing as a crisis, only the end of an illusion.” But the way we’re handling it is circling the wagons, tightening our grip on Ours, and blaming Them.

Good luck with that. (more…)

I was listening to an outgoing senior welcome some freshmen at a university.

Regarding the future, he said, “I don’t know enough to be pessimistic.”

Maybe it’s not the “Time of Icarus” after all. Maybe its just hard times and changing times.

Despite the subtitle, you won’t read much if anything specifically about the troubles of the world here.

You will read about looking at the people around you and asking, relative to each one, “What is for me the path of love?” How do I take care of myself so that I can stay on it, even through the Time of Icarus?