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Occasional Observation #17: Descartes Updated

I have integrity; therefore I am inconvenient.

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Occasional Observation #16

Any time you see me relying on the conventional wisdom, please call a doctor immediately!

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Occasional Observation #14

Several events have transpired over the past 24 hours. I believe that these events’ simultaneous occurrence is no coincidence. In the Christian year, yesterday marked the Feast of the Epiphany. In Washington, D.C., lawmakers gathering to certify the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had their eyes opened, many for the first time, to the true horrors of the Trump regime, as manifested in the coup attempt featuring an invasion of the Capitol and Senate and House office buildings. From the tone as well as content of many of the Senators’ speeches during the subsequent debates on objection to the certification, this event was of the nature of another epiphany, albeit of a very different kind. Meanwhile, we have passed the end of the third and final phase of the winter solstice. Sunrises are now beginning to get earlier, albeit at a very slow pace.

It’s my hope that the gradually longer periods of daylight we’ll be experiencing will be matched by an increase in thoughtful, reasoned discussion centring on the key issues in both houses of the U.S. Congress. Last night’s debate, particularly in the Senate, certainly seems to have been a hopeful augury.

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Occasional Observation #13

It seems fitting that 2020 ended with my using a technology I hadn’t used before–video chat via Facebook. For years, the Facebook chat process had seemed totally mysterious to me, but when I finally attempted it last night to talk to a friend, it was almost like the discovery, by Moliere’s “bourgeois gentilhomme,” that he’d been speaking prose all his life. The differences between Facebook video chat and Zoom seem minimal, except that the former does not require the setting up of a special account. Interestingly enough, although (like most people) I spent far more time than usual online during 2020, my Facebook time diminished sharply following my late-August move to West Quebec. I suspect that this was because after the move, I was spending far more time than I had in Nova Scotia talking to people in the flesh. . .

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Occasional Observation #12

We have now reached the latest sunrise–the start of the third and last phase of the winter solstice. In a week or so, sunrises will, very gradually, start to become earlier. Note that sunsets, which reached their earliest point over three weeks ago, are now nearly ten minutes later than they were then. By mid-January, even though the weather is likely to be colder then than it is now, it will be staying light significantly longer.

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Occasional Observation #11

Tuning in CBC Radio 2 any time before 9 a.m. and hearing the Kapuskasing hurting music that they have on offer at that hour is like sitting down at the breakfast table for morning coffee and finding cheap muscatel in one’s cup.

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Occasional Observation #10

As I think about technology these days, I feel a little bit the way Hubert Humphrey might have had he been called on to address the liberal Americans for Democratic Action in 1968. My apostasies from my original Luddite faith this year have been numerous and glaring. Not only have I participated, frequently, in Zoom meetings; I’ve even gone to electronic Interac bank transfers in place of traditional cheques.

Would I even know how properly to wield a sledgehammer or an axe any more, if called on to do so?

To be continued! Happy New Year, all.

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Occasional Observation #9

Technology certainly isn’t lovable, so it damn well better be perfect!

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Occasional Observation #8

Dammit, I’m going to be avuncular when and as I please!

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Occasional Observation #7

It’s a relief to know we’ve reached the earliest sunset, and that starting tomorrow, sunsets will, very gradually, get later. This doesn’t mean that the days will get any longer, as for the next two weeks or so, sunrises will also get gradually later. Still, it’s the first stage of the solstice, and it is good to know that one stage of it, at least, is past.