Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Closing of the Highlands

I made a wrong turn a long time ago... and can never get back to where I belongTime's healing of some wounds takes longer than others. There are times when I look back at my life and wish I had done something differently, or had another chance to navigate a storm. How would things be different if I had made slightly different decisions, or perhaps had had some perspective that only came later? I also think the chance to play with history in this way would grant a rare opportunity for living more honestly -- I do my best to always keep wishful thinking out of my analyses of myself and others, but I'm sure it creeps in here and there. There have been occasions when I've told people exactly what I thought their problems were (at the end of relationships, friendships, and sometimes in other circumstances), and then not seen them for quite some time. Sometimes, they've come back much later and told me that I was right, sometimes I hear nothing. It may be that I was wrong in some of the latter cases, and while some of these times may be because of insufficient information, others may have been because of a need to create dramatic explanations to extricate myself, at least partly, from blame. I am, after all, human, and we do that kind of thing to preserve our ego, as much as a fairly dominant part of myself attempts to avoid that way of thinking. I want to learn more about my failings in that area so I can be as fair as a judge. I think I'd like, when I am long gone, that when people think of my character, they think that firstly I was a fair and honest person, and then that I was a kind, good guy (in that order).

Last night, at CTree, I overheard an oldish new-age guy talking to a young oriental christian guy. The old guy was saying that it really doesn't matter so much what people believe as long as they get some kind of purpose in life. He then talked about some bad pseudoscience for awhile, and left. The young guy and I chatted for awhile -- he apparently is from a nonreligious family and found religion, and has problems with various parts of science because they don't fit with the gospels. The discussion was very placid and unemotional (I was feeling even more emotionally flat than usual, and he wasn't a very excitable sort), and we covered initially why he finds the bible to be a good foundation (although he never really gave an answer -- the closest he got was saying that he prefers the certainty of religion to the journey of science), the history of the bible (which he actually didn't know very much about), science (which he knew even less about), the nature/historicity of Jesus, apocrypha (which he was pulling from unknowingly), and some stories in the bible which he felt the need to recount to me. One of the things religious people typically just don't understand is that for people who don't think the christian bible is anything more than a set of myths, stories, and the like, quoting bible verses at them is not at all productive. The conversation went on for perhaps an hour before CTree closed. As we both left, he said he was surprised that he found I was such a good talker on these matters, and that he felt that we must have met for a purpose. Hmm.

I am sometimes surprised at how bad pop science is -- there are endless hordes of people talking about misunderstood snippets of information that often isn't current anymore, and using it as a major foundation in their discussions of each other. Whenever I overhear conversations of this sort, I become reluctant to talk to said people because I'd be challenging so many of the things they bring to a discussion that I'd feel awkward. Would it really be kosher to just come up, point at well over half the points on the table, and say "That's wrong, that's wrong, that's not a current theory anymore, that's wrong, that's right, but you arn't applying it quite correctly, and that's a wronghood piled on top of a wronghood"? It seems obnoxious, but because so much of it supports each other, it's necessary to challenge most of it. Uck.

Some time ago, I was grumbling about there not being an easy way to customize SELinux's handling of Apache. Oops!

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