Yesterday had some nice random surprises, based on a chance meeting in Giant Eagle and then some IMs. I'm glad that Squirrel Hill is so small at times - in a bigger city, I would've just gone home and missed out on a pleasant evening. In retrospect, I find it curious that I'm at my most comfortable when I'm in social situations most similar to being with my siblings - all females and me, with the mostly female social dynamic and some part of me thinking of them as being a little bit like having more sisters. It has been awhile since we've all been in one place...
Today, I pick up my second hat from Baruch's. I just noticed that he calls his store "Chai Noon". :) This hat is a much lighter hat for somewhat more formal occasions. I don't get excited about clothes very much, but hats are an exception - maybe it's because I'm so drawn to the face and neck on the human form.
I heard an interesting argument yesterday tying the choice of a citizen to participate in a Hobbesian democracy (pardon the slightly clumsy use of the concepts here) to the Roman Catholic notion of surrendering to the christian god. Given the authoritarian leanings of Hobbes (For those unacquainted with political theory beyond a barroom level, learning about the possibilities for synthesis of democracy and authoritarian rule can be very mind-stretching), its fit at the electoral level is decent. I'm not certain if accepting it up to the level of a possibly corrupt sovereign would be permissible in the comparison to the person I was talking with (not being christian, if I believed in gods I could judge them, but it seems central dogma for christians that both there is (at least) a god and that it is (definitionally or not) good), but it's an interesting idea.
I've been irritated recently at some fuzzy thinking of people around me. One recent case was a CMUPerson talking about hostory of an OS who didn't know what they were talking about. I thought about correcting them, but I don't think constantly correcting people is a good way to make friends. There's also some author's blog that I started reading (via syndication on LJ) sometime back - in that article, I think a lot of his thinking is very fuzzy. Part of it, I think, is that whenever this author abandoned christianity, they started to tread water in the atheist waters directly adjacent to it rather than broadening their sense of possibility (the Christian-or-nothing position). Looking at points one and two, the "should" is uninvestigated - what if we imagined a completely impersonal (at least to humans) god that did not or could not hear prayers, and wouldn't answer them, either out of lack of interest or because it didn't/couldn't think in ways in which prayers made sense? We could imagine other gods beneath that that might care about humans, just as we might imagine (under some ways of looking at things) a real god of this universe not listening to the prayers of entities inside science-fiction novels that authors of this universe write. There are so many potential ways of looking at things. What is the logic of prayer? In the second point, there are many possible meanings of infinite power, from "having the ability to alter the content of the universe to any possible state" to "having the most power in the universe". Infinitely wise could mean "having the power to query the state of the universe at any level" to "knowing everyhing possible that is or is not". Why does theology need infinities? Why does his strawman(?) philosophy say that wisdom and power must come from creators? The whole framework he has is a mess. Thinking about these matters is a good thing, I think, but the use of hard arguments to steer broad philosophy is at best very difficult (my intuition is that it's actually based on a misunderstanding and that some fields of philosophy should be based on aesthetics).