I spent part of the weekend listening to a stranger talk on their cell-phone.
We agree it is annoying; but I began to wonder why it IS annoying.
After all, I couldn’t really care at all about the (loud-mouthed and therefore rude) stranger, less about his unseen correspondent.
If it’s not about those two, then it must be about me. After all, there are only the three of us in the scene.
What is it IN ME that is irritated? Well, it can’t be my arms, legs or kidneys. It must be in my brain.
Something goes on that irritates my brain, my thought-process.
What can it be?
I am of the conclusion that we evolved with the spoken and heard word; reading and writing is a skill; speaking and listening is an attribute.
Hard-wired into our brains, through evolution, is the business of being part of a two-party conversation. Whether we are the speaker or the respondent, or just an eavesdropper, our brains expect to hear both sides of the conversation. It’s in our ears.
And when our brains don’t receive both sides of the conversation, our brain expresses irritation at being excluded from what we need in order to function normally.
I mostly think that what goes on inside this 1.5 pound chunk of grey meat is more wonderful than all of everything that goes on outside of it.
I’ve plunked a great steaming dollop of wake-me-up extra-strong in my paper cup.
I’ve peeled back and squeezed out two French Vanilla capsules of sweetened milk-stuff.
I’ve torn the corner of a sachet of sugar, tipped half the sachet in my cup, and leant the sachet against the stand for I’ll need that for my second cup in about 90 seconds.
All I need now is one of those brown plastic stir-sticks to mix it all in, after which I’ll drop the brown plastic stir-stick into the garbage along with the two empty creamer capsules.
I can do this!
- Eyes front; no brown plastic stir-sticks.
- Eyes scan left then back to centre; no brown plastic stir-sticks.
- Eyes scan right then back to centre; no brown plastic stir-sticks.
What kind of hotel puts out the most lavish breakfast buffet in NY state and doesn’t provide brown plastic stir-sticks?
Young man next to me coughs politely and asks “Can I help you with something?”.
“Yes”, I respond, for we are in the same boat and both desperate for our first coffee. “I can’t find the brown plastic stir-sticks”.
He points to the beaker right in front of me, full of candy-striped plastic stir-sticks
My brain has decided it wants a brown plastic stir-stick, and my eyes/brain are therefore looking for brown plastic stir-sticks.
Nothing but brown plastic stir-sticks can be deemed success, so I’ve glossed right over candy-pink striped plastic stir-sticks because they aren’t brown plastic stir-sticks.
This blog is about clear thinking, not sensational high-profile news stories.
That said, consider this morning’s Toronto Star article “ Jack Tobin sentenced to three years in prison for drunk-driving death ”.
Based on what is printed in the article we read that:
- “ … a pickup truck that Tobin was driving packed with five other friends, all heavily drunk after a night out, in a rooftop parking lot …”
- “Boxall told the judge Aug. 5, noting that Tobin never intended to drive home that night …”
That doesn’t make sense to me.
Six of you are drunk in a roof-top parking lot, about as far away as you can get without some busy-body snooping around.
And you’re NOT thinking of driving yourself home?
All six of you “heavily drunk”, no designated driver.
The bottom line is this: Whoever was in control of the vehicle was drunk.
Regardless of intentions.
And that, I believe, is against the local law.
Today’s Toronto Star article “ Group denied permit to march topless ” caught my attention, as it was designed to do.
It contains a quote by Sylvie Chabot, one of the event’s planners. “We’re women who just want to be equal with men, that’s all,” she said.
Ignoring the saucy aspect of topless women, and the caveat that “Raelians see themselves as atheists, but believe scientists from another planet came to Earth and created all life. They hold liberal views on sexuality, which forms a major part of the religion”, let’s focus on Clear Thinking for a moment:-
Ask yourself about the labels “Men” and “Women” or, as it was explained to me 25 years ago “men” and “Womb-men”, that is there are men (ho-hum, boring!) and then there are men-with-a-womb (something special!) and by extension “humans” and “humans-with-a-Womb”.
We use two labels for hairless bipeds because, well, hairless bipeds fall into two distinct groups: Those with a womb (who nurture a fertilized egg for 9 months) and those without a womb (whose need is limited to just a few minutes. If that.
Now we have two labels because there are two different types of humans, and these types ARE different. We are agreed on that.
So how on earth can two groups which are, by definition, different, be equal?
A counter-counter-argument runs “Ah! By ‘equal’ we meant to say ‘be treated equally’”, but even this is not possible.
Why SHOULD we treat a human with egg-carrying, child-bearing capabilities the same as the other type? Each type has special needs. The obvious one of diet in the case of women, who, by the 9th month are eating-for-two.
Better would be to recognize the differences, account for them, and ignore the similarities.
P.S. I am fascinated by diminutive women steering a 200-ton dump truck with as much ease as the traditional beer-bellied chesty brawny 340-pound trucker. It’s all power-steering, see. We need brains in the cab, not brawn.
A recent Toronto Star article “ Direct downloads hit music, manufacturing ” contains a memorable quote by a lecturer that “I burned all my CDs to my hard drive in 2000, then gave them away to Goodwill”.
I haven’t thought about this a lot.
I don’t need to.
My understanding of copyright is that one can make copies for personal use, but not for any commercial gain, the idea being not to deny the recording artist/company the ability to make money selling copies of their CDs.
I think Goodwill is a great concept, but by burning CDs to a hard drive and then passing the CDs onto Goodwill, presumably for resale, aren’t we blatantly violating copyright?
Just as much as if I were to burn my CDs to hard disk and then give my CD collection to a friend, to save her the expense of buying CDs/
How do you feel about that?