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kestrel © Robert Sommers 2018

Friday, January 4, 2013

Stringing non sequiturs

Ken Seals took this marvelous picture of Mt. Fuji out of his airplane window
in 1968 on a flight from  Seoul to Tokyo.

First a smidge of politics. I know how some of you hate it so. Interesting that the Grand Old Party has campaigned so hard as being the enemies of profligate federal spending and fiscal excess. So what did they just do?

They bankrolled the defense of the DOMA Defense of Marriage act, the anti gay law that the administration refused to defend because it was frankly indefensible. Inserted the costs of hiring outside lawyers into the House rules package.Their continued defense has now cost Joe Taxpayer a cool $1.7 million bucks. So far. Nice. Old dinosaurs die hard. Won't pay for Hurricane Sandy but always have enough money for the old culture war.

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California Appeals court overturns rape conviction, impersonation charges only valid with married women.

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I don't always agree with Senator Harry Reid but I love the guy. Old mormon pugilist from Utah Nevada is the toughest sob on the congressional floor. Our pit bull.

Havana - R.E.
I learned an interesting new term last night. A Hobson's choice. I was looking up the word hind that I had read in my William Morris book. A hind is a female red deer, as opposed to a hart, which is a male, usually over the age of five. A stag is an older deer. A roe is a completely different deer species altogether, a deer of a different color.

Anyway I was looking for my definition when my eyes alighted on Hobson's choice. A Hobson's choice is really having no choice at all, the choice between picking something and nothing.

The etymology is interesting.  The phrase comes from one Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a man who owned a livery stable in Cambridge, England. He had a barn full of forty horses yet he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all. There was only one horse in rotation. Hence, Hobson's choice. He was not necessarily being mean or vile, this was a way for him to keep his horses fresh and from being overused.

A Hobson's choice is different from a Morton's fork, which is a choice between two equal options. And let us not forget Buridan's ass.

Named for 14th century French philosopher Jean Buridan, Buridan’s Ass is an illustration of a paradox in philosophy in regards to moral determinism and free will. A donkey is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. The conundrum assumes the ass will always go to whichever is closer, so it will die of both hunger and thirst since it cannot make a rational decision to choose one over the other. Sort of like the zen koan of the strawberry and the tiger. A cousin of Zeno's law - the arrow can never hit the target because it must first travel an infinite number of half steps.



© Jonathan Hill
Somebody told me this one the other day:

A sadist and a masochist are walking down the street. "Hurt me," says the masochist. "No." replied the sadist.

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I have two male friends in pretty destructive relationships right now. Brought broken girls home and tried to fix them. Both these guys came from pretty bad family situations as kids. And I figured something out. Maybe I will get a prize? If you have a wounded relationship with your mother, or father if you were a girl, you will seek out the same kind of twisted love you had from said parent as an adult.

So nice girls look for wolves and nice boys head for the abyss. I'm looking for somebody as fucked up as dear old mom. And as you know perfectly well, people don't change. Ever.

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Robert-
Tailgated at the Chargers game with friends from Fallbrook. Of course I dropped the name of the owner of the Blue Heron Gallery, asking if any of them knew you.
One guy who says he used to be the CEO of the -------------- looked at me and said, "Opinionated." I smiled and said, "Yup."
Happy New Year,
A

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Mike from Washington said that he really loved Kip Peterson's glass picture, taken with his Leica M - something or other with the .95 Noctilux lens. And so I repost it. Kip had switched it out for something else on the end of year thing. .95, disgusting...


4 comments:

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Ah, now to work "Buridan's Ass" into a conversation - a great New Year's challenge.

Anonymous said...

Kip's glass picture is nicely composed but it demonstrates the problems of wide aperture lenses. The .95 leica is a whopping performer but its design is so complex optically that the out of focus areas become kinda harsh and distracting. The specular highlights in the upper left look rather like small rolled condoms, etc. A simpler lens like an f2 or even 2.8 will have graceful fade outs in the out of focus area a trait currently referred to as "good bokeh" which is Japanese for good circle of confusion or something like that. Zoom lenses are treasure houses of bad bokeh and since zooms are ubiquitous people don'r really notice the harsh out of focus areas any more. However if you look at old portraits and old images shot at wide apertures the circle of confusion areas are almost always more attractive than contemporary images.

I now return your mind to its regularly scheduled programming.

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh.....Harry Reid is from Searchlight Nevada.

Anonymous said...

"Reid attended Southern Utah University and graduated from Utah State University where he double majored in political science and history."