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  • Doug Belshaw 6:30 am on March 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fashions, society   

    Live according to common practice. Even knowledge must keep in fashion; when it’s not, you need to know how to appear ignorant. Reasoning and taste change with the times. You shouldn’t reason and debate in and old-fashioned way and your taste should be up-to-the-minute. The preference of the majority sets the standard in all things. Follow it while it lasts, and move towards eminence. A sensible person must adapt the trappings of both body and soul to the fashion of the times, even if the past seems better. Only in matters of goodness does this rule of life not apply, for you should always practise virtue. Telling the truth and keeping your word are unknown today and seem like things from the past. Good men, though always loved, seem relics of better times, and so even if there happen to be any, they’re not emulated because they’re not in fashion. The misfortune of your century, that virtue is taken as unusual and malice as the norm! Let those with discretion live as they can, if not as they would prefer, and consider what fortune had given them to be better than what it has denied.

    Baltasar Gracián

  • Doug Belshaw 1:20 pm on February 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , society   

    A branch severed from an adjoining branch necessarily becomes severed from the whole tree. A man, likewise, who had become divided from any of his fellows has thereby fallen away from the whole community. But whereas the branch is lopped by some other hand, the man, by his feelings of hated or aversion, brings about his own estrangement from his neighbour, and does not see that at the same time he has cut himself off from the whole framework of society. Nevertheless it is in our power… to grow back and become one with our neighbour again, so playing our part in the integration of the whole. Yet if such acts of secession are repeated frequently, they make it difficult for the recusant to achieve this reunion and restitution. A branch which has been a partner of the tree’s growth since the beginning, and has never ceased to share its life, is a different thing from one that has been grafted in after a severance. As the gardener’s say, it is of the same tree, but not of the same mind.

    Marcus Aurelius

  • Doug Belshaw 8:54 am on December 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , society, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism   

    This is not a rehearsal. This is the show. Faceobok is a protoype of an instrumentarian society, not a prophecy. It is the first frontier of a new societal territory, and the youngest among us are its vanguard. The frontier experience is an epidemic of the viewpoint of the Other-One, a hyper-objectification of one’s own personhood shaped by the relentless amplification of life lived from the “outside looking in.” The consequence is a pattern of overwhelming anxiety and disorientation in the simple act of digital disconnection, while connection itself is haunted by fresh anxieties that paradoxically leave too many feeling isolated, diminished, and depressed.

    Shoshana Zuboff, ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism’
  • Doug Belshaw 5:58 pm on February 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: society   

    Let us therefore admit that all those things to which he is trained and accustomed seem natural to man and that only that is truly native to him which he receives with his primitive, untrained individuality. Thus custom becomes the first reason for voluntary servitude.

    (Etienne de La Boétie)
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