ME and Ophelia

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Three men say what they think

Following yesterday's post here, three people responded. All men. What about that then eh? It's made my week.

Yesterday I posted here a copy of the email I sent to my dear British friend ER (affectionately dubbed the Elderly Realist). ER replied by sending me two of his brilliant essays, and an email. Here is a copy of that email:

"I thoroughly approve, Ingrid, of the excellent way in which you have begun to tackle this enormous problem. You have a clear and forceful style of writing, and I think it's better and more persuasive than mine. However, my objectives (in writing my essays) are not the same as yours, which are written with more passion.

You will have received delivery by now of my 'long' answer.

The 'short' answer is:

The human species is extremely immature and there are absolutely no quick-fixes.

Recollect that a great many clever people really thought, for many decades, that Communism was the quick-fix we were all searching for. Look where that got us. Now the experts claim that democracy is the elixir we seek; but democracy only leads us (especially in Britain) to what would be better called an 'elective dictatorship'. In an odd way, Muslims already use the Koran to justify what are really elective dictatorships for the national Caliphs they would like to place in charge of every country: think about Iran. So they have already achieved the same result --- with which they are already sorely dissatisfied!!

My money is still on a very slow dawning of the realisation that scientifically based education, in the widest possible sense, is really cool and that it has very little to do with gainful employment: for teachers or for pupils.

When that realisation takes hold generally - perhaps in 500 years' time - it will automatically solve all the other problems, including the stupid under-valuation of women. In the meanwhile, we have a few obvious planetary obligations and we ought to concentrate on trying to find out WRGO. In that connection I send you an attachment about Obligations!

Let me know if you are sufficiently interested in my stuff (pl. return the hard copy masters in due course) to call for the e-mail attachment versions.

_ _ _

Here are a few excerpts from Andrew's blog, and Sam's comments. I am grateful to them for taking the time, trouble, thought and effort to write such in-depth commentary. Thanks chaps. Most appreciated.

Andrew's response:

After reading my recent posts, Andrew blogged two in-depth responses and wanted to comment here but realised several things: first that it would be a long comment, and secondly, that he was a bit convicted that perhaps he too should do something about the causes I mentioned, because he too believes that they are horrible. His comment was going to begin with what he called *a haphazard attempt to link in his explanation of some of the male/female divide*, and says[quote]:

There are so many horrid things going on in the world, the only things I can help with are the ones right next door. While I can spread the word (as Ingrid has done and suggests that others do), I hesitate to do this - I am afraid I will become far too jaded. For if I start down the road of listing good causes, that people should be aware of, I will paralyze myself with far too much to care about. Indecision about how much time/effort/money to allot to what cause will paralyze me. Tell me what I can do (banner ads? click here to donate? etc) and I will see about doing it.

But is this really it? No, theres more to it than that. I am afraid of caring. I am afraid of caring about a cause that I do not believe I'll be able to remedy in my lifetime. I am afraid of fighting for something to the point where I tire myself out. I am afraid. The world has its problems. And I have my solutions. And some of the worlds problems are not ones that I have a solution for. I used to have a problem with that. I do not think I do anymore at least not as much.

Do I care about victims of all sorts of beastly behavior, perpetrated by man or beast? Yes. What can I do about it? Continue to tell others? I do not want to jade myself or others, nor do I want to seem a nagging influence, nor do I want to tire myself down. I find it just exhausting to even imagine the horrors. I am afraid and hesitant to perhaps admit that this is one deep need that my deep gladness does not meet. And maybe that is just me. Or maybe I am, in an ostrich-like manner, trying to delude myself into thinking that it is ok to not care just because it is not next door. Tough issues, all these sorrows. [end quote]

It may be a month ago since I found Andrew's blog but am still peeling through the categories and discovering new layers. is to be a place where he offers you the software and other content that he has developed for himself (and some friends) and found useful for more than just the occasional thing. Andrew Shi-hwa Chen is 28 years old and lives in America. His Strengths And Weaknesses page first endeared me to him - along with his many varied posts ranging from The We Are Blog Paper Was Accepted! Announcing Public Wiki - *Woohoo! Yeah! I am excited! This is the first paper that I both have submitted to somewhere and it got accepted* - to his needing to figure out in his post what to do about a girl he is attracted to.

Sam's response:

American blogger Sam commented here - and in Andrew's blog the following, [quote]:

I left a nice long comment over on ingrids site (as is my habit, unfortunately). However, something I brought up there that I think I should mention here is that before you can fix a problem, you need to figure out what the problem is. And Ill clue you in on something. The problem is not *men*. The problem is not any -insert group here-. The problems live in each person, you and me included. To help the world, you must first help yourself. Look into yourself and see where you are playing a part in beastly things that happen. A small seed you may plant can be magnified by society, concentrated until it releases itself in the form of violence. It is like pesticides being concentrated through the food chain.

Once you have helped yourself, you can see the same issues in others, and help them see. Of course, youll never really finish helping yourself. Goodness knows I have just started. Stop thinking about the worlds problems as something other people do, and start thinking of them as something we all do. Then work on yourself. Just working on yourself will have a positive effect in the world around you, simply because you will be a better influence. If everyone did this, there would not be any beastly acts. If everyone went around trying to fix other peoples problems, then everyones own problems would lay unattended, and nothing would change. [end quote]
_ _ _

Sam lives in St Louis, MO, USA. Within his blog is a category called Programming Projects where he puts information about programs and scripts he is working on.

Brew Log is a log of the brews he has made, how they turned out, and the recipe. He has brewed wine, champagne and beer so far, with ciders and meads in the future. He writes that he likes brewing because it combines his love of beverages, with his love of cooking, with his love of science - and that basically, it is a fun hobby that results in an enjoyable beverage to share with friends and family.

Regarding the recipes, he writes how he has taken a shining to the program QBrew and now uses it for his beer recipes. It calculates quite a bit of data, including estimated gravity readings, estimated alcohol percentages, bitterness levels, and more. It even allows you to compare the estimated values with the BJCP style guidelines for the style you are brewing. Whats more, the program is open source, and has versions for OS X, Linux and Windows, making it the only true cross platform brewing calculator (to his knowledge). You can download the recipe for each of his beers in QBrew format, which is an XML based format. Eventually, he might write a script to parse this file and allow downloading in other formats, like text, html, StrangeBrew, ProMash, etc.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 11/22/2003
Comments: Post a Comment
0 comments Newer›  ‹Older