Donny C Avatar
Donny C
surgical tech • occasional writer of sentences • dilettante of whatever happens • home is where Maine is • go outside and read books — not at the same time
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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@cliffordbeshers That’s a good way to put it. And spot-on with “crazy resilience…” Reminds me of Nicholas Taleb’s antifragile rule: what Mother Nature does is rigorous until proven otherwise; what humans and science do is flawed until proven otherwise.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@mjkaul He’s new to me but that was quite thoughtful and refreshing

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@dwalbert Right now I’m planning on a clear water-based polycrilic, either satin or semi-gloss. I want you keep as much of the 100+ year old look as I can

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Philip Ball: There’s virtue in that picture [of the genome as a ‘highly sensitive organ of the cell’], but I think it points to a wider consideration: that the best narratives and metaphors for thinking about how life works come not from our technologies (machines, computers) but from life itself. … The ‘organic technology’ of language, where meaning arises through context and cannot be atomised into component parts, is a constantly useful analogy. Life must be its own metaphor. And shouldn’t we have seen that all along? For what, after all, is extraordinary – and challenging to scientific des... tinyroofnail.micro.blog
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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Anna Badkhen, “In praise of magical thinking”:

Because what is the world? A thaumatrope turning magical to profane to magical and back again. And then the tide rose and the abiding patience of big water took everything – the piss, the eggshells, the woman’s tracks in the sand, my sketching perch – and made anything possible, depravity and wonder alike.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@jabel Good heads-up. I’m doing a mild restoration on my great grandfather’s wagon next week and may need to find a dryer place for the finish

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Ah yes, the imfamous Euproctis chrysorrhoea. In their larva stage, these are better known by their Indonesian name, Rama-rama ekor coklat, which roughly translates “dirty rotten itchy bastard.”

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@JohnBrady Ha. Girard, Ayn Rand, libertarianism … and so on

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@annahavron Funny. I thought of Girard as well, but I think it’s because I mostly know him through this exact type of appreciative critique essay. George Hunsinger’s 1998 essay “The Politics of the Nonviolent God” treats Girard in precisely this way. I posted this brief example from that essay and love the way he asks and pursues his questions

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@jabel It’s a good one! I was really happy to be pointed back to it. One of the best things about micro.blog + commonplace blogging

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@tinyroofnail Apparently I don’t know how to put block quotes in replies 😬

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@ReaderJohn @JohnBrady @ablerism Mattew Rose covers Guénon and tradition very nicely here. (Excerpt here.)

“We need not agree with Guénon in order to recognize that he was right about the dismantling of tradition in liberal societies. He understood the civilizational calamity, to say nothing of the human cruelty, of making each generation a stranger to those that precede and follow it.…

But in imagining a primordial tradition, existing beyond the flow of time, Guénon, paradoxically, drained human life of its meaning. … Guénon’s vision of eternity prevented him from seeing any real human beings, whose unfolding lives form the drama of history.”

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Random Bookshelf Quote of the Day Václav Havel, in 1986: IBM certainly works better than the Škoda plant, but that doesn’t alter the fact that both companies have long since lost their human dimension and have turned man into a little cog in their machinery, utterly separated from what, and for whom, that machinery is working, and what the impact of its product is on the world. I would even say that, from a certain point of view, IBM is worse than Škoda. Whereas Škoda merely grinds out the occasional obsolete nuclear reactor to meet the needs of backward COMECON members, IBM is flooding the wo... tinyroofnail.micro.blog
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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

To speak from experience is to be understood everywhere. To speak in abstract terms is to find no understanding.

    — Jürgen Moltmann

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

A friend reminded me that the Kenyan Prayer posted this morning is much like this line from Mary Oliver. I like her more explicit praise for the humility of those who laugh and bow their heads — a combination with impossible-to-overstate significance and value. And with that thought, I kept going.🙂

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@ChrisJWilson Yes sir. Thumbing through over coffee this morning

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@ReaderJohn Yes! I love that one. Should have connected it. And “the department of free association” is great. Thanks for that

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

From the cowardice that dare not face new truth

From the laziness that is contented with half truth

From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,

Good Lord, deliver me.

    — Prayer from Kenya

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@ChrisJWilson For me, the only one repeatedly used and returned to is just The Oxford Book of Prayer, which I’m now reminded of and want to pull off the shelf

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@mwerickson Her memoirs were fascinating to read. Clarence Brown’s description of her is quite galvanizing: “a vinegary, Brechtian, steel-hard woman of great intelligence, limitless courage, no illusions, permanent convictions and a wild sense of the absurdity of life.” One of my favorite human beings to ever have walked the planet. 🙂

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Let life be enough

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

A video from our sunrise “elk ride” at Harriman State Park in eastern Idaho three years ago. Crank the volume way up for this one. Nothing brakes the morning silence like an elk bugle.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@jean Wow! Perfect. The elk bugle is one of my favorite sounds on the planet

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

When I get the chance to sit quietly in a café with a book, I feel like Kevin feels with hotdogs on the beach.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

I’ve sometimes thought of doing a post series after things Meghan says called That’s Not A Euphemism. Today’s That’s Not A Euphemism is brought to you by Banyan Tree, the most delicious food truck in Maine:

Mind if I dip my naan in your butter chicken?

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@KyleEssary No objections. I think that’s basically right. The sporadic, uncontrollability of real life allows much more space for that faith-doubt dynamic to work itself out. I think often of something from Daniel Taylor in his book The Skeptical Believer: “I would rather be the Peter who walks on the water than the Peter who almost drowns beneath the waves. But I take some comfort that the water walker and the doubter and the denier and the apostle and the martyr are all the same person. Peter was both skeptic and saint—a combination that holds out hope for me.”

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@cliffordbeshers Ha! That’s a hilarious connection. I can only respond: “I’m not int’rested in your sales, I’ve got to protect the general public!” Which is more or less my motto anyway

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@restlesslens I have a Canadian friend who has a simple anecdote when someone wants him to build something, especially when it’s one of “those people”: There’s speed, there’s quality, and there’s low cost. Pick two.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@jayeless Oh yes. I know that he knows that I know 🙂

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@odd 🤣 … 😭 … 😞

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Failure to call shotgun

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@jayeless Hahahaha! Screenshotting this to send to make the text rounds

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@ayjay Remarkable. One of the repeated — and, frankly, more encouraging — themes in Zuboff’s critique of surveillance capitalism is the fact that it was chosen at specific times and by specific people; it was not inevitable.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Joseph Weizenbaum (1987): I don’t quite know whether it is especially computer science or its subdiscipline Artificial Intelligence that has such an enormous affection for euphemism. We speak so spectacularly and without ourselves recognizing our own superficiality and immeasurable naivete with respect to these concepts. And, in the process of so speaking, we anesthetise our ability to evaluate the quality of our work and, what is more important, to identify and become conscious of its end use. […] One can’t escape this state without asking, again and again: “What do I actually do? What is the fi... tinyroofnail.micro.blog
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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

“I can reach it.”

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

@bbowman Interesting. I’m assuming there’s a lot of truth to this. But could it also be that an overwhelming-many of those in the church now experience and maintain their own “undeconstructed” faith through this “machine- and algorithm-led” way?

Nearly my entire family, for instance, still attends an Evangelical Free church every Sunday and are quite “active in their church and faith.” And all of them are still on Facebook, and Instagram, and name-your-algorithmically-mediated-technology. None of them have deconstructed and most regard me as the liberal wayward one. I on the other hand hardly ever attend church and when I do it’s usually to see if this time I can get through an entire Anglican service. Aside from a cautious YouTube user account, I think I have long since removed every algorithm from view. My path away from the evangelical church I grew up in was paved entirely by physical books by Christian authors who were simply outside my church’s cultural algorithms.

I’m not necessarily defending or denouncing “deconstruction.” My own faith and theology have certainly changed over the years, but the deconstruction craze was never my thing. (I’ve sort of defended it here and lamented it here.)

Anyway, that’s all 🤓

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

In the final analysis [history] can be understood and illuminated only by sympathetic insight.

    – George Marsden

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Nacho breath … and smile

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Neil Postman, on “image politics” as a form of therapy:

In the shift from party politics to television politics … We are not permitted to know who is best at being President or Governor or Senator, but whose image is best in touching and soothing the deep reaches of our discontent.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Thomas L. Friedman:

I watched the Biden-Trump debate alone in a Lisbon hotel room, and it made me weep. I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime — precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president, has no business running for re-election. And Donald Trump, a malicious man and a petty president, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. He is the same fire hose of lies he always was, obsessed with his grievances…

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

I’m going to have to start doubling down on what has been my lackadaisical use of Instapaper if I’m going to justify their doubling down on the price tag, for what I’m yet to be convinced are “improvements” that I need or want.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

I am literally never not pleasantly surprised by joy when I pick up Richard Wilbur. Here’s his “Digging for China,” posted on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. You can also hear Wilbur recite it here. (I love the chuckle at the end. “And it seemed to me I was acquitted.”) And here is Wilbur’s translati... tinyroofnail.micro.blog
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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

John Milton:

He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised & unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.

This comes from Karen Swallow Prior’s essay on Christian nationalism, kicking off the new Dispatch Faith newsletter, which I’m very happy to see.

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Donny C
@tinyroofnail

Il Grillo Parlante, aka Jiminy