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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

Critical Thinking Framework

Anti-Intellectualism Videos

Infinity subject in poetry, literature: paradox? ; Schrödinger's Cat

Infinity subject in poetry, literature: paradox?

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour…..
Auguries of Innocence
By William Blake

Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to inquire - in the midst of myriads of the living and the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?
Lord Byron

By Charles Simic
The infinite yawns and keeps yawning.
Is it sleepy?
Does it miss Pythagoras?
The sails on Columbus’s three ships?
Does the sound of the surf remind it of itself?
Does it ever sit over a glass of wine and philosophize?
Does it peek into mirrors at night?
Does it have a suitcase full of souvenirs
stashed away somewhere?
Does it like to lie in a hammock with the wind
whispering sweet nothings in its ear?
Does it enter empty churches and light a single
candle on the altar?
Does it see us as a couple of fireflies
playing hide-and-seek in a graveyard?
Does it find us good to eat?
The New Yorker 02/06/17

Infinity and Me
Kate Hosford

“The night I got my new red shoes, I couldn’t wait to wear them to school. I was too excited to sleep, so I went outside and sat on the lawn. When I looked up, I shivered. The sky seemed so huge and cold.
How many stars were in the sky?
A million? A billion?
Maybe the number was as big as infinity.
I started to feel very, very small, how could I even think about something as big as infinity?”

Animated by this unnerving question, Uma turns to the people in her life for an answer.
Her classmate imagines infinity as a number so immense that he wouldn’t be able to write it out even if he lived forever.
Her grandmother compares infinity to an enormous family tree with ancestry going back countless generations.
Her teacher likens infinity to never-ending music that loops in circle.

The more Uma ponders infinity, the more she realizes that it is inseparable from eternity — and the notion of “forever” confounds and captivates her just as much. The question of personal continuity is, after all, one of the greatest mysteries of human life.


Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell and “there is no hippopotamus in the room”

Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead, a state known as a quantum superposition, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur. The thought experiment is also often featured in theoretical discussions of the interpretations of quantum mechanics. Schrödinger coined the term Verschränkung (entanglement) in the course of developing the thought experiment.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Anti-intellectualism is Killing America

America is killing itself through its embrace and exaltation of ignorance, and the evidence is all around us. ... but it's time to realize that such phenomena are directly tied to the nation's culture of ignorance.
-- David Niose

Meeting Notes from April 21, 2017

Our topic was ostensibly PARADOX, and each person was to research paradox using your favorite method.  As usual our discussion was far ranging.  We discussed each of the items below (posted in the last few days), but we often branched one or more times from each.  Then the members talked about how he or she used used tools to research PARADOX.
"Self-Reference" at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Zen Koans

 Rhyme Zone -- Using "Koan" in Sentences

Next Week -- Why does our culture seem so anti-intellectual?:
A Framework for Critical Thinking

Friday, April 14, 2017

Next -- Meeting of April 21

We didn't get to start, much less discuss, Paradox in the last meeting.  So we agreed to do the following:

Use your own research method to look up "paradox," then prepare a mini-presentation for the next meeting.  Remember, the original idea concerned paradoxes of language.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meeting of April 14, 2017

Our agenda:
1.                     Thinking in a different way about problems we’ve created
2.                    What truly matters?
3.                    Paradox's+taxonomy

Your weekly reminder --
We will convene Friday, April 14, 2017 from 9:45am until 11:45am.  Our meeting place is the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, on the second floor.
At the end of our last meeting, we decided we should poll the members for recommended topics for April 14.  Either post your suggestions in the comment section at the web page or send an email response to  
See our website at
Please note, we are meeting WEEKLY, although the catalog showed, in error, Bi-weekly.
I look forward to seeing each of you!

Call for Topics

At the end of our last meeting, we decided we should poll the members for recommended topics for April 14.  Either post your suggestions in the comment section below or send an email to

A Promising Site

Friday, April 7, 2017

Topics and Links Discussed April 7 -- Quotes about the TV series, Orphan Black
Well, we don’t know if Sarah is the original or not. We don’t know where this DNA is from. That is one of the mysteries for us. As Sarah discovers she’s a clone, it really is a story of, “Who am I and where did I come from?” And it is an identity thriller, in some sense, with that feeling of, “I thought I knew who I was and suddenly my world is upside down. There are copies of me, so am I the original? And if I’m not the original, who is?” I think that’s a really fantastic and massively bewildering dilemma to put a character in. We throw Sarah down this rabbit hole, which is Orphan Black. Beyond that, my creative partner and co-creator Graeme Manson and I have had many discussions about where the show will ultimately go and what will occur, in further seasons. I wouldn’t want to rule out the possibility of other clones, but I can’t say exactly that, at this point. I think we’re all very fascinated with Sarah, and we’re fascinated with her clone sisters and their journey. We’re hoping that people will find that journey as attractive and as exciting as we do.
  • John Fawcett , Collider, April 13, '13 -- There are in France some fifty thousand young men of good birth and fairly well off who are encouraged to live a life of complete idleness. They must either cease to exist or must come to see that there can be no happiness, no health even, without regular daily labor of some sort … The need of work is in me.

 -- Henri-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant
  • As quoted in Contemporary Portraits (1920) by Frank Harris, p. 263 -- 

Jean-Louis Gassée

We must always give our users pure sex. It's like a rendezvous in the back seat of an automobile with a beautiful girl. One's experience with the personal computer should be better than the greatest orgasm you could have. -- Wikiquote Main Page
Quote of the day
Hope in a Prison of Despair.jpg 
Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. … It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It's a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.
J.K. Rowling ~ -- The "Random Page" link on most desktop wikis -- The Wikipedia page about Wiki -- A search engine for wikis