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Time Machine

March 2017
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Stan

Co-worker Surprise

A friend at work asked me if Ann was feeling better, because I stayed home with her for a few days last week. I told her that Ann had eaten scrambled eggs last night so I knew she was much better.

Then I explained how I quit being a union steward because I wanted to spend more time with Ann after she was sick in Colorado over a year ago. I’m not very intense as a politician anyway and when she was sick it caused me to change my time priorities. After all it’s more fun to hang out with Ann than a bunch of political types in union meetings.

Then my friend started to say that she thought being political means standing up for what you believe in and that Scott Walker, for instance was to be admired for this even though most people don’t like him.

I was probably giving her strange looks and asked for more information on how she arrived at this view… She explained that Scott Walker was able to be unpopular and tell everyone that there was a money shortage… well this makes him an honest politician.

I wanted to cuss, but refrained and tried to explain that Scott gave away millions in tax cuts to corporations then turned around to working class people and told them they would have to pay for this. Also, Tommy the republican ran the state into major debt, Doyle brought our state out of debt and Scott Walker just ran us back into debt. If Scott Walker did nothing after he was elected the budget for 2011 would have been a balanced one for the first time in decades, but he broke the budget to give hand outs to corporations.

She started changing the subject from the honesty of Scotty to the corporations, because maybe the corporations needed the money.

The conversation went no where after this and I went a away feeling very sad that someone who is in a union could be so mislead by – probably some stupid church minister and maybe fox news or perhaps some husband with neocon concepts… I don’t know, but I hate these kinds of political conversations with co-workers. It just makes no sense and I end up feeling bad.

I suppose I could mention this to our current union steward or union president, because they might be interested is offering her some more substantial facts. I just feel that I don’t want to press these kinds of conversations too far, even thought it is tempting.

Beginning the Theaetetus

It’s been more than 16 years since I first read Theaetetus by Plato, and revisiting it now feels like reading it for the first time. What I remember from the first reading is Socrates questioning Theaetetus about knowledge, and some vague memories of a theory of false beliefs. Now I’ve noticed there is something in the opening I completely overlooked until now.

The tone set in the beginning is one of sadness. Theaetetus 142 – 144D

It appears the life of Theaetetus ends too soon. Theaetetus is praised for his bravery and conduct in battle, so it surely remains that his sacrifice in war become his contribution rather than some later accomplishment in mathematics.

Even though the sacrifice of Theaetetus is great and admirable the opening leaves me to wonder what Theaetetus may have accomplished if he had lived. I feel conflicted between the admiration of the sacrifice, and wondering if some contribution he may have made later in life has been squandered. Not that his sacrifice is any less important, but it is haunting to wonder what the world has missed out on because Theaetetus didn’t live.

I’ve lost a few relatives to war, but they are people I’ve only heard about long after they are gone. My grandmother’s son Jeff for instance. Strangely, the family members who knew him spoke very little about him. I can’t remember the words my grandmother said about Jeff, but I can still see the sadness in her eyes when she did have something to say about him.

I am old enough that I had to register for the draft when I turned 18, and I was genuinely frightened by the prospect that I might end up in some unforeseen war. I count myself very fortunate that there were no wars while I was of military age. I believe a world without war is actually possible, and there is no such thing as a real necessity for war. War is a byproduct of greed caused by wealthy power brokers, and their lust for pleasure. War is a method of the paranoid rich to keep poor people fearing each other instead of helping one another. War culture survives with a hungry ghost world view that the only way one person can have life it to take someone the life of someone else. War is is ultimately a deception, and contrarily to our true human nature, which is to help other people survive.

I find it sad to think that some of my own relatives have lost their lives to war, and it is surely hard to imagine losing someone whom I know in person that way. We should honor everyone who dies in war including so called enemies, and hopes that all people will work towards compassion instead of war.

As for Theaetetus the opening is somber, but also there is an elegance in these passages with Theaetetus wanting to be home. Presumably, Theaetetus knew he was going to die from his wounds and illness, so his desire to return home must have been the last important thing he ever wanted in life.

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