The Daily Eudemon
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Samuel Johnson, The Idler, 4/5/1760




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    Saturday
    November 22, 2014
    The more I'm around people, the more I'm convinced that a rambling style is the sign of an immature, under-developed, and/or un-disciplined mind. The rule applies to written or oral communication. When I was a young attorney, I went out to lunch with my mentor at the large law firm where I was employed right after graduation. My mentor was a hardened litigator, of the old-school Jewish kind, but he was nice and fond of me. He asked me a question. I replied with a long, rambling response. He, as nicely as possible, said, "When you prepare to speak, try to organize your idea quickly then convey it as concisely as possible" (not an exact quote). I was embarrassed, of course, but the lesson stuck with me. It's a difficult thing to do and takes practice. To this day, I often fail to pull it off, but the continued pursuit of this ideal helps keep the mind sharp (senile people ramble for a reason). When I fail to convey my thoughts concisely, it's normally because I'm being lazy and just indulging my desire to hear myself talk, much to the detriment of my interlocutor. Brevity, I've come to conclude, is a form of politeness. And in a world where time is money, it might be the paramount form of consideration you can show another person.

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    November 21, 2014

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    Friday
    Brews You Can Use Okay, this is frustrating: Only A Fraction Of The Population Has The Genotype That Makes Moderate Alcohol Consumption Heart Healthy. According to the story, a new study has shown that moderate alcohol consumption improves the health of only 15% of the population. Well, crud. That conflicts with a lot of other articles that have been flying around for many years. The articles first started with wine: wine, we were told, is good for the heart. Then we started seeing articles about the health benefits of beer. And then health-benefit articles about hard liquor and alcohol in general started flying around. And now it looks like we're starting to backpeddle. Neither the story or the study, as near as I can tells, takes aim at the benefits of wine (except for the picture of the wine bottle at the top of the story), but if this study represents the pendulum swinging back, I assume beer is going to be attacked next and then wine. Why do I say it's frustrating? Simply because it's yet another example of why we can't trust science. If a particular religion flip-flopped as often as science, it would have as many adherents today as the Canaanite religion. I realize such an analogy is seriously flawed, but it also has serious merit: both claim a measure of authority within their sphere (matter/spirit) and both have acknowledged leaders (scientists/clergy). But one changes its mind more often than the wind. So, does science suck? Not at all. It has obviously done us a lot of good (starting with the Internet). It just ought not be latently worshipped like it is in our culture. Truth never changes. And neither does science's obvious inability to grasp it. If it can't even come to a consensus on something as miniscule as whether a couple shots of vodka every week help a person's heart, I sure as heck am not going to trust it on something like the origins of the universe. The article also shows why you can't trust the media and why, as Nassim Taleb points out, the more read, the less you know . . . unless you're careful to read only the right stuff and you read it (very) thoughtfully.

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    Ferguson
    November 20, 2014
    Today is also the holiday known as National Day of Monaco. Monaco is independent, but they're defended by France. In other words, they're on their own.

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    Letterman
    If you're looking to get the Mansons a gift, they're registered at Bloodbath & Beyond.

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    Reddit asks: "What sentence could ruin a date immediately?" The responses are pretty funny (PG-13). This one slayed me the most: "She'll have the salad."

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    Me, Myself, and I
    Ten common English mistakes. It's a pretty basic list, but I see this mistake all the time, even among edjewkated peepel:
    Me/Myself The most common problem here is the use of “myself”. Take this sentence: “If you have any questions, ask Jane or myself”. This is wrong. To see how obviously wrong it is, just take Jane out: “If you have any questions, ask myself”. It seems that many people think that “myself” is like an intensified version of “me”. So how do we use “myself” correctly? “Myself” is only used when “I” has already been used. For example: “I washed myself” or “I put half of the cake away for myself.” This is the only time it is ever used. The same rules apply for “herself” and “himself”.

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    Russell Exonerates Nock
    Nock Notions On Election Day, I featured this quote: Nock “recognized no substantive difference between the various governments clashing during World War II. ‘Rooseveltism, Hitlerism, Stalinism, are all only local variants of the common doctrine that man has no natural rights but only such as are created for him by the state . . . [this is] State absolutism, formulated by the German idealist philosophers.’” Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism. As part of the post, I should've ran these Thaddeus Russell quotes:
    Both Roosevelt and Hitler came to power in the depths of the Depression, and both argued that their extraordinary accumulation of authority and the establishment of a martial society were necessary in a time that was as perilous, they claimed, as war. . . . When he heard that the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) of 1933 gave the president unchecked power over much of the national economy, Mussolini exclaimed, “Behold a dictator!” . . . when the New Deal was created, few of its supporters in the United States were as effusive in their praise as were German and Italian fascists. . . . Roosevelt also had many loyal supporters. One of his admirers sent word to the White House encouraging the president to stand his ground and be proud of his “heroic efforts in the interests of the American people.” The president’s “successful battle against economic distress,” wrote the German chancellor, Adolf Hitler, “is being followed by the entire German people with interest and admiration.”

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    Meyers
    Charles Manson is getting married — which is weird because I thought he was already serving a life sentence. A man in California was arrested after he stabbed his potential employer during a job interview. Well, at least now he knows where he sees himself in five years. Justin Bieber will reportedly spend the next two weeks with a pastor to learn how to spread the word of God. “It won’t be easy, but I think it will make me a better person” — said the pastor.

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    November 19, 2014

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    Enter Amazon here, buy something, and get me a kickback.


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    All Manner of Things
    Belinda’s Brain
    Bethune Catholic
    Betty Duffy
    Book Reviews and More
    Catholic Blogs
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    Get Blogs
    Gilbert Magazine
    Godspy
    Happy Catholic
    Mark Shea
    Mere Comments
    Michelle Reitemeyer
    More Last Than Star
    National Catholic Register
    New Advent
    Phat Catholic
    Pillar and Fire
    Post Modern Papist
    PowerBlog
    Pro Ecclesia
    Quaffs and Quibbles
    Reasoned Audacity
    Reconnaissance of the Western Tradition
    Roman Catholic Info
    Ruri et Orbi
    Scheske at Catholic Exchange
    Scholium
    Shadow of Diogenes
    Signs of the Times: Salvo Blog
    Some Have Hats
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    St. James Journal
    St. Peter Canisius Apostolate
    Standing on My Head
    Stella Maris
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    Suicide of the West
    Summa Minutiae
    Taki
    The American Conservative
    The Blue Boar
    The Cafeteria is Closed
    The Crescat
    The Curt Jester
    The Dawn Patrol
    The Drunken Dollar
    The Impractical Christian
    The Inn at the End of the World
    The Michiana Blawg
    The Muniment Room
    The Radical Academy
    The Reticulator
    The Saint Wannabe
    The Scratching Post
    The Snoring Scholar
    The Summa Mamas
    The Waffling Anglican
    The Western Confucian
    Things and Stuff
    Thursday Night Gumbo
    Uncovering Orthodoxy
    Victor Lams
    Video Meliora
    Vita Mea
    Vox Nova
    What's Wrong with the World
    With Both Hands
    Within the Garden
    Without Having Seen
    World Wide Words

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