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.
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.
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”.
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.”
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.
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
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