Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mina Takes Aim

Mina took aim at my last post in short order. Said far better for me to have ridden her coattails than to have "reduced complex social phenomena to a simplistic equation," were, I believe, her exact words. Insists my having done so points to my penchant for trivializing her work. Told her there she is wrong, and she knows it. She countered it was clear there were two different genders in this conversation.

She may have a point there. Ha. Not sure at whose expense I'm making such a conditional comment.

Certainly the dear girl has a far greater tolerance for irreducible complexity. I may be a victim of my gender here, wanting to fix things.

Mina reminded me that there's nothing like gestation to put in perspective the necessity of just sitting out a situation. Nine months sounds about this side of what would push your regular gonad-bound chap over the edge.

On the other hand, she knows who to call when the sink won't drain.

Cheap shot. I got plugged again. She reminded me we were talking about complex social phenomena, not plumbing. Countered with the old meditation dictum. Don't just do something, sit there.

And added, keep your trap shut until you know what you're talking about.

Her yin, my yang?

We settled on that. Viva la difference.

As an aside, I was curious about the yin-yang symbol. Turns out it isn't just a bit of clever drawing. Learned from Wikipedia that:

When observing the cycle of the Sun, ancient Chinese simply used a pole about 8 feet long, posted at right angles to the ground and recorded positions of the shadow. Then they found the length of a year is around 365.25 days. They even divided the year's cycle into 24 Segments, including the Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, using the sunrise and Dipper positions.

They used six concentric circles, marked the 24-Segment points, divided the circles into 24 sectors and recorded the length of shadow every day. The shortest shadow is found on the day of Summer Solstice. The longest shadow is found on the day of Winter Solstice. After connecting each lines and dimming Yin Part from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice, the Sun chart looks like below. The ecliptic angle 23 26' 19'' of the Earth can be seen in this chart

What's a fellow to do of my generation? I'm of the gender that heretofore has ruled the earth. White Male with Property. Who, at the time of the writing of the Constitution, 1790, were the only ones allowed to vote. It took another 50-60 years before those restrictions were removed and almost all adult white males could vote.

So much for "government by the people."

It was Freud who said ontology recapitulates phylogeny. As goes the individual, so the species.

What chronological/ontological age is the United States of America? Have we come a long way, baby? And if so, where have we yet to get to?

That latter's one question I won't presume to 'fix' at this moment. Waiting for the next election.


Coffee Messiah said...

I could have sworn I already read this and left a comment about how creative these posts are.

Sadly, once I read them, that's all I can come up with to say.

Thanks for some levity and humor along with some mental workout.

ps: those award thingies are OK, and a few people usually respond. But I notice in summer, it's very slow. May have to bring this up again in the middle of winter.


cbb said...

Coffee, having YOU say you like them is all the acknowledgement I need - thank you. And you know, you've been coming up with entertaining and clever posts for a whole lot longer - I hope you don't misunderestimate (thanks, Dubya!) your own major creative skills!

Cheers in return, you fine fellow!

goatman said...

Very interesting, the sun chart.
BTW you can express a "degree symbol" with "Alt 248" : ° .
Something remembered from ASCII days.

edward said...

be careful when you fix a toaster

cbb said...

Goatman, I had always wondered about the yin-yang sign - Wikipedia is a great resource (mostly). And thanks for the technical tip.

cbb said...

Edward, excellent advice, and especially wisely given to a fellow who simultaneously has a pipe in his mouth. (At least the toaster's unplugged...)