Mixed bag

Shutdown

The night the lights went out, almost.

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Thousands of miles away the suits are having last minute discussions on whether to shutdown the government or not. I am celebrating a foot of fresh snow.

The lights stayed on. The park will remain open, for now. Xanterra will foot the bill to have the road plowed. Government buildings will remain closed. This could be a great weekend in the park. Just the locals (bison, elk, moose, foxes, coyotes and us) and fresh powder covering up the landscape. Let’s see what the morning has in store…


“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Thomas Jefferson

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Mixed bag

Just for Fun

“There is never enough time for fun.”

Katherine Hannigan


Common Goldeneye with a picture-perfect two point landing. Looks to me the most fun you can have on a winter day in a river that’s about to freeze over.

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Mixed bag

A Prime Day

The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

Elise Boulding


Amazon apparently had more than a billion dollar in sales on Prime Day, which lasted 30 hours. Really?

The most popular items sold were smart speakers, tablets, 4K TV screens, programmable pressure cookers, DNA ancestry tests, Whey protein powder and “Game of Thrones” on Blu-Ray. Exactly what I needed, not.

When do we realize that this mad consumption does not make us one iota more happy, free or healthy? To the contrary.

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Twilight on the Chilkat River

I am happy to report that I have spent zero dollars and more importantly zero seconds on trying to buy anything on Prime Day.

Have a grand day out.

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Smithsonian Photo Contest

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The Smithsonian Institution has its annual photo contest.

Over 48,000 photos were submitted in the following categories: The Natural World, Travel, Sustainable Travel, People, Mobile, The American Experience, and Altered Images. In each category 10 finalists were selected for you to cast your vote.

Every day until March 28 you can vote for one of your favorite images in the Readers’ Choice award.

Go visit. See beautiful images. Show your appreciation.

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Mixed bag

Truth or Consequences

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“A lie can travel half way around the world
while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Mark Twain


The average English speaker has an active vocabulary of around 10,000 to 20,000 words. Maybe 30,000 if you are an eloquent speaker or writer.

I had to add some new words to my vocabulary in the last couple of days: Fake news, post-truth, and alternative facts, which I had dismissed before as unbelievable internet creations. No more. Now our government is engaging in alternative facts?

What happened?

“At one time we had truth and lies. Now we have truth, lies, and statements that may not be true but we consider too benign to call false. Euphemisms abound. We’re “economical with the truth,” we “sweeten it,” or tell “the truth improved.” The term deceive gives way to spin.  At worst we admit to “misspeaking,” or “exercising poor judgment.”  Nor do we want to accuse others of lying.  We say they’re in denial.  A liar is “ethically challenged,” someone for whom “the truth is temporarily unavailable.”

This is post-truth. In the post-truth era, borders blur between truth and lies, honesty and dishonesty, fiction and nonfiction.

When enough of us peddle fantasy as fact, society loses its grounding in reality.  Society would crumble altogether if we assumed others were as likely to dissemble as tell the truth. We are perilously close to that point.”

Ralph Keyes wrote that 13 years ago in his book “The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life”.

Doesn’t his statement describe precisely the current state of our society? Aren’t we expecting from our politicians to make false promises, and to read made-up stories in the news. How can we trust anybody anymore?

When it comes to truth and lies, honesty and dishonesty, guilt and non-guilt, the world must be binary. There cannot be a blurring of borders.

Let’s go back and call somebody who bends the truth a liar and somebody who sticks to the truth an honest person.

Otherwise we are deteriorating int a society, where we don’t care anymore about the truth. This has happened before with horrendous consequences.

 

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