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Society

 

But history has some downsides.  Without it we would approach everyone as a probable equal and, possibly with some caution, as a potential friend, without preconceptions; like an open-minded fool. It is history that confers such attributes as ethnicity, religion, and social status.  It is also the origin of our fear of strangers; and of known enemies.

History is also the basis of special pleading or treatment on the grounds of the past: some previous injury justifying current vendetta; or the converse, special privilege, often based on some claimed inherited status.  

In an ideal world we would disregard the history that precedes a birth.  All children would be given an unbiased start in life, through equitable education, nutrition, and parenting; to live their lives according to their ability, irrespective of historically imposed stereotypes or privilege or disadvantage. 

Like many if not all ideals this is obviously unattainable in the real world. New children are born all the time and the concepts of 'property' and 'truth', among others, are bound up with the past. But moving society in the direction of this ideal; and opposing attempts to move it in the opposite direction; seems to me to be a good principle.

 

 

 

 

Richard
January 2011

 

 

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Travel

South Korea & China

March 2016

 

 

South Korea

 

 

I hadn't written up our trip to South Korea (in March 2016) but Google Pictures gratuitously put an album together from my Cloud library so I was motivated to add a few words and put it up on my Website.  Normally I would use selected images to illustrate observations about a place visited.  This is the other way about, with a lot of images that I may not have otherwise chosen.  It requires you to go to the link below if you want to see pictures. You may find some of the images interesting and want to by-pass others quickly. Your choice. In addition to the album, Google generated a short movie in an 8mm style - complete with dust flecks. You can see this by clicking the last frame, at the bottom of the album.

A few days in Seoul were followed by travels around the country, helpfully illustrated in the album by Google generated maps: a picture is worth a thousand words; ending back in Seoul before spending a few days in China on the way home to OZ. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Book of Mormon

 

 

 

 

Back in the mid 1960's when I was at university and still living at home with my parents in Thornleigh, two dark suited, white shirted, dark tied, earnest young men, fresh from the United States, appeared at our door.

Having discovered that they weren't from IBM my mother was all for shooing them away.  But I was taking an interest in philosophy and psychology and here were two interesting examples of religious fervour.

As I often have with similar missionaries (see: Daniel, the Jehovah’s Witness in Easter on this Website), I invited them in and they were very pleased to tell me about their book.  I remember them poised on the front of our couch, not daring or willing to sit back in comfort, as they eagerly told me about their revelation.  

And so it came to pass that a week ago when we travelled to Melbourne to stay with my step-son Lachlan and his family and to see the musical: The Book of Mormon I was immediately taken back to 1964.

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Opinions and Philosophy

The reputation of nuclear power

 

 

One night of at the end of March in 1979 we went to a party in Queens.  Brenda, my first wife, is an artist and was painting and studying in New York.  Our friends included many of the younger artists working in New York at the time.  That day it had just been announced that there was a possible meltdown at a nuclear reactor at a place called a Three Mile Island , near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 

I was amazed that some people at the party were excitedly imagining that the scenario in the just released film ‘The China Syndrome’  was about to be realised; and thousands of people would be killed. 

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