My CMS The View from a New City

November 21, 2021

Advice to my Grandchildren

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 7:26 am

About ten days ago I watched a Ted Talk by a paleo-anthropologist named Melanie Chang. In her talk she said that she and her colleagues draw their conclusions about human evolution from a small set of hard-to-find data and in the face of a sea of unknowns. She said that almost every new discovery causes the profession to alter its conclusions. She used a quote from Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of State, which contained the phrases , “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”, unknown unknowns being things we don’t even know we don’t know. She said that the conclusions of paleo-anthropologists’ experience revolutionary “perturbations” with every discovery from the realm of the previously unknown unknowns.

To keep this short, and not belabor the obvious, I want to jump right to my advice to my grandchildren: You are, or soon will be, making some of the most important decisions of your life and you will necessarily make those decisions based on a small set of data-points and in the face of a whole sea of unknowns, both known and unknown. If you make those decisions with faith, hope and charity, you will be much happier and come much closer to the truth than if you make those decisions with skepticism, fear and anger. That is my advice and my experience.

November 12, 2021

Soap Opera

Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 6:56 am

I have recently become addicted to Korean language soap operas on Netflix, starting with Crash Landing on You, then It’s OK Not to be OK, and and others, and ending yesterday with Inheritors. I have been thinking about why these multi-hours long tv shows are so interesting for me. Firstly, there is no nudity or sex scenes, at least in the ones I have watched. Secondly, the well developed characters portrayed are varied: both good and evil, young and old, serious and funny, wise and foolish, profound and ridiculous, healthy and psychotic. And, finally, the issues around which these shows revolve, include but are not limited to, romance, good and evil, honesty and deceitfulness, success and failure, myth and literature, life and death, but more importantly for me, parent-child relationships and sin and redemption. There are even occasions of great philosophy and believable portrayals of a variety of professions. It is also interesting to me to have a look into the quasi-American culture which has developed in South Korea. I recommend them to anyone with time on their hands and the ability to rapidly read the subtitles.

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