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"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates,

"who said, 'I drank what?'"

I have come across claims before that all-natural products, at worst, cannot be bad for you. My favourite version of this was on an infomercial, where the host prefaced his pitch for some dietary supplement with the disclaimer, "Now I'm no doctor, but...". At least he was honest about that much.

Recently, I've been seeing articles pushing respberry ketones (complete with clickable ads for the stuff) written or backed by popular doctors, like the man behind the curtain, Dr. Oz. Should it surprise anyone that their argument for the absolute harmlessness of something for which they have conducted no serious human trials or long term studies might as easily justify drinking cyanide or hemlock?

Every version of the Hippocratic Oath I have read, one of which most doctors and med schools will at least pay lip service to, says something like, "Do no harm." But what about when you have no idea whether or not your advice might ultimately harm people? Apparently, that means you should profiteer to the best of your ability until real scientists say otherwise.


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Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Happy Valentine's Day

Mindful concentration and earnest effort make health, safety, and creativity more likely, but there are no guarantees. Every plateau has a cliff. Each incline can become a decline. These paths require attention. When we traverse uncertain ground in the darkness, if the wind sweeps past, we may keep our feet or we may lose our footing and tumble down.
When I requested February 14th off from work, I didn't expect to spend the day alone, you know. Now, it's just another day on which I should be doing chores. There is so much to do around my small apartment. It's almost amazing. But of course I realize, keeping our spaces clean requires persistent effort, as well.
Still, there are cliffs all around. Some of them seem treacherous, others quite comfortable.