Efficient Learning: Diary, 2/3 to 2/6/21

Even a schedule isn’t necessary; just a bookshelf. Each morning—mornings are best for this kind of work—take the book at the left, sit down with it, and go through it, either page-by-page or marker-by-marker (tape flags for target pages).

Diary, 1/24 to 1/28/2021

[Maslow's Motivation and Personality] provoked a lot of thought, though not necessarily anything earthshaking; I’ll have more to say when I type the quotes. It seemed to take a very long time. On 1/1/21 above I mention plodding through it, including having finished the first two chapters, so it took somewhat longer than three weeks.

Diary, 1/15 to 1/23/21

Listened to a vital hour-long discussion with Chris Hedges, How Republicans, Democrats, and the Media Have Weakened US Democracy. We are doomed; the only thing Hedges could suggest is impossible to me: basically, shut it all down, take to the streets and create chaos. “Mass sustained civil disobedience” is how he expressed it.

Diary, 12/25/2020 to 1/1/2021

Christmas day. I had thought about going out and hanging around on Union in the hope of seeing Mr. D and giving him a twenty. Now it occurs to me to invite him over, perhaps to watch a movie or ...

Diary, 2/16 to 2/22/20

N came to the Hemlock Club today and we talked for four hours.  I told him about “the friendly voice” idea and that I thought I might give it a try.  The idea is that you publish an ad saying “A friendly voice” and your phone number, hoping to encourage lost souls to call you to talk, hopefully thus relieving some suffering in the world.  I used to worry that this would become a burden, and that indeed could happen; but I am not required to answer every call, necessarily, and I can limit calls to fifteen minutes.  I originally wanted to have a separate phone number for this, and perhaps I’ll do that, though it would be some expense.  Possibly Craigslist...

Diary, 9/23 to 9/29/19

... neuroses are essentially psychic bandages—how we unconsciously respond to hurt in order to prevent more hurt. But of course it is necessary eventually to get beyond that stage. This is a commonplace. Another valuable lesson is how to respond to verbal aggressions like criticism...

Diary, 9/9 to 9/17/19

Watched Rashomon and Throne of Blood yesterday evening. Toshiro Mifune, who stars in both, seemed to me a pretty terrible actor: he false-laughs his way through the former, and yells all through the latter. Granted, his facial expressions are remarkable. Rashomon is very effective and seldom drags, even though I’ve seen it three or four times previously; the actress was good, though her crying was no more convincing than...

Diary, 9/1 to 9/8/19

I ended up finally getting moderately hooked on Gotham, so I watched sixteen or seventeen episodes of Season 1 yesterday to finish it, since it has to go back today. The future Catwoman—Camren Bicondova is the actress—was for me almost the main attraction, her face is so compellingly beautiful. I wasn’t happy with the changes to her role in the last couple of episodes. Bruce Wayne got more interesting as well. As the shows...

Diary, 8/18 to 8/25/19

Well, I started a Pathfinder Meetup and acquired a group member within the first hour. I doubt that J or Pablo will be interested. If I can get just two enthusiastic members, well, that’s two potential friends. I’ve also discovered just a ton of stuff on the Internet, no surprise. I haven’t found any online play yet, but surely it’s out there. I’m not sure that I want that, because I’d then want home Internet…well, I wouldn’t necessarily fall into the same black hole that I discovered previously, i.e., something like “all Twitter, all the time.” But the real point of Pathfinder is, as always, new potential friends. I wonder ...

Diary, 7/24 to 7/31/19

I’ve been reading Richard Rorty: Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which I think of as “my next step in philosophy.” I read this once before with the feeling that it was rather over my head, and have occasionally reviewed my typed quotes. But the “Introduction” by Michael Williams seems very comprehensible and persuasive—if I can keep its lessons in mind, probably by periodic reviews, I can pretty much let the sticky parts go.