From Le Pèlerin (1929)

A Frenchman, an Englishman, and a German each undertook a study of the camel.
The Frenchman went to the Jardin des Plantes, spent half an hour there, questioned the guard, threw bread to the camel, poked it with the point of his umbrella, and, returning home, wrote an article for his paper full of sharp and witty observations.
The Englishman, taking his tea basket and a good deal of camping equipment, went to set up camp in the Orient, returning after a sojourn of two or three years with a fat volume, full of raw, disorganized, and inconclusive facts which, nevertheless, had real documentary value.
As for the German, filled with disdain for the Frenchman's frivolity and the Englishman's lack of general ideas, he locked himself in his room, and there he drafted a several-volume work entitled: The Idea of the Camel Derived from the Concept of the Ego.



With the judgment of the angels and of the saints we excommunicate, cut off, curse, and anathematize Baruch de Espinoza, with the consent of the elders and of all this holy congregation, in the presence of the holy books; by the 613 precepts which are written therein, with the anathema wherewith Joshua cursed Jericho, with the curse which Elisha laid upon the children, and with all the curses which are written in the law. Cursed be he by day and cursed be he by night. Cursed be he in sleeping and cursed be he in waking, cursed in going out and cursed in coming in. The Lord shall not pardon him, the wrath and fury of the Lord shall henceforth be kindled against this man, and shall lay upon him all the curses which are written in the book of the law. The Lord shall destroy his name under the sun, and cut him off for his undoing from all the tribes of Israel, with all the curses of the firmament which are written in the book of the law. But you that cleave unto the Lord your God, live all of you this day.

And that's only part of it...

It's quite a reaction considering that Spinoza thought that "a person's actions should not be aimed at pleasing God, but rather at acting in conformity to the nature of God" (in Antonio Damasio's paraphrase--seems accurate enough to me).

Voltaire wrote this about Spinoza:

And then, a little Jew, with a long nose and a pale complexion,
Poor but satisfied, pensive and reserved,
A subtle but hollow spirit, less read than celebrated,
Hidden under the mantle of Descartes, his mentor,
Walking with measured steps, comes close to the great being:
Excuse me, he says, addressing him in a whisper,
But I think, just between us, that you do not exist at all.

That's not really true, of course, but his conception of God is certainly different from that of the Judeo-Christian tradition. After all, he wrote, "He who loves God must not expect God to love him in return."

You've probably guessed by now, but I really like Spinoza.


Mac & PC

Maybe this is Jeff's problem: he's a Mac user. Sure, it's easy to use and does a lot of cool stuff, but does it remind you to update your blog? (I don't know what Cougar Shaman's problem is, though.)

These cartoons aren't merely part of an effort to brown-nose David into forming a reading group with me...

But perhaps he'll find them somewhat amusing.
I know not everyone does.


Rainy again

The overcast skies and cold, incessant rain almost reminds me of home.
But home doesn't suck.

And although I could go on and on and on about how much I love my hometown, one word really says it all: Powell's.

Speaking of things that suck: the basketball season seems to have ended early this year.
I remember losing back in 1990; but if that's an indication of things to come, so be it.


I've been saving this one

Based, as so many of my cartoons are, on a true story.

In other news, I like this drawing. It doesn't really fit my theology (such as it is), but it helps to balance out the late Bob Keck's heartwarming stories of Gypsy-Bear and Angel.

This cartoon is not about Hoosiers, but rather a quote from Dan about early Christians.
So I guess, not about Hoosiers specifically.
Speaking of which, Indiana seems to have three teams at the big dance. I doubt that my alma mater will win, but I can hope.



That's all for today:


Just Plain Thursday

I can just hear him now: "Don't you mean fifth day?"
The non-plain fellow is John the Evangelist, taken from a medieval illuminated manuscript (or something like that). The quote, however, is taken out of context: it was originally aimed at a young woman who bears a striking resemblance to Mai.

I realize that Plain-man doesn't look like Che Guevara, but I suspect that the reference will make a few people laugh (now that's some obscurely self-referential humor!)
On a completely different topic:
When reading, it's always good to use the principle of charity. However, sometimes it's more fun to take the author literally. Here's rewritten Darwin:
"Our 'imaginary ideas' arise from the monkeys of the soul..."
Speaking of monkeys of the soul, I think it's time for class.


Tuesday afternoon

Not much to say right now, but I thought you might like new cartoons.
Well, as NBC used to say: they're new to you.

The sun is shining: a good day to walk.


Everything frozen melts

And everyone gets wet.

Sometimes it's just like that.