Contextualizing Discordant Notes

I saw a post on social media. Something like:

“Yesterday mowing the lawn a bee stung me. The bee died. I finished mowing. A wasted effort on his part? I could’ve been his friend… Perhaps a life lesson is hidden in there somewhere.”

Not political, not controversial, not mean spirited or sarcastic, and yet my typical contrarian thinking kicked in.

Perspective of the bee maybe: A monster, unprovoked in any way, is indiscriminately and violently chopping down all the flowers; the clover I am trying to feed from today, and the oxalis I was hoping to enjoy tomorrow, and the creeping charlie I was looking forward to feasting on next week. This shall not stand!

Are there lessons about friendship and peace as the original post suggested? Of course, easy ones that were obviously implied, and yet do those lessons have an insidious side. To accept them is to simplistically gloss over a (very possible) broader context of the situation. Seems to me that the angle on it that inharmonious existence with, in this case nature, is bound to have some discordant notes is at least also valid, if not more valid!

Portraying such discordant notes as emanating from unjustified sources is a common practice – sometimes a tactic.

Midi keyboard & beep boop music

I’ve been wanting to tinker with using my computer to make / modify music for a few years, but finally got myself a dedicated MIDI keyboard, and spent good chucks of the last two weekends learning how synths, and DAWs, and audio interfaces all work. Yeesh! Kind of a lot it turns out. Anyway, I now have it working well enough and just enough understanding to actually jam out a bit.

Looking into better mics. Need to learn to balance sound better – though youTube’s processing did make it quite a bit worse than it was in the original recording. Oh well. Just for fun anyway.

All open source software by the way!

Equal treatment under the law

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.” — Anatole France

This statement is clever in how it reveals a potent lie embedded within an plain indisputable truth. Are rich and poor treated the same under such a legal system, clearly not, but technically yes.

Now, with that in mind, there is a lot of ground covered in the tax leak articles being published by ProPublica over the last month. And a primary defense I have seen is that the tax code isn’t exactly being violated.

The flimsiness of the excuse – that they are paying all the taxes they legally owe – isn’t obvious to a lot of people: weak tax rules for the super-rich, isn’t merely because the IRS forgot to close loopholes or Congress didn’t pass a law. The uber-rich co-opt regulators and lawmakers to concoct legal schemes that operate to their distinct advantage. There are a plethora of laws that punish the poor, and a alarming lack of laws that constrain the rich. This is no accident! It’s corruption, of course, but except in some esoteric points probably not technically illegal. Tale as old as time?

Let’s give tennis a try

Well, my boys have decided to give tennis a go. We’ve gone to play a few time recently after I dug these old rackets out of storage.

Tonight a new first; new grips.

Interesting how them doing this repair themselves gave them some pride in their equipment, and they are even more excited to go play again soon.

Same Ol’ Both Sides Stuff

A bunch of “violence on both sides” rhetoric emerging trying to equivocate the BLM protests with the insurrection of last week.

Two big reasons this does not work.
1) Who acted as the primary instigators of the violence.
2) The motivation or purpose of the protest/riot

Some BLM protests got violent when a (probably intentionally) overwhelming and over equipped police presence escalated things. They were motivated by a desire for justice based around a percieved right to be treated humanely and to be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty and specifically to bring greater awareness to how these things are systematically not happening for black people in particular – hence their slogan. Their position is supported by many verifiable facts and stems from an underlying philosophy that every person should be treated with dignity – a good thing most decent people can probably agree on.

The Stop the Steal insurrection faced a (probably intentionally) understaffed and underequiped police force who made borderline ridiculous efforts to not escalate to violence, but were ultimately overwhelmed by a mob who were hunting members of Congress and the VP with an intent to kill or take hostages. They were motivated by their imagined right to rule which was they claim was stolen from them – hence their slogan. Their position is supported only by verifiable falsehoods and stems from an underlying philosophy that is some mix of landownership aristocracy and white supremacy – bad things most people can agree about.

Curious if whether you agree with my assessment boils down to your stance on facts vs “alternative facts”.

Fountain penner

Decided a while back to give fountain pens a try. Today I thought one of them was dried up because I hadn’t used it for a week, but it turns out the ink was just out. This is my first time ever having a change the ink in a pen that I remember.

When I bought the pens the supply of ink that came with them, to be honest, felt like an infinite supply. It’s still a lot but it feels a little less infinite now.