Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fathers Day!

In honor of Fathers Day, here's a photo of my Dad in 1945.  He's standing on a hill in Auxier, Kentucky.  Note the coal-company style houses down the hill behind him.


This was around the time I was born, July 1945.  In later years, but while I was still pretty young, Auxier was kind of a magical place for me.  Almost a Tom Sawyer kind of place.  When we were there in the summers I spent the entire time barefoot, and at the end of a day my friends and I would be pretty well powdered over with coal dust.  When I was big enough, my chore would be to tote a bucket down to the nearby well and pump water to carry back to the house (not too far).  I'm pretty sure that was the best water I've ever had.  We used the water for drinking, cooking, and bathing, because there was no piped water into the house.  We also had no indoor toilet, so the restroom was a short hike back past the cornfield.  Good times!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Culturally-induced psychopathy

Just a quick thought on our latest mass shooting:

This kind of thing is not going to go away until some of the basic features of our culture change.  Probably central to that would be a weakening of our cult of extreme individualism, which is reproduced every generation via the mode of socialization known as independence training.  Independence training reduces personal responsibility to the larger society, and also reduces empathy.  It helps us remain a nation suffering from culturally-induced psychopathy.

The strength of this cultural feature varies through time, as it does also across social and geographical space, but it's always there.  
The "Reagan Revolution," as well as Trump's "Make America Great Again," were/are revitalization movements for this cult.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cranky Linguist 2.0

I was getting tired of the colors on the blog here, so I have changed it up a bit in the hope of getting motivated to do some more consistent writing.

Meanwhile, here's a violin I inherited from my Dad.  It was made in Japan in the 1920s, and I never saw or heard him play it.  It's been laying around unused, so I had a local violin repairer spruce it up a bit, glue what needed to be glued, put on new strings, and so on.  Now to practice and hopefully be able to post a tune here soon...



Stay tuned!