Right Kind of Genius

To my way of thinking we are living in a era where the cultural empire is creating a fast narrowing path to survival. The empire is ultimately self-destructive. There are historical precedents; the Roman empire, the Mayan empire… analyze these structures of power any way you like, from any disciplinary perspective, spend countless hours discussing what little we actually know of how they actually grew and died off, intellectual discussion doesn’t change that they existed, grew and disappeared but for built form. They were what they were, no matter how we analyze and categorize and philosophize.

The descendants of meek members of those cultures remain, healthy and strong. It seems a bit biblical really, the meek have inherited the earth many times over during written history and who knows how many times in the vast ages of human history before the written word.

Many times over the weak have inherited an earth much diminished by the unnatural growths of powerful structures that fed like parasites on a balanced system.

Here is where my thoughts on genius intersect with my thoughts on culture.

The right kind of genius would put the weight of its talent behind a balanced structure of human habitation and community. Since the beginning of written history the right kind of genius has not been culturally favoured. Genius instead has been siphoned off and poured into the foundations of imbalance, the gathering of resources into the hands of the few.

An example is Christaller, whose theory on central place was used extensively by the Nazi’s to create, among other things, a network of internment camps. Christaller’s contemporary, August Loesch, see also, was comparatively ignored; I wonder if this was because his intellectual integrity was not as useful to political and economic strategies. Dr. Loesch did not join the Nazi party.

These are names of people who carried genius. Much of the built form in our present day-to-day lives, in Europe and North America, has been shaped by the product of their minds in the hands of the powerful.

In spite of the successful efforts of this towering structure of wealth, that reaches towards the heaven of its own desires, the right kind of genius remains, germinal, a force of nature, not of culture. And that is as much “human nature” as is greed and competition; more so in my view.

I wish my world were an ancient tale, a sleeping beauty and I a prince to kiss us all awake, in time to live the lives we have been given.

May those who carry the seed of genius with integrity live happy and fulfilled lives. If they can, then we will. Thank you for existing.

What can I say, I am like this in the mornings.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10 °C
Condition: Snow
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Visibility: 8 km
Temperature: -10.0°C
Dewpoint: -13.2°C
Humidity: 78 %
Wind: W 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -16

Quote

“I decided blacks should not have to experience the difficulties I had faced, so I decided to open a flying school and teach other black women to fly.”
Bessie Coleman

From the movie The Matrix
Lock: “Goddamnit, Morpheus! Not everyone believes what you believe!”
Morpheus: “My beliefs do not require them to.”

Pre-Dawn

Here it is pre-dawn. The trees outside the window are just becoming visible through the windows. I’ve been awake for several hours now, no idea why. The fire is burning bright in the masonry heater, Attila is preparing the food he will take to work. I am sitting at the computer. Typical morning.

There is another WordPress update to install. It seems like the last update was only a few weeks ago. Accomplished before 9:00 a.m. this morning. The manual update always works the first time, it is just so time consuming!

Terra gave me a few Starbucks coupons for songs, pick of the week. This will be another wee project for today, something new.

An investigation of the online digital library service revealed that the library nearest the little house in the city accesses the same service used by the library near the country house. This is good news for the Kobo. Early this morning another interesting library book was finally ferreted out of the lists of formula romance and vampire novels. It is called Made in the USA by Billie Letts. There are good books in this library collection, but it helps to have a list of titles and authors ready to assist in the search for your preferred reading material. Most of my list is not offered in the online collection.

Above Bathroom Vanity Little House in the City, February 2011

Above Bathroom Vanity Little House in the City, February 2011

One of our next projects at the little house is to install a medicine cabinet above the sink in the bathroom. When we bought the property there was only a hole in the wall where a vanity might go. Who knows why, best not to know I think. Anyway, last summer I found a newish medicine cabinet for $11 at a ReStore, a fundraising entity for Habitat for Humanity. Installing the medicine cabinet is on the list, but will require more than a one night stay to accomplish, so perhaps when Attila has another Saturday off in a few months he will be able to tackle this project.

There is no counter space in the bathroom at the little house in the city. Toiletries were carried in and out as needed until I came up with my clever, cost free solution. The bottom half of a plastic pop bottle, with a slit near the top on one side, is hung from a stick-on hook, placed on the wall above the sink. Clever yes. Pretty no. Functional yes, it works.

I’ve been thinking about Facebook this morning. One thing I like about it is that people I know are there, on the other end of the ether, so to speak. At times we are sharing the moment. A strange connectedness in absentia.

Google facilitated a search on sharing the moment, and this site came to my attention. Apparently the site was created by a graduate school student in Helsinki. The ideas are far from practical, from a mass-produced, economy-of-scale, lets-make-a-profit perspective. The ideas are interesting nonetheless. The M.A. Thesis of Michihito Mizutani explores sharing the moment in various ways. Truth be told though, I’d rather share the moment in physical proximity to my friends and loved ones. And there is nothing like strolling down a busy city sidewalk. The most interesting concept I found at this site though, is one aimed at sharing culture and cleansing the planet, the Global-loon Proposal. Quite imaginative; I think it is the geographer in me that is drawn to this particular design.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.0°C
Dewpoint: -4.8°C
Humidity: 94 %
Wind: 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Quote

“Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”
Leonardo da Vinci
1452 – 1519
(translator unknown)

All you can do is your best.

All you can do is your best. I attended the interview today and did just that, my best. I wasn’t happy with a few of the things I said; answers could have been better said, better examples might have been provided. It was a pleasant experience. I am pretty sure I did not procure the position. There was one question that seemed pivotal, it was yes or no answer and lies would have been transparent… my answer was no and it was probably the wrong answer. The real indicator was, they did not request references. Kudos to them though, they treated me with respect and dignity throughout.

Sun Emerges Near Peterborough Ontario, February 19, 2011

Sun Emerges Near Peterborough Ontario, February 19, 2011

So, that out of the way, on with the rest of my life.

The weather is much warmer, but the weather people say there is to be another night of -21C, Friday night. Sheesh.

I am exhausted. Interview preparations and the experience itself have left me yawning and nodding off at the keyboard this afternoon. And wouldn’t you know it, after sitting down in my easy chair for a short winter’s nap, the cell phone rang. Wrong number of course, we don’t use our cell phone except for emergency calls. That was that for the nap.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-1 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 13 km
Temperature: -1.0°C
Dewpoint: -2.6°C
Humidity: 89 %
Wind: W 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -5

Quote

“If you think you’re too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”
Betty Reese [Who is Betty Reese?]

Just Keeps Going

The house is now feeling a bit cool, but that is not surprising since the temperature has been dipping below -20C every night since Saturday. Now, the weather people say, the temperature will begin to rise. I hope it just keeps going!

Clearing Sky, Near Peterborough Ontario, February 19,2011

Clearing Sky, Near Peterborough Ontario, February 19,2011

The mess on the desk is finally dwindling, as a result of concentrated effort. It seems time is leading the way to clutter; I’m fighting the good fight. One of the things I love about visiting the little house in the city is that there are few belongings there; life is simple there. All the complicated issues are saved for our day-to-day life in the country house.

A notice came in the mail yesterday; time of use metering will begin here in a few weeks. This complicates life even further and as far as electric heat is concerned, the time of use electricity prices just terminated any hope of using the electric heaters. Heating exclusively with wood has been a cost-cutting, environmental choice until now; heating with wood has become a necessity.

Luna got in touch yesterday to say that they are moving again, soon. Janus has been offered a transfer and a promotion. Their destination is a long way from our country house, and from the little house in the city. We will miss seeing the grandchildren. I rejoice that Terra and Lares are still living near the little house in the city.

This is a singer/songwriter I’ve enjoyed listening to for many years. I heard him live in Toronto, and had a chat with him; there are some wonderful people in this world of ours. This song is a particular favorite, it resonates deep into the feelings of loss I experience(d) when loved ones have passed.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-21 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -21.0°C
Dewpoint: -22.8°C
Humidity: 86 %
Wind: calm

Quote

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
1797 – 1851

Presentable

Another beautiful sunny day today. The wind last Friday brought down quite a few branches, some of them of considerable size. There was no damage as a result and Attila used his chain saw to cut them to size, so that we burned them in the masonry heater for firewood last night. That worked out rather well.

On our journey to the little house last Saturday, I began to take pictures of the passing landscape from my seat in the car. The weather had already improved tremendously when I began to shoot the pictures. I aimed the camera out the side window, paying no attention to what I was capturing, or even if I was capturing any images.

Sun emerging from cloud. February 19, 2011

Sun emerging from cloud. February 19, 2011

While we were at the little house in the city we did a bit of window shopping. At least that is the way it started out. I don’t remember if I have mentioned in this journal that my winter coat is 17, almost 18 years old. I have worn this coat exclusively for the last 17 years, and still wear it with enthusiasm. However, it is a bit shabby, which isn’t a problem until I have a job interview and then it becomes a concern. The coat also gets dirty and cannot be washed through the winter months because I have nothing else to keep me warm while it takes a few days to dry. Shabby and dirty are a problem for job interviews. The upshot of all this is that while browsing through the mens department of a clothing store I found a lovely grey coat with fur trim on the hood, machine washable, warm and very presentable, at a greatly reduced price. It was marked down to $69 from $249. We decided that since I wear coats for close to 20 years, that this might be a very good investment. So, I have a new winter coat to wear to my interview this week.

Because I have a new winter coat in case I need to go outdoors, the old coat has gone into the washing machine and is now sparkling clean. It should be dry enough to wear again in a few days.

Today I am preparing for the interview on Thursday, then I’m going to forget all about it until I’m sitting in the office being interviewed. I like the interviews. It is the applications and preparations for interviews that I hate most about looking for work. I suppose this is an acquired dislike, due to the profound lack of success experienced thus far.

The printer is out of colour ink. I don’t need colour ink, so this wasn’t of much concern. However, the printer thought otherwise and refused to function at all without a new colour cartridge, which is $50 I’m not going to be spending; you see the dilemma here, $50 for an ink cartridge, $69 for a beautiful winter coat, choices, choices, made mine already. After searching the printer documentation for some time, no solution to the problem was found. A google search for a solution was very successful; the cure was to find the cartridge settings buried deep in layers of menus, change the settings to black only and then to hold down the reset button for five seconds. Worked a charm and the black and white documents I need for my interview are printed.

The Kobo continues to satisfy. I eventually heard from the company about the book that I bought online and could not access. They could not resolve the problem, to give me access to the book, so they refunded my credit card. Strange, that they couldn’t manage to make the book available for download, very strange. However, the issue is resolved and I am quite satisfied. The book in progress at the moment is Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper, which has been renewed and downloaded several times from the library. Having interesting reading material available all the time is wonderful!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-19 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -19.0°C
Dewpoint: -22.6°C
Humidity: 74 %
Wind: NNW 5 km/h
Wind Chill: -23

Quote 

“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”
Frank Leahy