August 2008

Things worth worrying about

The Large Hadron, you may remember, is the 17-mile-long particle accelerator being built near Geneva. Once it’s up and running, its designers believe it will take particle physics research to a whole new level. Its critics think it may create a black hole that will swallow up the universe. This is what is known as a wide range of possibilities.

I am bringing this up now because it is always important to remember that things could be worse. You may be worried about a new cold war or a major bank failure, or afraid of losing your job or your house or your credit rating. You may be depressed by your first look at the fall TV schedule.

Whatever your concerns, it is important, in these dark moments, to remember that other people have been having a worse summer than you. To name just a few: John Edwards, the mayor of Detroit and all the people involved in the making of “The Love Guru.”

Perspective is all. If you’re going to fret, I say, fret about that black hole. For one thing, it makes it much easier to schedule unpleasant tasks for the second half of September. Heads, the planet survives. Tails, the root canal never happens.

– Gail Collins, “Digging Ourselves A Black Hole“, NYT, 23 Aug 2008

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What To Do About Evil

“We see evil all the time. We see evil in Darfur. We see evil, sadly, on the streets of our cities… It has to be confronted squarely…[but also it] is very important for to us have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting evil, because a lot of evil’s been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil…in the name of good. [J]ust because we think that our intentions are good, doesn’t always mean that we’re going to be doing good.” – Obama

“Defeat it.” – McCain

“But I say to you, ‘Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.'” – Jesus

“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” – The book of Proverbs

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