In Search of Lost Time

Existential Dread
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Ticker tape parade for Howard Hughes setting new aviation record for flying around the world in just under 4 days, Life Magazine, 1938.

On July 10, 1938, Howard Hughes began a 91-hour (3 days, 19 hours, and 17 minutes)  flight around the world that set a new world record.

Born on July 10th: Painter Camille Pissarro, in 1831; creator of the daguerreotype, Louis Daguerre, in 1851; physicist Nikola Tesla, in 1856; writers Marcel Proust, in 1871 and Alice Munroe, in 1931; and musicians Béla Fleck, in 1958 and Jelly Roll Morton, in 1941.

July 10th is the birthday of Nancy Drew mystery writer Mildred Benson. She was born in 1905 and was the first of several writers who wrote under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene for the young adult mystery series.

On July 10, 1925, Meher Baba began his silence, which lasted 44 years, until his death in 1969.  July 10th is known as Silence Day to those that follow his teachings.

On July 10, 1913, the atmospheric temperature in Death Valley, California hit the highest ever recorded on Earth: 134 °F (57 °C), measured at Furnace Creek. According to the 2010 Census, Furnace Creek has a population of 24. In case you are curious, the interests of the residents of Furnace Creek are represented by Republicans for both the state and federal legislature:  Senator Tom Berryhill, guilty of money laundering in 2014;  the clearly engaged still-Trump-supporter Congressman Paul Cook; and state assembly member Devon Mathis, who has allegedly been seen drunk on the job by former staffers, and much more troubling, accused of sexual assault. Sounds like we have stumbled accross the actual hell on earth?

For today: Nothing matters.  Be quiet and eat a madeleine.

 

The Sheep You Asked For Is Inside

General Discomfort

 

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“This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside.”                                                     The Little Prince Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste

 

French writer Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste was born June 29, 1900. He wrote The Little Prince.     

Today is the third day in a row that I have started a post, put considerable time into researching, only to throw in the towel when I realize it is the end of the day and I still only have lists and scaps. Is everything feeling rushed and left half-done for you these days as well?

I was about to give up and hit close on this browser window, when I saw one the name of another person I had read about for today –  Claude-Frédéric Bastiat, an economist born June 29, 1801. He wrote an essay called Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (That Which We See and That Which We Do Not See) in 1850, which is known as the parable of the broken window. He argues that it does not make economic sense for societies to spend money to repair destruction. He works it out that spending money to repair, for example, a broken window, does not result in a gain to society, even if the glazier gets paid to replace a window. Basically, it is a libertarian appeal to consider opportunity costs.

Fine, fine – I don’t particularly agree with his assessment, but I see how he got there. Anyway, it got me thinking about sunk cost fallacies (the tendency to throw good money into a bad investment rather than walk away,  because it is enormously difficult for people to abandon what they have put time and/or money into ). It did give me the resolve hit to select+ delete a whole page of work and just make a post about the writer of one of my very favorite books.

Aren”t we all just a sunk cost fallacy, getting worse for the wear year after year, but we perserve. If only to stick it a thorn in the side of all of those smug little misanthropes who walk around muttering about population control, and Darwin Awards, and about how we are overdue for a pandemic. In The Little Prince, as the prince cries and misses his rose, far away on his home asteroid B- 612, the fox says “It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important.” We are all each our own sulking little rose, and the one who mourns for it.

As for insight and advice about what this means for the days ahead, I wrote it all down for you and put it in the box with the little sheep. You’re welcome.