Starting MAMA’S LAST HUG: ANIMAL EMOTIONS AND WHAT THEY TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES

Self never thought she’d be as engrossed as she is. She’s just emerged from the fantastic space opera that is Leviathan Wakes, she didn’t think that her mind would be able to adjust easily to a subject like primates and their emotions. That would be quite a shwitcheroo. Surprisingly, however, self found it very easy to get ‘into’ this book.

From the Prologue:

Emotions may be slippery, but they are also by far the most salient aspect of our lives. They give meaning to everything. In experiments, people remember emotionally charged pictures and stories far better than neutral ones. We like to describe almost everything we have done or are about to do in emotional terms . . . That’s another thing about emotions: they make us take sides.

Back when Beto was still running for Presient, he gave an interview in which he said that Trump was a “master of emotional language.” That, said Beto, was how he won in 2016.

In light of the book self is currently reading, in light of the fact that the emotions, according to Frans de Waal, “make us take sides,” no wonder America is polarized to such a degree.

Everything Trump says is pitched to target his listeners’ emotions. He never uses reason or logic, but he sure can manipulate this one thing. Just to show you how well this strategy works: Americans actually called into poison control centers last weekend, wondering whether ordinary household bleach could kill the corona virus.

Self thinks it’s dangerous for a politician to appeal to the emotions. That makes the politician a demagogue. Or a fascist. Someone like Hitler.

A mob is ruled by emotions, not by rationality.

We’re not a mob country, are we? ARE WE?

But we’re all so much more emotional now, as a result of this pandemic. Does that make us ripe pickings for the Grifter?

Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: TOUCH

  • This week you can post anything that stimulates or delights your sense of touch. It can be thorns on a rose, a soft baby’s face or tree bark.Cee Neuner

Self decided to take pictures for this post:

Her neighbor Claudio collects old pieces of wood and turns them into bird feeders. This is all about texture:

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These furry slippers were a gift from Dearest Mum. Even though it’s not cold in self’s house, she wears these slippers every day:

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For dusting her computer screen:

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Thanks for a really fun prompt, Cee Neuner!

Stay tuned.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 94: At Home

from The World Is a Book:

Due to the lockdown, we are spending more time at home. But, hopefully this isn’t limiting our interest in photographing. This week, we invite you to share photos taken at home.

“Home is a shelter from storms-all sorts of storms.”

-William J. Bennett

Most of her corona virus life is spent in her living room and dining room:

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She recently bought a hanging basket which is just above her front steps:

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And she’s often browsing her bookshelves for distraction:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: National Geographic’s Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

p. 95: The Story of Gods and Planets

The five planets visible to the unaided eye were named after figures from Roman mythology, a tradition followed when Uranus and Neptune were discovered. Mercury, visible only for short periods of time, was named after the fleet messenger God. Venus was named for the goddess of love, no doubt for its shining brilliance in the sky. Mars was named after the god of war. Jupiter was named after the Roman uber-deity who ruled the heavens. Sluggish Saturn was named for the god of agriculture. Mesopotamian astronomers merely referred to it as “the old sheep.”

Stay tuned.

Language, Again

Leviathan Wakes, p. 482:

  • “Dieu! Dieu!” someone shouted. “Bombs son vamen roja! Going to fry it! Fry us toda!”

Self truly thinks there is nothing that can make this book any better. Her favorite read in 2020 so far, for sure.

Book 2, Caliban’s War, which she ordered almost two weeks ago, never arrived. What the heck, she paid extra for shipping, Books Inc.

So she’ll move to the next book on her list: Outlander (She has so far avoided watching a single episode of the TV series; she might begin after reading the book)

Stay tuned.

 

Photo Montage: 2020 So Far

We Are All Complicit

James Holden, Earther Captain of the Rocinante to his crew (Leviathan Awakes, p. 372):

  • I still can’t believe that there are enough evil people all in one place to do it. This isn’t a one-man operation. This is the work of dozens, maybe hundreds, of very smart people.

In other words: it’s not all just Trump’s fault.

Aargh, did self just say that? She’ll be getting back to her book now. Rocinante “running at three-quarters of a g” for Tycho Station, whose “habitat rings spun serenely around the bloated zero-g factory globe in the center.”

Stay tuned.

Hard Vacuum

Self loves when Holden’s crew are exploring a new ship. Loves it. Absolutely her favorite parts of Leviathan Wakes.

She confesses she doesn’t find Miller’s POV that engaging, but Thomas Jane, now —

Apologies for the digression!

Holden’s crew are preparing to board the Scopuli, which is tethered to an asteroid circling a space station called Eros.

“It doesn’t look like there’s much to breathe over there.”

“Anything?” Holden asked.

“Nope. Hard vacuum,” Alex said. “Both her lock doors are open.”

She’ll probably finish reading by tomorrow. If Caliban’s War still hasn’t arrived (ordered from Books Inc.), she’ll start Outlander Book 1.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 3 at The Digital Sala

EWZZdWKU8AAOmsc.jpg

Lexington in The Economist, 18 April 2020

Self will summarize the finer points:

  • The corona virus has killed 31,000 Americans (This number is significantly higher now)
  • Trump is “a human wedge.”
  • The 2000 presidential election was “a watershed moment … the last decided by persuadable voters.”
  • “Even before Trump made factionalism a governing strategy . . . ” (lol)
  • “Notwithstanding Mr. Trump’s effort to give it a Chinese face (he reverted this week to calling it ‘the Wuhan virus’) . . . ” (smh)
  • “Infectious diseases like density, which is one of the most reliable predictors of Democratic support there is . . . This makes Republicans more receptive than Democrats to Mr. Trump’s call for a reopening of the economy: an issue that — by pitting the certain tragedy of 17 million unemployed workers against the likelihood of additional infections — could scarcely be more polarising.”
  • The differences between the Democrat and Republican response to the pandemic could not be more stark: Democrats are demanding “better, cheaper health care” while “Republican states including Texas and Ohio have meanwhile used the lockdown to try to ban abortions . . . “

On the last point, a political party that cares only about banning abortions when a virus is killing 10x as many Americans as the number of fetuses aborted annually is surely loco.

The article mentions William Barr and describes him as a “cultural warrior,” self hopes in jest. And refers to Ron DeSantis of Florida as “a Trump proxy with ratings to match.”

Stay tuned.

 

 

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