Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free for all

HA !!!
It was not initially my intention to use this expression, but the "free" in free for all is very appropriate to my observations about the pressing social need for gratuity in our filthy lucre obsessed society. But, I'm not going into that now ; that will be the subject of another post that I MAY or may not eventually get around to doing.
As promised to Street Dog, my latest poem (sorry you guys, you're going to have to do a crash course in French, as I hate translating myself...)


Etranger !
Reste où tu es
Ne bouge pas
Laisse-moi approcher
De toi
Whoah, n'aies pas peur mais
Tiens-toi bien en laisse
Ne bouge toujours pas
Je dois te flairer
Renifler ton être.

Si tu es bon
Je tendrai ma langue
Je romprai ton pain
Avec mes dents délicates
Essaie de pas bouger
Et ta douleur te sera

Quand j'aurai mangé ton pain
Viens me flairer et
Manger le mien et
Nous pourrons parler ensemble.

I am very happy with this poem. It is very very audacious...
Thai, while I applaud your extreme self restraint in refraining from giving in to Marcus's provocations, I definitely enjoy unsheathing my claws from time to time in an agreeably mindless fashion. Call it my... man eating tiger act (although I personally think that my provocations are rather sophisticated next to the trolling that I have seen in cyberspace for several years now). Man-eating tigers treat their human prey the way that unman-eating tigers treat their prey, and the way that Tabby, your cat, treats HER prey too, if you have ever bothered to watch...

And NOW, it's free for all (as if anybody on this blog ever needed reminding that the comments are.. free for all...)


Thai said...

Since I can't read this, and I am not going to get a translation dictionary out, I will simply pronounce it as marvelous.

Debra said...

(Even if it is a... sneaky way to get a compliment, I'm pleased.)

Dink said...

J'habite a Quebec! Donnez-moi le lapin aujourd'hui!

I obviously don't remember enough French to decipher your poem, but I did catch "eat", "bread", and the title. And I will take the "Thai road" and simply agree that it must be astoundingly brilliant ;)

Debra said...

LOL, dink, in French it's...
My tailor is rich.
Go to the kitchen.
Thanks for the compliment !

Street Dog said...


Merci de votre poème.

Your title gives the poem an added meaning. The pain that precedes communion. The intimacy and smells of communion. The necessity of these before a deeper communication can begin. Or simply, the relationship between the predator cat (Debra) and her conditional prey.

Debra's poem and all this talk of symmetry breaking reminds Street Dog of this poem.


By William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Thai said...

Nice comment

I can't comment on the applicability of Blake's poem to Deb's poem as again, I don't speak French.

But I do like Blake's poem's applicability to the general theme of this blog however (at least from my perspective)... Indeed any comment is rather hard make when following that.

Deb seems to want to talk about the evils of money, and replace it with the evils of gratuity.

Seems tweedle dumb for tweedle dee to me but I am all ears re: a different view if you care to explain Deb.

Seems to me it that it is just one of those totalitarianism by any other name smells sweeter issues, but I am listening.

Street Dog said...

Street Dog, like Thai, likes to immerse himself in studying opposing views. A better overall understanding may come about. The quintessence of greed radiates like a supernova from Wall Street, USA. However, Street Dog thinks that gratuity can only come forth from the individual heart and mind. Like cooperation, it necessitates freedom. They can not be simply decreed and enforced by the State without becoming something wholly different. Pseudogratuity, and pseudocooperation are not admirable virtues for Street Dog. Alas, Street Dog accepts that the masses of humanity can have great inertia and can move in unexpected trajectories (chaos theory). In the spirit of real cooperation, Street Dog serves himself a double Scotch, remembering that Dink instructed him that this lazy saloon was self-serve. What kind of operation is Dink running here? No gratuity for Dink.

Thai said...


FWIW, you are definitely more philosophical that the average ophthalmologist I know- I though I had your specialty fully stereotyped... that is when I can even get you guys to return my ED calls ;-)

I tend to think of cooperation as originating from a sense of safety; admittedly this may be just my own mental template imposed on the world, but I do see that pattern a lot.

And this is what most frustrates me about these reverse credit cycles (and where I sympathize with the Krugman's/Keyensians of the world). It is ironic that the very trust most necessary for cooperation is lost when it is most needed (or is it the other way around?).

Kind of like a reverse bubble

Like most of us are not going to do our job?

Like most of us are not willing to make some sort of compromise?

But we need to tell others what their compromise must be- why?

Oh well, one can just shake their head.

... As an aside, I would truly love to know if anyone has done a study associating end of the world theologies with credit cycles?

I keep having this sneaking suspicion the two are related.

So far I haven't found anything one way or another on Google (the furthest extent my lazy curiosity will take me) but I will keep looking.

Hey, any thoughts to share on the health bill?

I really would love to see universal coverage pass. It is just sad we seem to have to do it by spending more $.

Seems to me there are so many other problems we could actually solve with the resources.

Oh well, I guess the most expensive thing of all is the loss of trust.

Thai said...

And re: "likes to immerse himself in studying opposing views."

And by the way, you are the first one to comment on that. Along with a bunch of other bookmarks, I actually have a three bookmarks on my browser next to each other:

On the left

In the middle

On the right


Any day of the way I might switch sides for the hell of it ;-)

Dink said...

"But I do like Blake's poem's applicability to the general theme of this blog however"

Funny, I was thinking that the poem worked even better with evolution/genetics than with religion. Well, I guess evolution can't exactly "smile", but you get my drift.

"What kind of operation is Dink running here? No gratuity for Dink"

Its turned into sort of a lab. Absolute freedom of thought seemed noble, but then came positive feedback loops as the authors starting focusing their thoughts. A past author named SS may be in South France right now trying to resurrect the Cathar Heresy. Deb pondered religion on topless beaches last Summer. Thai is harassing a former SETI physicist on matters so abstract he'll likely soon be hospitalized. What rabbit hole will SD stumble into?

"Hey, any thoughts to share on the health bill?"

Well, the US can't afford Medicare so we may as well not afford this instead.

Thai said...


"Well, the US can't afford Medicare so we may as well not afford this instead."

That my friend, is the best answer I have ever heard ;-)

Debra said...

Well, in my book, we are, all of us street rats, working with remarkably similar outlooks.
I am indeed VERY flattered that you compare my poem to William Blake, Street Dog.
Very very flattered. I like Blake a lot, but am now too lazy to read his... epic poems that way that I should.
I read a lot in college lit classes because I.. HAD to read then.
Laziness will be the death of us. But it is NOT what makes us human. We share the trait of... laziness with all living beings on this planet.
I am... what is called a.. DEVIL'S ADVOCATE.
In the Japanese series that my daughter introduced us to, "Nodame Cantabile" there is a devil's advocate character. "We" tend to throw loops --- and obstacles --- into the easy, obvious solutions that other people find to big problems.
I do this because... I find it best to be informed of the maximum number of repercussions of our choices before making them. This is synonymous with... liberty, in my book.
I seem to remember reading in Milton's Paradise Lost a long time ago that... virtue that had never been tempted was a hollow shell. Yep, agree with that.
And so, Street Dog, you are an opthalmo ?
I never would have guessed. Absolutely.
Thai... you can't legislate or command... gratuity or generosity. Gratuity is what it says it means. It is an act of... grace and not law/justice.
What the hell do you think the Reformation was all about, way back then ?
Ironic that the Protestants proceeded to plunge their forearms into that filthy lucre after.
For credit cycles, Thai, I keep screaming to everyone on the blog to read "the Merchant of Venice" carefully, and it is not for nothing...

Thai said...

"I find it best to be informed of the maximum number of repercussions of our choices before making them."

At some level even this is zero-sum.

Though to be fair to the gadlfys of the world, I can share the following story.

I recently bumped in to an old colleague who played a major role in my current career many years ago. Our paths had diverged a while ago but recently crossed and we shared a beer. Anyway in that time he apparently went back and acquired a PhD in conflict resolution studies- I didn't even know such a discipline existed before he told me about what he had done with his life for the last 5 years.

Anyway, he shared the following:

He claims that it has apparently been well established by conflict resolution researchers (in prospective randomized controlled studies no less) that group gadflies improve group productivity by an average of 17-20%. Similarly, removal of a group gadfly reduced group productivity by a similar amount.

But once a group achieves all its major goals and move to a state of relative comfort, the gadfly is always the first voted off the island.

In truth I have not verified his claim as I like the way it plays out for my own view of the world.

But I did once come across the following report which kind of says the same things in a different way (actually, this is not the Krugman link I am looking for which showed that Google's internal prediction market had a 19% optimistic bias but I can't find that link anymore and I am getting lazy spending any more time searching).

Moral of the story: continue to be a gadlfy, it works just fine as an evolutionary strategy. ;-)

Thai said...

Dink, I thought you might enjoy.

Dink said...

" continue to be a gadlfy, it works just fine as an evolutionary strategy. ;-)"

The British seem to have a certain style of this. They can say outrageous things, but with the accent and a friendly wink-wink-nudge-nudge it seems acceptable. The insults become practically affectionate.

"Zombie Greeting Cards"

Enjoyed greatly! It would seem like forever until the antidote arrives and if if doesn't, well, beheading can't easy even with a decent sword.... ;)

Debra said...

God, Thai, where do you find this stuff ?
Love Greeting Card Emergency.
But you are a BAD BOY. You are in part responsible for the fact that I am slowly and surely becoming a...
okutu (in Japanese)
low life.
too much ordinatueur will be the death of us.
We will become zombies with NO MORE BODIES for you to patch up because we will be reduced to fingers and brains...

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