A little Learning is a dang’rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir’d at first Sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless Youth we tempt the Heights of Arts,
While from the bounded Level of our Mind,
Short Views we take, nor see the lengths behind,
But more advanc’d, behold with strange Surprize
New, distant Scenes of endless Science rise!
So pleas’d at first, the towring Alps we try,
Mount o’er the Vales, and seem to tread the Sky;
Th’ Eternal Snows appear already past,
And the first Clouds and Mountains seem the last:
But those attain’d, we tremble to survey
The growing Labours of the lengthen’d Way,
Th’ increasing Prospect tires our wandering Eyes,
Hills peep o’er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
Alexander Pope, excerpt from ‘An Essay on Criticism’

To all the pretenders that use misguided aberrations of history to further their political ambition (ie Tea Party, Occupy), you are mocking the sacrifices of some of the greatest men (and women) to have ever lived. You are hurting America by tainting the good record of these men in the eyes of posterity. You’ve done more to betray this nation than any of your political opponents. 

In recent years, the media has been a place to make ones career. To seek fame, to drive ratings, and to coddle the masses with useless pandering. Walter Cronkite never once bowed to that pressure, mainly because it didn’t exist back then. It is unlikely that in this modern day and age that he would bow, but would likely be forced out of television for his unwavering commitment to his moral compass. He was a great man.

This video is perhaps his most profound moment on television. An entire nation trembled in fear as he removed his glasses, communicating the facts without wavering. He knew that if he failed to retain his composure it would hurt morale, so stoically he reported the death of a beloved president.

Morgan Freeman on the ever present plague in the US, if not the world, that is racism. He shares his belief that if people stop talking about it that it will die off. Because it is an idea, one that survives only as often as it is mentioned, racism lives in the hearts and minds of those that would have it live. No one in America really believes that another race is inferior. Instead, this idea is fostered because it serves them in some material way. It benefits certain groups to discriminate against certain demographics, and often the only way they can justify their selfishness is to label them inferior. Is it wrong? Certainly. But if everyone just stopped entertaining the concept, it would no longer be profitable. Much in the same way one ignores an obnoxious sibling on a long car trip, one must ignore the obnoxious notion that white is better than black, or vise versa. 

Start at 8:57.

If you can stick it out, and watch this speech, you will not regret it. Michael Crichton (author of thriller hits such as Jurassic Park) flexes the great mind that everyone could see behind his prose, and shows that the way people reason these days is grossly inadequate and irrelevant in the face of nature and complex systems.

The world lost a great servant to reason and higher thinking the day Michael died. We would be lucky to have someone of half his mental and moral caliber fill the void  he left behind.

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