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Year in Review
water

Ruminations on Good and (Mostly) Evil

I finally watched Wall Street the other day. It was on my bucket list. Other people may have skydiving or climbing Mount Everest on their bucket list, but I just wanted to finally see Wall Street, catch a foul ball at a baseball game, and start a blog with a vaguely agricultural theme. Check, check, and check.

“If I outlive Douglas, you think I have a shot with Catherine Zeta-Jones?”
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wheat

Electric Boogaloo

When I read Water’s post on evil, all I can think about is the first time I saw a bug light up close. We had gone to see my grandparents. My grandfather always had the coolest tools and seemingly a new one at each visit. On this occasion, I saw a glow coming from above the garage door after dark. It was an ice blue hue that hummed as you got closer to it. Then suddenly there was a ZAP and then quickly another one. The electric boogaloo of certain death continued through the night for those foolish flies.

That Alluring Lizard

Having graduated from business school, there is something quite appealing about Gordon Gecko maybe even more so than for my two compatriots. I want to be able to outsmart my competition. They want to outsmart me. Many times they would do whatever it takes in order land a customer over me. Lying and cheating are part of the game. I even had one professor claim that he saw nothing wrong with insider trading because then the market would move faster on better knowledge. This professor was so outside of the circle of thinking of his fellow academics with this kind of outlandish claim that they made him dean.

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leaven

Hooked On A Feeling

…And now for the charismatic Mr. Gordon Gecko. Water asked what makes him so magnetic. Personally, I think his charm comes from how he proudly promotes his own self interest, and what appears to be appealing to basic (or maybe base) emotions.

In his post ruminating on evil Water said, “After all, evil has no essence of its own; evil is merely a perversion of something good. Love becomes lust; justice becomes wrath; rest becomes sloth. And ambition, the desire to be truly great and to accomplish worthy deeds, becomes pride.”

In his post ruminating on evil Water said, “After all, evil has no essence of its own; evil is merely a perversion of something good. Love becomes lust; justice becomes wrath; rest becomes sloth. And ambition, the desire to be truly great and to accomplish worthy deeds, becomes pride.”

Which Came First?

Looking at Water’s quote again, what struck me was that the evil presentation of any of the pairs was an emotion and the good presentation was an action or a thoughtful choice. A person feels pride, but does not feel ambition, a person chooses ambition. A person feels wrath, but does not feel justice, a person chooses to act justly. Persons definitely feel lust, but do not feel love? Hmmmmm, I sense the naysayers approaching. Yes, we call love an emotion, but I’ll come back to what currently appears to be an exception to my paradigm.

Steven Pinker is a brilliant Ivy League professor, who has written many wonderful books including, How the Mind Works. Pinker say’s that humans don’t have thinking brains that happen to feel, we have feeling brains that just so happen to think. While this might feel like an affront to how reasonable we all are, think about the implications of this concept (see, you just now felt first and then thought). Think about an infant that you know. Which best describes the child, the former or the latter?

Steven Pinker: With hair like that, he’s the anti-Gekko.

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