Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011.11.07 — Pansophy is a fushigi*

Around noon today I left my work pod to visit with TR and BH at each of theirs. I went to ask TR how he found the Vancouver music group Brasstronauts that I'd suggested to him yesterday.
I suggested it to him because he enjoys eclectic music.
(To give Brasstronaut a try, listen @ the sidebar's 'A Taste of Notes Mostly Musical'.) He gave them a solid thumbs up.

Well, sadly, I also went to talk work. Specifically about whether or not he'd used a "Trimble" — specifically, a geo-positioning tool manufactured by Trimble. Earlier in the morning I came to require this tool — something that I thought I wouldn't likely need when I learned of its existence in our department and what to use it for from the new man RL two weeks ago. Once I learned of it, I directed TR to use it for a requirement he'd come to me for help a few weeks earlier, before I knew of its existence. I had hoped that he'd used it and so could teach me.

Alas, he hadn't yet. He explained that, even though he was a surveyor in the department's past, the knowledge and use of surveying tools had been kept restricted to a few special people. He and I both observed that delimiting knowledge was both a peculiar thing to do, and societally counterproductive in the long run. That is why, I told him, that I teach everything I know to anyone willing to learn. I elaborated by telling him that I'd recently made arrangement to give a seminar to real estate agents on the physics and politics of relocating telecommunication's structure.

BORING like all fushigi.

Tonight, after supper, I visited my Goodreads notifications, and visited a thread in one of the groups with which I am a member. One of the writers posted a poem earlier in the day ~3:00 this afternoon. The objective in the poem thread was to write very freely, to give the imagination full expression. Some of the contributions are breathtaking, and all are at least excellent. (Except, most likely mine, which seems now barely adequate against what the others have written. Sigh! Okay, enough whining.) The last contributor, Rose, allowed free reign to her vocabulary. I LOVE words, and have an excellent vocabulary, but there I was looking up word after word: bobbery, appetence, [same root as 'appetite'!], fascicle, quean, opuscules and, most fushigi-ish
pansophy, which is, to quote the Wikipedia citing the 17th century philosopher, Comenius, "that everything must be taught to everyone, as a guiding basis for education, something like universal education (Characteristica universals)". Until this afternoon I didn't know that word, or principle existed, but on the day I talk about it being a driving energy in my life, Rose kindly supplies me with the word for it. Here's the poem:
Where goes your glorious bobbery
without much of the appetence
of yesteryear? Pangerize the poltroon
for all your worth, but knavery
knows no mitigation and the fascicle of
false judges do the quean in their
pansophy, singing in opuscules of minor
notes and the quality of her strange
metempirical enriched the simplest
expression of their simplest thoughts.
Rose Mary Boehm
Okay, that is at least a little amusing. What adds the smallest, and I mean smallest of spices to this is that this morning, when I wandered past his desk, DP grabbed me to look at something in a book that JB had showed him. It was a citation from Machiavelli, the 16th century philosopher.
...if one holds his state on the basis of mercenary arms, he will never be firm or secure; because they are disunited, ambitious, without discipline, unfaithful; gallant among friends, vile among enemies; no fear of God, no faith with men; and one defers ruin insofar as one defers the attack; and in peace you are despoiled by them, in war by the enemy…. The mercenary captains are either capable men or they are not; if they are, you cannot trust them, because they always aspire to their own greatness, either by oppressing you, who are their master, or others contrary to your intentions; but if the captain is not skilful, you are ruined in the usual way (The Prince p45-46, Chapter 12 ).
DP showed this to me because the practice of using mercenaries (aka contractors) to replace full time workers has been recognized by everyone but our leaders as an exercise in destroying the organization. DP showed this to me because we've discussed many times this problem, and so he was delighted to see a respected philosopher agreeing with us, and further affirming our opinion of our senior executives.

This I found fushigi-ish because twice in one day I get very specific references to long dead philosophers from disparate sources to different purposes. That kind of thing never happens. When was the last time a co-worker cited Machiavelli to you? Have you ever even heard of either pansophy or Comenius?

And a final odd thing for the day. This morning, while putting my lunch together, I chose not to bring with me to work a piece of the date (matrimony) square that I'd made on Sunday. My wife, concerned for my being properly fed, expressed consternation at my not bringing it in. I felt like having yoghurt and nuts with fruit for breakfast at work instead. Well, I guess the universe had other plans, because my co-worker CH chose today to bring in baked goods. This CH has done before, but very infrequently. And what did CH bring in? Matrimony squares! (EXCELLENT ones, btw!) CH commented that the last time she baked them was about two years ago.

So, small, but very curious.

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