11 June 2006

Psychotherapy, at its best, is an extension of friendship.  At its worst, it is a personal form of despotism.

~ Josh Mitteldorf

10 June 2006

in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)

and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me

e e cummings

9 June 2006

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

~ Rumi

8 June 2006

Muscles atrophy from disuse, and in old age we lose muscle mass even as we exercise harder.  The hormonal signal that makes this happen is now understood, and the research team of Amber Pond at Purdue, is working on a safe drug that will override it.

7 June 2006

Before George Szell switched careers at the age of 17, he was a child composer with a sophistication and subtlety that exceeded the teenage Mozart or Mendelssohn. Here is the Scherzo from a piano quintet he composed at the age of 12.

George Szell, born this day in 1897, was curiously embarrassed about the brilliant compositions of his youth after he went on to the conducting career for which he is better known.

6 June 2006

I wake at four, 
waiting greedily for the first
note of the wood thrush. Easeful air 
presses through the screen 
with the wild, complex song 
of the bird, and I am overcome
by ordinary contentment.

~ Jane Kenyon

5 June 2006

The two most famous economic theorists, Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes both have birthdays today, 160 years apart. In caricature, one is portrayed as the champion of the self-regulating market, and the other of the government-managed economy. Both tended to get lost in philosophizing, so their wisdom sounds a bit naïve and over-general to today's ear; but neither was as one-dimensional as his legacy. 

Smith, who predated Marx by nearly a century, could sound like a socialist at times.

“Labour was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.”

“As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowand demand a rent even for its natural produce.”

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” 


Keynes was quite nuanced in his social criticism, an advocate of government management, firmly a capitalist, and thoroughly identified with the human values of the 19th century liberals who preceded him.

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”

“By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”