Kipling has number, dials it

Below is Rudyard Kipling's "The Gods of the Copybook Headings".    Written almost a century ago, it anticipates our own age's worst problem:  the tendency to reject reality (as it is) and supply our own reality in its place.   Problem is: the truth will out.


AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

ht:Douglas Wilson

No Survivors

David McRaney ( on survivorship bias (a common logical error):
Survivorship bias pulls you toward bestselling diet gurus, celebrity CEOs, and superstar athletes. [...] The problem here is that you rarely take away from these inspirational figures advice on what not to do, on what you should avoid, and that’s because they don’t know.
Full article...

Q198: Mother's Day

"Motherhood is the big-leagues of self-sacrifice. Millions of women kill to avoid it. In our culture of self-gratification, to embrace selfless motherhood is a revolutionary act."

 — Rachel Jankovic

Doctrinal Jenga

From Steven Wedgeworth's essay "What Depends upon an Historical Adam?":
"Death is, according to the Bible, a judgment based upon Adam’s sin. If that original sin was not itself real, an event occurring in this world, then the judgment is arbitrary and unjust. We should also say that if death is simply a natural part of the created order, the normal process of decay inherent in the evolutionary model, then it is not actually a "problem" at all. It is just a feature of the universe. This then must attribute death to God’s original design, a species of Gnosticism.  [...]   If Adam was not historical, then Christ need not be either."
Read the full essay here...

Q197: Original Intent

"[D]enial of original intent is always an attempt to supply the intent of another. [...] It is not whether words will be governed in accordance with the intent behind them, but rather whose intent it will be."

— Douglas Wilson