What I expect to accomplish today

Today, the mandatory to-do list (no flexibility) include[d]s:  getting my kids out of thehouse, legal work, getting my teeth cleaned, getting the house cleaned preparatory to the cleaning ladies’ arrival, picking my daughter up from school to get her to her carpool, bringing my son to his rehearsal, grocery shopping, getting my son from his rehearsal, getting my daughter from her carpool, getting dinner on the table, and then, if I’m lucky, blogging.  Also, if I’m lucky, I can squeeze in some martial arts in the middle of the day, because I badly need to relax.

Written out, it all seems so banal, but in practical fact, it means non-stop doing, to-ing and fro-ing, from 6 in the morning until 8 or 9 at night.  No single task is herculean, or even that taxing.  It’s putting them all together, seriatim, that wears on me.

This is an open thread until I get a chance to throw in my own two cents.

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  • suek

    I remember an old cartoon…from “Good Housekeeping” I think… in the old days of most women staying home instead of going out to work.

    Woman is on the couch, hair messy, still in her bathrobe, toddler age kids running around in PJs. Ironing board up with stuff piled on it and the iron just sitting there. Stuff strewn all over the floor, clothes on furniture…everything a mess.

    Wife says to husband who obviously just arrived home after work: “What happened? Well, you know all those days when you asked me ‘What did you do today?’ Well…today I didn’t”

    (Oh yeah…and in those days, most women stayed home also because most families only had one car. Kids didn’t get driven everywhere – they walked. All kid stuff was local, and there weren’t Little Leagues etc. Rehearsal would probably be at school (since any activity of that sort was probably a school function) – also probably within walking distance. Mom got the car once a week to do shopping etc, and had to drive Hubby to work that day. Life sure has changed. We have so much more – are we really better off?)

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Your comment, suek, is right on the money. As it is, on days such as today, my kids can be carpooled to venues as much as 20 miles away. But I do have clean teeth by now, so I’m smiling a happy smile.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Yes, we are better off, Suek. THe thing is, there is a price attached to prosperity just as there is a price attached to poverty and insecurity. While you starve and can get killed or injured in poverty and insecure times, that price is so much more glaringly obvious than the price attached to success and prosperity that it is easy to overlook. The price then is the requirement that you deserve it. That you keep on maintaining it and even grow it a bit.

    This is similar to the situation Clausewitz wrote about when he said that everything in war is very simple, yet also very hard at the same time due to friction.

    In our modern life, everything is so simple, so convenient, so luxurious or low priced or available without much sacrifice that it would be so easy to start believing that this makes things easier. But it doesn’t make things easier. In actuality, because of human nature and friction, it makes things harder or at least more complex.

    Back in the day there weren’t as many choices and opportunities available. This made things infinitely harder but it also made things simpler. Now that we have more choices, our available options have become more complex and even though each single decision has been made easier for us, our lives as a whole simply has traded in past challenges for current-future ones.

    Our challenge now is not starvation but spiritual depletion. Our challenge now is not in earning enough money to put our children to school, but to prevent those schools from indoctrinating said children into future mass murder supporters and useful idiots.

    The challenges fit the times and the times produce a demand for certain goals and tasks.

    The universe, as a whole, tends to want to take the path of least resistance. Order or such structures as stars and galaxy need energy in order to slow down the progress of entropy. Entropy, in fact, is simply the diffusion of all energy so that it no longer becomes useful or available for work. Energy is only useful when you have one large concentration of it next to an area of low concentrated energy, like say temperature differences powering windmills. Or tidal generators. Or waterfalls. Or the heat produced by nuclear generators that spin turbines which generate electricity.

    That means that the higher our civilization climbs, the more work we can produce and thus the faster we can get things done with ease. But it also means that the maintenance requirements are extremely high. It also means that entropy is always knocking on the doors trying to diffuse what we have created to everybody “else”.

    And whether it is natural entropy, unbiased, that is at fault (such as the decline and fall of all civilizations and even cultures), or agents of entropy (such as the Left), the more benefits civilization produces the more it demands in payment. The more the resistance to entropy becomes all important to the fabric of society and the maintenance of our way of life.

    A person that is starving only has to pay enough to feed itself. A civilization has to produce enough food to feed itself luxury goods and staple foods, and feed a lot of other nations. That is the price attached to prosperity, to liberty.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    One might find the idea that simple things such as washing dishes and clothes are simpler and easier, yet our lives are more complex or just slightly less harder.

    This is because our lives are complex precisely because things are simple. If things were complex, then we would have gone into our guild trades and never gotten out. Our fathers would be cobblers, we would be cobblers, and our children would be cobblers. That would be “it”, so to speak. Yet, because such jobs and tasks are now “simpler” it means that you can just keep tacking on the “simple” stuff until the human mind can no longer hold any more. That is what makes modern life more complex, even though washing dishes have become simpler and easier. Making dish washers isn’t simple, but using them is.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    This is an open thread until I get a chance to throw in my own two cents.

    Did you run out of sparring partners to throw then?

  • suek

    Funny you should mention washing dishes…

    I think I mentioned that my son is anticipating becoming a survivalist of sorts – or at least anticipating that we may need to do so within the next 50 years or so. With that in mind, I’ve been looking at a lot of things with new eyes. I dripped a few drips of liquid dishsoap onto a pot, and thought – so where do we get dish soap from in my son’s primitive future? I know how to make soap – at least theoretically – I’ve never actually made it. I sort of recall that bars of soap were shaved into water to make “dishsoap” – but soap is not detergent. In fact, now that I think of it, I don’t really know what makes the difference between detergent and soap. I know there is one…

    As for the ease/complexity issue…

    Yes, our life is easier. We have more leisure time. The decision is what we do with that time – that’s where it gets more complex, I think.

    Michael Medved today was complimenting Obama on his speech and commented that he had pointed out correctly that Al Qaeda had done nothing to benefit the Arab people – no children educated, no schools established, no jobs created. We in the west assume that these are things that a government should do for it’s citizens. What Obama – and Medved – don’t realize is that as far as Al Qaeda are concerned, these things that we consider necessities for civilized living, Al Qaeda considers to be detrimental to the life they believe allah has commanded them to live. In other words, there should be no leisure time. If there is time not required for the actual necessities of living, then it should be spent in worship. Anything else is blasphemy. Now that is true simplicity. Put bread on the table – anything else is vanity and sinful.
    The same would be true in a monastery – minus the death penalty for offenses. This is the problem with having a single standard of behavior – at either extreme. A religion should aim for ideal behavior – which humans are incapable of achieving on an ongoing basis. The law, on the other hand, defines a standard of behavior that is the minimum a society will tolerate without punishment. If the two are the same, there’s no leeway for doing your best even if you fail to achieve perfection.

    Therein lies the conflict between islam and the west. We don’t expect perfection.

  • Charles Martel

    suek:

    Excellent, excellent description of Al Qaeda’s thinking and motivation.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Hizbollah does all of the things a proper demoralized socialist of the West would consider their due.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I actually wrote Number 3 here before reading Book’s post. So if you see an eerie similarity between what I wrote and what she wrote, just consider it serendipity.

  • Charles Martel

    Martel makes a prediction:

    The West is too chickens**t to do this, but the Chinese will when they finally get fed up: Land a cruise missile in the middle of the Kaaba in Mecca.

    =KABLOOEY!!=

    Allah wills it.

  • suek

    >>=KABLOOEY!!=>>

    Such a lovely thought!

    Of course, it’s been proposed. By someone in Congress – I don’t remember who. So, I’ve considered it. What would be the result? would it immediately fire up every muslim in the world and cause them to commit themselves to the destruction of the US? or would it be directed just against the Pope (because of a tit for tat sort of mentality)? Would it result in exploding the Kaaba into a million pieces so that every muslim could have a small piece and carry it next to his heart? Would it cause complete hopelessness among muslims because allah allowed it to be destroyed so they must have lost favor with him?
    It does allow for flights of fancy! A million possible plots!

  • suek

    Is this still an open thread? If not…don’t read this…it’s off topic!

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/americas_new_indentured_servan.html