Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cesar Chavez' fundamental problem

Like most ’60s radicals—of whatever stripe—he [Chavez] vastly overestimated the appeal of hard times and simple living; he was not the only Californian of the time to promote the idea of a Poor People’s Union, but as everyone from the Symbionese Liberation Army to the Black Panthers would discover, nobody actually wants to be poor.

The Madness of Cesar Chavez (by Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, July/August 2011 Issue)

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Phaedrus - "what is good" - Plato/Jowett vs. Pirsig

Phaedrus by Plato (258d) (translated by Benjamin Jowett):
Soc. The disgrace begins when a man writes not well, but badly.


Soc. And what is well and what is badly—need we ask Lysias, or any other poet or orator, who ever wrote or will write either a political or any other work, in metre or out of metre, poet or prose writer, to teach us this?
As paraphrased in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig:
And what is good, Phaedrus , and what is not good—need we ask anyone to tell us these things?