The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I'm going to bounce around a little today because... well, because my brain is bouncing around a little anyway.

I had a few thoughts hit me the other night. Each was worthy of an entire blog but none needed that much.

Here's those thoughts...

I have decided that Mother Teresa was an egotist. Don't get me wrong, she did wonderful things and was worthy of all the praise she garnered. But I believe her greatest works were done in obscurity. Once fame adheres to a person, it takes control and the works take second place behind the celebrity. Once you are renowned as a great humanitarian, you can offer simple platitudes and it is taken as profound wisdom. But what courage and self-sacrifice at the beginning! The greatest deeds are done when no one is watching.

On a similar note, I suspect that activists are extremely egotistical. Especially those that advocate for peace, or the environment, or for whatever various political or social causes they target. They want to convince you to think like they do. They believe in the rightness of their perspective to the exclusion of opposing views. And they want you to also believe that. This is never good, not matter the worthiness of the cause. They might compromise on detail temporarily but eventually, the ego will win out. And the cause will become less important than the spokesperson. In fact, the cause may start as secondary to such a person.

There is one thing, one invention of man, that has bothered me most of my life. The bow and arrow. I could understand most other tools evolving from nature. The spear, the sword, the hammer, the knife, the lever, even the wheel. But the bow itself is amazing. It does not actually exist in nature. Not in a form by which it acts in the weapon. A branch may bow and show energy stored. But the transference of that energy into the string? No, that's not readily apparent. And virtually all cultures developed the bow and arrow in almost the same form (though not all continued its use). The bow and arrow appears to be at least 60,000 years old. That is based on the finding of flint arrow heads in Africa dating back that far. Primitive knives and spears are undoubtedly older. And the arrow itself is easily a modification of a spear. But the bow... a piece of wood, bent to store power to be transferred to a string, which would then transfer it to the launch of a mini-spear. Ingenious! True abstract thought.


The Jules said...

Not found in nature?

I presume the archer fish makes it own little bow and arrows, and are nearly as deadly as the AK47-frog.


Steven said...

The last paragraph was interesting.

penn & teller tackled mother theresa and gandhi in one episode. I don't remember too well, now, but I think gandhi was a pedophile and racist, and I think mother theresa wanted her children to stay poor and miserable for religious purposes. IIRC

HektikLyfe said...

Perhaps while watching the primates brachiating across the forest tree's inspiration struck with the force of a branch in the face.

Douglas said...

Jules, we all know the archer fish is actually a spitter and nobody likes a spitter. I am always wary of AK47-Frogs, though. I worry more about Morey Eels while skinny dipping near tropical reefs, however.

Steven, I love that show! The provocative positions, the sarcasm, the oh so subtle overuse of nudity...
Yeah, Ghandi was a bit of an anti-semite...

Hektik, perhaps... or maybe the sight of a droplet of dew popped off a spider web.

Inspector Clouseau said...

The tongue of many species is arguably spring loaded or propelled outward to catch prey, and then retracts.

Another possible permutation, any animal which its ready to spring forward, from a potential energy point of rest, to surprise its prey, like a frog, which arguably has both the tongue and the legs for springing.

Douglas said...

Inspector, no animal has a bow like tongue. A leg, and arm, all suggest slingshots and catapults. But look at the construction of a bow; a curved stick with a string stretched between the ends. The concept of energy transference is not obvious. Primitive man developed his tools from what he saw around him, from nature. I can't find an equivalent structure to mimic in nature.

Michael said...

Hello, hello,

Well, who needs to find an equivalent in nature? Many contraptions are kind of weird in the sense they have no natural origin... aren't there many?

I love Penn & Teller: Bullshit! too. Of course they're all egotistical.


Douglas said...

Michael, loving England, I hope? I need to find the equivalent. The older I get the more I think I missed out by not studying anthropology and going into that field.