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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peering deeply into my crystal ball...

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
[Donald Rumsfeld]

Life is full of unknowns... and knowns. But mostly unknowns. It's, I think, why we (collectively, not personally, speaking) want to believe fortune tellers... or fortune cookies... or in omens. We are, after all, at the mercy of future events, are we not?

We all know the old saying about "eat healthy, avoid conflict and stress, exercise regularly... and you could step in front of a fast moving bus tomorrow."  All it really means is you never know what the future might bring and it isn't likely to be good.

My father, a fine but depressing guy, griped to me on a regular basis in the last couple of years of his life that "if I only knew it would be like this..." He was referring to his decision to have a pacemaker installed a few  years before. He was implying that he wouldn't have done it if he had known what the next few years would be like.

Maybe that's why we don't. How would you like to know the day, time, and circumstances of your pending death? I'd prefer it to be a surprise, thank you, and a pleasant one at that.

The paternal line of my family is one of strokes in our mid-sixties. My grandfather died at 65, his father died at, or about, that age. It is the legend of my father's family. My father lived to be 84. His baby brother lasted about that long and told me once, right after my father passed away, that both he and my father beat the "curse."

But that "curse" really wasn't. Each generation picks up new genes, new genetic makeup, from the mother's side and that throws a monkey wrench into the machinery. So do medical advances. The paternal curse was the result of spiking blood pressure in the family line at, or about, 50 years of age. My father had it but it was detected and treated and the curse was cheated.

My brother-in-law was told he had 3-6 months to live not long ago. It was a good thing he got a second opinion before he gave away everything he owned. It turned out his cancer was treatable and his life expectancy was greatly increased. He ought to have gone back and slapped the "stupid" out of his first doctor.

We just don't know what is in store for us, do we? But we certainly would like to... until we do. But I'd still like to know what stocks will triple in the next year.

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