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  • 2019 April 7: Anachronisms

    April 07, 2019 22:30

    At least in ’classic’ Presbyterianism, a distinguishing doctrine is that our eternal fate is ’predestined’ since before the Beginning. Now I’m no theologian or church historian, and I’m certainly not going to go into the pros and cons of that view. But I’ve often wondered that we probably have a lot less ’free will’ than we like to think we do. That is, if I subtract the genetic aspect of who I am (over which I had no choice), and how so much of me was set by my parents and the culture in which I was brought up (which I didn’t get to choose either), then how much of my ’choice’ now is really independent of all of that?

  • 2019 March 31: Chopin

    March 31, 2019 10:30

    One evening, when all were assembled in a salon, Liszt played one of Chopin's nocturnes, to which he took the liberty of adding some embellishments. Chopin's delicate intellectual face, which still bore the traces of recent illness, looked disturbed; at last he could not control himself any longer, and in that tone of sang froid which he sometimes assumed he said, 'I beg you, my dear friend, when you do me the honor of playing my compositions, to play them as they are written or else not at all.' 'Play it yourself then,' said Liszt, rising from the piano, rather piqued.(more )

  • 2019 Mar 24, 2019

    March 24, 2019 10:30

    In a former life I found myself on the road (with my glass armonica) in a Motel 6 in the middle of nowhere. There were maybe 4 channels on the TV — CNN, a couple shopping channels, and Trinity Broadcast Network. Trinity is a super-evangelical TV network, but I just wanted maybe 30 minutes to wind down before going to sleep and "the absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously."(more )

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