Life

Thoughts and insights about life. Philosophy. Sociology. Politics. How to live life and get the most out of it.

Most people have at least heard of the story of the good Samaritan. Maybe we've only heard, "be a good Samaritan," in reference to helping someone in a broken down car alongside a roadway. Likely fewer know that the story is from the Bible. Specifically from the Gospel of Luke. It is a parable (a.k.a. story) told by Jesus as an illustration. And, what was the point of the story? What did Jesus intend for us to learn from it?

First, here's the story from the King James Bible (highlights added):

Ithaca Shotgun Christmas Gift

Back in the mid-1980's (maybe 1984?) my brother-in-law gifted me for Christmas a new Ithaca shotgun. I've kept it—unfired—all these years. Not only is it a classic example of a very popular gun from that area and time but also a representation of my family. Both my father and grandfather worked at Ithaca Gun.

Taken from a circular letter, addressing many topics, written to three friends and co-workers in the conspiracy against Hitler, on the tenth anniversary of Hitler’s accession to the chancellorship of Germany (note: emphasis added)…

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

Written in 1976 by Carlo M. Cipolla his essay on stupid people, defined as those that by their actions cause losses to others without benefiting themselves, asserts that as a group they are the most powerful force. Beyond evil doers such as organized crime.

He provides the following structure to group people by their impact on themselves and others.

Graph with the benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself an causes to others.
Benefits and losses that an individual causes to self and others

EC-130Q Hercules TACAMO

TACAMO stands for "Take Charge and Move Out", a phase often used in the military and particularly by the Marines. But in the context of U.S. military aircraft, the phrase refers to a special mission and a similarly unique aircraft equipped to perform the mission. Years ago I worked on it but could not talk about it.