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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Survival of the Fittest

Charles Darwin has long been associated with the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” For a century and a half people have used it to refer to their understanding of his explanation of how species evolved. But it wasn’t his. And it has obscured the understanding of Darwin’s own theory. It came from a contemporary, Herbert . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Survival of the Fittest

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Poor Lao Tzu: He Gets Blamed for So Much

Poor Lao Tzu. He gets saddled with the most atrocious of the New Age codswallop. As if it wasn’t enough to be for founder of one of the most obscure philosophies (not a religion, since it has no deity), he gets to be the poster boy for all sorts of twaddle from people who clearly . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Poor Lao Tzu: He Gets Blamed for So Much

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Unknown Monk Meme

This pseudo-poem popped up on Facebook today. It’s been around the Net for a few years, without any source attributed to the quote, but it seems to be making its comeback in the way these falsely-attributed things do: When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Unknown Monk Meme

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Teddy’s Words of Wisdom

I’m not a great student of American history – my tastes run to other places and people: Napoleon, Casanova, Elizabeth I, the Enlightenment, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, China…. but I do read about it. Most recently Rick Perlstein’s history of the American Sixties, Nixonland. And in that book I came across a powerful, moving . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Teddy’s Words of Wisdom

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Plato, Music and Misquotes

I spent a pleasant morning, Saturday, browsing through the works of Plato, hunting for the source of a quotation I saw on Facebook, today.* I did several textual searches for words, phrases and quotes on sites that offer his collected … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Published in 1637, The Art of Worldly Wisdom is a collection of 300 aphorisms about life, behaviour, politics, morality, faith, philosophy and society. One comment, on Amazon.ca called it, somewhat unfairly to Machiavelli, “Machiavelli with a soul.” I have been … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: More Machiavellian Misquotes

Machiavelli today is known to many by sayings that aren’t actually his; pseudo-quotations or mis-attributed sayings that appear on slovenly, un-moderated, un-verified websites that do an enormous disservice to everyone by their very existence. These sites seem to feed one … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Is Tar Baby the new N-Word?

As far back as I can recall, the term “tar baby” was a metaphor in common political parlance for a “sticky situation.” It has no racial meaning in that context, any more than saying “honey trap” or “sticky wicket.” Both … Continue reading →