Sunday, March 20, 2016

In Facebook, Quod est Doctrinae

Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes.

I discovered Facebook several years ago. I probably spend way too much time perusing it, getting bogged down in the weeds of drama about which I should care...little, if anything at all. Memes (if that is plural for a word whose definitions is probably longer than the thing itself) that cleverly attribute expressions to the famous are often exaggerated, if not wholly fabricated out of wishes. Political salvos fly overhead with breathtaking frequency, expanding the battered term "election cycle" to begin the day following the march to the polls, ending, well, never.

But, in Facebook there is learning. Pictures of my children and grandchildren are instantly available. I see a photo of grandson Graham, laying on his back in a snowdrift, moments after the event occurred. He is in Perry Hall, MD - 1700 miles away from my computer screen. I post a photo of my dear wife, beautiful smile gracing a table at the Rio, and one of the first people to "Like" it is a young woman friend of hers who lives in Suriname. Even now, Pat posts something about how complex a woman's mind is and I comment. We will exchange a laugh that connects us even as we sit at laptops writing in different parts of the house.

So I am not surprised that this morning I have accomplished a great deal, just sitting in my usual spot. I have (unfortunately) let my friends know, via an FB chat room we call "Bike Rides" that I woke up ill this morning and would not be riding with them. I read two articles, one of which brands establishment Congressional Republicans as idiots for their hapless handling of Obama's Supreme Court nomination (they are being pigheaded only because the Constitution does not prohibit it). The other?

America is a big dog when it comes to economic matters. Kevin Williamson points out in his column that one Scandinavian country's largest company would be a modest subsidiary of Proctor and Gamble, an American corporation headquartered in Cincinnati. His writing lends credibility to the notion that the leading candidate for president not a woman is in fact a snake oil salesman preying on people's fear and anger. But, that isn't necessarily all I learned.
De gustibus non est disputandum. Williamson references this in his column merely as "De gustibus, and and all that." Of course I looked it up. It is translated as "In matters of taste there can be no disputes." It is a perfect Facebook quote.

All of Facebook is taste. You like _____________? I don't. So what? 

Have you seen the latest picture of my book? Beth posted it on Facebook while reading it at the beach on Estero Island. You don't like police women in SWAT clothing? 

De gustibus, and all that.

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