Valuing persons 3

Observation on the preceding article: What I’ve called “assigned value” shows up all the time in the pricing of merchandise. How much is commodity X worth? Answer: Not what the maker thinks it’s worth, not the cost of the materials and labor that went into it, but what people will pay for it. They’ve assigned it its value. Continue reading

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Valuing persons 2

At what point,” you say? Simple: The instant supply outstripped demand.

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This one’s for you, Dad

UVa board discusses brand possibilities
The University of Virginia Board of Visitors discussed the possibility of establishing a brand for the school.
— Charlottesville Daily Progress, 3 April 2005

Man, that’s harsh. Even at the University of Texas they just issue you an ID card.

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Valuing persons

At what point did human life become so cheap that we could afford to argue about its quality?

Just asking.

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George David Spence, 1922–2005: Requiescat in gaudio

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save!”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.
— E. M. Hall

My father, George Spence, passed away early Saturday morning, March 19, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Because he had been in a nursing facility for many months, dealing with Parkinson’s disease and a number of other difficulties, we had known that this day would come and so weren’t surprised. This is not, however, the same as being fully prepared for it. That may never have been possible.

Some people are all words and no action, while others are so active that others must speak of them. Continue reading

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Meaning and mind-changing

I noted in the introduction that this site isn’t a blog, although it certainly seems we’re blundering into that territory. One distinction is that because of the nature of blogger software — and if I’m wrong here please correct me — you don’t revise a blog entry after the fact.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

Thus Omar Khayyam, via FitzGerald. Time is a blog.

But I’m not the finger of God on Belshazzar’s wall. Continue reading

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What a grant really is

Maybe we made a mistake in calling them “grants.”

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In praise of Joan Winston

September 2016 / Clerk’s Log, mJD 57275.16: Joan left us on 11 September 2008. As I later discovered, she probably never saw this article. I’m leaving it intact in memoriam. Gentle readers, if there is someone in your life whom you admire or respect, by all means tell that person. Our Internet era has given you unprecedented opportunities to do so. I beg you: Do not let them pass you by.

Foreword, February 2006: Whoever said it was right — be patient and eventually the old news will be fresh again. Joan will be at Shore Leave 28, 7–9 July 2006, same hotel. Peter David will be there too, and this time you can also have the pleasure of meeting Susan Shwartz. Get acquainted with these people; I promise you won’t regret it.

Foreword, February 2005: The following initial paragraph is not a paid advertisement. Although if the Shore Leave people would like to kick in something, who am I to object?

There are many reasons why you might want to attend Shore Leave 27 (8–10 July 2005, at Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore, Maryland; see If you enjoyed her work in Sneakers, Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, and Independence Day, or her marvelous character in the current Battlestar Galactica, the lovely Mary McDonnell is to be there. Star Trek folk will be interested in Chase Masterson, at the very least. If you’ve followed their work through many TV series you’ll want to see the remarkable William Windom (so many projects he’s worked on — and if it takes Trek to bring him before us humble public, so be it) and Malachi Throne (yes, friends, Leonard Nimoy was not the only actor in ST:TNG’s “Unification” who appeared in all three “generations” of Star Trek that had been established at that point — that’s right, three; remember “The Cage”?). Authors such as Peter David will be there, and it’s always fun to hear writers talk shop (especially Peter). For Buffyites there’s Danny Strong, who I’m told is quite entertaining in person. And if you’re male and something inside you doesn’t go poing at the thought of seeing and hearing Joanna Cassidy, please consult your physician at once; there may be something urgently wrong with you.

I belong in all of the above categories, but alas, time and other considerations prevent me from attending. Which is regrettable, because the main reason I’d like to go has nothing to do with the aforementioned celebrities.

Joan Winston is scheduled to attend.

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On meaning

Where there is no meaning, there is no being.
Vera Nazarian

[Note: The above was initially used as the epigraph for the Scriptorium.]

So what about that quotation up there? Well, it makes sense — even if you violently object to it — if we consider it in light of who and what we consider ourselves to be.

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