It’s January 3, 2017 (how many of you are still writing “2016,” as I did yesterday?), and it’s National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. If there’s a reader out there who is going to eat one of these dire sweets (they can be good, but usually aren’t), let me know. And it’s still only the tenth of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
On this day in 1777, General George Washington of the Continental Army defeated British general Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton, which was important in rallying American morale to expel the mean colonialist Brits. In 1925, Mussolini assumed absolute dictatorial power in Italy. On January 3, 1947, the proceedings of the U.S. Congress were televised for the first time. In 1959, Alaska was admitted at the 49th state (I remember that well), and, in 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated. (My only computers since I started using them in the early 80s have been Apples.)
Notables born in this day include Father Damien (1840, look him up), J. R. R. Tolkien (1892), George Martin (1926), Bobby Hull (1939), Stephen Stills (1945 ♥) and Mel Gibson (1956). Those who died on this day—and I’ll first announce the sudden death of philosopher Derek Parfit two days ago—include Josiah Wedgwood (1795, relative of Darwin and source of CD’s wealth), Edgar Cayce (1945), Jack Ruby (1967), Conrad Hilton (1979), Joy Adamson (1980) and Phil Everly (2014).
Today we have the cutest picture of Hili EVER, basking in the sun in Dobrzyn. Her dialogue with Andrzej, however, is a bit cryptic, and I asked Malgorzata for an explanation. Here it is:
Sam Harris published recently a paper (together with others) about the reaction of our brain when we encounter statements that contradict our cherished beliefs. The lesson is that our own brain can fool us and should be treated with suspicion. So what is the solution? To have a distance from yourself. That was the origin of the dialogue. And I agree, Hili’s face is priceless. [The paper was discussed in Polish by Andrzej on Listy.]
Being a solipsist, of course, Hili can’t take that advice:
Hili: How to be wise?A: By keeping a proper distance.Hili: What from?A: Yourself.Hili: You must be joking.
Hili: Jak być mądrą?
Ja: Zachowując stosowny dystans.
Hili: Do czego?
Ja: Do siebie.Hili: Chyba żartujesz.