Sunday, March 08, 2009

Very miscellaneous

We, corporately, have a cold. That is, my family is now passing around a real doozy of a cold. So far I have been mostly spared, except for a pretty bad earache (of my own) and fatigue from going pointlessly into Youngest Daughter's room in the middle of the night when she's coughing her head off and saying, "Do you need anything? Do you need to go potty? Are you okay?"

However, this just adds to the general lack of inspiration for posts here at Extra Thoughts which seems to have been afflicting me for some five weeks or so now and for which I apologize to any readers I have retained. Over at W4 I have a new post about the latest and craziest manifestation of what I call the "choice devours itself" phenomenon: "Suicide assistance" as outright murder. The person who supposedly wants to die gets his hands held down by his "exit guide" if he changes his mind and tries to tear the plastic bag off his head. I can't help thinking, "They can't come up with anything worse than this," and then they do.

In other news that looks like satire but isn't, the AP just put up a headline this morning, "Karzai Welcomes Obama Call to Reach out to Taliban." That's right. You read that right. We're supposed to "reach out" to the Taliban. I suppose that's what they mean by Hope and Change--acting like liberal fools towards some of the most evil people in the world, people who have devoted their lives to figuring out how to murder more American civilians. Oh, wait, I missed it: We're supposed to be reaching out to the moderates in the Taliban. Well, that's different, of course. Glad we got that cleared up.

And finally, I had a mildly interesting technical thought in church this morning. (Priest: "The Lord be with you." Youngest Daughter: "Coughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughcough." Eldest Daughter, "It looks like C. [Middle Daughter] is crying." Me (whispering to Middle Daughter): "What's wrong, honey?" Middle Daughter: "I'm losing my voice." Me: "Do you need anything now? Please don't cry." Middle Daughter: "I'm not crying." Priest: "Lift up your hearts..." And so forth.) Anyway, the technical thought was that probability theory is neutral as between substantive conclusions. There isn't such a thing as a "Christian" probability theory. That, I already knew. But people may be confused into thinking that it isn't neutral when we notice that some correct form of probabilistic modeling (like, say, Bayesian probability theory) helps us to model evidence accurately in a way that prevents certain confusions that anti-religious skeptics like to exploit.

I played "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" for the postlude. I wonder if anyone besides my family recognized it. Years ago a friend (who is now Eastern Orthodox but was then Baptist) asked me, "Do Baptists have any Lent hymns?" Well, yes and no. It seems to me that all the dedication and devotion hymns are absolutely perfect for Lent. "Have Thine Own Way, Lord." "Take My Life and Let It Be." And especially, "Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone." But not hymns any more specifically about Lent than that, for obvious historical reasons. Still, it would do some stuffy Anglicans good to learn, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" ("no turning back..." "the world behind me, the cross before me...") and all those others. And to sing them and enjoy them, too. And a good Lenten meditation into the bargain.

Okay, ththththat's all, folks.


Anonymous said...

I've had a vicious sinus infection for about the last two weeks, to the point where I can barely talk out loud. I'm not generally all that susceptible to getting sick, but this one's a doozy.

Still parsing the probability point.

Lydia McGrew said...

Drink fluids until your eyeballs float and take antibiotics. If you don't have an antibiotic prescription, go and get one. We can't afford to do without Zippy.

willliam luse said...

But people may be confused into thinking that it isn't neutral...

Wouldn't those be the people who don't like the direction in which it leads us?

There isn't such a thing as a "Christian" probability theory.

Couldn't I make the case that everything true is ultimately Christian? (Not that I'm prepared to do so.)

Are you supposed to be having technical thoughts during church?

I don't want to read your post at W4 because it sounds depressing. But I guess I'll have to.

I hope Zippy gets well, but my sympathies are much more with your daughters than with him.

william luse said...

Okay, I read your W4 post.

The light, Gene, go toward the light.

Remember the thesis of my latest Schiavo article: these people have a religion, and many are going to be sacrificed on its altar.

Anonymous said...

Been on generic omnicef for four or five days and that has helped, but its still got me. Been drinking lots of water, though probably not as much as I should.

The big problem is the coughing - I feel like I haven't slept more than 15-20 minutes at a shot for a week or so, 'cause a coughing fit always wakes me up. It is like Chinese water torture, only without the Chinese or the water. =8^]

Lydia McGrew said...

Good point, Bill. I hadn't thought about the connection with what you said about a religion.

Zippy, I've been there with the cough in past years, though not for as long as you. The absolutely only thing that ever helps me in that state is to keep adding pillows until I can fall asleep. Cough medicine makes a cough worse for me. If necessary, I sleep sitting nearly all the way up. I wake up with a bad crick in the neck but at least get some sleep.

Scott W. said...

Might as well toss my ailment in the mix. I'm recovering from a merca staph infection possibly from a shaving nick that invaded my cheek and it looked like I had half a bag of chaw in my mouth. My wife made me go to the doctor and good thing she did because I would probably be looking at hospital time. Apparently, we come into contact with it all the time but sometimes it gets in a wound. Don't procrastinate with it.

william luse said...

Lydia's right about sitting up. And take lots of hot steamy showers.

Lydia McGrew said...

Golly, Scott, and here I thought the only place one was really very likely to encounter staph was in a hospital!

Todd McKimmey said...

Staph is common everywhere. We carry it around on our bodies constantly.

I get the skinny on this from the wife from her job where they deal with this on a daily basis, but this is all readily available on wikipedia.

(Methicillin resistant...) MRSA is rampant in locker rooms now as well and becoming every more prevalent outside of a few limited institutions. They've even classified CA-MRSA (community associated) separate from HA-MRSA (hospital associated).

VRSA (Vancomycin) is starting to get a foothold as well, and it's all the more scary.

Skin infections that boil, continuously weep, retain fluid or persist for more than 5-7 days without noticeable improvement should almost universally be investigated by a physician.

(I'll terminate my public service announcement now!)

Lydia McGrew said...

Thanks, Todd. I think I'll go live in a cave, now.

Todd McKimmey said...

Cave? No, mold spores bad!