Friction: the force resisting the relative motion of solids, fluids and materials moving against each other.

A week of friction, heat and bother. It’s a mug’s game to try to move things faster than contradictory natures allow – but I fall for it every time…

People, organisations and situations exert a constant pull. So the occasional ‘moonlike’ bound forward is illusory – gravity always pull you back to earth.

Easy to think you’re doing the Lord’s work; trying to fix what needs fixing. But fix things too fast and people complain: “What’s going on, what are you doing, you didn’t tell me, what does it mean for me, why?”

As so often, slowing down a bit is probably the answer. Fix less, explain more. Then who knows? Perhaps less will need fixing. 

At the very least, there’ll be less friction from the atmosphere.

Subway Sceptic

In amongst the standard issue ‘New York stylie’ graffiti I walked past yesterday was a quality thought. ‘Question everything’. This struck me as rather profound for a coastal Cornwall underpass. But who inspired the phantom sprayer? Was it:

1) The Sex Pistols – a call for ‘Anarchy in the UK’.
2) David Hume – there are absolute limits to what we can know.
3) Pyrrho – hold back on your judgements for a less troubled existence

I reckon a mix of 1) and 3). Two fingers to authority and a nod to the inalienable right to your own freedom to escape society’s preconceptions.

I read Wilhelm von Humbolt quoted by John Stuart Mill in his seminal ‘On Liberty’ yesterday:

From the union of ‘freedom’ and ‘a variety of situations’ arise ‘individual vigour and manifold diversity’ in society.

Mill himself goes on to say:

Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.

Graffiti is vandalism. And if we buy this weeks analysis that the cause of the UK’s ills is gangsta rap and consensual policing then the callow youth who sprayed his question (lots of assumptions here…) deserves his head cracking with a ‘zero tolerance’ truncheon.

But ‘epoché’. After Pyrrho, this week ‘I hold back’. I’ll suspend judgement and ignore Hesiod. Some questions are worth asking – and some liberties worth defending.