"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." Wise words from a wise man. Stay safe...
"One of the reasons for its success is is that science has a built-in, error correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when … Continue reading Science and Self-Correction
On Loneliness "When you feel you are sleeping on the breast of your mother, the earth, while your father, the sky, with his millions of eyes is watching over you, and that you are surrounded by your brother, the plants, the wilderness is no longer lonesome even to the solitary traveler." ~Dan Beard
A LITTLE CARAVANNING HISTORY At the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the young artist Frances Jennings became a semi-invalid and was advised by her doctor to spend as much time as she could in the open air. Being a Victorian lady at loose ends, the obvious choice was to take to … Continue reading Happiness in Simplicity
“...there are some who plunge into an unbroken forest with a feeling of fresh, free, invigorating delight... These know that nature is stern, hard, immovable and terrible in unrelenting cruelty. When wintry winds are out and the mercury far below zero, she will allow her most ardent lover to freeze on her snowy breast without … Continue reading The Impartiality of Nature – from “Woodcraft and Camping”
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. G.K. Chesterton I've had an interest in Chesterton for quite a few years now and have really enjoyed reading his philosophy. I'm no expert, but know that I find myself in congruence with many … Continue reading Your Rights vs. Doing the Right Thing
"The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, … Continue reading Thoughts on Labor – 1854
Here is a great and insightful quote from over on Musclehead’s blog by Ida Tarbel.
“Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American writer, investigative journalist, biographer and lecturer. She was one of the leading muckrakers of the progressive era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and pioneered investigative journalism.”
“If it has taught us anything, it is that our present law-makers, as a body, are ignorant, corrupt and unprincipled; that the majority of them are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the very monopolies against whose acts we have been seeking relief.”
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone." Henry David Thoreau, Walden. Possessions don't make us happy! Situations do. Possessions, desire, covetousness, craving, yearning, lust; these forces drive humanity. Somehow each generation of moral thinkers know these things are ultimately wrong and look for something … Continue reading Jobs, Work, and Taking Control of Possessions (an updated ramble)
It's time to start some seeds. We still don't have a great place to garden but it is improving each season. Pesky critters were quite a problem last year so we are working to improve this as well as the poor clay soil at the new house. This plot might seem too ambitious but, if … Continue reading Gardening With Purpose
Thomas Jefferson wrote reams of good advice, important political philosophy, the Declaration of Independence, and many other things (which is why we know so much about him). To some of his younger relations he sent his favorite "Rules of Conduct" to help the people he cared for better and more insightful humans. These thoughts evolved … Continue reading Rules of Conduct – From the Pen of Thomas Jefferson
This thought feels more pertinent than ever right now. Instead of just finding faults in others, I think it wise to examine who else stands on the side you are on. Are these the people you want to be? The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to … Continue reading Escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane…
I spent 50% of my money on alcohol, women, and gambling. The other half I wasted. W.C. Fields was a wise philosopher with a great sense of humor.
I would like to re-share this older post I wrote about a caravaner, scholar, and philosopher I am quite intrigued by - Dugald Semple Dugald Semple was a Scottish philosopher of the early 20th Century and an advocate for simple living. After becoming and engineer he took to the woods and, for a period, a … Continue reading Dugald Semple and a Simple Life
Here's an interesting article about Thoreau's early career and the incident that may have been a catalyst for his move out of town into the woods nearby. As it happened a year before the Walden experiment, it may have had some bearing on the idea. From the Boston Globe: On April 30, 1844, Thoreau started … Continue reading Henry David Thoreau, “Woods Burner”
There is a need for learning the right stories in childhood. “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” ― C.S. Lewis
"Hiking - I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the … Continue reading Hiking, Backpacking, or Just Enjoy the Walk
” The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently, but to live manfully. “ ~ Thomas Carlyle
"I never let my schooling interfere with my education" Mark Twain Wise words. Sometimes I think we're entering a Dark Age just at the moment when we have vastly more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before. We can look far out into space and at the tiniest of the tiny to understand our universe … Continue reading Education
Because they didn't know better, they called it "civilization," when it was part of their slavery. Tacitus, Agricola, Book 1, Paragraph 21.
Here are some good words about responsibility I would like to share from the Northwest Woodworking Studio.
I had this crazy idea about the world and how I’d like to change it today.
Hear me out.
What if folks acted as if they were responsible for their actions? That whatever they did out in the world had a pond and ripple effect? That they are not alone on their computer, on a phone, in their world, entitled to more of everything at the expense of everyone else?
It would be like working at the bench if you will allow me. Where when you screw something up you are the one who did this. You are the one who has to fix it. You can’t turn to your neighbor, the car next to you or the bike rider, big business or the government, or your sad upbringing and history and blame them for it. You have to take responsibility for who you are and where you are in…
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If it takes five times, build it five times. I feel this sentiment almost everyday. I think that means we really care about what we do.
The book that became “Chairmaker’s Notebook” began as a chat with chairmakers Peter Galbert and Curtis Buchanan. We made a plan to produce a video of Curtis building a chair that would be accompanied by a pamphlet from Peter illustrating the construction details.
But that’s not why I remember that meeting with Peter and Curtis. Instead, I am continuously struck by something Curtis said to me in that cabin in Berea, Ky. Curtis began talking about teaching woodworking.
“We’re all not as good as people think we are,” he said. “We’re all frauds.”
This was Curtis Expletive Deleted Buchanan. A guy who has more skill than 10 magazine-grade woodworkers. And he was sitting before me explaining that – like all human beings – he has insecurities…
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Learning a thing or two from the past...Part 1, 21st century Westerners are not the first to minimalize. There's a lot of recent talk about Minimalism as a social movement and this fits well with my personal philosophy and my interests in preindustrial technology and survival. Not long ago, minimalism was mostly associated with artists, … Continue reading Thoughts About Minimalism and Survival
There are so many good reasons to have a home garden, even in the city. Starting fresh in a new place means we're in for some work this spring. Although I suspect that many things have grown in this yard in the last century, other than the small plot I turned over last year, we … Continue reading It’s Food for Thought
Don't leave the kids out of the things you find important... Nota bene! The following ramble was written at three in the morning and may contain sentiment, ramblings, and a bit of opinion. I don't want this to sound preachy. What was intended as a few childhood pictures from primitive technology events ran away with … Continue reading Raised With Wilderness Skills
” You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” via Emerson says: — The Müscleheaded Blog
"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." ~ Henry David Thoreau
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch … Continue reading A Powerful and Simple Philosophy for a Good Life
“It is the best of humanity, I think, that goes out to walk. In happy hours all affairs may be wisely postponed for this. Dr. Johnson said, ‘Few men know how to take a walk,’ and it is pretty certain that Dr. Johnson was not one of those few. It is a fine art; there … Continue reading Take a Walk