Civilization rests on two things: the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation. And I put it to you, where would this splendid civilization be without both?
--Robertson Davies, "The Rebel Angels"
Thanks to J for this quote. I can't put my finger on it, but it accurately captures my mood at present.
9:00 am update
With respect to our discussions the past couple of days, I understand these were topics of discomfort for some. However, I believe strongly that unless we're able to adopt an empirical approach and ask difficult questions, there'll be no substantive, lasting progress. Emotion, hope and perhaps even faith are necessary components, but in themselves, they'll not be enough to change the facts of life. The learning curve needs to be shortened, or ultimate success is going to be tragically elusive.
Given my reputation as a Commie, it's quite odd finding myself in the position of defending "survival of the fittest" in a somewhat-free-market. So be it. I have an interesting day ahead, and if there's time, I'll tell you about it later today.