Sunday, 26 March 2017

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or, If I put these here, will I watch them later?



I am fascinated by literature. When I am procrastinating, I turn to history and literature and wish I had studied something else. And then I realise I didn't study something else, and that romanticising one thing over another is a sub-optimal strategy. Especially when one's time is limited. Of course, everyone's time is limited but we don't know about the end when it happens, so it is not so obvious. But when one's limited time appears so obvious, then one's reflection turns to such matters as priorities. But the truth is I am just finding excuses to procrastinate.



Yet there is much to learn from literature, as there is from politics. In my Daily Stoic reflection today, the focus is on "Who watches the watchmen?", or, in Juvenal's Latin:
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
I am finding so many good things to read and watch that I am feeling the weight of the goodness. It is becoming a problem: What do I want to know? Can I know what I want to know, and worse, can I want to know what I want to know? What is clear is that if I do not make a choice, then I will not be able to focus. A lack of focus leads to the passing of time as a surprise. If this is what I want, then that is fine, but if I wake up some time in the future and think, "Where am I?", then I have missed the point.

So what rules my ruling reason?

This would seem to be a lifelong quest. But, as the adage goes, "He who fails to plan, plans to fail".

Can one ever work out what rules one's ruling reason? I suppose it is too late to turn back now.

I haven't looked at the first video, and I have only watched part of the Harold Bloom video. Bloom makes me laugh. What strikes me is how he says: "We should not be afraid of saying 'elites', we need elites". This echoes Sir Bernard Crick when I listened to him in Sydney years ago.


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