Friday, October 30, 2009

Dust, double standards, and good deeds


Jewish date:  12 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Lekh-Lekha).

Today’s holiday:  Friday of the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism).

Topic 1:  Chapters 3 and 4 of The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman.  The nature of Dust is explored by having the alethiometer lead Lyra to a physicist.  It is revealed that Dust is dark matter.  Dust/dark matter is conscious, and it is attracted to consciousness and the products of conscious thought, e.g., tools and other artifacts.  Dust/dark matter is not only responsible for the working of the alethiometer, but the Yì Jīng (I Ching) as well.  These claims suffer from two obvious problems:  1) Humans are conscious well before puberty.  Therefore one should expect that children well before puberty ought to be attracting Dust.  2) The world this conversation takes place in is supposed to be ours.  However, the Yì Jīng does not work in our world.  I am not impressed.

Topic 2:  Another crop of articles on the Israeli-Arab War:  “Dare to dream of a rebuilt Temple”, “CNN Waters Down the Israeli Response” and “Goldstone Report in the Clouds”.  Note the use of double standards to attack Jews and Israel and defend Muslims and the so-called “Palestinians”.

Topic 3:  “Clean Smell Promotes Good Deeds”.  I cannot make this up.

Shabbath shalom.