Viktor E. Frankl on freedom

Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.

Viktor E. Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning

I finished my first read of Man’s Search for Meaning last week. Somehow this book managed to stay off my radar until late last year. Ever since then it’s come up again and again as an example of a book that heavily influenced someone, so I was excited to finally get around to it. It’s always surprising when you first hear of something that everyone else seems to know about already.

Of the many interesting ideas Frankl expresses, the above quote has stood out strongly for me over the last few days. I’ve specifically tried to apply it to freedom of speech in the context of today’s social networks and how they are managed. It quickly bleeds over into the ethics of our technologies, what we build, and how it is used.

I don’t think there are any easy conclusions here, but it does seem worth thinking through. I’m looking forward to a future reread.

Pando Forest, Utah

Inside the largest living organism on Earth.

It wasn’t too long ago, maybe 10 years, that I learned aspen grow as colonies, each tree an identical genetic clone of the others in its colony. You can see this in fall when the colors on many nearby trees change at the same time.

As soon as I started poking around at the Utah map in preparation for our trip to Capitol Reef National Park a couple weeks ago, I knew we were going to have to make a stop at Pando, a 106 acre aspen colony that is the single largest living organism in the world, the heaviest, and likely the oldest at ~80,000 years!

We had a great few mile hike through the forest. Very quiet, very peaceful, and so many aspens.

I give Nicolas Cage a lot of grief

I give Nicolas Cage a lot of grief, but every once and a while I remember another movie he was in that was really good. Bringing Out the Dead came up the other day while driving and I hadn’t thought of that in a long time.

The list of truly good Cage movies I’ve seen that I can think of now is:

He was a lot of fun in Face / Off, which I sometimes think I enjoyed because of the switch with Travolta, who is also on my meh list. I probably had fun during Con Air and The Rock, but my memory thinks of them as the same movie.

And I’ve watched Gone in Sixty Seconds a large handful of times because it’s just a lot of fun.

I couldn’t come up with anything post-2002 though. It’s entirely possible that National Treasure came out and I started proactively avoiding his movies. I have no idea why. 🤷🏼‍♂️