Wednesday, February 24, 2016

History: The Year is 1738

I've uploaded year 1738 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Dear Sister... I Believe in God and 13 Principles -- Benjamin Franklin has 13 principles that he practices one a week for a 13 week cycle. I talk about pragmatism and Alcoholics Anonymous.

French Forced Labor and Shovel-Ready Jobs -- French subjects are forced to contribute 14 days a year to road construction. I talk about modern forced labor.

More Major Events -- King George III, Ethan Allen and cuckoo clocks.

Dear Sister... I Believe in God and 13 Principles

Jane Franklin Mecom is in despair. Her crazy brother, Benjamin Franklin, has abandoned Puritanism and rejected Calvinism. He believes that good works are more important than prayer! But Benjamin Franklin assures his sister that he has not abandoned God. He has written a collection of devotionals that he consults daily. And even though he has rejected the many mystical ideas promoted by formal religion, he is more than happy to let Jane pursue her own religious ideals. All he asks is that she extend him the same courtesy. Benjamin Franklin has also put together a table with 13 principles listed down one side and the days-of-the-week across the top. His table of 13 principles is printed on 13 pages. He focuses on one principle a week in turn until the 13-week cycle is completed. (Wash. Rinse. Repeat.). He is not a fanatic. He is creating a good habit. Benjamin Franklin's list will vary slightly over the years, but there is nothing magical about his principles. Anyone can do it. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Benjamin Franklin was practicing something that 20th century philosophers called "Pragmatism." Pragmatism is non-doctrinal. In other words... whatever works... do that. Don't worry about whether it fits into a greater systematic structure. What you are looking for is an immediate and practical result. This is the basic principle behind Alcoholics Anonymous. People of conflicting religions can meet to solve their common problem because they never focus on doctrine. They only focus on what works for them. "Take what you need and leave the rest." They are like shade-tree mechanics who check the gas, replace the battery, and change the spark plugs. They get the car started and in most cases that is enough. If more is required, they get the car going enough to limp to the nearest master mechanic. Do what works. That's all that matters. The philosophers that made this idea popular were William James and to some extent, Karl Jung, but don't read their books. They are not very practical. (I wish I were kidding, but I am not.) Read the books that make use their principles. [5] [6] [7] [8]

French Forced Labor and Shovel-Ready Jobs

The French director of Bridges and Highways has come up with a brilliant idea to improve the roads in France. He requires each subject to devote 14 days a year toward road building and maintenance. This scheme works in the sense that French roads will become the best in the world. For French subjects it doesn't work very well. The French word for this requirement is "corvée" (KOR-vee) meaning "drudgery". The 14-day forced labor requirement will become one of the grievances that sparks the French Revolution. After the Revolution, the forced labor requirement will return. French citizens will be required to work 3 days a year on behalf of the state for the privilege of voting. (Sigh.) [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
From time-to-time we hear of our obligation to "give back" or "you didn't build that" as if the roads were built by forced labor rather than paid professionals. The United States promotes volunteer programs such as the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps, and as long as they are volunteer programs, then I have no problem with them. However, I object when someone suggests that citizens be REQUIRED to participate in such programs as a condition of their citizenship... or be forced into the military. That is forced labor and without an obvious need it is always resented. Even with an obvious need such as during the Great Depression, it has never worked out. A work relief program called the W.P.A. meant more than "Works Progress Administration". People of the time said that it meant: "We Poke Along" or "We Piddle Around" or "Whistle, Piss and Argue." And there is the classic Soviet Union joke, "As long as they pretend to pay us, we will pretend to work." [12][13] [14] [15]

More Major Events

* King George the 3rd of Great Britain is born. He is will be the King on the throne during the American Revolution. [9]
* Ethan Allen is born in rural Connecticut. He will lead the Green Mountain Boys, and join in the American Revolution but he won't make any furniture whatsoever. [16]
* The Cuckoo Clock is Introduced in Germany. It is probably not the first cuckoo clock, but it is close. [17]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1738, Wikipedia.

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