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View Diary: Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor, contracts virus after treating 100 patients (53 comments)

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  •  I know what you mean. I'm a scietific humanist (6+ / 0-)

    myself, but when writing for diverse audiences I often translate more complex and abstract best wishes, into "prayers" and the vernacular a wider audience is comfortable with, especially in short posts.

    It might take me a post three times this long to explain what I actually mean here, and this post is already way to long.

    I think it may be a little harsh to say "such terms devalue what humans are themselves capable of."
    If we were in a PhD seminar in philosophy, linguistics, or something I could riff on that theme as long as anyone.

    But, when the point is to wish a good man well, and communicate his good work, and sad situation to a wider diverse audience of regular people, I think it makes sense to speak in a language the audience is used to rather than confused things with potentially narcissistic tangents which I have done extensively and often enough to probably have a statistically significant database of personal experience doing.

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:09:22 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  True. Thanks. I'm grumpy today and the news that (5+ / 0-)

      such a courageous person contracts ebola is so sad and came about the same time Mike Weinstein puts up his diary about American extremism.

      Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

      by pajoly on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 04:37:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if this is what you are like when you are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbsoul, ER Doc

        grumpy then you are a rarefied soul indeed, pajoly.

        When I'm grumpy I make extra sure everyone else is suffering as much, if not more than I am and  an be monster.

        I didn't mean to imply any criticism or even normative judgement.

        Since I think I understand well well you are coming from and have seen you name pop up several time in recent days, in positive or upbeat ways, I thought I'd take a risk and initiate a bit of extra conversation since this is a topic I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about, without anyone to talk with about it.

        When writing Ebola and BringBackOurGirls posts I noticed a "pause" like feeling at the end of posts where when discussing such intimate and emotional aspects of other people's lives when they are suffering so much, to just suddenly stop without expression some compassion or personal note didn't feel right.

        One thing I've learned from the posts honoring the fallen soldiers is the feeling of the language around the "May he Rest in Peace" or "My heartfelt condolences to the family," like phrases.

        Or the get well soon.

        So the "prayers and best wishes" idea seemed gracious and compassionate in the right way.

        But, then I worried, "what if someone "out there" thinks of God as and old man with a white beard, looking down on his children and thinks I'm am making such a reference?"

        Well, if that was what they believe and that's what they thought I meant, If figured that would be okay, because they would correctly understand the sentiment I was trying to express.

        But, then what if one of my brainy atheist, agnostic, humanists, or Buddhist friends sees me doing that, knows from my other writings that my own beliefs are "more subtle" than that, might they think I was "pandering" or something insincere?

        So, I started explaining what  a "post quantum mechanics kind of homebrew Buddhism," metaphysics, with a little bit of the electric church of Jimi Hendrix tossed in, might look like, as a metaphor to convey spiritual notions I sometimes think about.

        Which was sort of fun until I noticed I was five pages into this self-centered self-aggrandizing monologue like I was standing on a box trying to recruit cult members to help build a monument to my own potential for narcissistic tangents at a time when I was supposed to be expressing sympathies or encouragement to people suffering great pains on a topic I couldn't even remember as I was so entranced by my on sophistry.

        Actually there should be hyphens on the last 24 or so words like a long German contraction word made up of others but which exists separately as a singular concept warning flashing red light on my Daily Kos writing dash board in my mind to that I was about to commit writing blunder #17 again and better snap out of it and think about what message I want to evoke in the minds of diverse readers.

        For a majority of readers here, who were either brought up in some religious tradition, or knows about them from growing up on planet earth during some part of the last half century, simplified it down to "Our prayers and/or best wishes, or the metaphorical equivalent for atheists, agnostics, or humanists."

        I used that a few times actually, but then realized for people with beliefs and without beliefs it might seem condescending or patronizing.

        Like almost implying "Hey, look at me! I'm such an advanced, enlightened conceptual and spiritual being and can drop down from the heavens on converse with a great variety of you other kinds of more primitive beings in your own languae," which of course was not at all the message I wanted to send.

        So I dropped back down to prayers and best wishes, which most people will understand  correctly without any explanation, and people in some of the later categories will fall into two groups. Those that don't care, or who are so snotty (of the sort I was just describing in the previous paragraph, most of whom I already know, based on different types of conversation.) or folks like you and me, who notice there are issues there, and despite the fact they are tangents to the main point are sufficiently verbally fluent and like talking about such things so much, and despite the fact we might know we shouldn't mention it, can not resist and will say something like you did, thereby outing yourself, and then giving me the opportunity to write this essay explaining it.

        But, having brought it up yourself, forfeiting the moral high ground that might lead you to validity criticize me for being long-winded to almost a criminal extent.

        Bwa, ha, ha, my secret plan is working even better than I had hoped.


        So, "to be brief" don't worry about it. The fact you would be tempted to apologize for bringing it up, is a further clue that I'm fairly sure I know where you are coming from.

        Cheers, and thanks for commenting.

        PS There is an additional forth kind of reader who will have noticed all of this and seen how long this response is who might think "Holy God, (so to speak) I was going to bust HD's chops about some little thing,"  but after seeing this comment will think, "nay, I'll just let it slide.

        This is like my 32,000 comment, pajoly, so I've got all the bases covered. LOL.    

        Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

        by HoundDog on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:15:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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