• Kaboom
  • The Big Story
  • Port Town
  • Nothing Is Forever

ARCHIVED POSTS

  • March 17, 2020

    A CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR PATH

    A VIRAL OPPORTUNITY

    So here you are. The business where you work has been shut down for an extended period by the Corona Virus and you’re stuck at home drinking Corona Beer and waiting an unspecified time for the “all clear” that will allow you to resume your life.

    You watch old reruns on TV or endless movies on Netflix and Amazon. You read trashy books and listen to music. You go online to text and call friends and commiserate about your forced timeout from life.

    Which is exactly what almost everybody else in your circumstance is going to be doing.

    But there is another choice. This is also a time when you can sit down, maybe with a pad and a pencil, and figure out exactly what you want for the rest of your life.

    I was a business reporter at a newspaper years ago, and on at least three occasions I interviewed successful businessmen with similar stories. Their big break came when they lost their jobs because of downsizing, or contracts ending, or the company they worked for going bankrupt.

    The bad thing turned into an opportunity because it gave them a chance to step back, examine what they were doing in life, and go forward in another direction. In every case it took planning and research and guts to do what they did, but it made their lives better.

    I understand that it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes people try something new and fall flat on their face. But at least they tried.

    You’re stuck at home anyway. It’s either an opportunity or a hardship.

    The choice is yours.

    George Lee Cunningham

    Do you have an opinion on the subject? Contact me at george@georgeleecunningham.com and let me know. Meanwhile, you can always subscribe and get an email reminder of blog postings. Your name will not be shared and you may cancel at any time.

  • March 13, 2020

    Isaiah Berlin

    Isaiah Berlin came up with the concept of The Hedgehog and the Fox, but the book by the same name is mostly about War and Peace author Lev Tolstoy. If you’re a fan of Berlin or have an interest in Russian literature you may like it. Read More HERE

  • March 6, 2020

    ARE YOU A HEDGEHOG OR A FOX?

    HEDGEHOG OR FOX

    Are you a hedgehog or are you a fox? How about Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton? How about your pals? Or your mate?

    Philosopher-professor Isaiah Berlin came up with the Hedgehog-Fox concept among friends in the late 1930s, before using it in lectures and essays in the early 1950s. According to the theory, a hedgehog believes in one big truth that governs life and the world, while a fox believes in many smaller truths.

    A hedgehog would be someone who will do whatever is necessary to force others into his or her idea of the one big truth. Examples might include Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. A fox would be someone who believes in many smaller truths – some of which may be contradictory and self-serving, according to the given circumstance. Perhaps folks such as Al Capone, Harvey Weinstein, or Casey Anthony.

    In real life, foxes believe that the world is too complex to know everything; hedgehogs are on a quest for the one elusive truth that explains it all.

    It should come as no surprise that foxes tend to be happier than hedgehogs.

    Like most such antonymic comparisons – winners and losers, givers and takers, heroes and cowards – the hedgehog and fox comparison can be valuable as a broad way of looking at people and understanding them. Pushed to the limits, however, it quickly breaks down, something that Berlin was quick to acknowledge.

    “For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system, less or more coherent or articulate … and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory … related to no moral or aesthetic principle,” Berlin wrote.

    That’s because few people are pure hedgehogs or pure foxes. Most of us, fortunately, fall somewhere in between.

    The majority of us probably consider ourselves more fox-like than hedgehog. There are only a few of us who go all the way to hedgehogism – although you do find such people on the left and right political extremes.

    For instance, I am suspicious of big government. I see government as a necessary evil. But deciding how people should live, what they should eat or drink, and who they may or may not marry should not be the government’s business.

    It’s not that big business or big unions can’t be corrupt. They often are. But private organizations have limits that the government does not. The purpose of private business or unions is to provide goods and services and to make money or provide benefits for their stockholders or members. If they fail to do that, sooner or later they go out of business, and some other organization takes their place.

    Big government, on the other hand, can continue to raise taxes and throw money at problems to see what may or may not work. Once a new agency is established to solve a problem, it’s almost impossible to get rid of that agency or its people, even if it fails to fulfill its purpose. And with all that money flying around, it’s inevitable that some folks along the line are going to siphon off some for themselves.

    However, we do need government agencies to check and make sure that the T-bone we’ve just bought is not riddled with e-coli, that the children of drug-addicted parents have enough to eat and a chance at a better life, and that factories and other businesses aren’t disposing of their toxic junk into rivers or letting it leach down to the water table.

    For most of us, it’s merely a question of where you draw the line – whether you err on the side of the fox or the hedgehog.

    The world is not fair. It’s never going to be fair. But it can be better, and that’s what we all should work toward. Whether we lean toward the foxes or the hedgehogs, we need to find solutions.

    The foxes and the hedgehogs, together.

    George Lee Cunningham

    Do you have an opinion on the subject? Contact me at george@georgeleecunningham.com and let me know. Meanwhile, you can always subscribe and get an email reminder of blog postings. Your name will not be shared and you may cancel at any time.

  • January 30, 2020

    2020 VISION

    2020 VISION is a book of 12-poems – one for each month of the year – by George Lee Cunningham. The poems are about the joy of life, the state of the world, getting older, and coming to terms with your own humanity. You can get a PDF copy of the poems by clicking HERE.

  • Big Bro Tech

    Wernher von Braun and his Nazi pals may have pioneered space travel with their infamous V-2 rocket attacks on Britain, but they also unleashed another side-product that is changing our lives, tracking our movements, and infringing on our privacy – closed-circuit TV. Read More HERE.