Monthly Archives: October 2011

Even senior citizens fall in love — in Facebook!

By Alex P. Vidal

No, he or she is old enough to do or feel it. No, he or she is just being nice because she or he is really “malambing” (sweet) to younger men and women. Neither feelings nor desires whatsoever. We’ve heard these statements from time to time from common “friends” in Facebook, among other social networks.
Wait a minute, why the discrimination? Don’t lolo (grandpa) and lola (grandma), err tita and tito have the right to fall in love (with younger men and women) even if they are already in their twilight years? Yes, they do. They even have every right to celluloid sex as much as younger men and women do.
In fact, some of them are still sexually “literate” and their libido is still earthshaking, to say the least–if only their physical condition will connive with their desires.
Dr. Ray E. Short, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, asks in his book Sex, Love, or Infatuation: “Isn’t romantic infatuation only for the very young? Or for those who haven’t grown up emotionally?”
“Not so, it would seem,” Short answers his own question. “Even the most mature are not safe from the siren call of romance. Haven’t all of us seen middle-aged or older couples with stars in their eyes, acting every bit as foolish as any teenager?”


“Or the rich old codger who squanders his fortune on some flighty young girl? Such affairs happen just often enough that folk wisdom has long since decalred: ‘There’s no fool like an old fool!'”
Dr. Short, who is a Methodist minister, will be shocked to learn that some male senior citizens are even sending love sound bites like they were teenagers to younger female “friends” in Facebook and other social networks today.
“In our society the wedding ceremony is supposed to dry up all other springs of romance. But does it?” inquires Dr. Short. “In the Benson study people reported having an average of one other romance after they were wed. While most marrieds reported no other romances at all, some had as many as five. Luckily, few of these were acted on and they did not disrupt their marriages. But they did occur.”


Let’s listen to Dr. Short: “If you’re more grown-up in your emotional life than most other people, you’re still not protected from romance.”
When D.G. Dean set out to test the common assumption that “romantic love is for the emotionally immature,” he found that it just isn’t so. The real test of emotional maturity then is not whether you “fail love” (become infatuated).
“That happens to almost all of us,” asserts Dr. Short. “The true test of maturity is rather what you do about it. Do you react rationally to this romantic condition? Or do you rush rashly into some foolish, perhaps permanent, commitment before the relationship proves to be sound?”


One thing is certain: romantic experience catches up with all of us, young or old, rich or poor, mature or immature. And with it come perplexity and uncertainty. If romance hasn’t reached you yet, just be patient, counsels Dr. Short. “Your time is coming!”
Dr. Short adds: “And if it has already come to you, it will likely come again–and yet again. The issue, then, is how can you act wisely once you are, as Capellanus put it, “wounded by one of love’s arrows.”
Let’s be careful. Cupid’s arrow may turn out to be cupid’s error! We need something better than a soft-eyed grin and the old “never mind, dear; when it hits you, you’ll know it” routine. When we ask an honest question, we deserve an honest answer.


Real love will have an organizing and a constructive effect on our personality. It brings out the best in us. As Hirning and Hirning wrote: “There is an intense and satisfying feeling of greater self-realization and expression, as well as a feeling of having one’s own personality reinforced and strengthened and enriched.”
Duvall and Hill added that love give us “new energy and ambition, and more interest in life…It is creative, brings an eagerness to grow, to improve, to work for worthy purposes and ideals. Love is associated with feelings of self-confidence, trust and security.”
The person who loves makes an effort to be more deserving of the beloved. Two sisters were heard to agree that their older brother’s wife is good for them. “Before he met Jane, he had few goals and not much direction in his life,” said one. The other nodded. “When he married her, it really made a man out of him.” Love lifted him to new levels of maturity and responsible action. It will do the same for us — young and old.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


‘Dear is Plato, but dearer is the truth’

“All men by nature desire to know.” ARISTOTLE

By Alex P. Vidal

Aristotle entered Plato’s Academy as a 17 year-old student. He excelled and soon became a teacher. He remained at the Academy until Plato’s death, some 20 years later.
Unlike Plato, Aristotle was preoccupied with “the natural process.” While Plato used his reason, Aristotle used his senses as well: he go down on all fours and studied frogs and fish, anemones and poppies.
The significance of Aristotle in European culture is due not least to the fact that he created the terminology that scientists use today. He was the great organizer who founded and classified the various sciences.


Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) thought that things that are in the human soul were purely reflections of natural objects. So nature was the real world.
Why does it rain? You have probably learned that it rains because the moisture in the clouds cools and condenses into raindrops that are drawn to the earth by the force of gravity.
Aristotle would have agreed. But he would have added that so far you have only mentioned three of the causes. The “material cause” is the moisture (the clouds) was there at the precise moment when the air cooled.
The “efficient cause” is that the moisture cools, and the “formal cause” is that the “form,” or nature of the water, is to fall to the earth. But if you stopped there, Aristotle would add that it rains because plants and animals need rain-water in order to grow. This he called the “final cause.” Aristotle assigns the raindrops a life-task, or “purpose.”


That is not the nature of scientific reasoning today. We say that although food and water are necessary conditions of life for man, it is not the purpose of water or oranges to be food for us.
But Aristotle believed that there is a purpose behind everything in nature. It rains so that plants can grow; oranges and grapes grow so that people can eat them.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized



“I keep six honest serving men. They taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.RUDYARD KIPLING

By Alex P. Vidal

As avid collector of quotes and proverbs, the best “definition” I could provide about knowledge is that it is a “power,” according to Francis Bacon.
Intelligence, on the other hand, is hard to define. Most psychologists today, however, consider intelligence to be the ability to adjust properly to the environment, particularly when faced with new problems or situations.
In other words, it is the ability to use the knowledge we have in order to “figure out” what to do in a new situation.
But here’s why intelligence is much different from knowledge. A two-year-old child knows very little, because he hasn’t had enough time to acquire the knowledge of a grown-up; but he may be very intelligent in the way he uses the little knowledge he has. In the same way, a person who has had little chance for education may be highly intelligent, yet unable to read and write.


Special tests are used to measure intelligence. These are not information quizzes, but tests of the individual’s powers of memory, judgment, reasoning ability. etc.
Before an intelligence test can be used, it must be tried out on thousands of individuals. From the results the test psychologist finds out how well the average person of a given age makes out on the test. The test is then ready for use.
To measure a person’s intelligence, he is given one or more of the intelligence tests which have already been “standardized” in the way just described. His result on the test gives his “mental age” (M.A.).
For example, if a child does as well on a certain test as the average 12-year-old, he has a mental age of 12. If the child actually is 10 years old, his “chronological age” (C.A.) is 10. The child’s I.Q. is then found by dividing his mental age by his chronological age.


A person whose mental age is the same as his chronological age, has normal or average intelligence. His I.Q. is 100. The following table shows how people are classified by their I.Q.’s in each I.Q. “bracket,” according to High Points in Biology:
I.Q. 140 or over– classification is genius; 120-140: very superior; 110-120: superior; 90-110: normal; 80-90: dull normal; 70-80: borderline normal; 50-70:moron; 25-50: imbecile; below 25: idiot.
The measurement of a person’s intelligence was done after the Bureau of Education in Paris wanted to find out whether the poor results of many children were due to inattentiveness, lack of desire to learn, or lack of intelligence or ability to learn.
They called on Alred Binet for help. He organized a system of tests which were not based on school information but rather on general mental abilities. His work eventually laid the basis for the many tests of intelligence we have today.


Many mental traits and talents seem to be controlled at least partly by genes, research showed.
The histories of several families reveal a high percentage of individuals with such exceptional mechanical ability that it is universally recognized and respected. Peculiarly enough, unusual mechanical ability has been found in feeble-minded individuals, indicating that intelligence is not necessarily related to other talents.
Musical talent seems to be controlled by heredity. However, it seems that many genes must appear together to produce a truly great musical genius. This probably explains why there are so few great composers and performers, and why they sometimes appear among families where no unusual musical ability appeared before. The Bach family is an example of a family with many musical members.
Unfortunately, no accurate studies of this characteristic have been made, but most investigators are agreed that this characteristic may have a genetic basis.

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Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized



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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Uncategorized



“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.”PLATO


Plato was 29 when Socrates died, but it is not known when he started to write his many dialogues (most of which we still have) featuring Socrates as their central figure.
Socrates had a profound effect upon Plato whose own ideas only become clearly distinguishable from Socratic thought in his later works.
He may have been in his 50s when he co-founded his school with the mathematician Theaetetus. The school was named the Academy after the legendary Greek hero Academus.
Though the Academy Plato hoped to provide a good education for the future rulers of Athens and other city-states. The subjects taught were philosophy, astronomy, gymnastics, mathematics and especially geometry.


The inscription over the door of the Academy read “let no one ignorant of geometry enter here.” Amongst his pupils was Aristotle who, like Plato, was to be one of the most influential philosophers who ever lived.
Plato (427-347 B.C.) believed that everything tangible in nature “flows.” So there are no “substances” that do not dissolve. Absolutely everything that belongs to the “material world” is made of a material that time can erode, but everything is made after a timeless “mold” or “form” that is eternal and immutable.
Why are horses the same? There is something that all horses have in common, something that enables us to identify them as horses. A particular horse “flows,” naturally. It might be old and lame, and in time it will die. But the “form” of the horse is eternal and immutable.
That which is eternal and immutable, to Plato, is therefore not a physical “basic substance,” as it was for Empedocles and Democritus. Plato’s conception was of eternal and immutable patterns, spiritual and abstract in their nature, that all things are fashioned after.

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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Uncategorized



“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”SOCRATES


Socrates is possibly the most enigmatic figure in the entire history of philosophy. He never wrote a single line. Yet he is one of the philosophers who has had the greatest influence on European thought, not least because of the dramatic nature of his death.
Socrates thought that a philosopher is someone who recognizes that there is a lot he does not understand, and is troubled by it. In that sense, he is still wiser than all those who brag about their knowledge of things they really know nothing about.


Socrates himself said, “One thing only I know and that is that I know nothing.”
But while he constantly questioned the extent of his own knoweldge (a method that Rene Descartes was to employ some 2,000 years later), Socrates believed that it is possible for man to obtain absolute truths about the Universe. He felt that it was necessary to establish a solid foundation for our knowledge, a foundation which he believed lay in man’s reason. With his unshakable faith in human reason, Socrates was decidedly a rationalist.
In the year 399 B.C., Socrates was accused of “introducing new gods (the “divine inner voices” he claimed to hear in his head) and corrupting youth, as well as not believing in the accepted gods.
Although the government of Athens was one of the world’s earliest democracies, Socrates (470 B.C.-399 B.C), on the other hand, let everyone know he believed it was better for the state to be ruled by a single person, whom he described as “the one who knows.”


Some regarded Socrates’ outspoken views as a threat to the very fabric of Athenean life. Worried by his anti-democratic influence over the many young aristocrats (including Plato) involved in the Socratic think-tank, a jury of 501 found him guilty by a slender majority and was forced to drink the poison hemlock.

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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Uncategorized



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Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Uncategorized