Ain’t Technology Grand?

Kicking and screaming into the 21st century

Greetings gentle reader(s). It’s rudyblues here again. I hope you all have adequately recovered from any overindulgent New Year’s behaviors in which you may have engaged. Of course, far be it from old rudyblues to question anyone’s overindulgence. Overindulgence, after all, is my favorite indulgence.

But that’s not why I’m writing you today. I’m pecking this out on the WordPress mobile app on my iPhone to prove that yes, even I, old rudyblues, is “with it”, is a member of the technological revolution.

I thought I’d try the mobile app. It’s cool for checking up on things. But I must admit that entering a post on a phone is torturous at best. Yes, intelligent autocorrect is helpful, but one fat finger on tiny little squares is hardly worth the ability to post from the comfort of the man chair. All my other fingers are jealous of Mr. Pointer Finger, and he’s getting a little sore!

I doubt I’ll try this again, but hey, at least I can say I’ve done it once. Maybe I should get an iPad. Or maybe I should just get up out of the man chair and get the laptop. Or go to the PC and use a real keyboard. Nah, I’ll just poke the phone and complain. That’s how I roll.

Ooh. Hi. Sorry. Forgot to Write.

It’s that guy who never called after the first date

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It’s been three months since my last post. It’s like I’m ghosting my lovely reader(s). Again.

ghost-md

Well, rudyblues, my son, you do have a proclivity for shallow and superficial commitments. I’m sure you remember the initial euphoria you felt when you said you were going to learn German.

Yes, yes father, I do. I really meant to learn German. It would have been a tremendous boon to my career.

Yes, it would have been very beneficial, rudyblues. But, as with most of your endeavors, you soon lost interest.

I don’t know, father. Is it really losing interest when something new interests you more? I mean, I’m still interested in my lovely reader(s).

I suppose not, rudyblues. After all, each of us has only a limited time on this earth. Each of our interests consumes some of that time. But think about how your lovely reader(s) must feel. You simply disappeared, without a word. You could have at least said goodbye.

Yes, yes, you’re right, father, you’re always right. I should have at least let my lovely reader(s) know that I had a new interest. And that I was still interested in them, but that I might not have as much time to devote to them. Do you think they’ll forgive me?

I don’t know, rudyblues. Maybe you should ask them.

Okay, I’ll ask them. Lovely reader(s), will you  . . . OOH! LOOK! SOMETHING SHINY!

The Real Deal

Or a reasonable facsimile thereof

What does it mean to be authentic? We use the term authentic in many contexts to refer to people, places or things. How can they all be authentic? If one of us feels that a person, place or thing is authentic, does it follow that all of us agree on that authenticity?

The sense of authentic most closely related to its Greek origin is the sense of genuineness, the idea that the source or origin of something is indisputable. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is an authentic da Vinci painting, since the provenance can be used to indisputably trace it to the time of its creation. We should all agree that no one can question the authenticity.

The origins of the painting “Salvator Mundi,” a Renaissance-era depiction of Jesus Christ attributed to da Vinci, are far more disputable. The historical record of the painting, commissioned by the French king Louis XII, is a matter of record. But the painting disappeared from history in the late 1700’s. It did not reappear until 1958 when the “rediscovered” masterpiece was deemed a fake and sold for a mere $60.

Later acquired by a group of art dealers, it was restored, academically authenticated, and sold to a Russian businessman for $127.5 million. Is the Mona Lisa more authentic than Salvator Mundi? Is it possible to be less genuine and still be considered genuine? Does that mean authentic is subjective?

Another sense of authenticity is something that is created or performed in a traditional fashion, or that is a faithful rendition of an original. This almost seems to be the opposite of the original Greek meaning of authentic, since this meaning implies that the thing that is authentic is not in fact genuine.

Authentic Tuscan cuisine in Chicago is certainly not genuine, in the sense of food cooked by an Italian person in the Tuscan region of Italy. But because the ingredients or methods employed in preparing the cuisine closely follow those in Tuscany we consider it authentic. But unless you have had food prepared by a Tuscan in Tuscany, how can you tell if the Tuscan cuisine in Chicago is authentic?

And what of an authentic life? This sense of authentic, denoting an emotionally suitable, purposeful, significant existence, comes to us from existential philosophy. It’s when our actions and words stem from our values and beliefs. It’s being who we are, and not who we or others think we should be.

But this seems at odds with how humans develop. As young children, we develop our beliefs, values, and personas through imitation of those around us. And we tend to internalize and repeat those imitations that bring praise from the important people in our lives. Therefore, can any existence be authentic? I would argue that few of us would agree that we aren’t authentic in this sense, but are we really?

It seems to me that authenticity, as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Spring 2018 Abducted in Upper Midwest

Season’s disappearance causes grave concerns

U.S. authorities in the upper Midwest revealed today that Spring 2018 was recently abducted by the months December, January, and February. Residents in several Midwestern states are advised to be on the lookout for continued cold weather and to refrain from storing cold-weather clothing and planting spring annuals until further notice.

Spring generally follows winter in the upper Midwest, with daytime high temperatures routinely in the upper 40º F (4º C) to lower 60º F (16º C) range during late March and early April. Snowfall during this time, although not nonexistent, is isolated and relatively rare.

Officials conclude that Spring 2018 was kidnapped due to the extremely long stretch of sub 32º F weather and repeated snowstorms present in the area during March and April. Officials also speculate that December, January, and February are armed with continued cold and snow, and are dangerous to young plants, tree buds, and mental health.

“I just don’t know what I’m going to do!” said Summer 2018, when asked for comment on the situation. “I guess I’ll just have to wait until we find Spring.”

Residents are encouraged to contact local meteorologists with any information they may have regarding this situation