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Posts Tagged ‘Doubt’

Especially Mine

Advice should always be consumed between two thick slices of doubt.
  —  Walt Schmidt
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On This Day In:
2018 And Some Never Do
2017 When We Know We Are Loved
2016 Good Acts
2015 Will You Be Leaving Soon?
2014 Just Long Enough
2013 R.I.P. – Tom Laughlin
Seeking Success?
2012 All Aboard
2011 Sail On, Sailor

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The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think.  When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant.  When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain.  And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt.  We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt.  Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty – some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.
  —  Dr. Richard P. Feynman
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On This Day In:
2018 Maps For Those Difficult Times
2017 A True American Hero
Or Desserts
2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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When in doubt tell the truth.  It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.
  —  Mark Twain
[Confound me, Mr. President.  Please…
I’m NOT really #LyingDonald’s “enemy“.   I respect the office too much and dismiss him too readily to consider #IncompetentTrump to be an “enemy” or even my enemy.  I simply oppose everything he personally represents:  greed, disregard for the rule of law, anti-intellectualism, illiteracy, authoritarianism, racism, fascism, and I resist the direction he proposes to take this country which I love…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2018 You Cannot Pretend
2017 A Long Shadow
2016 Learning, Experience, Chances or Money
2015 The Critical State
2014 Dawn, n.
2013 Ouch!
2012 Just Lookin’ Around
Still Growing
2011 But Do You Want To?

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Leap Year”  (2010)  —  movie review
Today’s review is for the 2010 rom / com, “Leap Year“, starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.  Adams plays a real estate stager (someone who “cons” buyers by making property look nicer than it is) and Goode plays a bitter / sarcastic pub owner / innkeeper.  The third main role is played by Adam Scott.  He plays Adams’ cardiologist boyfriend, Jeremy.
Anna (Adams) goes to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend (Jeremy / Scott) on February 29th (duh, “Leap Year”), on the way, she meets Declan (Goode).  A series of comedic incidents ensue.  Blah, blah, blah.  They fall in love, but try to deny it to themselves.  Blah, blah, blah.  Anna returns to Boston with her boyfriend – now fiance, Jeremy.  Blah, blah, blah.  Anna returns to Ireland and her true love.  Happy ending, kissing at sunset.
Is this any good? Does it work as a rom / com?  Yes, and yes.  There are only two issues: 1) getting soaked in the rain (repeatedly) and pelted by hail, is miserable, not romantic; and, 2) people seem to walk incredible distances extremely quickly.  Aside from these two minor breaks with reality, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly.  I particularly enjoyed the old men’s banter in Declan’s pub. A perfect stereotype of an Irish pub.
A couple of other points: I’m not sure if I’ve type-casted Scott or not, but he was completely unbelievable as Adam’s boyfriend.  I didn’t think I was an Adams’ fan, but I’ve seen her in multiple roles (“Doubt“, “Man of Steel“, “Julie & Julia“, and “Arrival“), and, okay, I’m sold.  She’s pretty good.  In those other movies, I don’t think the camera “loves” her.  In this role, it does.  And, then there’s Goode…  Watching the movie, I thought: “This guy is great!  I wonder what else he’s done?”  So, of course, I looked him up and he was in “Watchman“, “The Imitation Game” and “Downton Abbey“.  All of which surprised me because (suddenly) I said: “Wow!  He was good in all of those, too!”
Final recommendation: strong to highly recommended.  As a fairy-tale rom / com this is a better than average movie.  I thoroughly enjoyed the two leads and the various predicaments they got into and out of.  It’s not a believable story / movie (see above), but it’s got beautiful Irish scenery and I found myself wanting them to have the happy ending.  That, in itself, is a pretty high recommendation for any rom / com.
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On This Day In:
2017 Explaining My Equally Meager Results
2016 Every Tool And Every Chance
2015 Something That You Love
2014 Not Really At All
2013 Listening And Deserving
2012 I’m Still Not Certain
2011 True, False And Useful

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I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
   —  Wilson Mizner
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On This Day In:
2016 Absolute
2015 Still The Best Teacher
2014 Inside The Soul
2013 A Toe In The River
2012 Believe It Or Not
2011 The Road To Recovery (And More Myths)

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(This is a long post, so if you’re not interested in my movie reviews, you may want to just come back tomorrow…)
This last week I decided to do a mini-binge / marathon on the movie series based on a television series from my youth: Mission Impossible.  In all honesty, I watched several seasons of the series but lost interest due to the similarity of so many of the episodes.  In fairness to the series, how many times (and ways) can you save the world?  Anyway, I do remember enjoying the TV series.
Also, in complete honesty, because I have only recently come around to being a Tom Cruise fan, I have never seen any of these five (so far) movies at the theater in original release.  Further, I had only seen parts of number one on TV.  It’s not that I intentionally avoided them.  I just don’t think I ever bothered enough to sit down and watch them.  My brother owns the DVD set, so I thought, what the heck: binge time.
Mission: Impossible (1996)  —  movie review
Wow! Is it possible this movie is 20 years old and I’ve never seen it?  Sho’nuff.  This movie introduces Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) – the only two characters to carry through all five movies in the series.  Hunt is the leader and Mr. Everything.  Stickell is the computer and electronics expert.  There is one carry-over from the original series: Jim Phelps (played by Jon Voight).  Basically, Hunt is framed for treason and the list of IMF agents around the world is up for grabs.  Hunt has to lead a hastily organized team of disavowed agents to recover the list and find the real traitor.
This was probably pretty good for its day and it does have one famous scene: Cruise hanging from a wire, stealing a computer file, in the CIA headquarters.  Other than that, I found it pedestrian.  Not bad.  Just not very good either.  All in all, an acceptable kick-off to the series.  Final recommendation: Moderate.
Mission: Impossible II (2000)  —  movie review
In the first of several implausible stories, Hunt (Cruise) leads the IMF team in a mission to stop an Australian pharmaceutical industrialist who hopes to become filthy rich by releasing a virus which will kill most of humanity while his company is the only one with the cure.  (Huh!?)  The worst of it is the use of an “anti-Hunt” / bad-guy former IMFer who wants to steal the company so he can get rich, too.
Not only is the story unbelievable, so are the action sequences and the fight scenes.  I guess the good news is that there are a fair number of both, so you can be visually entertained.  The movie is not unwatchable and it’s not really boring.  It’s just kind of “meh”.  Final recommendation: poor to moderate.
Mission: Impossible III (2006)  —  movie review
Hunt is semi-retired.  He is an instructor and mentor for junior IMF field agents.  One of his most promising protégés gets captured and Hunt is recruited back into the field to rescue her.  She dies in the attempt and Hunt assembles a team for revenge – I mean justice.  Blah, blah, blah, evil arms dealer who gets it in the end.  And, there’s another mole in the IMF HQ.  Seriously, is anybody guarding the hen-house?
As a movie, this is pretty much another ho-hum’er.  As an action / adventure movie with special effects, this sequel is better than 1 and 2.  Strangely, at this point I’ve started warming to the whole Hunt / Cruise and IMF thing.  I’m not sure why, but I think it’s some kind of Stockholm Syndrome thing going on.  In any case, Philip Symour Hoffman plays a surprisingly excellent villain!  I have never been a Hoffman fan and really only ever liked him in one role – a minor character, a grad student in the movie “Twister“.  I don’t really avoid movies with actors, but I doubt I’d go out of my way to see any movie with him in it.  I still don’t get why he was considered a “great” actor.  In fairness to Hoffman, I have never seen “Capote“, but I did see “Doubt“.  I just didn’t find him believable in that film / role.  So, yes, I was surprised at how good Hoffman is in this role.
This episode also sees the introduction of the character Benji Dunn, played by Commander Montgomery Scott, I mean Simon Pegg.  Add humor here…
Final recommendation: The movie is again only so-so, but Hoffman is terrific and makes the movie!  Strong recommendation.
Mission: Impossible (4 / IV) – Ghost Protocol (2011)  —  movie review
Okay, so the United States education system is not big on Roman numerals, so we’re gonna drop the “IV” and give this movie a title.
In another entirely implausible story (IAEIS), Hunt (Cruise) leads the IMF team in a mission to stop a Russian scientist who hopes to improve humanity by blowing up San Francisco with a nuclear missile which will lead to WW III and which will kill most of humanity.  (Huh!?) By now, Benji / Commander Scott / Pegg is a certified field agent.  IMF is framed for blowing up the Kremlin and the President “disavows” the whole of the IMF to avoid war with Russia.  This episode introduces William Brandt (Hawkeye / Bourne “Lite” / Jeremy Renner) as a quasi-Hunt “Lite”.
At a certain point in this series – just like with the TV series – the audience has to say, “I don’t care if any of this makes sense, as long as I’m entertained.”  I thought I’d reached that point in the MI:II, but MI:III kind of brought me back to this kind of makes sense and I am kind of entertained.  And then they drop you off the cliff again…  Makes sense, no.  Entertained, yes.
Final recommendation: Strong to Highly.  To be honest I think this is based on the cumulative effect of watching 9+ hours of this stuff.  It has started to grow on me and I am enjoying them more, even though most of the time it’s the same thing over and over again.
Mission: Impossible (5 / V) – Rogue Nation (2015)  —  movie review
IAEIS, Hunt (Cruise) must lead an (again) disavowed / defunded / disbanded IMF to fight a British sponsored “rogue” IMF force known as the “Syndicate”.  Blah, blah, blah, exotic locations, explosions, motorcycle and car chases, fight sequences, innocent casualties, hero drowns, hero comes back to life, blah, blah, blah.  Hunt / IMF wins and gets the bad guy.  The moral of the story is friendship and doing the right thing is more important than following the orders or the law (I guess).  Oh, yeah, and again, never trust the guys back at HQ.
Final recommendation: Strong.  I’m not sure why, but again, I was entertained by this movie.  No, it’s not believable and almost everything has been done before in 1 thru 4, but worked.  Go figure…
Series final recommendation: Strong.  This is a series twenty years (so far) in the making.  As technology has improved, they’ve tried to keep pace.  Mostly, it (the movies individually and the series as a whole) works – the special effects, the “spy” technology and the movies.  I’m also finding the series interesting because they are aging the lead character (Hunt) instead of simply re-booting the series with a new team.  All in all, I rate the series as higher than the individual pieces and the last two as better than the first three.
Two final notes: like many of the movies in the action / adventure genre, this series has definitely made an effort to “span the globe” in an attempt to attract the global audience.  This series goes a bit too far (IMHO), but who am I to say as they are making a ton of dosh in the foreign markets.  And I apologize to any readers who slogged through this LONG post.  I hope you found the reviews moderately interesting / entertaining.
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On This Day In:
2015 Happy 4th of July 2015!!
2014 Happy 4th of July 2014!!
2013 Patriot Act, Anyone?
2012 Five Lost Wars
2011 Worth Fighting For
2010 Still Learnin’ Hard…
4th of July 2010

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Dubbed “Prospero’s Precepts”, these eleven rules culled from some of history’s greatest minds can serve as a general-purpose guideline for critical thinking in all matters of doubt:
1.   All beliefs in whatever realm are theories at some level.  (Stephen Schneider)
2.   Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own.  You may both be wrong.  (Dandemis)
3.   Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.  (Francis Bacon)
4.   Never fall in love with your hypothesis.  (Peter Medawar)
5.   It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.  Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.  (Arthur Conan Doyle)
6.   A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong.  (Francis Crick)
7.   The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that is most interesting.  (Richard Feynman)
8.   To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.  (Charles Darwin)
9.   It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.  (Mark Twain)
10.  Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.  (Thomas Jefferson)
11.  All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.  (Arthur Schopenhauer)
  —   Peter Surrock
From his book: “AKA Shakespeare: A Scientific Approach to the Authorship Question
[Found at a site I like to visit every now and then:   http://www.brainpickings.org/
The specific post was found at:  http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/04/01/aka-shakespeare/
Well worth a visit…   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Friends
2013 Learning Bitter
2012 Remembrance, Minstrels & Going Off To War
May I Have More Happiness, Please?
2011 There Is No God, But God
2010 Another Running Book…

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I feel a responsibility to proclaim the value of this freedom and to teach that doubt is not to be feared, but that it is to be welcomed as the possibility of a new potential for human beings.  If you know that your are not sure, you have a chance to improve the situation.  I want to demand this freedom for future generations.
   —  Richard P. Feynman
 from his book: ” The Meaning Of It All
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