aspose file tools*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes A system of beliefs based on ants Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Spring in Action this week in the Spring forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "A system of beliefs based on ants" Watch "A system of beliefs based on ants" New topic
Author

A system of beliefs based on ants

Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
When is idleness better than industriousness

In 1757, Benjamin Franklin, puritanical zealot that he was , promoted the trite and untrue aphorism "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" and unleashed untold misery on the world ever since.

Millions of children were permanently damaged as they were unable to rise up early enough despite all sorts of wake up contraptions.

Todays children who seem to have shunned Benjamin Franklin's advice , funnily enough , do not seem to be less advantaged than the few who still do.

The Bible in Proverbs, chapter 6 has promoted anti-idleness and bed-guilt :

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

Question deeply the sanity of a religion that holds up the ant as an example of how to live. The ant system is an exploitative aristocracy based on the unthinking toil of millions of workers and the complete inactivity of a single queen and a handful of drones.

Now we have it. We follow a system of beliefs based on ants.
[ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
About getting up early:
I see not yet any problem with getting up early.
This morning I brushed my teeth at 4:20 o clock.
No problem.
I think its a system to suppress the younger.
I am 35 and for some time yet I have made the experience that I can live with 5 hours of sleep a night for 3 days or more without problems.
When I was 20 something I needed at least 7 hours.

Axel
[ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
The point is - you could be at your highest potential on 20 hours of sleep.
How do you know ?

If JK Rowling hadn't sat day-dreaming while looking out of a train window
when she came up with the Harry Potter characters , the books would never have been.


Kubla Khan came to Coleridge in a dream, as did the tune for Yesterday to Paul McCartney. The idea for Frankenstein revealed itself to the young Mary Shelley in a waking dream; Einstein said that a breakthrough in his theory of relativity had come to him in a dream; Descartes had a dream that set him on the path towards his whole philosophical system.

[ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
In 1757, Benjamin Franklin, puritanical zealot that he was , promoted the trite and untrue aphorism "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" and unleashed untold misery on the world ever since.


In 1757, it was perfectly valid because there was no electricity and you cant work in dark.

But today it does not hold truth any more.

Now we have it. We follow a system of beliefs based on ants.
I doubt, at the time Bible was written, they knew about Queen-ant.

But still they have a perfect society, I dont see anything wrong in that. You said Queen ant to be idle. But I think producing ants is tough job.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
The greatest philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, said that " the man who dies rich, dies disgraced." While doesn't directly promote mainly idleness does suggest there is some other spring to the internal clock that could be tapped/wound.
[ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Bacon
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
The exhortation to go to the ant was too eschew laziness not adopt a life-style based on the social structure of ants. I think you're reading too much into it.

As to the early to bed, early to rise... I'm with Ben, it works for me.

I've tried both laziness and industriousness and the latter is ultimately the more satisfying.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I doubt very much that anyone who knew him would have described Benjamin Franklin as puritanical.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Sadanand Murthy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 382
I agree with Ray. Helen, you are reading in between lines that don't exist. The exhortation is to study the ant's industriousness and to point out how that industriousness enables the ant to be prepared for winter. It doesn't recommend mankind to be organized in a an ant-like society.


Ever Existing, Ever Conscious, Ever-new Bliss
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
In Praise of Idleness
by Bertrand Russell.

To sum up.

  • The real villain, from this point of view, is the man who saves. If he merely puts his savings in a stocking, like the proverbial French peasant, it is obvious that they do not give employment.
  • The public expenditure of most civilized Governments consists in payment for past wars or preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a Government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers. The net result of the man's economical habits is to increase the armed forces of the State to which he lends his savings. Obviously it would be better if he spent the money, even if he spent it in drink or gambling.


  • (Another case , European Governments spend humungous amounts on building Very Big Bridges which convey a small amounts of traffic from nowhere to nowhere.)
  • I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.
  • Substitute landlords for landowners.... Unfortunately, their[landowners] idleness is only rendered possible by the industry of others; indeed their desire for comfortable idleness is historically the source of the whole gospel of work.
  • This is the morality of the Slave State, applied in circumstances totally unlike those in which it arose. No wonder the result has been disastrous. Let us take an illustration. Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt..



  • Well , there's tons more. Worth reading.
    Sadanand Murthy
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 382
    Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
    The point is - you could be at your highest potential on 20 hours of sleep.
    How do you know ?
    [ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

    I certainly know how many hours of sleep. Anything over 7 hours & I've a bad hangover for the better part of the day. Less that 6.5 hours, and my mind struggles to move forward.

    Originally posted by Helen Thomas:

    If JK Rowling hadn't sat day-dreaming while looking out of a train window
    when she came up with the Harry Potter characters , the books would never have been.
    [ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]


    And this proves exactly what? I've day-dreamt a lot of times on many different subjects; but I have not written any book. Just goes to proving that there is more to conjuring up characters than day-dreaming.
    Helen Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 1759
    Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
    I doubt very much that anyone who knew him would have described Benjamin Franklin as puritanical.


    I thought Benjamin Franklin definitely started out a Boston Puritan, but one who became much more liberal in the freer atmosphere of Quaker Philadelphia.
    Still puritanical but losing it's non-democratic elements.

    Unless you mean he was a naughty boy.
    [ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
    Helen Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 1759
    Originally posted by Sadanand Murthy:


    And this proves exactly what? I've day-dreamt a lot of times on many different subjects; but I have not written any book. Just goes to proving that there is more to conjuring up characters than day-dreaming.


    Recent Lemsip ad line :"Stop Snivelling and Get Back to Work".
    [ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
    Bacon
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 14, 2004
    Posts: 305
    I think that there is a notion in this thread that working hard is only for the accumulation of wealth or motivated by greed. I have to say that is not always the case. Admittedly it is at times, perhaps most times. I cannot judge the motives of others, only myself.

    I was raised to believe that hard work was virtuous in and of itself and that the results were a secondary consideration. Basically you work hard because it is the right thing to do. This does not mean that you do not rest or relax. I'm not extolling the virtues of the workaholic.

    There is a balance. Somewhere between "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" and "a false balance is an abomination unto the Lord".

    A life out of balance is never a desirable result.

    Just a simple man's simple opinion.
    Sadanand Murthy
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 382
    Originally posted by Helen Thomas:


    Recent Lemsip ad line :"Stop Snivelling and Get Back to Work".

    [ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]


    Yes m'am.
    Helen Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 1759
    As the great British writer Jeffrey Bernard said: "As if there was something romantic and glamorous about hard work ... if there was something romantic about it, the Duke of Westminster would be digging his own f-ing garden, wouldn't he?"

    OR when Holmes solves yet another case with ease,an incredulous Mr Plod character muses: "I wish I knew how you reach your results," to which Holmes replies: "I reached this one by sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag."
    [ August 16, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
    R K Singh
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 5371
    Originally posted by Sadanand Murthy:
    And this proves exactly what? I've day-dreamt a lot of times on many different subjects; but I have not written any book. Just goes to proving that there is more to conjuring up characters than day-dreaming.


    I have slept for 16 hrs in stretch and I have slept for 2 hrs only. But whenever I get up after a sleep I feel fresh.

    I have woken up for 3 days without a single minute sleep and I was perfectly fine in those 3 days. :roll:

    Something must be wrong with me
    Helen Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 1759
    I think we are looking for recommendations for avoiding Killer Antz syndrome by taking a look at the culprits ( Benjamin Franklin, Dr Johnson ) and the saviours (Jeffrey Barnard, JK Rowling, Paul McCartney, Florence Nightingale) in turn.
    Joe King
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 02, 2003
    Posts: 820
    Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
    In Praise of Idleness
    by Bertrand Russell.

    Yeah, Russell is quite a clever guy, his articles tend to be funny and clever at the same time, which is always a good thing. He also writes some interesting things about religion, but they're probably best not to be quoted here.



  • The real villain, from this point of view, is the man who saves. If he merely puts his savings in a stocking, like the proverbial French peasant, it is obvious that they do not give employment.
  • This is true if it is just a simple kind of saving, but its a different story if the saver invests their money in shares. In this case the investment in a company may lead to them employing more people.

    Perhaps someone saving in a stocking can in some cases be a good thing. In a country with a high level of inflation, lowering the amount spent can reduce the inflationary pressure. Unfortunately this is the worst possible time to do this for the saver, as their money becomes worth less (or in a bad case, worthless).


  • The public expenditure of most civilized Governments consists in payment for past wars or preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a Government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers. The net result of the man's economical habits is to increase the armed forces of the State to which he lends his savings. Obviously it would be better if he spent the money, even if he spent it in drink or gambling.


  • The problem with this theory is that the man spends VAT when he gambles and drinks, which goes straight back to the government

  • This is the morality of the Slave State, applied in circumstances totally unlike those in which it arose. No wonder the result has been disastrous. Let us take an illustration. Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt..


  • What is more likely is that instead of there being to many pins, the company will just half its work force. The general message is a good one though - that over-supply is bad. The theory of market forces says that the market should force a reduction in supply if there is too much of a product/service in the market, but unfortunately this doesn't always work. Sometimes there is clearly far more of a particular product produced than will be demanded, the latest Brittney Spears single for example.
    [ August 17, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
    Joe King
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 02, 2003
    Posts: 820
    Originally posted by Ray Marsh:
    I was raised to believe that hard work was virtuous in and of itself and that the results were a secondary consideration. Basically you work hard because it is the right thing to do. This does not mean that you do not rest or relax. I'm not extolling the virtues of the workaholic.


    This seems to be a common theme in many cultures. I wonder if the source of it comes from the feudal system. In the days of feudalistic economies a lord may say to the commoners that live and work on his land "work hard, its a virtue" to try to keep them happy to work. Similarly the church (a large land owner and political power itself) would have encouraged people to be happy when working hard.

    Perhaps the cause is older - perhaps it comes from primitive man's tribal days, when it was vital that everyone worked hard for the good of the tribe. In those days working hard would have been encourage by all and to all members of the tribe.
    Joe King
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 02, 2003
    Posts: 820
    Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
    Holmes replies: "I reached this one by sitting upon five pillows and consuming an ounce of shag."




    I assume that "shag" means something other than the modern usage in this case!
    Helen Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 1759
    Methinks that the modern day "shag" would have meant too much work and wasted energy for Holmes.
    Joe King
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 02, 2003
    Posts: 820
    I was wondering how one goes about "consuming" an ounce of shag
    [ August 17, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
    Warren Dew
    blacksmith
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 04, 2004
    Posts: 1332
        
        2
    Helen Thomas:

    Unless you mean he was a naughty boy.

    It's said that Benjamin Franklin was a "founding father" in more ways than one....

    I think Rowling is at least as bad an example as Franklin in terms of working hard. If she wanted to set a good example, she'd say, "oh, I can't work too hard, you'll just have to wait eight years for the next book" instead of actually trying to meet deadlines as she does.
    Helen Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 1759
    One meaning out of 6 : - shag

    5. [n] a strong coarse tobacco that has been shredded

    Drink and drugs are used plenty by the idle.

    From Florence Nightingale's guilt torn diary we have an idea of an 1850's towering Victorian libido.

    June 21: My enemy let me go and I was free.

    June 24: Here too I was free.

    June 29: Four long days of absolute slavery.
    [ August 17, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
    Frank Silbermann
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 06, 2002
    Posts: 1387
    Oddly enough, the communists also encouraged hard work. I guess communism also promotes slavery. :roll:

    I suppose you can argue that if you work only enough to support yourself, it's like telling strangers in need to drop dead. Of course, it's better for others if you invest your surplus instead of dissipating it on luxuries.

    If you never waste your accumulating fortune on luxury and vice, then you're not really spending more than your share -- your wealth merely gives you a larger share of power (choice and control). Though the concentration of power is bad in principle, it's probably much less concentrated if divided among many thousands of rich people instead of, say, concentrated in the hands of a few dozen top-level government officials. There's really no reason to assume that government officials are going to be any more altruistic than private citizens.
    [ August 17, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
    Warren Dew
    blacksmith
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 04, 2004
    Posts: 1332
        
        2
    Helen Thomas:

    Question deeply the sanity of a religion that holds up the ant as an example of how to live. The ant system is an exploitative aristocracy based on the unthinking toil of millions of workers and the complete inactivity of a single queen and a handful of drones.

    Actually, genetic analysis indicates that it's the workers that are in charge, not the queens. The exceptions are the slaveholding ants, where the queens are in charge.
    KR Campbell
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 26, 2004
    Posts: 124
    I saw an interesting book yesterday about swarm behaviour, the analysis of which is providing a new (to me, anyway) approach to AI. Seems like those ants are ahead of us all the way!
    Mohanlal Karamchand
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 189
    scientific studies reveal that 70% ants are gay.
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: A system of beliefs based on ants