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Wandering through history

'Just got back from a long walk. Jennette has gone for the weekend, and Brenden, the other room-mate, has been scarce. After hanging about the house, and napping, for the afternoon, I decided to pay a visit to Hintonberg after dinner. Stopping in at the Alphasoul Café for a tea, I was watched the comings and going of men, women, children, and beasts winged and legged, and listened to the night's performers tune and practice. The feminine half of the duo sat with her guitar and practised on the bench a ways down from my table, and so I got to enjoy some live music, without the cover-charge.

After finishing, I wandered eastwards. While passing the buildings and businesses by, I contemplated wandering through there again, later in the summer, to look for apartments. Arriving at the corner of Preston, I turned south, completely upsetting a prior plan to walk through Chinatown. Instead, I wandered through Little Italy, and kept one eye open for those cafés which Eve insisted were there, but eventually arrived at Dow's Lake and found myself no more greatly enlightened than when I'd started. And so, I wandered on aimlessly, enjoying the smell water, the gardens of wilting tulips, and the overhang of willow-trees. I mused on the fact that Hintonberg and Little Italy had more history than any other area of Ottawa in which I'd spent any time. Perhaps I should say they possessed more history, and lived it more. Other areas had history for sale, and placed on display in fine relief for idle gawking, but no one would ever take it home and live with it.

Along the way, I contemplated both the phenomena of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and pollution a bit more, and the differences between Strauss, Voegelin, and Polanyi on the issue of scientism. I've no doubt that Voegelin and Polanyi had a much deeper understanding of scientism than Strauss, who did not perceive that "modern, value-free science" was not simply destructive of the humanities, but entirely destructive of science. Strauss, I think, did not perceive that scientism or "modern science", being ultimately an art of control and manipulation, was not merely a danger to human flourishing when extended to politics. It was wrong simply: that is to say that it is an entirely mistaken (not to say deranged) pseudo-faith or ideology, which can never possibly attain what it strives for. It can, however, do untold damage to scientific culture, human life, and to the political landscape in its doomed flailings for utopia, as have many another ideology in their wakes.

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