1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Climate Change and Gearing Up for the Next Heave-Ho: It's Turtles All the Way Down, You Know!

Grow fast, little turtle! You've got a big job ahead of you!
'After a lecture on cosmology and the structure of the solar system, William James was accosted by a little old lady.
"Your theory that the sun is the centre of the solar system, and the earth is a ball which rotates around it has a very convincing ring to it, Mr. James, but it's wrong. I've got a better theory," said the little old lady.
"And what is that, madam?" Inquired James politely.
"That we live on a crust of earth which is on the back of a giant turtle,"
Not wishing to demolish this absurd little theory by bringing to bear the masses of scientific evidence he had at his command, James decided to gently dissuade his opponent by making her see some of the inadequacies of her position.
"If your theory is correct, madam," he asked, "what does this turtle stand on?"
"You're a very clever man, Mr. James, and that's a very good question," replied the little old lady, "but I have an answer to it. And it is this: The first turtle stands on the back of a second, far larger, turtle, who stands directly under him."
"But what does this second turtle stand on?" persisted James patiently.
To this the little old lady crowed triumphantly. "It's no use, Mr. James – it's turtles all the way down." '
—J. R. Ross, Constraints on Variables in Syntax 1967

"Men are making speeches... all over the country, but each expresses only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stands on truth. They are merely banded together as usual, one leaning on another and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, and the elephant on a tortoise, and had nothing to put under the tortoise." 
      --Henry David Thoreau, journal entry, 4 May 1852--

"When you’re on deck, standing your watch, you stay vigilant. You plan for every contingency. And if you see storm clouds gathering, or dangerous shoals ahead, you don't sit back and do nothing. You take action — to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. Anything less is negligence. It is a dereliction of duty. And so, too, with climate change. Denying it, or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces...."
     --President Barack Obama, addressing the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2015 on May 20--

Heave Ho! My Lads! Heave Ho!
Give us the oil, give us the gas
Give us the shells, give us the guns.
We'll be the ones to see them thru.
Give us the tanks, give us the planes.
Give us the parts, give us a ship.
Give us a hip hoo-ray!
And we'll be on our way.

Heave Ho! My Lads, Heave Ho!
It's a long, long way to go.
It's a long, long pull with our hatches full,
Braving the wind, braving the sea,
Fighting the treacherous foe;
Heave Ho! My lads, Heave Ho!
Let the sea roll high or low,
We can cross any ocean, sail any river.
Give us the goods and we'll deliver,
Damn the submarine!
We're the men of the Merchant Marine!

--Official Song of The U.S. Maritime Service 
Song of the Merchant Marine
Heave Ho! My Lads! Heave Ho! 
Words and Music by Lieut. (jg) Jack Lawrence, USMS, 1943--


  1. I loved the William James tale. Very amusing. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

    1. So glad you like it, ACIL and thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

  2. The story of the turtle earth sounds very like the indian legends I've read. I liked the quote by Obama. It seems that there is a great divide among the politicians about exactly what we should protect and keep safe. It seems most believe big business is what mostly needs to be protected at the expense of the environment and the American people.

    1. Marnie, the biggest business in this country is arguably government (federal, state, county, city). It receives and disposes of more revenue than any other business I can think of. It's interesting to check on the history of the many and various impacts that government has had on the environment as well as the American people. I'm not saying those impacts are all negative, but even the ones considered positive have unintended consequences. Take, for example, the damage caused by flooding. Dams and levees designed and constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers have permanently altered the natural lay of the land and its ability to absorb and distribute snow melt and rainfall. I'm sure the Corps wasn't plotting and scheming to wreak havoc, but it happens all the same. It's wise to consider all the consequences of any plan that the government has in mind for our "good" and to weigh them carefully.

  3. I'm with Marnie on this subject...:)

    1. I'm glad you weighed in on the discussion, TB!

  4. Hi W2W .. I love the turtle story - especially as I'm enjoying some geology talks at the moment ... and frankly we may be better with the turtle-head than with humans at the helm ... but that may be a little strong - yet so many of us brainful humans don't think ...

    Let's hope all works out ... at least in this life time - thank you! Cheers Hilary

  5. Nice post. thanks for the shared with us. twill