Malcolm X.

I’m starting to realize how hard it is to improvise my sentences while writing with a pen. My pencil – and computer – has spoiled me. I tend to write down any sentences that come to my mind that seem to work without much thought. But with a pen, too often, my plan for a sentence changes just a little bit when I am half way into it. Because I cannot erase liquid pen ink, that sentence’s initial form forces me, aiming for coherence, to adjust my thought to it. This usually gives me fluffy and opaque language.

Suppose I accidentally begin a sentence with the passive voice where unecessary, such as “I was compelled.” I then realize the mistake. But because I cannot erase it, to fix it, I end up writing “I was compelled by…” I have one of two choices: continue the problematic sentence or cross it out. One day, though, because of this same problem, I did something else: it compelled me to tear out several pages of hideous writing to rewrite it with a pencil. That’s how bad it was. Writing with a pen, it seems to me, has become a game of compromises between me and my sentences. Until I learn to keep my thoughts together and plan a writing beforehand, I suspect I will continue to have this problem.

On March 13th, I decided to design a few more Elaboraet vector art pieces in Inkscape. I may never use them, but it sure was fun to make them.

Click on an image to see its full preview.

Yesterday, March 17th, I created a bunch of navy blue vector art wallpapers for my installation of Puppy Linux. Here is a slideshow with those wallpapers:

Click on an image to see its full preview.

Roger Scruton (1945-2020)

“For ordinary people, the materialist vision is rather seductive; they become obsessed by the vision of the human being as a merely physical object, a lump of flesh suspended between the two poles of pleasure and pain. And that reductive vision gives rise to all that is most repugnant in the culture that now agonizes us. Human beings are put on display as objects, deprived of their freedom and divested of their capacity for love, gift, sacrifice, and service. And many people spend their days gripped by images of this degradation, watching the physical destruction of fellow human beings in violent movies or their physical excitement in pornographic movies. These loveless images are tempting because they remove from the human condition all that is difficult and demanding, and all that makes life worthwhile—the love, commitment, sacrifice, and giving through which we cultivate our better natures and connect with the realm of sacred things. They are visions of hell and owe their charm to the ease with which we can embrace them, leaving all the difficulties of personal life behind.”

Roger Scruton in Sacred Truths in a Profane World on Renovatio Journal

Last week, after learning about the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton’s death on January 12th, I thought back to the time I first listened to him almost three years ago, in a video of a talk he had with the Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf about the meanings of Conservatism.

In it, I noticed that Roger Scruton was a close friend to Islam, not the opposite as some presuppose, and quickly grew fond of his other talks and even a few of his books. His conservative and optimistic thought aligned closely with prominent Islamic virtues and ideas. In eloquent and beautiful writing, Scruton’s article, Sacred Truths in a Profane World, from which I quote above, discusses whether sacred truth can exist in a destructive modern era.

“We no longer believe in magic connections, and even the concept of human freedom begins to crumble and give way beneath the tide of debunking explanations. The face of the world gradually begins to cloud over: the sun no longer smiles; the birds cease to sing; the naiads vanish from the groves, while the wind in the long grass no longer whispers of God’s love for us. The enchanted world of our ancestors is replaced by a routine exhibition of causal connections. And the laws of motion that govern the universe begin to look like chains, by which we too are bound.”

New look

This new WordPress interface certainly refreshes Elaboraet and adds life to the old and gray colors of the original. But do these pretty images of trees, clouds and green waving grass add to the intended serious, academic attitude of Elaboraet? Do they detract the reader’s attention from the written text and onto the website’s design itself?

These are important questions, and my doubts surrounding them made me refrain from replacing the old Elaboraet entirely. I don’t expect to replace the previous version immediately.