Comments about technology, economics, politics, philosophy – virtually everything other than my own life these days.

A few days ago, a friend said he had become a libertarian and preferred small government – then asked me whether I favored big or small government.

That frustrated me – not because of my friend, but just how common this question is. The problem – for me – is simply that neither a big or small government is necessarily doing what is necessary and appropriate. Big and small don't necessarily imply specific services.

Thanks to my friend's question, I decided to see how political views like mine might be characterized – so I searched for political view tests on the web.

The political typology quiz provided by Pew Research Center was the most highly rated by Google Search – and the quiz was limited to 16 questions – but when I saw the first question, I was really frustrated again:

**If you had to choose, would you rather have…**
    A smaller government providing fewer services
    A bigger government providing more services 

The option of rejecting that choice was not allowed. The forced choice frustrated me so much I didn't continue. Instead, the first quiz I finished was from The Political Compass. This rates political views in four categories:

Authoritarian Left
Authoritarian Right  
Libertarian Left 
Libertarian Right.

I was rated as being a mild member of the Libertarian Left group – interesting but there was not much description of individual characteristics.

So my next such quiz was by My Political Personality – Non-Profit, Independent – which fascinated me because it characterized you as one of eight political personalities:

  1. Utopian Virtuoso

  2. Social Guardian

  3. Astute Logician

  4. Stalwart Nationalist

  5. Justice Warrior

  6. Freedom Steward

  7. Growth Capitalist

  8. Civic Observer

I was rated as a Social Guardian. The description of individual characteristics was generally appealing to me but did not feel totally appropriate to my views.

So, in frustration, I returned to the political typology quiz and took it despite my initial frustration. What amused me was that in this quiz, I fell into a group called the Ambivalent Right, which is 12% of the population.

What did I learn from all this? Something that I had already suspected – a whole lot of us just fall between left and right – and are rated by others based on a conversation about specifics. One example: in a conversation about business in my very liberal neighborhood, I would be considered a conservative – but in a conversation about social values such as abortion, I would be considered a liberal.

So I'm apparently both left and right, as well as conservative and liberal....

I first read this science fiction novel over five decades ago – perhaps while in junior high school. That period was, if I remember correctly, when my reading was very focused on science fiction, which, of course, this book was considered a classic even then. What I remembered from that book was the main character's departure from a hill above his town at midnight, then his encounter with the Other Men, as he called them ... and then the encounter with stars as having intelligence, followed by his return to the same time and place he had mentally departed.


On June 8, I did my initial post on James Nestor's best seller, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, while I was still reading the book. After I finished it on June 11, three days later, I started watching several YouTube videos of interviews with Nestor. While still reading the book, I had started various breathing exercises.


Though still reading James Nestor's New York Times best seller, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, I did my walk yesterday and today with the goal of walking fast enough to want to breathe more deeply – and yet to keep breathing from my nose, rather than my mouth.


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