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Today's broadcast, Ultimate Evil, is about the root of evil, or the essence of evil. The broadcast is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

I mention two authors in the broadcast who have overwhelming influence in how we perceive ourselves - Dante and Shakespeare. There shall be ample opportunity to discuss Shakespeare in other contexts, so I'd like to comment on Dante this time.

According to Dante's Inferno, In the Ninth Circle of Hell is reserved for the treacherous and traitorous. This is perhaps the first place, outside of the Quran, where Satan is depicted as defiant and an enemy of God, which is the ultimate betrayal. Next to Satan, with their feet encased in ice, for Satan's wings continously flap a frigid wind from the void at the center of the earth, are two other ultimate betrayers - Judas and Brutus. In Dante's world-view, these characters epitomise the evil of betrayal, turning on great and virtuous men in their life-times for a pittance of power or flawed principles. If written today in America, our values might place less effective betrayers like Benedict Arnold or Richard Nixon there. However, that betrayel should occupy the ultimate evil space, I think, is appropriate. Every great human endeavor depends on the complicity of others. Even notoriously reclusive or solitary individuals must be afforded time and space to do their great work. A betrayer, someone who interferes with someone else's work after promising to assist them, can therefore always undermine progress. Other evils seem less intelligent and vindictive than the conscious denial of loyalty required for betrayal. So in this, I think Dante was correct. The ninth circle of hell, which is a reflection of our most damning judgment, is reserved for the treacherous and disloyal.

Incidentally, that means that the dog, among the most loyal of God's creatures, is also one of the most virtuous.

- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, Get Stoic, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, The Quantum State of Good, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

This broadcast was an experiment in packing a very large subject into the small 15 minute window. It seems to have worked, but I worry at times I am rushing. I suppose time will tell. Onward to the next

- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, Good and Company, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

In this broadcast, I reference Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his natural state of being. Whenever you reference an author, it's good to put in the margins or footnotes important information because it's far too easy to summarize or paraphrase important work. So here are the important notes about Rousseau that I did not include in the text of my broadcast:

  • Jean-Jacques was born in Switzerland, so was not a French philosopher, even though he is often categorized as such. He worked for a time for the French government, had close ties in Paris, and was buried with honor in the Paris Pantheon which also houses Voltaire. This was a common oversight because his contributions to French culture were so strong.
  • Rousseau wrote that people were essentially good, and that it was the involvement of others, particularly the judgment of others, that corrupts them. I'll go into this a bit more in a following broadcast.
  • Rousseau's state of nature is introduced in Chapter 4, Book 1 of The Social Contract but this book only describes how the progress of society has corrupted people, and not how to solve the problem, very clearly writing that the original state of nature cannot exist now that humans live in large societies.
  • His solution to the evils of society is education. In Emile, or On Education, he describes how a young boy, Emile, could resist the corrupting influence of others as he pursues prosperity and happiness in a larger society. His enduring theme is that education is the only reasonable way, and to do otherwise is to foster a society of evil.

While I do not agree with Rousseau that people are essentially good, I do think that the presence of others creates the moral dynamic, which is a logical conclusion drawn from his critique of social systems. Envy and spite do not exist in the individual; these are sentiments of a social nature. Therefore, I conclude that good and evil are not inherent qualities of an individual, but of individuals in relation to each other.

- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, Giving Up, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

I'd like to have said more about poetry, as it is a rather broad subject, but my more rambling broadcasts lack the purity of my last two. It appears, though I am pretty new to the medium, that 7 minutes is a sufficient length of time to say something distinct, assuming I don't follow up my exchange with a story. I'll be striving for that in the next few to test this theory.

But in a blog post, perhaps I might go on a bit about just one thing a little longer. You see, there is a political aspect to the poem I chose. Not only was it a presidential dedication, but the poet hails from the halls of one of our most prestigious universities and is a personal friend of our commander in chief. In essence, she is a person of power and prestige, of the upper class, or in the parlance of this year, part of the 1%. This aspect of any composition, of the privilege to create and be heard at a presidential inauguration, must therefore intrude on what might seem like a more empirical anecdote about believing in oneself.

And that, perhaps, is why this poem, Praise song for the day, seems so disingenuous. It claims by its language to be about ordinary people, and also claims unity with the repetition of the pronoun "us." (as in "All about us is noise and bramble") But the persona composing the poem is not ordinary, and things like patching a tire or making music on an oil drum are probably far from her personal experience. If I am mistaken in this, for I do not know her personally, then it really doesn't come out in the poem, and it appears I am not alone in my disappointment:

So let it be said that poetry can express very well any aspect of living, and that life is not limited to any one person's experience. Your song, whoever you are, does not belong to others. Though we all require practice, the knowledge of your perspective is valuable and cannot be faked, even on a momentous occasion in history.

- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, The Mask, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:



itunes hasn't updated my podcast in three weeks, but I'll keep updating the RSS feed:



It's difficult not to do a show with just music. There are many great songs and performers in the world, and I draw a great amount of inspiration from them. Although music executives prefer personalities to sell, stars if you will, the basic selling point of music is its great evocative qualities. On a radio program, as opposed to seeing a live act, music more or less hinges on this quality, and not the star. For this reason, I could talk about specific songs and artists almost without end. However, I can only showcase a few before this show ceases to be a discussion of spiritual life without belief, which remains my primary focus.


- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, The Mighty Moral Choice, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

itunes hasn't updated my podcast in two weeks, but I'll keep updating the RSS feed:

As I become more comfortable with recording, I'm getting to be less critical of every breath or mouse-click being heard in the final cut. This week's broadcast suffers from a lot of noise. I'd be interested to know if this detracted from anyone's enjoyment, assuming they enjoyed previous broadcasts.

- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, Right and Wrong, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:



The itunes podcast should make today's show available when it is able:



I sound a bit different this time, as I've recieved a higher fidelity microphone, which brings with it the problem of filtering
out extra noises, as the motorcycles passing on the street half a block away can now be clearly heard if I am not careful. But as
Turner always said, there is never a new skill you'll never use.


- F. F. White

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Today's broadcast, Good is a Reality, is now available immediately for download or steaming directly on my website:

The itunes podcast, which has finally updated the icon with my program icon, should make today's show available when it is able:

As I learn more about the recording and podcast process, I learn of some of the technical details of these technologies. First, don't use a portable network graphic (.png) file as your icon for itunes, it seems unable to display it. Second, when itunes numbers and orders your podcasts, it adheres to the date stamps on the mp3/4 files, rather than following the instructions in your meta-data file. Fixing my files to meet both of these standards might make my itunes page behave.

- F. F. White

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So, my first broadcast of the Pious Paradox program, The First Step, was a stealth item, coming out on 01Nov2011.

Today's broadcast, The Pious Paradox, is the first official post for the program.

-F. F. White

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