Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Magic Bus to Cabo Pulmo

I've been in La Paz, Mexico for a week.  Remember; I hitchhiked up here.  I dove with the sea lions and for the most part, I read.  I remember my mentor making a comment about reading.  I have to ask him about it again, but it was basically that people no longer read difficult material.  When I heard that, I thought, two things.  One, it was, yeah - that's true isn't it?  Two, it was damn, that means I should continue reading difficult material even though I'm not in school anymore.

Reading difficult material is like fighting against the status quo.  It's already hard enough to find the time to read, but our markets are flooded with literature I'm sure is aimed to make us complacent.  We have entertaining reads like: Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey and Harry Potter. And although they provide some nominal value, what more do you get out them?  You really have to take an extra step to create a reading list, find these books, get these books, and then work hard at understanding them.

On that note, I read Justice Loius Brandeis' biography - which inspired me.  He graduated at his time with the highest gpa at Harvard Law, became one of the most progressive lawyers and justices of his time, and strategized new ways to change the law.  I was inspired to read his biography because he wrote the second most influential law review articles of all time.  He wrote on the Right to Privacy - in which he develops new law that says - We have the right to be left alone.

I then read a famous economic piece on law.  And then, I read Oliver Holmes' famous Path of the Law.  I'll share with you the most inspiring thing that Justice Holmes said.  He said that the one with the most power is not one with money.  Get this: It is one who "commands ideas."  Notice he didn't say it was one who creates ideas or understands ideas or knows ideas.  No, it's the person who commands them.  Makes it his or her own.  And then launches an idea into action.  And uses it to persuade others.  One only need to look at the influence of Descarte and Kant's legacy to understand this. 

So, reading that is probably the most significant thought I've gained since January, making my trip to La Paz now doubly worth it as I also met a cool person from Italy. 

I met some Portuguese fellows the other day.  We had lunch the other day.  I had bisteca (steak) with beans and jamaica.  I saw them off to the bus stop.  They were going to ferry into the mainland of Mazatland from Baja California.  They added to my reading list by giving me the names of their best authors. 

I met two German medical students yesterday.  They were interested in me too because they saw I was "doing" nothing.  But I told them, I'm reading, thinking, and researching.  I told them the idea I learned about commanding ideas, and I saw their eyes light up as well - as they understood I hit on an important concept. 

I also met an Italian gypsy, who sells fancy stones and wears clothes like he's from Arabia.  He has a Volkswagon Magic Bus.  We're going to drive to the beach today.  I won't have anymore internet or a hot shower until the 4th or 5th of June.  I'm going to sleep in his magic bus.  Oh, so sad: no more wifi.  So we'll see how this goes.

I'll take pictures.  I'm supposed to learn some Italian cooking from him.

PS: I also am catching up on the HBO series: Game of Thrones.

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