Slow and Steady

The reasons for combining beer and philosophy in this blog are many. Beer and philosophy are both luxuries, even when they are at their lowest quality. Societies that have placed great value on one have historically placed great value on the other. They even have occasionally produced similar physical effects on people. But the primary reason for their combination is the complimentary way in which they pace each other.

Arthur Schopenhauer mocked erudite accademics who pride themselves on the sheer quanity of reading they have done. “Ah, how little they must have had to think about, to have been able to read so much!” Like drinking beer, reading should be done at a leisurely pace. There is no glory (outside of a frat party) in drinking more beer than anybody else and there is no prize (to my knowledge) for having read the most books. Both beer and philosophy are to be savored, pondered over and really understood, rather than consumed so quickly that one can hardly be said to have “enjoyed” them. We may leave for another time the question of Natural Light and romance novels, which may be the exceptions that prove the rule.

Beer of the Week: Carlsberg – The can announces that this is “probably the best beer in the world.” It is safe to say the beer falls short of the claim. It is good, but not the world’s best. It is slightly sweet and slightly sour and finishes with a crisp (although fairly weak) hoppy tingle. There is something unusual about it, but it’s hard to pin down. This beer is certainly worth taking some time to think about.

Reading of the week: from On Men of Learning by Arthur Schopenhauer – Schopenhauer, who may best be described as “an old crank”, blasts modern academia, Pliny the Elder, and specialists of all sorts. Even though he admits that no individual can ever learn “even the thousandth part” of the knowledge “which would be generally worth knowing,” one has to attempt to spread himself across many fields and find ways to turn information into inspiration.

Question of the week: What sort of ratio is appropriate in terms of time spent reading and time spent thinking about what one has just read? Is the ratio of time spent drinking beer to time between drinks similar?

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