1.29.16

-Tradition is the opposite of innovation, but both share the common genus of “things irrationally treated as universally good”.  Political groups praising tradition are trading in the same sort of sloganeering as tech firms praising innovation.

-Tradition! Innovation! A Revolution! …In shaving!

-The most remarkable tradition in Catholicism is just that it continued to recite it the creed. This seems banal, but it is not what one would have predicted from a continuance of Old Testament religion. There, observance of Passover disappears for years, the vowels of the tetragrammeton are forgotten (though this happened later), the book of the law is found in the wall and surprises and saddens everyone with what it says (2 Kings 22). Imagine if the Church forgot about the Incarnation for a few centuries before rediscovering it in the process of renovating a cathedral.

-Traditions often become intolerable before we find anything better to replace them with, and to lose them to inferior things is also intolerable.

-Is traditionalism misplaced ancestralism? Rationalized or enlightened ancestor veneration? There is at least one important difference: the ancestor is a definitive historical moment, even where we don’t know how far we are from it or where exactly in history to locate it while the tradition claims to fade back to time out of mind. The tradition arises organically and from many sources while the ancestor just is a single source.

-Most time is cyclical: it’s Friday again, January again, 1:00 again, afternoon again, winter again. We tend to assume that this is not a physical meaning of time, but that scientific time must be either non-existent or linear. Is this only because time is already weird enough without having to understand its circular/linear duality?

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