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‘HALF EMPTY’ OR ‘HALF-FULL?’ THE PLANET HAS THE ANSWER

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY DEC. 11, 2017) —  After a trip shopping, the passenger in my car wanted a swig from THE PLANET‘s electrolyte-laced water. She took the bottle, and said, “It’s half full.”  She was correct?

Is the glass (the can, the memory stick, the bleachers, the “anything” that contains or holds quantity) half empty or half full? That question used to be the litmus test for one’s identify as an “optimist” or a “pessimist.” Today, however, with the news and the times so inundated by and from the insane, whip-driven pace of social media, the test has to be examined. That’s not pessimism. That’s skepticism, a prerequisite any good journalist holds for unsupported claims, however obvious.

The presence of liquid justifies saying the water bottle is half full. It cannot be anything but, since the remaining portion of water settles in about half way up the container.  “Half full” suggests with an irrefutable implication that you can put then-again as much water into the bottle, 100% more, and you would  reach capacity. “Half full” is therefore optimistic, because it acknowledges the water that’s present and not absence of anything else. It would be absurd to make a statement about the condition of the bottle by focusing on something that isn’t  there,  which is what one does when they say the bottle is half empty.

For instance, a person does not necessarily know if the bottle was any different before she observed it.  Without forehand knowledge, one can’t assume anything more than what one sees. If there is water in the bottle or fannies in the seats, they are “there,” with other answer logically possible. In this case, THE PLANET had such foreknowledge. We had indeed  earlier filled the bottle to the top and had consumed about half of it when our fellow traveler quaffed in delight — the flavor of orange electrolytes tickling the taste buds, for those keeping score at home.

You may wonder what’s the point in this ephemeric bit of philosophy. Without getting all Nietzsche on you, suffice it to say that words matter. Words, especially written ones, indicate attitude (in writing, called “tone”). Having the same bottle described with opposite and contradictory words (“half empty” vs. “half full”) can only be done by a human being. Animals, or any other sentient creature, don’t have the need to put labels on bottles of water, paintings, trees, or anything else. They digest experience directly, fully, as it is — the old “being in itself” saw. For them, nothing is ever “half” anything. People — inflicted as we are, however — need to reveal themselves when communicating, otherwise the human race would still be stuck with grunts, groans, and gestures when faced with the overwhelming task of communicating.

We subconsciously need to declare ourSelves to others as a form of Self preservation and to prevent the painful fate of being “invisible” to others. Thus, when you “half full” the glass or bottle, you make an assertion about who you are, and optimists in the whole make better traveling companions in life than pessimists. We want them riding shotgun.

“Always say ‘yes’ if ‘yes’ is the answer,” go the lyrics to a country song. THE PLANET agrees. Better to try at success than play it safe by not taking the risk. Such timidity has over the eons resulted in too much failure, disappointment, and heartache. Perhaps those sad adjuncts describe the fate of all people, since we all eventually die. Knowing what’s ahead, how then does a person ring meaning and value out of such a certain outcome?

Easy. You call the bottle “half full.” We wan’t the “yes” of affirmation … or what’s a life for?

The person in our car did just that. She sat there on the way back from the store, grocery bags full, cracking jokes and making witty observations about life and what-not..

She’s an optimist.

She’s THE PLANET‘s mom.

She turned 96 this month.

96: Not a half-full age, but Full-full one.

——————————————————————————–

“It’s getting hard to be someone, but it all works out.”John Lennon, “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The Usual Disclaimer.

 

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Dick Flimsy
Dick Flimsy
3 years ago

How sweet it is!

Cos
Cos
Reply to  Dick Flimsy
3 years ago

To Mom.”How Sweet it is to be Loved by You!

mi
mi
Reply to  Dick Flimsy
3 years ago

Yeses,how sweet it is. The upcoming water debacle will be the biggest rip-off for the sig, since the inception of taxpayer pick pocketing.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  mi
3 years ago

If Tyer and the council are taking advice from Turocy and Kirwood then AECOM then Pittsfield will be fleeced once again.

Unwanted Carl
Unwanted Carl
3 years ago

Speaking of full. What does Mom think of the nonsense going on at City Hall, speaking of full?

Pat
Pat
3 years ago

It also brings to mind the saying that if life hands you lemons, you need to make lemonade. I always liked that one.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
3 years ago

My favorite was the Johnny Cochran one…if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit. And for our Country Fans! dance with who brung ya.

Fugimoto Hockalugi
Fugimoto Hockalugi
Reply to  Shelly Liver
3 years ago

If the toter don’t fit you can’t get rid of your $h!t.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Not the time to use free cash for toters. Seems like tax relief isn’t a priority with this administration .No Toters at this time.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Givebacks to Covanta and Beacon on the backs of taxpayers?

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  Bill Q
3 years ago

The gift to Covanta was to keep it operating for a few more years so city officials might find where to get rid of our trash. Otherwise it would have closed last March and we would be up the creek as far getting rid of our garbage goes. It would have cost us a lot more than $500,000. Whether or not city officials are doing anything to be ready for a couple of years down the road when Covanta tells us again that its about to close is anybody’s guess.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
Reply to  Thomas More
3 years ago

Gift, well said, this is a thriving company. Are they committed when the contract comes up?

Ed Check
Ed Check
3 years ago

If there is so much money available, why not bring back unlimited trash drop off at the covanta facility for Pittsfield residents.

For toter…put it out to bid with the hauler providing trash toters and trucks to handle it. If it is such a great deal, the bids will reflect the savings. This will give you a true number for the real cost, not wasting city resources to do this.

Arial Black
Arial Black
3 years ago

may your glass be half full and your toter half empty

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

IBerkshires has a little story naming and picturing the 10 worst intersections in Pittsfield. I would suggest a better story would be about the total lack of enforcement of idiots running red lights that are making these intersections dangerous. By themselves the intersections are not hurting anyone.

Supposedly Pittsfield is paying out a lot more money for police and I thought I heard something about a traffic division. And I thought this meant maybe there would be some crackdown on the nutso out of control red light violations. But apparently the mayor does not like that approach. It might be better to redesign all the intersections and pay a fortune of taxpayer money to solve this complicated problem.

I would say in this case the brain is half full.

Speed Racer
Speed Racer
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Great to see someone mention and notice all the red light running in this town, outside, or course, of Officer Krupkey and Sergeant O’Hara, but O’Hara is busy monitoring his own officers.

Yup, just last week heading east at the stop light on East St. at the Merrill St. bridge (the one that comes out across from the big GD parking lot).

Three cars in front of me as I pull up to a red light. The first driver was already out in the intersection (as we do) waiting, so he went. Car behind him went too (a bit of a stretch already).

But then the THIRD driver went–just as the big box truck was coming into the intersection, because, you know, he, the truck, actually had a GREEN light.

Why and how there’s not an accident at least once every 30 minutes in this town is a mystery.

It knows no prejudice as to age, sex, socioecomomic status, either, or private or government employee (that means you, USPS letter carriers in a USPS vehicle. I know because the vehicles is brightly colored and says so right on the side).

If my light turns green, and you’re in the intersection, you ran the red light. Not supposed to do that. Someone might get hurt.

Bill Q
Bill Q
Reply to  Speed Racer
3 years ago

Nine out often there’s never a cop around, but on N Street for instance street jaywalking is a common occurrence, where is the law? The other thing I love is cars obscuring people in the cubs. Lenox is the worse.

LoneGunMan
LoneGunMan
Reply to  Bill Q
3 years ago

The law is too busy shooting people and sitting on top of Wal Mart

Speed Racer
Speed Racer
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

OK, you blew it now. The city will look for a consultant to give kick-backs to and have them go around the city to count the number of intersections. Should only cost about 100K.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Speed Racer
3 years ago

I have a question for the legal minds out there. Can I sue an intersection if one accosts me? I mean if I knew it was dangerous but I still went there is that disqualifying?

And can’t all these intersection cameras offer evidence to the police that things are way out of control? Does the city have a reason they might want to share as to why I see so many people blowing thru red lights but almost never see anyone called on it?

Maybe the police would not have to spend so much time writing up accident reports if less people were risking the lives of everyone else on the road.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Immunity

Dustin
Dustin
Reply to  Shakes His Head
3 years ago

Incredible response. What a mind. Not

NIB
NIB
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Running red lights is alot more dangerous than someone going 11 MPH over the speed limit but the latter is getting all the attention and only on a few streets.
If the cops sat at all these dangerous intersections and handed out tickets for red light violations they could pay for all their salaries, and half the school department’s budget.

Speed Racer
Speed Racer
Reply to  NIB
3 years ago

It just dawned on me this morning (at dawn) that people drive like idiots in this town because they’re all late for the birth of their first child or grandchild.

Either that, or they really are idiots.

Speedy here has commented before that it normally takes all of 10 minutes to get from one end of town to the other. On a slow day it might take 11.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Police got huge speeding grant ot money so they hand it out to the cops and they work sundays getting 50 bucks an hours with no traffic out

Madame Du Barry
Madame Du Barry
3 years ago

Road repair at midnight would be the best solution for overtime, especially on side streets.

mi
mi
3 years ago

Anyone see Mrs. McNeice speak at the November City Council meeting on the mismanagement of funds at the P P D. Go Heather!

h
h
3 years ago

Why do we need Toers? Why was the line painting so late. Questions to the Shuffeler.

h
h
3 years ago

Why was the salt and care for roads last winter so excessive and why was this a late entry to the budget?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  h
3 years ago

That sounds like a personnel question and as you know the mayor does not talk about personnel issues.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

How does property values go up 5G ?

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Kufflink Politics. Throw it out there, see if it sticks, the taxpayer as opposed to the special interest, always LOSES. Get it approved with fudged numbers and unavailable promises and mix in the ingredients of fear,and voila, you have have one more massive amount of debt and higher taxes.

Bill Q
Bill Q
3 years ago

Remember the mountain of sand over at Clapp Park a few years ago, what was that all about. all about reserves?

gocometti
gocometti
3 years ago

Downtown Pittsfield Inc, has a new Director…just how many have there been since it began ? Every one was a hands-on kind of person…every one was suppose to keep businesses downtown.
When will the City stop funding this total waste of taxpayers money
which changes its goals and objectives when it fails its mission?

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
Reply to  gocometti
3 years ago

Easy answer,forever ever! Someone has to support the n y er’s

NIB
NIB
Reply to  gocometti
3 years ago

Just another no-show or very part time job making big bucks. If you were connected – but not qualified – you could have applied.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
3 years ago

We need the Jackson Five to do a benefit at the P E D A site next summer. We’ll be low on FreeCash, just a thought.

Trisha Trasha
Trisha Trasha
3 years ago

Luke Diesi n Last Jedi.

Kleptocrat
Kleptocrat
3 years ago

Half empty or half full? In Pittsfield just half assed.

Cos
Cos
3 years ago

Former Commisioner Forrestal said it all. The City will take a bath on the new Toter system.To say we have to have it, is absurd.

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  Cos
3 years ago

It basically amounts to the hauler strong-arming the city into paying the financing for its new fleet of trucks so it can layoff employees and then sell out to a company run by organized crime. Boy, the city’s reputation as an easy scam mark is quickly spreading. The only victims….Taxpayers!!!

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

So in addition to being careful about the red light runners be vigilant for those who are too lazy to clean snow off their windshield.
And be super watchful for those who do both at the same time because they have a death wish and do not care if they take you with them.

NIB
NIB
Reply to  dusty
3 years ago

Lazy describes the population of Pittsfield very well. Or is it half lazy or half not lazy?

Madame, Du Barry
Madame, Du Barry
3 years ago

How does the state afford all of these enor ous pensions they’re paying out, go to Boston HeraldPayroll. Incredible.How does the Ity do it?

Cosbies
Cosbies
3 years ago

Planeteers, just saw a East Greenbush public school Bus, anyone know what that is for? Short Bus.

h
h
3 years ago

Is the Toter Rep associated with Covanta, in any way? Why do White and Krol always give a double stink eye when questioning something you know they’re going to vote for?

Harrison
Harrison
Reply to  h
3 years ago

It gives them the opportunity to thank the mayor for a job well done.

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  h
3 years ago

Only over drinks when the hauler says….”Wow, I gotta get me a piece of that action”

H
H
3 years ago

I can’t control the way I vote in most of the wards. But for the at-large, if this nonsense is voted in, I will not vote for any incumbents and will be one big pain in the ass advocating for my neighbors on the first complaint of this expensive, needless proposal. It will cost less if we stay the way we are and recycle better

Two Cents
Two Cents
3 years ago

Just curious…what citizens feel about how the city of Pittsfield handled plowing during the Tuesday storm. One emergency responder told me the roads were terrible and there were accidents everywhere. Maybe the city is getting a piece of tow truck action now after discovering the windfall of parking tickets. Or maybe, it’s just that incompetent!!!

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Two Cents
3 years ago

All councilors were pissed that last year they pretreated the roads .Safe roadcare is expensive and it should be done.Council has no problem with school department hiring 80 k deans of students and no problem giving more money to the new title given to secretary at the building department….new money too

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
3 years ago

Where was the leadership on that one? The roads are awful and
Usally the plows do a half way decent job, today not the case on my street anyway. Are they in Boston partying again, the Sox aren’t playing, are they?

U wanted
U wanted
3 years ago

Bigger fish to fry to tonight, bloaters.

tito
tito
3 years ago

Hey, Pittsfield is entering the Film Industry, toters would be filmed as they go I to the truck. A gentleman spoke eloquently during a Council Meeting many months ago concerning the stipend for the School Committee and the same applies to the Toter system. If it aim’t broke why fix it?

The school committee
The school committee
3 years ago

Just deal with the multiple apartment house trash problem,single homes are not a problem or duplexes

H
H
Reply to  The school committee
3 years ago

Where have you gone Planet Di Maggio, no mo Planet T V ?Shucks.

dusty
dusty
3 years ago

MAGA Fox news just had a military expert on telling what the latest NYC bomber did wrong and why he did not wind up killing more people. Not only did he detail what the guy did wrong but explained in detail how to do it right.

I feel like I must be going nuts that there is an American going on national television telling anyone who will listen how to make a effing bomb. I thought we were trying to discourage that sort of thing.