Blog # 183       UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

It may be of some interest, considering the previous publication of 182 posts, to touch on the existence of plinyblog,  its raison d’etre and choice of pen name.

Classical scholars would know that there were two Plinys who were prominent citizens of ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder and his nephew, Pliny the Younger. Scholars are everlastingly grateful for the treasure trove of erudite letters written by the nephew, which reportedly provides a rich source of information on the life and times of ancient Rome. With no desire to be presumptuous, we have chosen the latter as our namesake.

Our choice to use a nom de plume was motivated by the following considerations. We have felt it necessary to speak, at times, in the language of aspiration and high principle; the use of third person tense and fictionalized name is an attempt to establish a context of objectivity and for the avoidance of the possible criticism of personal editorializing, or worse, the arrogant voicing of selected aphorism.

We have observed that the institution of society is an essential prerequisite to the development of the individual and his personal sense of identity, that living in a  society provides the benefits of shared and assigned responsibilities, the opportunity for interactive communication and the learning from shared experience, and as to our consistent theme, the opportunity for leisure and personal growth.

Many in fact, in their aspiration to a full life, pursue self-enhancement by such activities as reading good literature, keeping informed as to the arts and sciences and, appropriately, respecting scholarship and learning. However, far too many in society, unfortunately, seem to manifest a preference for populist, uneducated and reductionist sentiment, relegating scholarship and the pursuit of enlightenment to a lower platform than superficial, easily accessible entertainment. Such preference for ephemeral diversion and the overt disparagement of efforts toward the development of man’s comprehension of himself and his environment amount to a veritable tragedy and fundamentally, from the standpoint of human evolution, are despicable acts of ingratitude for nature’s gift of a highly developed brain.

It is the troubling recognition of such tragic waste of human potential that was and is the essence of our purpose and earnest preoccupation in the establishment of plinyblog.

The awareness of ourselves and those around us, the development of a morality based upon self-esteem and not reward and punishment, the search for insight and wisdom, the acceptance of others, the satisfactory realization that significant perceptions are personal and internal, the capacity for empathy and love, are all qualities that this writer seeks to remind others, as well as himself.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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