About PRA 2.0

Ben Franklin’s original Poor Richard’s Almanack was a “mixture of seasonal weather forecasts, practical household hints, puzzles, and other amusements…”  along with a lot of witty wordplay, colorful colloquialisms and Franklin’s favorite aphorisms, such as:

“There are no gains without pains.”

or

You may think, perhaps, that a little tea, or a little punch now and then, diet a little more costly, clothes a little finer, and a little more entertainment now and then can be no great matter but remember what Poor Richard says “Many a little makes a mickle; beware of little expense for a small leak will sink a great ship.”

The Almanack has become a treasure of Americana, republished in many formats at many times. You may enjoy spending some time with original versions of Poor Richard’s Almanack, authored under the pseudonym of “Richard Saunders”:

Excerpts from Poor Richard’s_Almanack

Excerpts with 1756 edition facsimilie pages

Poor Richard’s Almanack 2.0 (PRA 2.0) is my attempt to illustrate various subjects related to human cognition, behavior, and opinion in the context of current events, popular culture, and the weather in as witty and sarcastic a style as I can. A recurrent theme will be that most human error can be attributed to some form of bad mental hygiene. Before we can save our world we must heal ourselves. Unfortunately our leaders and activists, along with all the rest of us, are a few marbles short of being self-aware, rational agents.

Benjamin Franklin wrote in his 1750 Poor Richard’s Almanac that “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” (Quoted in “Know Thyself’ — Easier Said Than Done” by the Association for Psychological Science)

Comments and ratings

Please rate the articles you read here and comment on them if you have time.  The comment link is easy to miss–its at the very bottom of each article after the list of “tags” (categories and keywords).

As a compulsive generalist, I am painfully aware of my lack of depth in any particular subject. I don’t mind putting plenty of color in my remarks, but I don’t want to publish factual errors. If you find any, PLEASE point them out.

You don’t have to register to rate the PRA 2.0 posts or leave comments (though I will delete comments that are too obnoxious or just plain spam).

NO TREES  OR ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE PRODUCTION OF THIS BLOG

1739 Edition of Poor Richard's Almanac

Image via Wikipedia

In addition to the weather, household tips, folk wisdom, and insights into human nature and mental health in general, featured subjects include:

This blog is dedicated to the memory and rational example of Benjamin Franklin, and to Dr. Thomas J. Sandy, PsyD, who challenged me to “write something”...

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “About PRA 2.0”

  1. bart raguso Says:

    Dear Master Poor,
    wanted you to know I am enjoying your website on several levels,,,got here from Dave Pollard’s site, How to Save the World. I like your idea of going back to the original founders and definers of what comprises the American experience, there is certainly a lot of value there and much that has been lost under the duress of our modern tech age. Thanks for bringing us back into a relationship to some of our founding principles.
    At the same time you obviously evidence and indicate a fairly thorough embracing of many modern assumptions which are part of our cultural “mental set”. I do think the depth and breadth of your knowledge is impressive. I would ask if you think there is a way to separate ourselves from our cultural conditioning, in other words, is there a way get outside of all the tacit assumptions of the age we happen to be in? Is there a way to define an objective reality without our own point of view coloring the results, somewhat akin to the Heisenberg principle, ?
    Personally, I tend to feel scientific objectivity is an illusion although I do value science as a technique and a valuable tool of our minds. But of course it is not a “Way”. I also value skepticism and not accepting data without quantifiable corroberation.
    I thought that science and religion were mutually exclusive for much of my life, but I have come to the conclusion that the more one learns about scientific discoveries, the more one is drawn to a sense of awe at the marvelous complexity of how things actually work. I think part of the tragedy of our current age, and we are still in an infantile stage, is that we still have not reconciled our relationship with our planet.
    As long as we define the universe as a machine, I think we will be stuck in a narcisscistic and therefore infantile view of our true relationship to the cosmos, by whatever name you choose to give it. And all our skeptical observations will not save us from our emotional immaturity.

    • Poor Richard Says:

      Thanks for the comments, Bart.

      About science and spirituality: if you study the history and philosophy of science thoroughly I think you will find that proper science makes no claim to absolute certainty or objectivity. The general public and a certain percentage of people in science fail to understand this or remember it.

      I don’t see a problem thinking of the universe or living things as if they were machines as long as we don’t try to convince ourselves that we know more about those machines than we really do. Or if you prefer, as long as we consider it an imprecise or incomplete analogy or metaphor. I think exactly the same “uncertainty principle” should be applied to spiritual ideas. If you want a more extensive discussion of science and spirituality please see “Is Spritual the New Supernatural?” https://almanac2010.wordpress.com/spiritual-new-supernatural/

      PR

  2. Richard McCrady Says:

    I would like to know how I can buy Poor Richard’s Almanack 2.0 in book form.

    • Poor Richard Says:

      Thanks for asking, Richard, but I don’t have sufficient concentration or motivation to produce anything more “finished” than this blog or my Facebook page. You are welcome to use anything you like from here in a book if you include proper attributions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: