Additions 2017

January 11, 2017

Aquisitions to the CeptsForm Library in 2017.

Updated 6 December

This listing follows earlier Additions posted in previous years. See the links under MY LIBRARY. I cite titles as a public glimpse at my ongoing interests as well as keeping a brief record for library management purposes. Acquisitions are the business record of library additions. Accordingly, each following citation carries only enough information to identify each title’s addition to the collection and is not bibliographically complete. However, I want to make clear what each book is about and provide subtitle words or bracketed clarifications when the title is not specific or may be misleading.

Data includes limited elements: date of acquisition and source, a distinguishing accession number for each volume, abbreviated author, brief title, edition if distinctive, and cost. Accession numbers may appear out of sequence when numbers are inadvertently skipped or deliberately reused for replacement copies, noted by an “r” suffix.

Note on sources: Dr. Joseph Amato (now retired) when Chair of the History Department at Southwest State University in Minnesota, gave me some of the Historical Essay series. Arc’s Value Village, Maplewood is a second hand store with used books as a sideline. Many of them are in boxes. Nevertheless, I persevere. Arizona History Museum in Tucson has a small store with items specific to the region. Augsburg Fortress is the press of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Barnes & Noble (place) a surviving big box store carries a range of items, currently popular, but also orders titles at customer request. Brocket Design provides books, reported through Amazon. Fair Trade Books is a high quality book store in Red Wing, featuring used books, some new, and will order. The owner chooses the books to add and gives credit that allows sellers to draw on for half price discounts on used titles. Alice Ellis is a close friend of the family we have known since college, who on occasion gives us books. Family encompasses books inherited from my parents or their parents. Friends of Ramsey County Library [place] is a non-profit that sells used books in the library’s outlets to fund various library programs. Books are inexpensive, quality is high, choices are few. Half-Price Books [place], the booming discount chain, well-stocked and well-organized where even the used books and discounted remainders can be further reduced for clearance. Other promotions follow frequent customers. I routinely visit stores in Maplewood, Roseville, and Saint Paul. Books are also sold online, though with shipping charges. Library of America since 1979 features classic cultural and literary writings from U.S. authors in elucidating editions and keeps all volumes in print. Books are sold individually or by subscription. Membership in this non-profit provides volumes at slightly reduced prices. Midway Books is a decades old and relatively large (3 floors) used book and magazine store. It occupies a corner of University and Snelling (the busiest intersection in Minneapolis-St. Paul with the Green Line light rail stopping by. My Thrift Store, Saint Paul, at Larpenteur and Rice has added used books to its merchandise; quality books are few but further discounted from the relatively low prices. Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Saint Paul, joins its neighborhood in supplying free books through its Little Library on the corner of St. Clair and Prior. Saint Olaf College Bookstore supports the curriculum with texts, carries works of faculty and alumni, includes children’s literature, and discounted titles.  Savers (place) a chain of thrift stores includes a jumble of books with a few real finds for the persistent. SubText in Saint Paul remains my favorite independent bookstore in Minnesota with an owner who loves literature. Patricia A. Sween knows my interests and at times gives me a book or two. The Swingles is the family pseudonym of our son Kristofer Sween and his wife Donna Dingle. They know I like books.

Added 8 January – Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16257 D. Bettridge, A travel guide to the seven kingdoms of Westeros. 2.15

#6736r J.D. Franklin, Writing for story: … dramatic nonfiction … 2.15

#16258 G.S. Kirk, Myth: its meaning & function … 2.15

#1479r G.S. Kirk, The nature of Greek myths. 2.15

Added 13 January – The Library of America

#16259 C. McCullers, Stories, plays and other writings (Dews). 30.90

Added 17 January

– Family (Berge?)

#16260 M. Ulvestad, Norge i Amerika med kart [Norway in America with map].

Added 20 January, Dr. Joseph Amato

#16261 Historical essays on rural life (Southwest State University, Department of History). gift

Added 28 January, The Swingles

#16262 J. Gunther, Inside Africa. gift

#16263 J. Gunther, Inside Russia today [1958]. gift

#16264 C. Woodham-Smith, Queen Victoria … to the death of the Prince Consort. gift

Added 2 February, Fair Trade Books.

#16283-16285 The encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church (Bodensieck). 3v. 18.55

Added 13 February, Barnes & Noble, Tucson.

#3464r H.S. Lewis, Elmer Gantry. 10.70

Added 16 February, Arizona History Museum.

#16265 Geronimo, Geronimo, my life (Barret). 9.60

#16289 T.E. Sheridan, A history of the Southwest. 10.95

Added 18 February, Savers, Tucson.

#16266 Kinder- und Hausmärchen, Selected folktales (J. & W. Grimm/Appelbaum). 3.85

#16267 Maspero, G. C. C., Popular stories of ancient Egypt (El-Shamy). 3.85

Added 23 February, Library of America.

#3258 S. Jackson, Novels and stories (Oates). 30.90

Added 28 February, Half-Price Books, Roseville

#2893r E. Hemingway, A farewell to arms. 8.00

Added 9 March, Half-Price Books, Maplewood

#16279 S.R. Covey, First things first [conduct of life]. 3.20

 #16280 A history of private life: II. Revelations of the Medieval world (Duby). 6.45

#16281 The spirit of seventy-six: … the American revolution … (Commager & Morris). 3.20

#16282 B.S. Strauss, The Spartacus war. 3.20

Added 9 March, Arc Value Village, Maplewood

#16286 The church, marriage, & the family (Whitehead). 1.75

Added 18 March, Library of America

#16205r E. Bishop, Poems, prose, letters (Giroux & Schwartz). 30.90

Added 21 March, Author

#16287 R.K. Anderson, Selected writings through 1997. gift

Added 21 March, Library Development and Services

#16288 Library and information services issues (Minnesota Governor’s Conference/Sween). gratis

Added 27 March, Ramsey County Library, Roseville.

#16290  Great books of the Western World (Hutchins & Adler) v.1: The great conversation: the substance of a liberal education. 1.00

#16291 D. Quinn, Beyond civilization: humanity’s next great adventure. .50

#16292 D. Satz, Why some things should not be for sale: moral limits … 1.00

Added 6 April, Half-Price Books, Maplewood

#16293 J.H. St. John de Crevecoeur , Letters from an American farmer (Stone). 3.20

#16294 J.C. Holt, Robin Hood; rev. & enl. 3.25

Added 6 April, Midway Books

#16295 J. Steinbeck, Cannery Row (Shillinglaw). 5.40

Added 7 April, Friends of Ramsey County Library, Maplewood

#16296 R.C. Marius & M.E. Page, A short guide to writing about history; 5th ed. 1.00

Added 5 May, Patricia A. Sween

#16297 M. Oliver, Upstream: selected essays. gift

#16298 M. Oliver, West wind: poems and prose poems. gift

Added 6 May , Barnes & Noble, Maplewood

#16299 B. Gracián y Morales, The art of worldly wisdom (Fischer/Schroeder). 7.35

#1109r A. Huxley, The perennial philosophy. 17.25

#16300 H. Petroski, The evolution of successful things. 4.25

Added 8 May, Half-Price Books, Maplewood

#16301 P.L. Fradkin, Wells Fargo and the American West. 3.20

#16302 J. Rudinow & A. Graybosch, Ethics and values in the information age. 3.25

#16303 J.V. Smith, Fiction writer’s brainstormer. 3.20

Added 12 May, Subtext

#16311 E.M. Remarque, The black obelisk (Lindley). 19.40

Added 13 May, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul

#16304 J. Dos Passos,  1919. 5.90

#16305 D. Powell, Novels 1944-1962 (Page): My home is far away; The locusts have no king; The wicked pavilion; The goldenspur. 11.00

Added 16 May, Half-Price Books, Maplewood

#16306 J. Le Carré, pseud.; i.e. D.J.M. Cornwell, The spy who came in from the cold. 7.50

#16307 A.I. Solzhenitsyn, One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich (Willetts). 6.95

Added 16 May, Half-Price Books, Roseville

#16308 J.C. Davis, In defense of civility: how religion can unite … 2.20

#16309 R.M. Gates, Duty: a secretary at war. 3.25

#16310 J.E. Steinbeck, The winter of our discontent. 7.40

Added 19 May, Augsburg Fortress

#16312 L.S. Brugh & G.W. Lathrop, The Sunday assembly using Evangelical Lutheran Worship. gratis

#16313 J.M. Kittelson & H.H. Wiersma, Luther the reformer; 2nd ed. gratis

Added 21 May, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul

#16314 W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, & J.M. Williams, The craft of research; 2nd ed. 3.25

#16315 A. Holden, William Shakespeare. 3.25

#16316 C. Sandler, Henry Hudson. 3.25

#16317 J.G. Stoessinger, Why nations go to war; 8th ed. 3.25

Added 28 May, Half-Price Books, Madison East

#16318 M. Beard, SPQR: … ancient Rome. 12.15

#16319 Body and soul: … sexuality as justice-love (Ellison & Thorson-Smith). 2.55

#16320 J.P. Euben, Corrupting youth: … democratic culture … 5.00

#16321 J. Garvey & J. Stangroom, The story of philosophy: … Western thought. 5.05

#16322 D.L. Pals, Eight theories of religion; 2nd ed. 6.75

#16323 Z. Salzmann, Language, culture, and society; … linguistic anthropology; 4th ed. 5.05

Added 2 June, Saint Olaf College Bookstore

#16324 G. Harvey, Writing with sources; 2nd ed. 1.00

Added 9 June, Fair Trade Books

#16325 T. Hartmann, The last hours of ancient sunlight. 7.80

#16326 H. Hitchings, The secret life of words: … English [language]. 8.40

Added 20 June, Library of America

#16327 D. Powell, Novels 1930-1942 (Page). 35.00

Added 1 July, Library of America

#16328 J.Q. Adams, Diary. I: 1779-1821 (Waldstreicher). 30.90

Added 6 July, Fair Trade Books

#16329 A. MacIntyre, A short history of ethics; 2nd ed. 8.15

#!6330 The Norton anthology of modern poetry; 2nd ed. 16.65

Added 10 July, Pilgrim Little Library

#16331 Nelson’s complete concordance of the Revised Standard Version Bible; 2nd ed. (Ellison) free

Added 10 July, My Thrift Store

#16332  A sense of history … American Heritage [articles from the 1985 edition not included in the 1995 edition. 1.90

#16333 P. Stanford, The legend of Pope Joan. 1.15

Added 13 July, Half-Priced Books, St. Paul

#16334 M. Dennison, The twelve Caesars. 2.15

#16335 J. Fonte, Sovereignty or submission: … Americans … ruled by others? 2.15

#16336 W.H. McNeill, The rise of the West (1963): [lists of illustrations and maps]. 2.15

#16337 G.A. Williamson, World of Josephus. 2.15

Added 26 July, Brocket Design

#16338 R.A. Watson, The philosopher’s diet: … lose weight and change the world. 15.00

Added 28 July, Library of America

#16339 J.Q. Adams, Diaries II, 1821-1848. 30.90

Added 9 August, Arc’s Value Village, Maplewood

#16340 A book of women poets from antiquity to now (A. & W. Barnstone). 1.50

#16341 S.E. Morison, The European discovery of America: the northern voyages. 1.50

Added 16 August, Fair Trade Books

#16342 B. Brecht, Mother Courage and her children/Mutter Courage und ihre kinder (Kushner). 4.25

#16343 B. Dunham, Man against myth [political and social deceptions]4.15.

#16344 C. Phillips, Socrates in love: … for a die-hard romantic. 4.10

Added 23 August, Library of America

#3404r U.K. Le Guin, Hainish novels and stories (Attebery) v. 1. 30.90

Added 1 September, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul

#16345 A. Pettegree. Brand Luther: … printing and … Reformation. 12.90.

#16346 Readings in Christian humanism (Shaw et al.). 7.70

#16347 Understanding the Dead Sea scrolls (Shanks). 1.70

Added 5 September, Barnes & Noble, Maplewood

#16348 The lost books of the Bible: … gospels, epistles … (Home/Platt).7.50

Added 6 September, Alice Ellis..

#16349 O. Ekroll, Nidaros cathedral: the west front sculptures. gift

Added 7 September, Barnes & Noble, Roseville.

#16350 B. Malamud, God’s grace (Horn). 1.60

#16351 P. Watson, The modern mind: … intellectual history of the 20th century. 8.60

Added 9 September, Friends of Ramsey County Library, Maplewood.

#16352 L.J. Swidler, Biblical affirmations of women. 1.00

#16353 C. Wells, Sailing from Byzantium: … lost empire shaped the world. 1.50

Added 15 September, Fair Trade Books

#12242r E. Fromm, The revolution of hope: … humanized technology. 3.20

#16354 S. Greenblatt, The swerve: how the world became modern. 18.15

#16355 F.L. Mott, American journalism: … through 260 years; rev. ed. 3.20

Added 21 September, Half-Price Books, Madison East

#16356 R.C. Marius, Martin Luther: … between God and Death. 13.70

Added 21 September, Barnes & Noble, Madison West

#16357 N.J. Karolides, 120 banished books. 1.10

Added 21 September, Half-Price Books, Madison Whitney

#16358 M.E. Lehmann, Luther and prayer. 6.30

Added 22 September, Library of America

#4800r U.K. Le Guin, Hanish novels & stories (Atterby) – v.2. 30.90

Added 7 October, Pilgrim Lutheran Church

#16359 T. Wolff, Old school: a novel. free

#16360 T. Wolff, Our story begins: new and selected stories. free

Added 12 October, Ramsey County Library Friends

#16361 E.S. Fiorenza, In memory of her: feminist … Christian origins. 1.00dd

#16362 J. Keenan, Encyclopedia of American Indian wars, 1492-1890. 1.00

#16363 G. Woolf, Rome [as an empire]. 1.00

Added 12 October, Half-Priced Books, Maplewood.

#16364 L. Keppie, The making of the Roman army. 9.65

Added 20 October, Fair Trade Books

#16365 J. Appleby, Shores of knowledge: new world discoveries and scientific imagination.13.65

#16366 G.E. Moore, Principia ethica. 2.95

Added 27 October, review

#16367 S.O. Imbo, Oral traditions as philosophy. gratis

Added 27 October, Barnes & Noble, Maplewood

#16368 R.K. Armey & M. Kibbe, Give us liberty: a Tea Party manifesto. 1.49

Added 30 October, Subtext

#16369 H. Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: … the banality of evil. 17.25

Added 3 November, Ramsey County Library Friends

#3893r, 16370 W.S. Porter, The complete works of O. Henry (Hansen) 2v. 4.00

Added 13 November, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul

#16371 S. Dando-Collins. Mark Antony’s heroes: … the third Gallica Legion … 3.25

#16372 From Magna Carta to the Constitution … 2.15

#16373 D.J. Harrington, Invitation to the Apocrypha. 2.15

#16374 P. James, Understand Roman civilization. 2.15

#16375, R.M. Kidder, How good people make touch choices. 2.15

#16376, H.M.D Parker, The Roman legions. 3.25

Added 30 November, Half-Price Books, Maplewood

#16377 The best science fiction and fantasy of the year, v.7 (Strahan). 6.40

#16378 Nebula awards [title varies] v.50 (Bear). 8.60

Added 5 December, Half Price Books, Roseville

#16379 Altruism in world religions (Neusner & Chilton). 3.20

#16380 Analog’s expanding universe (Schmidt). 4.35

#16381 J. Blum, Lord and peasant in Russia. 3.20

Additions 2019

January 19, 2019

Acquisitions to the CeptsForm Library in 2019

Updated 29 September 2019

66 titles.

This listing follows earlier Additions posted in previous years. See the links under MY LIBRARY. I cite titles as a public glimpse at my ongoing interests as well as keeping  a brief record for library management purposes. Acquisitions are the business record of library additions. Accordingly, each following citation carries only enough information to identify each title’s addition to the collection and is not bibliographically complete. However, I want to make clear what each book is about and provide subtitle words or bracketed clarifications when the title is not explicit or may be misleading.

Descriptive data includes limited elements: date of acquisition and source, a distinguishing accession number for each volume, abbreviated author, brief title, edition markers if distinctive, and cost. Accession numbers may appear out of sequence when numbers are inadvertently skipped or deliberately reused for replacement copies, noted by an “r” suffix.

6 January, Sub Text.

#16501 A. Oz, Scenes from village life (de Lange). 13.97

7 January, Ramsey County Library Friends (Maplewood).

Note on sources: Barnes & Noble (place) sells a variety of titles, some at low prices.

Half-Price Books (place) second-hand and remaindered titles at reduced costs with some titles at clearance rates. Lawrence University (Wisconsin) provided copies of Colleges that Change Lives. Pilgrim Lutheran, Saint Paul, Little Library. Books given or withdrawn from the church library are free. My Thrift Store, Saint Paul, has a modest used book section. Ramsey County Library Friends (place) sell select titles donated or withdrawn from collection use, all at the most reasonable prices. Scuppernong Books is a high quality thriving store in Greensboro, NC with used books at discount and food and drink for sale. Sixth Chamber Used Books (Saint Paul) since 1995 has sold quality books at reasonable and clearance prices. Unfortunately this store closed in March. The owners have another store, the Fox Den, in River Falls, WI Sub Text is a selective, high quality bookstore, the only one in downtown Saint Paul. They carry used books as well, many for next to nothing. Katharine Sween, a school band director and flutist, taught music for 30 years. Target (place) sells a small number of books, including some located in the office and stationery section. Thiftbooks, a store linked to the Amazon market place, sells used books at discounted rates. Beverly Voldseth, a Minnesota poet, is a close friend of mine and a generous one. World of Books, a store linked to the Amazon market, also sells used books at discounted rates.

#16464 P.H. Schuck, Why government fails so often. 1.50

10 January, Target (North Saint Paul).

#16475 300 writing prompts. 7.50

17 January, Half-Price Books (Saint Paul).

#16476 R. Garland, Ancient Greece: everyday life … 3.25

#16477 N. Goldstone, Four Queens: … who ruled Europe [Marguerite, France; Eleanor, England; Sanchia, Romans; Beatrice, Sicily]. 2.15

#16478 J. Neusner, Rabbinic literature. 3.25

#16479 C.R. Sunstein, Impeachment. 4.30

17 January, Sixth Chamber Used Books.

#16480 S. Chmielarz, Little eternities: poems. 8.00

#16481 D. Defoe, A tour through the whole island of Great Britain; abridged & edited (P. Rogers). .40

#16482 W.R. Goldshmidt, Exploring the ways of mankind. .40

22 January, Barnes & Noble, Maplewood.

#16483 Strength exercises. 10.70

10 February, Subtext.

# 16484 L. Ferlinghetti, These are my rivers: new and selected poems,1955-1993. 2.15

19 February, Thriftbooks.

#16485 A. Oz, A tale of love and darkness (de Lange). 7.50

21 February, Half-Price Books, Maplewood

#16486 H. Bloom, Genius: … one hundred exemplary creative [writers]. 3.25

#16487 Plato, The last days of Socrates (Tredennick & Tarrant). 5.35

1 March, World of Books.

#16488 Oz, A., The story begins: essays on literature. 7.50

5 March, Sixth Chamber Used Books.

#16489 O. Pamuk, The museum of innocence. 6.15

#16490 F. Prokosch, The Asiatics. 6.15

#16491 C. Tomalin, Samuel Pepys. 6.15

7 March, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16492 J. Krishnamurti, The impossible question. 2.15

#16493 B. Prothero, Why liberals win (even when they lose elections). 2.15

#16494 M.J. Sandel, Justice: what’s the right thing to do? 2.15

#16495 S. Zweig, Confusion. 7.55

12 March, Barnes & Nobles

#16496 B. Grazer & C. Fishman, A curious mind. 4.80

#16497 J. Le Carre, Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. 6.40

#16498 B. Maclanahan, The founding fathers’ guide to the Constitutio.4.80

16 March, Lawrence University (Wisconsin)

#16499 L. Pope, Colleges that change lives. gratis

16 March, Katharine Sween

#16500 D.J. Levitin, This is your brain on music. gratis

7 April, Pilgrim Lutheran Little Library.

#16502 D. Chidester, Christianity, a global history. gratis

19 April, Scuppernong Books.

#16503 F. Bacon, The major works (Vickers), 20.23

2007, Beverly Voldseth.

#16504 L. Gavin, Least Resistance: [poetry]. gratis

2013, Beverly Voldseth.

#16505 J.T. McDonnell, A bone in the throat: [poetry]. gratis

4 June, My Thrift Store.

#16506 I.H. Elder, Celt, Druid and Culdee (1973 edition). 2.60

#1746r2 G. Lefebvre, The coming of the French Revolution (Palmer). 2.80

12 June, Pilgrim Church Little Library.

#16507 A. Donagan, The theory of morality. gratis

16 June, Sub Text.

#4401r2 K. Vonnegut, Cat’s cradle. 17.00

17 June, Pilgrim Church Little Library.

#16508 A source book in Chinese philosophy (Chan). gratis

18 July, Half Price Books, Maplewood.

#16509 D. Bodanis, Passionate minds: the great scientific affair. 3.35

#16510 Cicero, Political speeches (Berry). 3.35

#16511 P. Irons, A people’s history of the Supreme Court. 3.40

#16512 W.G. McLaughlin, Cherokee Renascence in the new republic. 3.40

#16513 The Reich victorious: alternate histories (Tsouras). 3.35

9 September, Barnes & Noble, Maplewood.

#16514 The Mueller report (Helderman & Zapotosky). 8.25

Classical Music

December 4, 2018

My Top Ten

In John Powell’s book, Why You Love Music (2016), he explores the psychological basis for our musical choices. Almost right away, he asks for each reader’s favorite kind of music and then to name their top ten selections.

Easy enough for me. Classical music has attracted me since my early teenage years. Sure, I also liked rock n’ roll, having been part of the generation that established that genre. Of course, I also liked other genres, for example a few hundred hymns I’ve sung so many times that I know them by heart. But it’s the classical that has lasted at the top of my interests.

So I offer the following works, most of which I have carried with me for decades. I don’t have a rank order for them, but I do have a historical one as I came to favor them one at a time. That listing follows.

Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750, Mass in B Minor (completed 1749).

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, 1839-1881, Pictures from an Exhibition (1874, orchestration by Maurice Ravel, 1922).

Antonin Leopold Dvoȓák, 1841-1904, Symphony No.9 in E Minor, From the New World (1893).

Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, 1840-1893, Swan Lake ballet, Op. 20 (1875-1876).

Carl Orff, 1895-1892, Carmina Barana [24 Songs of Beuren] (1935-1936).

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, The Firebird ballet (1909-1910; subsequent revisions).

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791, Die Zauberflöte/The Magic Flute (1791). Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder.

Ludvig van Beethoven, 1770-1827. Symphony No.9 in D Minor, Op. 125, The Choral Symphony (1822-1824).Ode to Joy” based on poem by Friedrich Schiller.

Johannes Brahms, 1833-1897. (Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45/A German Requiem (1865-1868).

Johan Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750, Brandenburg Concertos, BWV 1046-1051 (ca. 1721).

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, 1678-1741, Le Quattro Stagioni/The Four Seasons (ca. 1721).

Charles-Francois Gounod, 1818-1893, Messe Solennelle en l’honneur de Sainte Cecile, in G Major, CG56 [i.e. a solemn mass in homage to Saint Cecelia](1851-1855?).

Yes, I have listed twelve, not ten. I cannot help it. Data given above came from Wikipedia and other sources including recorded disks in my collection. When we lose Minnesota Public Radio while traveling in the car, we switch to disks.

Becoming a Writer

April 20, 2018

10 Authorial Rules as I see them.

What follows is my winnowing of Warren Adler’s advice on writing, posted online 3 March 2016.

Perhaps because I fell in love with books when I had yet to read and write, I still had an early and protracted desire to write and ultimately to think of myself as a potential author. I eventually retired early, at sixty, deliberately to have more time for reading and writing though I remained quite involved in other activities – family, church, advocacy, politics, study and related research.

In the process, I realized that I was not interested in writing in order to earn a living or achieve recognition. Rather, my quest was to satisfy myself as to the output and leave some record that would be of lasting connections with family, friends, and other associates. Here is my take on how I align with Adler’s rules.

  1. Analysis: Keep Moving Toward the Future. Though a possibility exists to write fiction from the glimmer of an idea and follow its blossoming, the power of novels depend on forethought. Under the influence of Ayn Rand, I accept that I must consciously identify what I am saying. This principal requires acknowledgement of the parts (theme, plot, setting, characters, and actions) knitted together and achieving the motive of resolution. In my case, because history is long and the future distant, it takes a long time to establish a full script.
  2. Rejection: Keep Believing in Your Possibilities. Nontraditional subjects and approaches that I prefer to follow likely do not have wide appeal and are certainly not automatic. Authorship is a calling, one that needs satisfaction. Ideas make the path and endeavor reaches an end, the denouement that sets up the next beginning. Self-publishing is the first step towards outreach.
  3. Routine: Keep to the Task at Hand While Continuing Informed. Authorship is a constant experiment in seeking and displaying value. With attention, perspective multiplies and broadens.
  4. Continuance: Keep the Possibilities Going. You may persist through 100 pages before dropping the project. A new idea might turn aside your attention.
  5. Change: Keep on Embracing Truth to the Self. Changes will continue along the path of enrichment, even after I have already changed aspects of various dimensions. Actually, I accept that changes are largely incidental in the otherwise progressive flow of beliefs, ideas, concepts and commitments. If I am to have any success, changes must fit as they embed in the overall scheme of story, mechanics, and outcome. In short, within consistency, change for the better.
  6. Opportunity: Keep on Reaching for Pertinence. Risks may come along and taming them into beneficial practicality takes analysis and judgement. Otherwise, be patiently thoughtful, distanced from recklessness.
  7. Entrepreneurship: Keep a Hold on Self-Publishing. Production of the written word is a business, and the business is to reach the target audience, including the self – first and foremost.
  8. Destiny: Keep Control in Your Hands. Requirements will require efforts. Results are worth it.

9-10. Primacy: Keep Aim on Being Original. First place requires invention, novelty,    and lasting benefit. Invention requires going beyond your own closures. A pioneer benefits the future.

Civics Quiz

April 15, 2018

Smarter than a 7th Grader

Revised 16 April 2018

Supposedly only 10% of adults can pass a 7th grade civics taste. How can this be, especially when the questions asked are very common place and often when one of two choices is ridiculous? At any rate, doing the quizzes – this one from Offbeat online – is something I enjoy. So, I gave it a try. Here are questions with my answers.

  1. What is the aim of “checks and balances?”   The means by which government is limited.
  2. Who is first in presidential succession?   The vice-president.
  3. What is the “Bill of Rights?”   The first ten amendments to our Constitution.
  4. What was the first American national constitution?   The Articles of Confederation.
  5. How many government divisions does our Constitution provide?   Three branches.
  6. What is the Civil Rights Act?   The 1964 act banning forms of discrimination.
  7. How many members does the House of Representatives have?   435.
  8. What duties are mandatory for U.S. citizens?   Jury duty and serving as a witness.
  9. Who automatically becomes a U.S. citizen?   A child born on U.S. soil.[i]
  10. What is a joint committee?   A committee of both Congressional chambers.
  11. What power is forbidden the President.   The line-item veto.
  12. What is the plebiscite?   The group of people voting.[ii]
  13. Who presides over the Senate?   The Vice President.[iii]
  14. How many votes are required for overriding a veto?   At least 2/3 majority of each chamber.
  15. What is the full length of a Senator’s term?   Six years.
  16. What is a member of the Supreme Court called?   A justice.
  17. What is impeachment?   Congress puts the President on trial.
  18. What is our national anthem called?   The Star-Spangled Banner.
  19. Who was the first president of the United States?   George Washington.[iv]
  20. What are first words of the Constitution?   “We the people …”
  21. What does the second amendment provide?  The right to bear arms.[v]
  22. What entities were eligible to participate in the Articles of Confederation and the formation of the Constitution?   States from the original 13 colonies (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island[vi], South Carolina, Virginia).
  23. What is the highest judicial authority in the United States.   The Supreme Court.
  24. When are federal taxes due.   April 15.[vii]
  25. In what state is the Statue of Liberty?   New York.
  26. What is the capital city of the United States?   Washington, D.C.
  27. What was the largest land purchase made by the United States?   The Louisiana Territory.
  28. How many times can a person run for a seat in the Senate.   There is no limit.
  29. Who is known as “the father of his country?”   George Washington.
  30. What war is also called “the war between the states?”   The Civil War.
  31. Who succeeds to the presidency following the Vice President?   The Speaker of the House.
  32. Which of two states was not an original part of the U.S.?   California.
  33. Where is the right to bear arms in the Constitution?   The Bill of Rights.[viii]
  34. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson.[ix]
  35. What is the voting strength of the House of Representatives.   435 votes.
  36. Is the media a branch of the government?   No.
  37. Is the Supreme Court composed of members of Congress?   Not current ones.
  38. What does the Supreme Court do?   The Court determines the constitutional standing of laws at issue.
  39. Which of two holidays is not a U.S. holiday?   Boxing Day.
  40. Who is the current Chief Justice?   John Roberts.

More than 40 questions are in the quiz, but I stopped at 40 when the questions seemed repetitive and many of two options to each question seemed really hokey. I kept track of my answers but not the phrasing of the questions, which are made explicit here. And as I point out in the endnotes, the “right” answer is several times only part of a fuller answer.

No doubt civics is importantly necessary for communities to live and work together. Civics owes it development to such thoughtful past sages and documents as Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, the Magna Carta, Beccaria and the Enlightenment following him, through our own political thinkers – see the Federalist Papers – and many other sources.

Unfortunately, civics seems to be easily ousted from school curriculums and confused by popular distractions. I have become frustrated and upset about our political parties being worked up by all kids of partisan issues and not by questions of the common good as their civic base which I thought was a democracy.


[I] Also, a child born to a citizen parent.

[ii] Or eligible to vote.

[iii] A substitute when the VP is absent.

[iv] Actually, since the first constitution was the Articles of Confederation (question 4) the first executive was John Hanson, an almost forgotten founder of our nation.

[v] Also, the freedom of assembly and of the press.

[vi] Rhode Island did not send delegates to the Constitutional Convention; it did not pass on the Constitution in its first vote and was the last of the 13 to join the new nation.

[vii] Exceptions are when the 15th is a Sunday and when the following Monday is a federal holiday, as in 2018.

[viii] That is in the second amendment which also states the right to keep arms.

[ix] Jefferson was known for his writing. He also borrowed from a declaration of George Mason and his own first draft of the Virginia Constitution. Also involved were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman who proposed stylistic alterations.



Additions 2018

January 5, 2018

Acquisitions to the CeptsForm  Library in 2018.

Lists 192 titles.

Updated 26 December 2018.

This listing follows earlier Additions posted in previous years. See the links under MY LIBRARY. I cite titles as a public glimpse at my ongoing interests as well as keeping a brief record for library management purposes. Acquisitions are the business record of library additions. Accordingly, each following citation carries only enough information to identify each title’s addition to the collection and is not bibliographically complete. However, I want to make clear what each book is about and provide subtitle words or bracketed clarifications when the title is not explicit or may be misleading.

Descriptive data includes limited elements: date of acquisition and source, a distinguishing accession number for each volume, abbreviated author, brief title, edition markers if distinctive, and cost. Accession numbers may appear out of sequence when numbers are inadvertently skipped or deliberately reused for replacement copies, noted by an “r” suffix.

Note on sources: Amazon Books, which includes discounted books from 2nd hand stores, is both comprehensive and speedy. Barnes & Noble, the “big box” bookstore survives while I shop for discounts. Cy Chauvin, a long-time friend, and I exchange books at Christmas. Common Good Books, owned by Garrison Keillor, and in a prime retail location in Saint Paul between Concordia University and Macalester College, is packed with a flurry of top quality books and a few dozen literary journals. Rolf Erickson, deceased at 55, was a close friend of mine who shared many interests with me. Drury Lane in Grand Marais MN, though relatively small and attractively quaint, is packed with the highest quality books on the market. All this thanks to Joan Drury, owner and an author herself. Prices are standard and titles hard to resist. Fair Trade Books is a high quality book store in Red Wing, featuring used books, some new, and will order options. The owner and associated staff choose the used books to add and give credit that allows customers to draw from credit for percentage discounts on used titles. Recent sales changes show one more effort to keep prices low. Half-Price Books [place] the widespread number of stores offer used media at relatively lower prices and clearance items at 2 or 3 dollars. Robert Erling Hanson (aka koshin), a friend of mine since childhood, keeps me supplied with his poetry. Little Library [Stillwater Street], a crammed box, most of little interest. Minnesota Reviews was a review of submitted Minnesota publications. National Issues Forum has promoted discussion of issues from a democratic perspective.  Norsk Husflid was a shop in Wisconsin that featured Norse books and other items.  Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA) promotes research and publication of materials related chiefly to the Norwegian immigrant experience and subsequent history. I am a life member. Pilgrim Lutheran, Saint Paul, Little Library as a recent phenomena shares a wide variety of approaches and standards, but I am most familiar with the one fed by my church of membership. It’s uneven, but I have taken some titles of interest to me when I give some to it. Powell’s Books [place]. Sells books at discounted prices. Ramsey County Library Friends provide withdrawn and donated books at greatly reduced cost. Saint Vincent de Paul (Williamson Street) has a large used book collection in this thrift store, one very well organized and at $2.00 prices.  Savers [place] is a thrift store that features half price to seniors on Tuesday. The order of merchandise falls into categories. Locating desired books must overcome disorder. Katharine Sween & Scott Heins gives book. Kristofer Sween & family gives book. Patricia Sween knows that I like books and poetry so I get a double dose on my birthday. Value Village [place] has a well-trimmed used book collection with relatively easy browsing for finds. Also offers member 20% discounts and an extra 10% to seniors on Tuesdays.

4  January, Fair Trade Books.

#16382 The Oxford Amnesty lectures, 1992 (v.1, Johnson) [human rights]. 3.50

#16383 K.A. Porter, The collected essays and occasional writings. 3.50

27 January, Ramsey County Library Friends.

#16384 Sir H. Butterfield, Christianity and history. 1.00

#16385 J. & K. Court, The New Testament world. 2.00

#16386 The situation of the story; … contemporary perspective (Young). 2.00

9 February, Half-Price Books, Roseville.

#16387 A. Christie, The Mousetrap and other plays. 7.55

#16388 Philosophic classics: v.2 [of 4] Medieval Philosophy (Kaufmann & Baird). 6.40.

10 February, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16389 G.K. Chesterton, The everlasting man. 4.30

#16390 L. Standiford, Washington burning: … vision for our nation’s capitol … 4.30

31 March, Cy Chauvin

#16391, D. Philip, A $500 house in Detroit: rebuilding… gift.

31 March, Norwegian-American Historical Association.

#16392, From America to Norway: … letters, 1838-1914. v.4. Indexes. membership

2 April, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16393, W. Faulkner, Big Woods: the hunting stories – The Bear. The Old People. A Bear Hunt. Race at Morning. 7.50

6 April, Savers, Woodbury.

#16394, America’s God and country: encyclopedia of quotations (Federer). 3.50

10 April, Half-Price Books, Maplewood.

#16395 R.J. Ellis, Democratic delusions: … initiative process … 3.20

#16396 S. Vint, Science fiction: … for the perplexed. 5.35

1 May, Value Thrift (Sun Ray) Saint Paul.

#16397 The concise Oxford companion to the English language (McArthur). 2.70

#16398 P. Earle, The world of Defoe. 2.70

#16399 W.E. Reck, A. Lincoln: his last 24 hours. 2.35

2 May, Pat Sween.

#16400 J.P. Lenfestey, Earth and anger: … poems of love and despair. gift

#16401 J.P. Lenfestey, A marriage book: 50 years of poems. gift

4 May, Half-Price Books, Maplewood.

#2024r L.M. Alcott, The best of Louisa May Alcott (Booso): Little Women I & II/ The Good Wives. Little Men. And 24 short stories. 7.50

#16402 L. Strobel, The case for a creator: … scientific evidence. 3.30

#9825r S. Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter (Nunnally): III, The cross. 6.90

11 June, Norsk Husflid.

#16403 F.E. Ekstrand, The ancient Norwegian calendar (primstav). 3.95

11 June, National Issues Forum.

#16404 D.F. Mathews, The promise of democracy. gratis

11 June, Barnes & Noble, Maplewood.

#16405 W.E.B. Du Bois, The souls of Black folk. 9.60

#16406, J.R. Kasich, Two paths: America divided or united. 6.45

18 June, Value Thrift, Saint Paul.

#16407 J.M. Diamond, Collapse: … societies choose … 3.30

#16408 A. Gore, The assault on reason. 3.30

#16409 B. Obama, The audacity of hope. 3.30

18 June, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16410 M. Atwood, The Handmaid’s tale. 8.60

#16411 S. Dando-Collins, Caesar’s legion. 3.25

#16412 J.M. Ellis, The theory of literary criticism. 2.15

#16413 F. Van der Linden, The turning point: Jefferson’s battle for the presidency. 3.25

25 June, Ramsey County Library Friends, Maplewood.

#16414-15 Aristotle, The works of … (Ross). 2v. 2.00

#16416 The Oxford illustrated history of Western philosophy (Kenny). 1.00

#16417 A sense of history: … American Heritage. 2.00

28 June, Value Village, Maplewood.

#16418 J.B. Conroy, Lincoln’s White House. 2.70

#16419 A. Manning, Father Lincoln: … and his boys … 2.70

#16420 N.A. Trudeau, Lincoln’s greatest journey: sixteen days that changed the presidency. 2.70

6 July, Robert E. Hanson.

#16421 R.E. Hanson, Duende (poetry). gift

16 July, Rolf Erickson.

#16422 N. Reitan, Bright patches, … Shawno County, WI. gift

16 July, Distributed in Red Wing.

#16423 Red Wing: one week: … eighty-three photographs. gratis

16 July, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16424 H.W. Brands, The first American: … Benjamin Franlin. 2.15

#16425 F. McLynn, 1066: the year of three battles. 3.25

20 July, Fair Trade Books.

#12246r M.J. Adler, Aristotle for everybody. 5.40

23 July, Pilgrim Lutheran, Saint Paul, Little Library

#16426 The honest to God debate (Edwards). gratis

#16427 J. Seigenthaler, James K. Polk. gratis

26 July, Value Thrift (Sun Ray) Saint Paul

#16428 The Harper dictionary of modern thought (Bullock & Stallybrass). 2.75

31 July, Savers Woodbury.

#16429 M. Luther, Liturgy & hymns (Luther’s Works, American Ed., v.53). 2.50

#16430 M. Luther, The sermon on the mount (Sermons) and the magnificent (Luther’s Works, American Ed., v.21).

#16431 C.R. Moss, The myth of persecution2.50

#16432 H.K. Bloom, The genius of the beast: … capitalism. 2.50

2 August, Saint Vincent de Paul, Madison WI

#16433 O. & L. Handlin, Liberty and power, 1600-1760. 2.20

#16434 L. de Hartog, Genghis Khan. 2.20

#16435 M. Robinson, Mobocracy: … polling. 2.10

4 August, Powell’s Books [Chicago]

#16436 S. Van Cleve, Land of 10,000 loves: … queer Minnesota. 9.70

5 August, Little Library [Stillwater Road]

#16437 E. Royte, Bottlemania: how water went on sale. gratis

6 August, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul.

#16438 Ancient Egyptian literature (Lichthein):v.2, The new kingdom. 2.15

#12652r P. Green, Alexander of Macedon; rev.& enl. 3.25

#16439 H. Küng, Does God exist (Quinn). 3.25

#16440 D.L. Mallock, Agony and eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson. 3.25

22 August, Drury Lane.

#6175r2 J. Kenyon,

29 August, Fair Trade Books.

#16441 F. Braudel, A history of civilizations. 6.78

12 September, Norwegian-American Historical Association

#16442 O.S. Lovoll, Two homelands: … his life and work. membership

15 September, Minnesota Reviews.

#16443 P.C. Johnston, Minnesota: portrait … submission

15 September, Amazon Books.

#16444 D. Sarokin  & J. Shalkin, Missed information: better information … 6.75

3 October, Fair Trade Books.

#16445 G. Duby, The three orders: feudal society … (Goldhammer). 12.80

#16446 S. Meredith, Writing to sell; 4th ed. 6.40

6 October, Half-Price Books Clearance Sale.

#16447 America’s God and country: … quotations (Federer). 2.20

#16448 K. Armstrong, A history of God: … Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. 2.15

#16449 R.L. Currier, Unbound: … eight technologies [effect]. 2.15

#16450 J. Fea, Was America founded as a Christian nation? 2.15

#16451 A. Herman, The idea of decline in Western history. 2.15

#16452 M.L. Houser, Lincoln’s education … 2.15

#16453 O.S. Ireland, Religion, ethnicity, and politics: … ratification in Pennsylvania. 2.15

#16455 N. Sharansky and R. Dermer, The case for democracy. 2.15

18 October 2018 – Little Library  [Stillwater Street]

#16456 S. Johnson, How we got too now: six innovations … gratis

26 October 2018, Ramsey County Library Friends, Maplewood.

#16457 J. Bonavia, The silk road: … Xilan to Kashgar (Lindsay & Wu Qi). 1.00

#16458 V.V. Nabokov, Lectures on literature (Bowers). 3.00

#16459 S. Whitefield, Life along the silk road. 1.00

6 November 2018, Half-Price Books, Maplewood.

#16460 R.A. Dahl, How democratic is the American Constitution? 2nd ed. 8.05

#16461 A. Goodman et. al., Twenty years covering the movements changing America. 8.60

#16462 F. MacDonald, Novus ordo seclorum: … origins of the Constitution. 8.05

11 November, Half-Price Books, Roseville

#16463 H, Milner, Civic literacy: … informed citizens make democracy … 5.40

19 November, Half-Price Books, Saint Paul

#16464 J.M. Barry, Roger Williams and … the American soul … 3.25

#16465 W.A. McDougal, Freedom just around the corner: … American history, 1585-1828. 3.25

#16466 C. Romano, America the philosophical. 7.50

19 November, Common Good Books

#6598r T. Hobbes, Leviathan [moral and political philosophy, 1651, on the need for absolute state power] (Brooke). 12.95

2 December, Saint Olaf Book Store

#16467 J. Powell, Why you love music [psychological aspects]. 7.50

4 December, Barnes & Noble, Maplewood

#5025r T. Bulfinch, Bulfinch’s mythology (Martin). 15.00

17 December, Cy Chauvin

       #16468 G. Benford, The Berlin project. gift

22 December, Ramsey County Library Friends

       #16469 R.E. Biery, Understanding homosexuality. 2.00

       #16470 J.C. Carville, We’re right, they’re wrong: … for … progressives. 1.00

       #16471 B. Malinowski, Argonauts of the western Pacific. 1.00

24 December, Katharine & Scott

      #16472 J.-P. Sartre, No exit and three other plays. gift

24 December, Kristofer & family.

      #16473 G. Moore, Sherlock Holmes puzzle book. gift

Another Day In the Life

December 22, 2017

NOTE: This is a second response to another Lavender interview since May this year. This time I have generally fleshed out what I said before.

Name: Roger David Sween. According to my mother, when I asked, these were the names my father liked. I used to think I was named after Will Rogers or Roy Rogers.

Age: Between birthdays at 77.

Hometown: Eighteen years in Granite Falls, a place I dearly loved and like to return there, meet with past classmates and ramble in the woods. My Sveen great-grandparents settled nearby in 1870.

Where live: After college and early moving around, I settled down in Red Wing for most of 35 years, though commuting a lot and traveling the state 16 years as a library development consultant while working with Minnesota’s 7 inter-type library regions.

With whom: Continuously for 55 years with Patricia Anne (Worringer) Sween.

Occupation: Since quitting employment, I see myself as an independent scholar, freelance thinker, and writer, struggling to say something significant and satisfying.

Wake up: Part of my routine is to keep regular hours, meaning awake at 5 a.m. and to bed by 9 p.m., which often works.

Alarm: The radio comes on with soft, delicate, mostly quiet classical music selections from Minnesota Public Radio.

First thing: My routine at its utmost regularity – drink water, dress for the temperature, wash leftover dishes, make coffee and take it with a little treat – sweet breads and oatmeal cookies are my favorites.

Breakfast: Rotates mostly between cereals, eggs, waffles/pancakes and nearly always with mixed fruit.

Coffee: One 14 oz. cup of French Roast in my new cuisinart pot, a great improvement on the prior model used for the previous seven years.

Addition(s): Enough Half n’ Half to cover the bottom of the cup. I avoid spooning sugar. Most days, I have the morning cup only. A far cry from our four years at St. Olaf where we drank greater amounts of what we called “Norwegian plasma.”

Your commute: Between the upstairs living level and my study and library downstairs. The arrangement was one of the many features that led us to prefer this house when we moved in 7 years ago. We know our neighbors since we moved into a six-member association of detached townhouses.

If your days resemble a yearbook, how would you be recognized: As an academic and being called “professor.”

What inspires you: Ideas keeps me thinking, politics (which for me constitute the dismal science) keep my attention, and commanding literature from The Wind in the Willows to The Dispossessed keep me probing.

Break for lunch: I’ve become irregular and sometimes forget to eat, evidenced by now weighing less than in high school.

My work space tidy or not. Tidy is my wish and intent, but I find it hard to put most papers where they belong, and they then pile of their own accord. I quickly wear out from sorting and filing. The grand exception is my book collection, cataloged, classified, and in close to 800 linear feet of loaded shelving. I can retrieve a subject or book in about 20 seconds.

Favorite past job: Teaching in a library class where there was a lot of discussion. My favorites were the basics of library services and primarily reference (pre-online). I always felt I learned more than the students. I am in my third year as President.

Your heroes: Still Aristotle and Le Guin.

Favorite weeknight meal: I like anything that is healthy and not complicated.

Most embarrassing moment: In the 4th grade, I inattentively gave a card intended for a mother to my teacher.

Usual weeknight activity: Inevitably watching the PBS news hour and some program, dramatic presentation, or quality movie by disk, television, or online. As a rule, I do not watch commercial television.

Bedtime: Hopefully 9. I get to sleep fast and often sleep through the night. In the cold months, I use an electric blanket on a timer to warm up the bed – a wonderful feeling.

Favorite weekend activity: Time with family members, since the immediate ones are local.

Words of wisdom: Strive to accomplish the best and seek the will to persevere.

Copyright © 2017 by Roger Sween.

Based on the Jaysen Saly interview by Andy Lien, Lavender #588 (Dec. 2017) 12.

Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, Rebel?

September 11, 2017

Revised 23 September 2017.

The Parade newspaper supplement, September 10, 2017, on page 4 introduced The Four Tendencies, a book by Gretchen Rubin. This book is said to explore the ways we are “hard-wired” to act or behave as we do. By following this exploration online at, further introduction sets up a quiz to “get a clearer reading on yourself.” Even though “this quiz isn’t dispositive” (that is, directed toward or affecting disposition – temperament, character, personality – it means to gain greater understanding of yourself and relationships with others and their tendencies.

The quiz consists of a four part series of parallel situations that intend to focus on the type or tendency that best describes you. I am always curious about the outcomes of such quizzes in coming to grips with my own typology. The diligent consideration of tendency statements helps determine which ones most clearly fit oneself.

Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. Here I agreed to one statement: “I do what I want to do; I’m true to myself, not other people’s expectations.” Personally I’m high on self-examination to better understand myself and to do what is in my best interest. I cannot imagine doing something that I do not understand, regard as marginal, or is contrary to the best interests of myself and others. I even deplore supposed jokes that depend upon denigrating others to get a laugh. I am committed to seriousness to the extent that I understand and accept the worth of beliefs and actions.

Obligers respond to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. I do experience obligations in a couple areas. “People often turn to me for help.” These are usually family members, close friends or other associates with whom I have bonding and shared relationships. Over the years, I have tried to drop or cut back on what I regard as social responsibilities in order to prioritize and accomplish more projects of my own interest. Failing that, I think about moving away to separate myself from others’ expectations. Accordingly also, “I’ve adopted some good habits, but I often struggle without success to form others.” That is, I do not always or often carry through with matters or projects that I really and deeply want to accomplish.

Questioners question all expectations, but meet only those justified, that is by inner expectations. I am generally a thinker, primarily a theorist: I want to do those things that I understand as valuable to myself and others. In short, my decisions are carefully considered, not automatic. I thereby agree to two statements. “I like to hear from experts, but I decide for myself … according to my own judgement.” And, alas, “I question the validity of the Four Tendencies framework.” I question the limitation to four areas which seem to have overlap and in this presentation do not follow from necessary evidence.

Upholders respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expectations. In this tendencies quiz, the four areas have five or six determinative statements. Of the five for upholders, I agree in some measure with three. “I feel uncomfortable if I’m with someone who’s breaking a rule.” Yes, I am for law and order and appreciate rules, regulations, and social mores when they make sense, provide consistency, and benefit the common good. “I can meet a self-imposed deadline.” Actually, deadlines take priority for me even though I long for getting my own interests satisfied first: alas, I feel a losing struggle against time. “It’s just as important to keep promises to myself as to others.” Well, perhaps more to my self, but here the obligation to others overlaps with my own interests and prevails.

In the upholder category, I could not agree with a statement on fulfilling New Year’s resolutions because in past experience resolutions persist to turn out beyond my satisfaction in accomplishing them. Also, I could not agree that others are annoyed over my self-discipline. Everyone else seem ignorant of my level of discipline, therefore no one accuses me. Rather, I’m the one who is annoyed with myself. Basically, I found these two statements internally conflicted because of stated conditions that may or may not be pertinent to the issue.

Rubin’s book may give a better explanation of the tendencies and our alignment with them. Otherwise, I remain with Meyers-Briggs that I am your 100% INTJ which convincingly encompasses my conjunction of tendencies.

I (Introvert): I tend to live within myself, renewed in strength from day to day, a life of constant examination that mulls and decides how I should focus, believe and act. I do not follow ideas, values, behaviors or routines unless they make sense and satisfy me. Most of my waking hours are mental, reflective and rooted at being home.

N (Intuitive): I live by principles that I find basic, trustworthy, and fundamental to profitable and beneficial common interest.

T (Thinking): Thought and the formation of theory are the core of my active life,  dependent upon constant pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, as I endeavor to widen my intellectual reach and form foundations for rational (if not accurate) bases for action and practice.

J (Judging): I come to closure on most things with the proviso that further experience or information may lead to reexamination and revision. Also some areas remain tentative or open where decisions are largely based more on valuing than evidence.

Alas, these are my expectations, the ones I try to profit from the most.

© Copyright 2017 by Roger Sween.

I welcome comments on this article.

Character Strengths

June 30, 2017

Going Beyond Self-Assessment

EducationPlanner, a service of the Pennsylvania Education Assistance Agency, offers in this program an entry to career requirements and possible employment planning. Its online system asks individuals to check off positive characters they have or want to have. Once completed, the system presents related results that include descriptive definition of the characteristic, ways to think about the characteristic, ways to practice in the desired direction, and possible career examples.

Following is how I see myself relating within each characteristic in past practice. Underlying my approach in these areas is my general understanding of and attitude to the vast and divergent public that exhibit differences in need of attention and assistance. I accept responsibility to do the best I can as a citizen of this world and as a professional in the fields of education and library services, both with an emphasis on learning how to learn and thereby continuous learning.

Caring/Compassionate: concern about people and the world, and wanting to help. However individuals vary in interests, abilities, and actions, all are welcome, respected, and to be served in their needs. Their gain and satisfaction within available resources is the primary measure of successful service.

Communicative: able and eager to listen and respond to others. Engagement in conversation to be profitable requires moving beyond the phatic level. Often to be successful in answering questions and other matters at issue, speaking and listening necessarily require negotiation: that is the process of fully relating to what the other wants or seeks so that the helper understands exactly and fully what is wanted for the desired use and purpose. Part of the process is iterating the context of the question so it aligns with the problem’s resolution as needed.

Confident: trust in one’s knowledge and abilities. Since knowledge is vast and full or specialization, providing information on an impromptu level requires a peculiar professionalism. The information professional may know, proportionately, not very much out of all knowledge. Instead the needed grasp is awareness how to readily and appropriately find the answer.

Cooperative/A Team Player: the will and ability to work with others in achieving a common goal.

Sixteen Personalities

June 14, 2017

Profiling by Neris Analytics Limited

Revised 3 July 2017

Except for book length treatments on personality typology, I have never experienced a profiling assessment as grounded and explicit as the Sixteen Personalities instrument from Neris. They start with a review of theory to “fit something as complex and fluid as human personality into a well- defined model.” Though reaching that goal is admittedly some way off, current models “often predict with a high degree of confidence how we are likely to behave” while “environment, experience, and individual goals” can also influence our actions. This view translates to how someone with a specific personality type is LIKELY to behave.

Findings on personality as shown by indicators and tendencies are not necessarily definitive. Presumably, we may hold greater confidence in an 80% score than a 10% one. Profile alignment information ought to inspire one’s personal awareness and growth and better understanding of others with more likelihood than certainty.

Neris blends the typology categories advanced by Carl Jung with the further developments from the findings of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, explained in Myers’ book, Gifts Differing (1980).  Neris, holding copyrights on its work since 2011, considers traits additional to the earlier established typologies by identifying five personality “aspects.”

  1. Mind shows how we interact with our surroundings.
  2. Energy shows how we see the world and process information.
  3. Nature shows how we make decisions and cope with emotions.
  4. Tactics show how we approach work, planning and decision making.
  5. Identity ranges between assertive and turbulent.

This approach shows my type (INTJ-A) with the role of Analyst (driven to understand and create while valuing intellect above all else). Consequent strategies are Confident Individualism and Constant Improvement.

Confident Individualists, like me, embrace solitude as much as possible to pursue their own interests: reading, research, and writing in my case. Self-reliance is the key. Pursuit of goals is for my own satisfaction without any need to prove myself to others. Inspiration is to be found within me in pursuit of positive substance and personal honesty. I hold to my own views without much desire or hope of convincing others on any kind of scale. Friendships for me are few, but dedicated, strong and honest. At my age, I have outlived many of my dearest friends; others have been lost to physical distance and lack of conversation.

Constant Improvement blossoms from my own habitation of space and freedom. The drive to do better often struggles against doubt: do I know enough; am I pertinent; can I express myself better; or, do I fail? I prefer ongoing projects; new knowledge, new means of self-expression for better results than socializing and other distractions in games or other entertainments. To be specific, I have not watched commercial television for decades and see only those films that promise to be most artistic and meaningful.

I took the inventory twice, a series of questions with 7 degrees of alignment from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing. Personality traits are expressed in resulting percentages that show the extent to which answers represent various aspects.

→ Mind: Interaction:        Extrovert 30/38           Introvert 70/62

→ Energy: Direction:        INtuitive 79/60            Observant 21/38

→ Nature: Decisions:        Thinking 64/55            Feeling 36/45

→ Tactics: Approach:        Judging 84/84              Prospecting 16/16

→ Identity: Confidence:    Assertive 92/92           Turbulent 8/8

In the first try, I spent more time analyzing my choices and often taking the middle position out of a “neither,” “sometimes,” or not sure what the question asks position. For the Neris results In both Judging and Assertive, the percentages did not vary from first to second test. In these aspects, I am the strongest in response and therefor most sure. In short, I am INTJ-A and by Neris casting fit the Architect Personality, calculated to be 2% of the population (or 1% of the U.S. population). This grouping is imaginative while decisive, ambitious yet private, curious though husbanding energy. The Architect Personality thirsts for knowledge even from childhood when called a “bookworm,” even as I was then and later nick-named “professor” in high school. I abhor games, most jokes, gossip, mass market culture, and other trivial distractions from more significant and essential pursuits.

We Architect types tend towards idealism on one hand and criticism on the other, believing that with intelligence, consideration, and effort nothing is impossible, while noting that most people lack these strengths, fail, and blame others. Another way to see this self-rootedness is that the Architect Personality exhibits wanting to achieve the best there is to accomplish within their provenance. When you travel alone, that singular opportunity makes room for more reflection regardless of others’ notice, expectation or desire.

I feel fortunate to have quit employment when I was 60. I was in a position to develop library systems to enlarge and extend services through the cooperation of libraries of different types. My approach was the invention of mechanisms to do this based on a theory of the domains under which multi-type library cooperative systems seek to operate. That approach did not go over well.

I feel more fortunate now when I have major time for my own pursuits.


Personality Type from 41 Questions

June 12, 2017

41q: The 41 Questions Personality Test Under Review

Revised 3 July 2017

41q cites various reasons for taking a personality test because, in short, different people can have differing needs or interests. At basis is knowing oneself better and thereby making one’s way beneficially into the environment. Likely, in examining the self, findings may be multiple and raise or answer or guide responses to several questions.

Who am I really? How might I change? What do I want out of life? What values do I have and want to pursue? How do I relate to others? What social connections would work for me. In what career path would I do well? What’s my best fit for satisfaction, success, happiness, or whatever?

Put simply, personality probing and conclusions derive from aligning one’s self with a series of personal inventory enquiries. Questions may seek a yes or no polarity or some response range in between strongly agree and strongly disagree with agreement neutrality or ambiguity in the middle. Often personality explorations discourage landing midway between extremes.

Over my years, I find participating in personality inventories enjoyable, ascertaining how they work and how they compare with previous examinations. While inventory directions routinely call for honest responses, the major challenge for me is determining answers by how I understand the questions. I have found too many questions imprecise. Some examples in the 41q inventory follow.

  1. Is depressed, blue? Sometimes yes, sometimes no and for various lengths of time. Therefore, between extremes.
  2. Generates a lot of enthusiasm? What do a lot, generate, and enthusiasm mean? Again, in the middle.
  3. Has an assertive personality? What does assertive mean and how is it exercised. Middle.
  4. Can be moody? What is moody? Middle.
  5. Makes plans and follows through with them. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Middle.
  6. Is easily distracted? What do easily or distracted mean? Middle.

Of 47 questions, I strongly disagreed with 5 (find fault, careless, quarrels, lazy, rude) and strongly agreed with 12 (relaxed, curious, deep thinker, forgiving, quiet, trusting, stable, aesthetic, inhibited, reflective, cooperative, intelligent).

Based on Carl Jung’s identification of ranges in personality types, I am in rank order, closest to Judging (I organize, plan, control, and decide); Thinking (I am logical, consistent, analytical, process driven); Introvert (attentive to ideas and the inner self); and Intuitive (introspective, following patterns and possibilities, focused on meanings).

As in other inventory findings stemming from Jung, I am INTJ, this time called “Independent Thinker.” The characteristics given are independent, original, analytical, determined, and able to turn theories into solid plans for action. I highly value knowledge, competence and structure, and derive meaning from what might be and ought to be. As such, I am a long-range thinker with high standards of performance for myself and others. Such people are potential leaders at least in their field of occupation or interest.

Q41 identifies a long string of fitting careers including scientists, engineers, professors, lawyers, judges, psychologists, researchers, and university instructors. This leaves out architects, archivists, librarians, and philosophers offered in other INTJ profiles.

Q41 names persons with INTJ personality types, a few of them that I favor or could identify with: especially Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) English mathematician, astronomer, and  physicist, a key figure in the scientific revolution; Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) an Enlightenment intellectual and founding father of the United States; and Jane Austen (1775-1817) champion of the novel as a critique of sensibility and shift to literary realism. Also named is Julius Caesar Augustus from which it is not clear who is meant: Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) or Gaius Octavianus Augustus (63 BCE-14 CE), whom I think is the more likely. Among others named, I cannot see myself aligning with Donald Rumsfeld, Rudy Giuliani, or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Generally, for an inventory that I find very problematic, I generally agree with the results and am satisfied with the profile.