Tuesday, March 01, 2016

virtue vs. virtual...

As you can see, my tiny boxes book is headed toward publication with the cover design nearly finalized.  I am currently receiving edited chapter text for corrections and review, with completion on my end planned for the middle of this new month.
 The following is from etymonline.com  an excellent resource for those interested in language and its origins.

virtue (n.) Look up virtue at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, vertu, "moral life and conduct; a particular moral excellence," from Anglo-French and Old French vertu "force, strength, vigor; moral strength; qualities, abilities" (10c. in Old French), from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "moral strength, high character, goodness; manliness; valor, bravery, courage (in war); excellence, worth," from vir "man" (see virile).
For my part I honour with the name of virtue the habit of acting in a way troublesome to oneself and useful to others. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Especially (in women) "chastity, sexual purity" from 1590s. Phrase by virtue of (early 13c.) preserves alternative Middle English sense of "efficacy." Wyclif Bible has virtue where KJV uses power. The seven cardinal virtues (early 14c.) were divided into the natural (justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude) and the theological (hope, faith, charity). To make a virtue of a necessity (late 14c.) translates Latin facere de necessitate virtutem [Jerome].
virtuous (adj.) Look up virtuous at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "characterized by vigor or strength; having qualities befitting a knight; valiant, hardy, courageous;" from Old French vertuos "righteous; potent; of good quality; mighty, valiant, brave" (12c.), from Late Latin virtuosus "good, virtuous," from Latin virtus (see virtue). From mid-14c. in English as "having beneficial or efficacious properties;" late 14c. (of persons) as "having excellent moral qualities; conforming to religious law." Related: Virtuously; virtuousness.
virtual (adj.) Look up virtual at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "influencing by physical virtues or capabilities, effective with respect to inherent natural qualities," from Medieval Latin virtualis, from Latin virtus "excellence, potency, efficacy," literally "manliness, manhood" (see virtue). The meaning "being something in essence or effect, though not actually or in fact" is from mid-15c., probably via sense of "capable of producing a certain effect" (early 15c.). Computer sense of "not physically existing but made to appear by software" is attested from 1959.
What in the world happened to truth, goodness, and beauty as the primary components to a virtuous life? What you will find if you are astute, is that there is very little that is virtuous or pertaining to virtue in what we now refer to as "virtual" reality. The term is deceptive, and unrelated to high moral principles, which would include truth, and yet, our society is enamored with it. 
In contrast, Walt Whitman wrote the following:
The Sacredness of Work
The house-builder at work in cities or anywhere,
The preparatory jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising,
The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their places, laying them regular.
Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises, according as they were prepared,
The blows of mallets and hammers--Paeans and praises to Him! -- Walt Whitman
Can you see why children in schools ought to be doing real things, rather than being merely entertained, distracted and steeped in artificiality? The significance of the hands in learning is that they provide the gauge to measure and direct the implementation and development of mind.
Make, fix, create, and extend toward others the love of learning likewise.

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