It has been overcast and rainy most of this week. The clouds broke up a bit yesterday afternoon. When I let Bode out around 9 PM though the sky had cleared and the stars were brilliant. Was thinking it was the kind of night an early frost might slip in. When the critters got me up around 6:30 this morning saw that clouds had moved in. I heard an owl when I let Bode out. It is light now but still overcast.
I have been remembering the flawless blue skies in Milwaukee five years ago which were especially striking with all aircraft grounded except for an occasional military plane flying parallel to the lakefront.
I had decided to leave my full time job after taking medical leave. During that time I signed up for Joint Efforts classes at the YMCA to see if I could move in the water. I still hadn’t recovered from the setback the beginning of the previous year.
I caught the 15 bus as usual the morning of September 11 and was lost in thinking of designs for swim suits that were easier to get on and fairly modest too. When I got to the locker room the TV was on, but it wasn’t the usual talk show. I went to the pool for class then when I returned the now famous video of the towers was playing and playing again. I remember one of the younger women there asked “Is this the end of the world?”
I guess she was right. So many things have changed. Perhaps the most distressing for me, a baby boomer, was the way that tactics we were taught to recognize as propaganda and manipulation from evil Communist totalitarians was now coming from our own government.
It is in this light that I propose a new term for TV programming. They already have a name, docudrama, but perhaps dupe-u-drama might be better.
It is really pretty pathetic that reality is not good enough, so need to recreate something more agreeable. As a former scientist I am accustomed to regarding reality as a friend and questioning everything. Guess that explains the droll custom of disregarding scientific evidence about things like global climate change and pollution, it just doesn’t make short term economic and political sense.
I am hearing reports of USA falling behind in technology. Perhaps this practice of silencing scientists for business reasons (in both the private and public sector!) might be having a chilling effect on the very people who invent things. Before you discount this, think of how many people you know who feel that finding what someone else does and copying instead of coming up with your own solution is a real accomplishment.
For those folks (and I know who some of you are!) who got through school by memorizing things like the scientific method instead of understanding how things work, all those politicians who were saying that global climate changes could not be proved were full of it. Scientists are able to prove or disprove a thesis when they can run multiple experiments. The vital concept here is multiple. A chemist or physicist can run thousands of measurements in a few minutes. Biologists have it a bit rougher, but when you culture millions of cells, it is getting close to what chemists can do with molecules. We have one earth, on which we depend for the air we breathe, weather appropriate to grow the crops we depend on for food and climate suitable for life. So, by definition there can not be proof using the scientific method as demanded. As we have one system that is so vital, it would seem in our best interests to be extremely conservative with things such altering the basic chemical and physical properties of our atmosphere and oceans.
So, dear readers, when the politicians said “we need proof,” the saying “we’ll act when Hell freezes over” is closer to what they really meant. Meanwhile the role of the scientists became not protecting our most vital resource, but measuring its decline. Death by diagnosis?
Well, I am listening to Choral Evensong from September 13. BBC Radio 3 lets you listen to broadcasts for a week after they air. Like on the G4 400 MHz desktop, on the new iBook, Safari seems to handle the BBC Player best. Mozilla and Firefox seem to have trouble with RealAudio in general. Got a connection at 40 kbps this morning when I first dialed in and it was sustained for an entire hour. Once it finishes, will listen to The Early Music Show live.
Almost forgot, with gas prices being lower, need to be sure to fill my tank before election day.
Why so gloomy today? Perhaps the weather. Maybe the flies that are hanging about are passing on their anticipation of the inevitable?