Soft Rains

By | June 15, 2019

There will come soft rain and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

-Sarah Teasdale, “There Will Come Soft Rains”

No ReLAX

By | June 15, 2019

LAX is the world’s worst airport.

It truly is. I’ve been to a lot of airports. LAX is not the bottom of the barrel; it’s the barrel after someone goes to town on it with a poop cannon. When I fly I deliberately avoid LAX if I can manage it at all, and the few times I’ve been there I’ve deeply regretted it.

Change Gonna

By | June 14, 2019

Will climate change kill everyone — or just lots and lots of people?

Bad analysis and lack of systems thinking. Climate change alone has zero existential risk for humanity. However, episodes like climate change lead to wars. Arguably, some wars have already largely been driven by climate change. Wars between major power can lead to nuclear exchanges. Nuclear exchanges then lead to extinction.

Who knows how likely that is? I do not. But I do know the probability with climate change has increased and will increase even more in the future. It is truly an existential risk that this sort of facile, superficial analysis completely ignores.

Systems thinkers are rare. Vox certainly has none of them, mired as they are in centrist delusions of technocratic soteriology.

Resistant

By | June 14, 2019

Where there is a lot of money involved, the media will be (mostly) against the science and best practices for as long as is tenable. Right now large food companies buy a whole lot of advertising. The media, especially in its attenuated state, is not able to resist this onslaught of cash.

For another obvious example of where obviously wrong information is peddled all the time due to monetary incentives is economics (Laffer curve, trickle-down economics, nearly all the rest incl. Kevin Drum’s BS), but that is not nearly the only one.

Money determines truth — or at least “truth.”

Not a-Biden

By | June 14, 2019

Joe Biden, Warmonger. The alleged moderate is nothing of the sort. Few candidates have been on the wrong side of history more often.

I hate to say this, but I’d rather Trump get re-elected than Biden. If Florida ever decides to register me (have tried twice now, both times nada) if it’s Biden vs. Trump, I will likely vote for Trump if he starts no new wars in the interim.

Biden is an evil bastard who has been consistently wrong about everything for his entire political career. There is no way I can vote in good conscience for someone so stunningly dreadful and loathsome, and consistently, provably so for many decades.

The Disappointment

By | June 13, 2019

Many people despised the end of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. I did not. I think they wished for some epic, climactic battle where all moral and plot questions are unequivocally answered. In my youth, I probably would’ve been more desirous of that too. Having the Tower defended by an insane king with nearly no followers, all of this occurring in a decaying, weirding world, seems now completely appropriate to me.

With the benefit of experience, life doesn’t proceed in a manner where you achieve all your goals in some decisive confrontation. Furthermore, the journey is all there is, really. In the books, the Tower (among other things) is a representation of birth and death, neither of which we by their very nature can recall. So reaching the Tower is a nullification of experience, of meaning, of purpose. Reaching the Tower means there is either no more left to do or that one must simply do it all over again — just as in the end of life and its beginning.

As a symbol the Tower is polysemic because not only is it the goal of different people for varying reasons, but because the goal of one person contains different meanings and imperatives at various stages. Nominally, the idea is to correct whatever’s wrong with the Tower that is causing the world to fracture and decline. However, the world’s splintering and the shirking of responsibilities and higher duties has (as the book implies) the reverse causality than the characters expect — you don’t fix the Tower and that rights the world, rather you right the world and the Tower takes care of itself.

The ending of the Dark Tower series delivered a more ambiguous moral message than many wished for, though through all of the books the morality is not Manichean at all. It’s not clear why they were expecting anything other, given the rest of the series. Nevertheless, there is a moral clarity of sorts, just not one they were seeking. It is this: that how you treat your paramours, your loves, your compatriots, your friends, your traveling companions, even your enemies is more important than your ambition and your objectives. Else, you have to keep doing it until you get it right.

Somaliawhere Over the Rainbow

By | June 13, 2019

‘We Either Buy Insulin or We Die.’ The high (and rising) cost of insulin is forcing diabetics to risk their lives to get the drug.

Everyone who had anything to do with the extortion of diabetics for insulin should have all their assets seized, have their citizenship revoked, and be sent to whatever country will take them and allow an equal number immigrants in their place.

If no country will take them, just strap some surplus parachutes on them and push them out the aircraft door over Somalia. Good luck!