Author’s Note: I posted this as a private (neh, for friends on Facebook) post earlier today, but I’ve sat on it a bit and I stick by what I say. I’ve edited slightly to correct for typos.
I took the day off and enjoyed the luxury of doing laundry and what not (post vacation). And I think my blood pressure is actually higher than had I returned to work. Here’s why:
1. We have a judicial system. Flawed, imperfect, slow, laborious, skewed towards penalizing any number of people disproportionate to their crimes, ineffective at rehabilitating, and wildly inefficient. But it’s ours. Within our jurisprudence (in a way that for sure has aided the innocent as well as the guilty) is a tenant pertaining to “double jeopardy” and more specifically, establishing ~clear guidelines for when an adjudicated crime can be re-tried. None of the reasons for such a retrial include people being pissed off because they don’t agree with the outcome of a trial of their peers; nor does it include the volition generated because Dr.-fucking-Phil, FX or the makers of that “making murderers” show feel something unjust has been done. This “dialog”, for the most part, does not follow basic principles of the scientific method, logical reason, or just about any other “philosophy” one would follow if trying to arrive at a reasoned decision. But sure, as long as you have Cuba Gooding Junior opine about his personal feelings on top of the previously non-fact based arguments. We are literally inciting hysteria here, and not even addressing the core of the matter which had a lot more to do with race relationships, domestic abuse, abuse of power, police brutality, blah blah blah. But yeah, let’s rip this shit wide open.
2. We really don’t talk about facts or theories or principled reasoned statements at all, we deal in hyperbolic bullshit and we eat it right the fuck up out of the dirty dog dish it sits in in the shed we’ve been led to believe is our American dream. Kid Rock who’s done nothing more than start a beer factory with the homophobic cellulite king Guy Fieri has endorsed Donald Trump today — as newsworthy, according to the internet, as the fact that the Iowa Caucus occurs today. We have the most expensive, long-winded, least fact based election process and yet we, the United States of America, are a “global super power” who elects officials based on nothing really substantive at all. I think Iowa is where cornflakes are made, and I’m sure they are having some rigorous debates that would fly well over the heads of most, but the ridiculous overemphasis we place on these “milestones” versus what is being said and done is ridiculous. I support Hillary, I think Sanders is cray cray but wildly honest and I like that. I watched Hillary do nothing but stump today because she’s playing to the numbers and the majority versus the issues (surprising). Yet our electoral college actually has little to do with a majority. It’s all so imbalanced. Oh, and BTDUBS, we an abysmally low voter-turnout hovering under 60%. That means optimistically 190M people voted in the last election, while about 120M watched the SuperBowl. This is the leadership we alleged while others in countries beyond our borders fight for the basic right of having a vote.
3. CLIMATE CHANGE (and HIV & CANCER & CLEAN ENERGY & other things) — science isn’t convenient, nor does it always tell us what we want it to tell us. In honor of my brilliant Professor Donna who’s birthday is today, I know that sometimes you can toil to discover a genetic pathway, discover your hypothesis is complete bullshit, or otherwise have to accept your concept of the the universe around is you isn’t quite what you expected. What a glorious thing! To find out with some probability that what you thought is likely wrong…for discoverers, adventurers, explorers, and inventors, being wrong is the genesis of new discovery and exploration. That’s beautiful. It’s a well lit path towards new answers and new possibility. Denying statistically relevant defensible data from studies and experts in lieu of rhetoric IS the climate change conundrum we’re caught in and I’d reckon is why we haven’t solved the other parenthetical problems I list above.
We have made data available to almost everyone, but not yet democratized information nor the ability to freely transmit ideas. For every Elon or Jeff, there are likely countless geniuses who just don’t have the connections, network, or resources to make heir idea come to life — or they fear for speaking up because they don’t want to be branded.
When we democratize information (not data), insist on a level of honesty and transparency that we’ve never seen before that will feel wildly uncomfortable, stop accepting bloviation and pontification as evidence, and find ways to make the transmission of ideas among each other a resource versus a threat to our own strongholds of power, then we’ll start to solve problems.