Thursday, July 16, 2020

Off the Tracks

I went off the tracks yesterday.  I didn't leave the house.  Didn't exercise.  Didn't bathe.  Had a beer at noon, and then. . . the heat, the tropical rainstorm. . . . I don't know.  I started listening to music.  A certain song by Aimee Mann, then another.  I feel stupid to say it, but she is the best pop musician of her time, perhaps.  Pop, I say.

I started thinking about the music of the late nineties and the early aughts, then about life and how it changed and where I was the very moment we left the 20th century and stepped into the 21st.  I remember it very well, for as I wrote the next morning, I was looking back with melancholy and she was looking forward eagerly.

We rushed forward, the swirl of things.  Perhaps I couldn't keep up.

Still, it was rich, that decade on either side of the centuries.  I was happily married.  My academic star was rising.  I was divorced.  I stumbled, but falling was delicious fun.  I was one thing.  Then I was another.

Yada, yada, yada.  I will rewrite it all one day.  It needs paring.  I have about a billion words so far.  Too much.  I didn't leave anything out.

And yesterday became today.

The social scientist is challenging the scientist in his own backyard.  Fauci finally speaks out about the White House attacks on his credibility.  But here's the thing--the media turns science into a  True/False proposition.  I'll explain what I mean.

Yesterday, Q sent me a clever analogy one of his friends wrote about chess.  In essence, it stated that a chess champion will beat an amateur 100 out of 100 times.  So why do people who have little or no training in science think they can opine about science?  Because they think the choices are binary.

"Do you think the virus will disappear when temperatures rise above 20 ℃?"

It is a 50/50 proposition.  And if an idiot says "no," he later says, "See, I told you."  Maybe he then thinks he knows more than the scientists.

But I am guessing that the don't give True/False tests in medical school.  Rather. . .

“Explain the factors that are likely to increase or decrease the odds of infections rising when temperatures rise above 20 ℃.”

Now the idiots are stumped.  

For some people, life is a True/False test.  For others, they pay someone to take the SAT for them.  

The papers are still following my blog.  Today in CNN:

A new Monmouth poll shows presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a 13-point lead in Pennsylvania, making it yet another swing state with good polling news for the former VP. But it also seems that most Pennsylvanians are skeptical.

A majority (57%) believe there's a constituency of "secret Trump voters."

These people believe there are a number of so-called secret voters in their communities who support President Donald Trump but won't tell anyone about it, as Monmouth puts it.

And of course, there is the "Biden isn't Trump" candidacy.  Here's the weak endorsement by Al Franken:

"Joe Biden is not Franklin Roosevelt. But he is Joe Biden, a fundamentally decent man who could begin healing some of the divisions that this President has deliberately exploited and deepened."

He could have added, "and he won't be there very long."  

Today will be different than yesterday.  I will leave the house. 

Maybe.  It is tempting to stay in and mope around reshaping the past through the present, drinking beer and not showering, waiting on tomorrow in the musical flowing of hours, way leading to way, moment to moment, minute by minute. . . . 

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