All Hallows Eve. I think. It has gotten to a point where one can no longer trust the calendar folks to accurately appoint the holy days what with all the silly little – and too big! – governments deciding they don’t like when a holy day is supposed to fall and autarchically move it to when it is least objectionable to them. All hallows tends to suffer that latter a lot and I expected it this year, anticipating that the local conscript parents would decide they wanted to advance the date. Or rather, what I think is the date.
But they have apparently not changed the date, nor caved in to the overstated influence of the educationalists and tonight seems to portend the observation of the event. The observation will not generally take the form of religionist service however, but of the rather trite and ill pursued custom of door knocking and candy collection. This has sadly (?) sagged since my day when mothers constructed their own, home made, treats and then left fathers to dispense them as they escorted the youngest of the offspring in door rounds. And the rounds were very limited in those days. I never called at more than ten houses so that I could get home for the rest of my homework, any test drills, bath and bed. And the treats were strictly rationed at such a low rate that some would have putrefied before they were dispensed. Mothers mothered in those days.
Now, insofar as I can observe, the whole practice has degenerated into misuse or overuse. Because of fears of candy terrorism, treats today must either be obtained under the strictest of supervision of children and adults or taken off to hospital to be X-Rayed, a service to be passed on to my medical insurance for hidden payment of labor hours and wear-and-tear on equipment. The overuse arises from adolescents who contend to gather as much candy as possible, which I somehow doubt is rationed. It seems now that the religionist organizations have gotten past their antipathy to the church of Rome, the protesting ones at least, and decided to adopt the day anew as a means of controlling the risk they perceive to offspring. Isn’t it wonderful when biology – animal nature – overwhelms superstition and mysticism?
The podcast this morning was an episode of CBC’s "Best of Ideas" dealing with complexity. [Link] I have to admit that this was a very frightening episode. I have become aware that BOI is all about ‘Luvvies’ but have not yet inured myself enough to distance myself from the horror that ‘Luvvies’ so often – almost always – are. [Link][Link] Just when I was beginning to think of alternatives that would let be cut this episode short in consuming my gym time, a truly frightening thing occurred. One of the pundits, this one a politician turned academic, which is itself inherently and implicitly frightening, demonstrated a superficial knowledge of what complexity is. For brief moments I held a false hope that the boffins would yet arrive and recover civilization and sanity but then that hope shriveled up like a gastropod on a griddle. Yes, they had heard of complexity and had been exposed to the concepts but they chose to ignore them for the sake of communicating with the bogs – or, at least, seeming to.
No mention of extensivity or emergence, no consideration of interaction as perspective. Instead, homilies misformed from earlier misunderstanding and absence of testing crawled and hobbled out of their mouths like monsters in some parody of an Easter parade. Finally I was able to focus on the macabre humor of the sincerity of the thing and actual enjoy some of it in the same fashion that there is a whacked thrill dating back to our dinosaur genetic predecessors at being frightened.
But the real fun is yet to come. I have installed a laser radar tracking system outside Castellum SCP and have stocked up on organic, high fiber, zero gluten, minimum sugar treats should any actually brave this night.