Heat Hate

The expedition to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill was successful in that I both survived and returned alive to Greater Metropolitan Arab. On the down side I was reminded that the year is closing out and next week’s expedition will be the last until after the holiday is passed.

As in kidney stone passed.

On the bright side, one of my colleagues sent me a link to a cartoon:

which captures several dimensions. First, it is rather how I feel about winter in general and why I cannot take constitutional in park. I am not sure how much of it is surviving too long and how much is chemicals in my blood and body that reduce my heat capacity, but both are clearly factors. It is hard to walk when you are shivering so hard you cannot stay erect. And I experience that at an absurdly high temperature.

The second is that cold is a sensation. It is not a thermodynamic metric. It cannot be measured and we can therefore, per Lord Kelvin, not really know anything substantive about it. That however, gets at its nature. Sensation is often something we cannot know except by experience. It is orthogonal to any understanding beyond the observational. Beyond the binary – Ising – observation of its presence/non-presence, it is not objective. Hence the idea, the actuality, of too cold is purely subjective, and needs best be accepted as such. Criticism and judgment are inappropriate, destructive. But that sadly is the nature of humans. Somehow we can only be happy sometimes if we are making others unhappy.

And that is why winter is such a human thing.