Language Porn

For those who have better things to attend to, it snowed yesterday in Nawth Alibam. Mostly a nuisance snow. The only dangerous part was sharing the roads with the typical Alibam driver who practices the somewhat suicidal idea that the best way to drive on low friction roads is as fast as possible. 

This is an intriguing concept based on minimizing the time of risk. The problem is that it doesn’t minimize risk; in fact, in many ways it maximizes risk. And I cannot decide why this is so: are Alibamians just naturally not-smart; or is it a blindness thing mentally like being unable to be rational or do maths? 

So the only actual risk of the snow was the people who were not minimizing the risk for themselves and others. In particular, the rational, sedate drivers were at considerable risk of some typical Alibamian spinning out into them, or ramming them for driving too slowly.

Happily I was available to avoid both with some difficulty because of the high optical densities of falling snow flakes. The real kind, not the pseudo-curse word used by Repulsians.

After a night of dripping faucets to ameliorate the low temperatures, considerably below the liquid-to-solid phase transition of dihydrogen oxide, I ventured out this morning to gym. There I was exposed to a dialog on Faux News that reminded me that it an elected official announces that something is false, it is generally not. And since this politician’s tirade was singular negative, I was unable to establish the converse. 

Then driving home I met a fellow walking in the road – on the wrong side – that is, with the traffic flow. And his ears were muffled. 

So even without the snow, we have ample signs of the behavior – nationally.

Along the way I began to muse on a couple of phrases. One I heard yesterday – “We do not know the future” – and the other – “The future is not promised/guaranteed” – today. And I reflected on these. 

Yes, we do not know the future, even if, as Quantum Mechanics may indicate, the future reaches back – probabilistically – to drag us forward. But more the situation, we do not know much of anything about future, past, or even present. All we know is what we experience, what we sense. So while we know nothing about the future, we know astoundingly little about past or present. In effect, we can say that we know very little about anything that is not universal. 

If we live in Alibam, we cannot experience or sense what goes on in New York. In fact, other than what is immediately around us we cannot sense, so we only know about a small part of Alibam. 

So the “We do not know the future” is a rubbish statement. What is intriguing about it is that the majority of humanity doesn’t understand this. They keep uttering and believing this sort of garbage.

Similarly, “The future is not promised/guaranteed” is a rubbish statement. Who promises or guarantees the future? Other than that there will be a future? Time will not change. I resist saying “time will not stop” because we don’t know if time is discrete or continuous.

But the point is that no agency we have, human or social or legal, can guarantee or promise the future. Except as a prevarication. So the very idea of expecting a promise or guarantee of a future is void. To say nothing of how would we collect on a broken promise or a violated guarantee? Would we receive an apology or a return on investment? 

Time is not a commodity. We cannot contain it, nor can it be traded or refined. I can understand people not wanting to think about it since it is intangible. Hunter-gatherer genetic heritage does not make us natural philosophers. 

But we continually say things that are absolute garbage. Reeking and with maggots. And that is worrisome. 

 

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