Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Fri Jun 25 09:37:55 2004
Squirrel Wounds

For the last few weeks, I've seen a lot of road maintenance happening around Squirrel Hill, with the top torn off of a number of roads, and construction crews all over the place. The maintenance has made it to my street -- I was woken this morning by the sound and smell of one of these beasts working in front of my apartment. I normally like sleeping with the windows open.. I guess I'll need to give that up for a few days.

I finished reading Trotsky's book yesterday evening. It was a very good read, giving me some better ideas about how Trotsky would've done things differently. A few thoughts.. I'm not sure if the revolution, as portrayed by Trotsky, is so much betrayed as bungled -- much of his criticism is simply noting where Stalin's policies were failing, but not necessarily deliberate. Further, while the bureaucracy did a lot of the "everything is fine" type of announcement, this is no stranger, sadly, to modern government. Today, we live in an age where we see similar things regularly from our politicians, capitalist or socialist. It's rare that we hear politicians saying "I don't know", much less any finer gradations, and for similar reasons, it was shocking when Colin Powell, a few months ago, stated that the invasion of Iraq was based on faulty data (well, both the statement and that said statement was made were shocking, the second much more than the first to people like me). One thing I wonder about -- is there something about the masses that encourages this behavior? Do we have a love of heroes that forces our politicians to attempt to always be sure? Do we watch so many movies that have simple plots that we expect our politicians to be navigating a similar world? Perhaps... We also can think of an outcome of human interaction and power structure that distorts honest thinking. Simply, the presence of factions and arguments between them might cause people to act with more macho (and thus less sense) by forcing them to become partisian and avoiding the "I told you so" kind of moments. To make this more concrete, imagine a potential hydropower dam, and the debates being held to construct it. Initially, people might make a judgement as to the negative and positive aspects of the dam (unless they're bribed by cooporation with other bills or are dependant on a political party that has a strong opinion), but once the debate starts, if it lasts awhile people will make alliances and personal connections based on their position, and even if new data comes along that initially would've caused them to decide differently, or their values change, it becomes risky for them to switch because they look less wise than people who had their new position the whole time, the other alliance might not trust them not to flip-flop, and would otherwise not place them in an equal position of power as they may have earned initially.. And in fact to avoid cognitive dissonance, they might not be able, even in private, to admit that they no longer hold the position they're staking in the political sphere. Because this problem is part of human interaction, a solution to it would be very difficult to find.

Ahh, to briefly touch on a subject that's going .. strangely.. in my life, romance.. I just got an email from a personals site inviting me to live chat. I looked at their profile -- they live many hours away, and are apparently christian to boot. What I want to know is, did they not read my profile at all? I made it pretty clear that I am not looking for a long-distance relationship (and am in fact pretty sure that I never will have one -- I am a cuddly sort), and while it remains an open question as to if I could date a christian, the only circumstances that could lead me to try such a thing would be a near-perfect match in other areas. In any case, I'm not even sure if I'm looking very hard right now, given circumstances I'm not going to discuss.

Oh, I don't know if I've provided a pointer to this yet, but take a look at how BLOGgers killed a political career. w00t.