Thursday, March 19, 2020

winter 2020

Today among days, I find increasing media opinion that We are in a milestone of the century. Tom Friedman is an example.

Yet, I find far more opinion indicating that a new season is merely postponed.

In my opinion, fall of 2020, then 2021 are to be fabulous for Euro-American life—not to forget others’ suffering. My modest life is, as I said last year, “luxury compared to what most of humanity endures daily. But I do my best to be basically optimistic.”

The “sense of site” has been updated: not substantially, but clarified.

One dramatic episode of Our evolving,” March 17, is inspired by Hawaiian conflicts about plans to build a large telescope atop Mauna Kea—which also motivates Overbye’s NYTimes article, inspiring “for astro-science...,” below, which is more speculative.

Mar. 13 | This week has been a milestone for me, (1) in terms of my Project development (too involved to capsulate), (2) relative to how the covid-19 pandemic is instructive for how the world really works in a sudden general crisis, and (3) relative to a fun posting: “for astro-science funding—then beyond.”

You must see video of David Brooks today during his discussion at the PBS News Hour: so angry about Trump, the “sociopath,” at 1 minute : 40 seconds into the discussion, onward a minute or so.

But there’s reason for optimism: The next president of the United States is to be Joe Biden. So, again, at last, there will be decency, integrity, and authenticity in American leadership, and collaborative international politics, early winter of 2021 onward, for a decade or so (one hopes).

Mar. 7 | Today is Commonwealth Day in London. If you read the Queen’s message, you get a wonderful sense of what a notion of The Commonwealth of Humanity is, albeit in terms of that original, living commonwealth. It's a lovely statement.

We are drawn together among all religions and philosophies by the ambiguous notion of humanism. It's rightly ambiguous, because we are an evolving way of being, a planetary being, singularly “human” in some sense that can hold our potential good for generations beyond our imagination.

So, We can serve humanity no better than through educational excellence oriented by humanities, from kindergarten love of being together to high interdisciplinary research in humanistically enlightened STEM projects informing leadership for the planetary lattice of metropoles (the new city-states) that are antedating national boundaries.

And it’s realistic to add that we are not “Alone” in this corner of the galaxy. We are the humans. We recognize, in the iconic photo of the Earth from our moon that, in the blackness of the cosmos, this pale blue dot is all the heaven that there is, no Planet B.

[I improvised that March 7 post above as a message at the “contact” page of Andrew Yang’s “Humanity Forward” fundraising project.]

Mar. 1 | Here’s a fable about the golf club king—and the NYTimes opinion piece that I’m commenting at shows why Maureen Dowd is my favorite “theater” critic. | Mar. 9: If you believe that my “fable” is exaggeration, read “Trump, Germaphobe in Chief, struggles to control the covid-19 story.”

Feb. 29 | The week has been hectic, but I managed to do two promissory posts last night, “praise for gifted longevity” and “phoniness of juristic originalism,” both of which follow up my comments at the NYTimes.

The unrelatedness of the two postings result from occasions that each serve one
of my evolving Project foci: fascination by the elusive, ever-receding horizons of
so-called “human nature”; and fascination with evolving good government. My Project is implicitly oriented by my sense of cohering the five Areas of, practically and fundamentally.

Feb. 8 | I continue to immerse myself in leading news, as usual; but that doesn’t cause me to want to discuss it (otherwise as if tracking isn’t wearying enough).

I especially don’t want to give space here to commenting on the political pornographer who’s being properly contained by good professionals who minimize the harm he wants to do by letting him believe he’s doing anything constructive. But I relent, this time:

A recent study of the golf club king, Unmaking the Presidency, has an especially apt analogy to share, which the NYTimes reviewer notes:
Using the metaphor of Trump pressing all the buttons on a dummy switchboard that’s been disconnected, the authors write: “Trump himself doesn’t even seem to know, or even care, that the buttons no longer do anything. He cares mostly whether he is perceived to be operating the switchboard in a commanding fashion.” [review here]
But the accurate image of a bozo playing king is part of a “reality” show which has gotten as obscene and pathetic as the typical bully in high school (which is also the maturity level of The Donald’s sense of belittling others).

Frightening is not only that the GOP establishment applauds the mobster, but that they, as well as Trump, are beholden to voters who applaud bigotry (even overt racism), show fealty to debasing others, show admiration for hucksterism, enjoy self-serving arrogance, cheer contempt for principle, ignore conscience, and identify with ignorance.

Feb. 9 | Last week, the academic journal International Affairs published an analysis titled “Immature leadership: Donald Trump and the American presidency” (free online), which was difficult for the author because “Trump’s psychology is so unique, and so akin to that of a small child,...” says the Abstract. Yet, the author ( a professor of international politics) begins his article more directly: “... almost all his biographers, even his acolytes, describe him in terms one would use for a toddler.”

So much news, so little time; thus, one may be grateful for nutshells (after the 15 second ad).

Then, after the laughs, back to defining a progressive pragmatism which inspires Democratic voters.

Jan. 25 | Offline immersion continues.

The death and remembrance of PBS News Hour founder Jim Lehrer occasioned
a posting about journalism, integrity and public education. Implicit is my con-
viction that democracy is an ideal that depends on educational leadership in all modes of public life (government, media, business,...), in order to better enable the ideal to be better actualized.

The best ideals are never fully actualized, because “the more perfect union” never reaches perfection in evolving. Evolving society also advances its ideals (e.g., better broadening of what is built well, better building in light of broadened higher quality of life).

Everything evolves, relative to the integrity of everyone (an endless hope).

Jan. 4 | I had an elaborate update in mind a week ago; and worked toward that. But it got too elaborate for a few paragraphs. So, I'm not going to do anything here this week—maybe not this month.

My work is going very well, yet it draws me into intensive solitude which feels contrary to brief posting. However, I expect a flow of shared ideas to begin in a couple of months, if not earlier, and to continue through the year.