Thursday, September 30, 2004

Multiple post day - science and politics

While I'm at the computer I figure I'll get another post out of the way. I noticed on the news this afternoon that Mount St Helens may erupt and that the USGS has scientists on-hand to review the activity. Something that one scientist said intrigued me and I happen to think that his approach would surprise many people. His comment when asked something regarding what the scientists knew or could predict was along the lines of how little they know currently and why that makes this opportunity so exciting because they can learn. Now I think that often people make appeals to scientific research or scientists opinions because they think that lends credence to their position. In this example I think it would be equally accurate to say that a scientists position may be more informed by evidence but this his/her conclusions may not be more mature or accurate. In fact, during periods of testing and evaluation I don't think its the predictions that make a good scientist; I think its observation comparison and correlation that help to build an experiential basis for someone having something valuable to say as a scientist. I further think that its the peer review process that hones those individuals thought processes to produce people who are generally careful in their assertions and demanding in their evalation process.

Second topic for this post is that I'm a total goob. I'm patriotic like a mofo (you'll know what I meant to say if you've ever talked to me around the guys). I find that discussions of law in general and our system of government stimulate me mentally. It impresses me when our system doesn't have loopholes built into it. I like that our government is dynamic and reactive (not reactionary) but I also like to see that the idyllic machine is sometimes more important than the pieces which comprise it (gestalt theory). I don't like partisan activity or values but I do like democracy. Democrats and Republicans be damned for how they all hang together to protect themselves. I like the foundation of the law rather than the corruption that centuries of bureaucracy produce. Still, you have to take the bad with the good. The system is as good as any other. Its weakness is that it depends on the selfless choices and activities of the individual and often as idividuals (whether speaking of myself or of some mayor, judge or representative) we choose selfishly rather than corporately. I don't have a problem with not seeing eye-to-eye with someone who thinks that the needs of the many are served while still protecting the rights of the individual when some elected official decides to come down on the other side of an issue. Its when that official just doesn't seem to care or has a vested interest or is swayed to a position by loyalty to a friend or partner rather than standing his/her ground and making a choice that represents a less popular or personally motivated solution that I get ticked off. Democrats, Republicans; not tons of difference between then in my opinion. They are both peopled by men and women who are governed by their emotions and given to promoting their own agendas. I'm afraid often the question you have to ask yourself is which agendas are most in line with my view of the world and how I'd like to see it become. Truth be told, its finances that shape the world as much as anything. If you want a voice in the world, make money. Make a lot and watch the people sidle up to you looking for a handout. Make $5 or 10 and its the guy at the stoplight who washes your windows with newspaper. Make $5,000,000 or 10,000,000 and its the guy in the gray wool suit asking if you'd like to support X candidate.

Ah, now see what I've done. I've gone from the nebulous and poetic beauty that is our legal system of government of the people, by the people and for the people and slid down to speaking more to the issue of the people who step into the roles that are engendered by the pedestrian shuffling of that same government as it tries to actually stand and move towards a goal. Its a beautiful thing when the object of your appreciation sits staring beautifully but when it realizes that it has to work to accomplish something some of the glossy dream is broken or at least cracked and the underlying guts are shown through misappropriation of funds, inappropriate conduct towards citizens or volunteers or self-serving votes. True, its not a perfect system but it is a good one that inspires me.

Thanks for reading,


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