A Quote About Diversion

I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber…. But on further consideration, when, after finding the cause of all our ills, I have sought to discover the reason of it, I have found that there is one very real reason, namely, the natural poverty of our feeble and mortal condition, so miserable that nothing can comfort us when we think of it closely…. Hence it comes that play and the society of women, war, and high posts, are so sought after. Not that there is in fact any happiness in them, or that men imagine true bliss to consist in money won at play, or in the hare which they hunt; we would not take these as a gift. We do not seek that easy and peaceful lot which permits us to think of our unhappy condition, nor the dangers of war, nor the labour of office, but the bustle which averts these thoughts of ours, and amuses us.

– Pascal

Not Another Chernobyl

The still-developing situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after last week’s devastating earthquake is not, I repeat, is not another Chernobyl, despite what headline writers and news anchors would like to claim. I assert that, while this crisis hasn’t killed as many people, or leaked as much radiation or fissile material as the 1986 disaster, the events of the past week place nuclear power at the center of public attention like no other time since the partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island, thirty-one years ago.

Below is an excerpt from my most recent Flyover Geeks piece. Read the whole thing here.

The still-developing situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after last week’s devastating earthquake is not, I repeat, is not another Chernobyl, despite what headline writers and news anchors would like to claim. I assert that, while this crisis hasn’t killed as many people, or leaked as much radiation or fissile material as the 1986 disaster, the events of the past week place nuclear power at the center of public attention like no other time since the partial core meltdown at Three Mile Island, thirty-one years ago. It calls into question the safety of nuclear energy, and, when the dust settles, will greatly influence future policy debate over cleaner alternatives to fossil-fuelled energy production.

My argument, that Fukushima is more significant, policy-wise, than Chernobyl, rests on three arguments. Japan is a geographically small, economically powerful ally of the United States; natural disasters, for which Japan is extremely well-prepared, take away the element of human culpability. Finally, despite Japan’s place at the head of the technological pack for the past twenty years at least, the burden of cleaning up this disaster rests on the shoulders of men and women; which, aside from the mixed-gender situation, sounds very much like the Chernobyl situation. Except now we have CNN to make a human drama out of it.

 

Yet Another Preview of “Why You Should Date a Man Who Reads”

Not only is this excerpt longer than the previous excerpt, it is a scanned image out of my notebook, which, if I’m not terribly mistaken, makes this a more authentic reading experience. This might also tip my hand a little bit, revealing that I am, in certain key capacities, very much like the reading man I advised readers, female and male, to not date. Except, as I put it so eloquently to a friend over decaf coffee, “I am kind of like the man who reads from that piece, but I am not a dick.”

 

Ever the hipster, I write only in Moleskines

I’ll leave it at that. And, when reading, please forgive the poor punctuation, the illegible ‘f’ in the sixth line, and the somewhat purple haze hanging over the whole thing.

 

An Observation Regarding Truth & Competence

“Being labeled ‘correct’ or ‘true’ is very. uhhh, pre-postmodern. You know better than to make such judgments. Now, I suppose, one could only call someone ‘legitimate’. It’s not the same thing. So, it seems, my goal is not to be objectively, verifiably correct; instead, it suffices to merely speak and/or write as though what I’m saying is true. The verity of my message is irrelevant: verity is a romantic myth. It suffices to sound as though I know what I’m talking about, you know, to seem smart, or whatever. Today, seeming precedes being.”

Bid-Ask Arbitrage

Bid: Coffee

Offer: Silence

Bid: Coffee

Offer: Silence

Lunch? No reply.

Appealing counteroffer: Park?

Ah, I see the game you’re playing.

Reciprocal response: cautious entreaty.

Drank the Kool Aid, too sour. Acidic.

Vision explodes beyond the mechanics,

The gears of our tacit negotiation.

Phantasms convoluting in a sea of trichroic something.

I continue, convalescing, regrouping into myself.

You’re still away in dream world, dancing impossibly.

Goading tease, you. No ruth of which to speak.

You, a water sculptor when you know my velocity.