Today’s regurgitation reblog is served up by the WordPress “random post” feature. Back on July 24, 2011, I posted an “Aerial Reconnaissance Challenge” that was a photograph of the Fukushima nuclear reactor. It was also a Sunday.
This morning, while looking for an updated photograph, I found this news scarcely four hours old:
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I’ve talked in the past about how negativity saved my life. And you can, too!
Come to think of it, that was the day I became the self-entitled self-titled “Guru” of Negativity and earned a Participant ribbon. That was the red letter date in Guru history.
But, if you think about it, negativity can do so much more than simply save your life. I’m talking about the really important stuff. Forget trivialities like staying alive! (Unless you are one of Bee Gees. That’s the only exception and even they don’t do it right.)
Negativity can do the little things, too. Like brightening your day.
I’ll try to think of an example.
Over on yonder shelf sits a massive jar of some life-giving substance that you desperately crave. For the sake of argument, let’s say that it contains granulated sugar. Yeah, that’ll do.
The top of the jar has a screw top lid. So what do you do?
Naturally you reach out and grab that jar, using your krav maga death grip with your overly tiny little hand, and, this is the important part, leech a hold on nothing but the lid.
This is a natural instinct among humans. (Or so I’ve heard. I’m not actually one of you.) It’s an act of faith and trust. It’s a little voice inside you shouting for all to hear, “See? I trust the person before me put the lid back on and secured it tight. I have faith.” This is silly, but especially so when you live alone and are talking about yourself. (That’s the last person you should trust.)
Then what do you do? You hold that sucker out at arm’s length. The jar weighs .01 metric tons and the physics of holding it out that far exponentially increases the amount of force required to keep it aloft.
If that lid comes off what happens next is a certainty. The jar will impact the floor, glass will fly outward in a shrapnel pattern, both eyeballs will be cut out of your face, and the sugar will reach critical mass causing a mini-nuclear explosion that, albeit sweet and delicious, will make one permanently sticky.
This is where negativity comes in. It says, “If you pick that up, you will fail.” It then invites you to picture in your mind what was just described in the previous paragraph.
To negativity you should listen. Get off your ass, walk all the way across the room, grab that sucker, and screw the lid back on tight before attempting anything foolhardy and foolish, fool!
Once every lifetime or so I am granted the gift of insight. There’s a flash of light and suddenly I know something. The words that immediately follow the flash are generally pithy and pregnant with deep meaning.
“Holy shit! Fuck yeah.”
You can quote me on that.
Something like this happened to me the other day. And, my lords and ladies, it happened whilst my castle was under siege. It was a very trebuchet experience. I shall regale you with the tale anon.
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I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that I write my own material. The bad news, well, look above and see for yourself. 🙂
I wrote the joke above while thinking about odds and probabilities, especially in terms of events like the Indiana State Fair and the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi.
We often hear things expressed in probabilities. For example, “This luxurious home is offered at only $999,995. It is located on a 100-year flood plain.”
According to Wikipedia: “A one-hundred-year flood is calculated to be the level of flood water expected to be equaled or exceeded every 100 years on average.”
“A 100-year flood has approximately a 63.4% chance of occurring in any 100-year period, not a 100 percent chance of occurring.”
Interesting. I did not know that. I assume that such estimates are based on a lot on factors like recorded history and an evaluation of as many guessable variables as possible. But who knows how accurate such things are?
In the case of something like a nuclear reactor, I always wonder how they can estimate the probability of something for which no history yet exists. Truth be told, it sounds a lot like total theory and guesswork to me.
Is it the height of hubris to think we really know the odds of what might happen, what might be possible? And do we always tend to err on the side we favor? And if so, what is the cost of this bias?
This guy makes most of the points I tried to make in a previous post, only he uses words and intelligence. I think you’ll find him much more informative.