It’s a dark, very dark day… Charlie says the apocalypse is upon us; the viral and wildfire smokey particulates are winning. Disaster Trump lurks. And wonderful RBG dies. I call it the big unpleasantness, because I am his mother. …but then a gleam of bright right happens. Looking out our view-full window, we see the Yacht Club-boat with tugboat float by, on it’s way to be tended. We waved. Surely, they smiled.
If you, as I, think Trump was elected and still has a chance to be re-elected because too few people know how to tell sense from nonsense, then, if ever, it is time to act. A read or re-read of The Thread: A Mathematical Yarn by Philip J. Dorian will remind you of how much fun and learning go into a search for information. Josephine Tey’s mystery, A Daughter of Time demonstrates the impact of poorly chosen sources. Then it is time to act.
DAY DIMMERS are among us. Social media and data science have made finding, choosing and using good sources harder, but… some just know too-little; others are outright info- sinners, e.g., The mask-less who justify themselves with: “God will protect me.” The racism denier who argues: ” Nothing has ever happened to me and I am a Latin American.” The patient who disagrees with the MD’s diagnosis or treatment and argues: “That’s not what it said on Facebook.” Trump listing “his” “accomplishments”. Attorney General Barr who says that mail-in voting leads to fraud and, when asked by a reporter why he thought fraud was involved, answered: “Logic.”
But then,DAY BRIGHTENERS arrive. HEADLINES say it all. “Getting wise to Fake News [Misinformation on Social Media]” includes health information and online courses. “Misinformation is ‘it’s own pandemic’ Among Parents“includes techniques for pushing back on social media and in person. “What I Learned From Trump’s Accomplishments: Facts are vital. But they are not sufficient” argues for context, with good examples. Barr needs so much. Start with the common sense of logical argument needs evidence, e.g. sources, and bad sources will kill argument. Then how about a day trip to the library where sources abound.
(Okay, I just wanted to sneak in the biggest Day Brightener Headline of all: “How Libraries Can Save the 220 Election“, and the conclusion: “It’s already clear that neither the president nor Congress nor the Postal Service will do what’s necessary to ensure the integrity of the 2020 election. The library, still among the most revered institutions in our fragile democratic experiment, may well be our best hope.” YES! But Barr does need sources, and libraries have lots of them.
So, social media and data science have made finding, choosing and using good sources harder, but..remote learning with it’s connecting capability may be a plus, maybe even a saving grace for those who want to know how to find good sources in today’s world of inter-connectivity, erased records, ever new technologies.
WOEFUL DAY DIMMER: It’s time to say goodbye to Roseledge. The days of wine and roses, and blueberries, of morning coffee and pre-and post-dusk parties before the bats meet and eat the mosquitoes, of books and bookish-ness, of Sea Street strolls and harbor life and friends to share all this and more, those days are over. Thanks for the memories. I have sold Roseledge to my neighbor who owns it’s frontage. It’s time.
And no, I don’t know anything about the long, one-windowed, concrete block behemoth behind it. Fun, but surely inappropriate, to speculate. Probably not a “harbor” to store a replica of the medieval Irish boat that preceded the Viking voyages, but maybe.
DAY BRIGHTENER: Charlie and I, with Scott’s help, are making a Roseledge documentary, ala Ken Burns. Aim high, I say. Surely, it will go through many iterations, as Charlie and I disagree, often, about who is in control. He says I am a difficult person. Goodness knows, I try. I almost put myself to sleep on my first three-minute effort. Being peppier might help. AARRGGHH! More later.