You Never Know

I haven’t written for a while.  I haven’t had anything new I felt compelled to say.  One school says blogs need to be written regularly, at least once a week, so that readers will form the habit of opening and reading them.  But I think that’s modern business BS talking – the folks who gave us spam and robocalls. I side with the other school, the one that believes in delivering value.  As I look back at my past posts, I see some that lacked it.  I never should have posted them.  I don’t want to add to an unwanted glut, for the sake of regularity.

Another reason I haven’t posted recently is that three longer writing projects have taken hold of me again. Two of them relate to the We May Be Wrong theme, so I haven’t lost interest in WMBW.  I’m just not ready to describe what those longer projects are about.  They’ll have to speak for themselves, when they’re ready.  I hope you find them engaging, when it’s time.

Meanwhile, here, I’ll just share a few odds and ends.

1. I love my TV science shows, especially those about the Universe and Astrophysics.  More than any other group I know, astronomers astrophysicists seem willing to admit the vastness of the things we do not know.  In just the past few months, I’ve learned so much about the errors of past truths I once was told was fact. Current theory tells us that we do have nine planets after all, that our solar system once had two suns, that there are super big black holes at the center of every galaxy, that there are tiny black holes in lots of nearby places that are super hard to detect, that there’s one black hole bearing down on us that may suck us up or gobble up the sun and spin us off into frigid space, and that we’d have no way to spot it until it was just three years away. My favorite admission of all is that most of the universe consists of dark matter and dark energy –just labels the physicists give to things they know absolutely nothing about.

2. A year or so ago, when I decided to watch TV news again, I sampled various sources in search of neutral reporting.  The closest I came was CBS’s Evening News with Jeff Glor.  So in the months since then, I watched Jeff Glor’s broadcast every night.  For the most part, I thought the broadcast reported the news neutrally.   Last week, CBS discontinued the show due to low ratings.  (Imagine that!  Wonder why?) Trying to interpret the PR lingo explaining CBS’s thinking makes me worry that CBS has given in.  That to increase  its viewership, it has decided to report “stories” designed  to arouse passions, as opposed to neutral news.  If this is what has happened, I mourn the loss and fear the aftermath.  If we end up with a liberal media reporting only liberal truths to liberal viewers, and a conservative media reporting only conservative truths to conservative viewers, the ideal of a unified, inclusive America will not be possible.  How can we survive if we take our facts from entirely different places?

3.  In the past few months, I’ve thought I could give my support to a Centralist party, if one existed.  It’s platform would say nothing of specific issues.  It’s promise would simply be to keep an open mind, to be inclusive, and to search out compromise between extremes.  I genuinely think that, as a process, that’s as important as any specific issue.  That it’s the only way for us to survive. If a candidate adopted such a set of promises, he or she would have my vote.

4. This week’s news reported that Joe Biden is talking about unity, intending to run for President as the candidate of the middle.  If that bears out in the months to come, he may end up getting my vote!  Imagine that!

5. Years ago, in the Publix cafeteria, absorbed in a lunch time conversation about writing, I opined that a good story-teller can make a good story out of anything – even a door knob.  I don’t know why the doorknob came to mind – probably because of the phrase, “dead as a doorknob.”   But in the twenty years since, I’ve had occasion to make the same observation  repeatedly – that even the dullest things contain with them something from which a talented story-teller could create an engaging story.  And I’ve always phrased it the same away, “even stories about door knobs.”   Well, this morning, I challenged myself.  In the two hours since, I’ve entertained a slew of thoughts about how to write an engaging story about a doorknob.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it’s worth a try.

6.  If you can make an engaging story about a doorknob, surely you can attract readers with neutral reporting about real news. Maybe that, too, is worth a try?

7. Who knows what surprises the year ahead may bring!  A resurgence in interest in neutral reporting? Yours truly supporting Joe Biden for President?   A fascinating story, debuting right here in this blog, about  a doorknob?   

Like the astrophysicists say, you never know.

— Joe

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9 thoughts on “You Never Know”

  1. Yoseph my good man… the phrase is actually “Dead as a doornail” referring to how effectively a nail can be driven home. The door frame is secured from four very stable points. The adjacent walls, the floor plate, and the header that supports the break in framing. When driving those babies home… one knows the argument of security has been established.

    On that note… see if my “phrase correction” helps in formulating a clearer understanding of the point you’re making… which by the way is a very tasty thought provoker.


    1. Bill – You’re absolutely right, and I, alas, am wrong yet again! Reminds me of a long running disagreement at our old law firm about whether the colloquial expression was “having a sense of the jugular” or “having a sense of the juggler.” On that matter, I was on the correct side of the argument, I can assure you – but its a great example of how a random person has a 50% chance of being wrong half the time. (Please, no comments about those of us who are arguably sub-random.)

      1. I must be a contrarian or I wouldn’t be related to you. When coincidences are too coincidental to be coincides sub-randomness must arise. And the schema is surely akin to the foam field of expanding empty space where antimatter and matter are literally at odds with one another, self-annihilating until overflows of cosmic debt stick to the foamy nothingness. Allegorically, if literally nothing more (intentionally so to speak), they create what appears to be matter and energy ex nihilo, along with particles of light moving in wave forms not even included in the paradigm. And behold, there were probability waves. Sub-randomness is somehow nested in those waves. Just not where you can measure them except by results. In the world of the sub-random it is already know whether Trump or Biden get elected. And my vote will cancel yours out?

      2. I love how “Jugular” and”Juggler” sound so close in our lexicon… yet they define vast differences in their meaning. But the best part is when applied to the legal phrase, “having a sense of the jugular/juggler” they become hauntingly appropriate.

    1. Thanks, Phil. We can probably all agree about the cosmic debt. Maybe it should have been nominated as a universal truth we could all agree on? 🙂

    1. When “Satisfaction” first came out, I thought one of the lyrics was, “Tryin’ to get some girl pregnant…”
      There are SO many ways to be wrong…

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