Downside of Obama strategy

8 03 2008

ArticlesThis article in The Washington Post analyzes the implications of losses in some of the most important states come the November elections.  The subtitle of the article states that these losses are “spurring general-election fears.”  I don’t believe this is the downside of Obama’s strategy though.  I think the downside is that the strategy attracts writers like the author of this article who casts doubt into the minds of millions by declaring to them, “You are afraid.”

People rant and rail against the press all the time for shaping the minds of voters.  They’re like modern brain washers, only no one seems to realize the gravity of the impact they’re making on the general public.  People get almost all their knowledge of the events outside their homes from the news.  Likewise, their own reality is shaped accordingly; they have no reason to believe most of that which is stated confidently to them might not be true.

To be fair, they’ve been casting unnecessary doubt on Hillary’s campaign for months now.  Both candidates have been in a near-tie since the beginning, and yet writers keep “unintentionally” insisting that people should or should not vote for someone based on possible outcomes of strategy.  These journalists are pulling conclusions from their behinds, publishing to the masses, and resultantly causing the conclusions to be just one step closer to coming true.

And why complain about strategy anyway?  We will see whether or not strategies is working or not based on which candidates are doing better than the others.  If assuming certain strategies will work better in the future is only going to affect the way the strategy is working now, I’d say the whole process is better just left alone.  Let the people just vote for once.

Discovery that over-harvested plants are slowly disappearing concerns some

19 01 2008

NewsBBC News has just released a dispiriting article on the gradual disappearance of many important medicinal plants. After collecting information from over six hundred members of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, it was revealed that 400 plants are at risk of becoming extinct. Local cultures as well as worldwide medicine-producing companies are worried about the disappearance of the plants. And we have no idea why they are disappearing…

Oh, wait, yes we do! They are being harvested by the same companies that are worried about their gradual depletion. And this was just discovered now? Someone finally realized that the Earth doesn’t have an infinite supply of everything? This reminds me of a certain oil crisis that is rocking the world at the present. Something extremely valuable to nearly every citizen of the planet is being destroyed voluntarily. It’s unfortunate that they both are so nonrenewable.

Oh, wait, plants are! In fact, I am fairly certain that a majority of them take a relatively short time to grow. I am also fairly certain that they are inexpensive to grow and for the most part easy to replace. Why is this news being reported as if the entire future of medicine is at risk when there is an obvious cure sitting before us? Who are the company owners insisting that plants necessary for company survival be harvested to extinction before realizing that they probably should have grown some replacements?

It’s like if an old-fashioned farmer grew his crops and sold them, only to discover he forgot to keep any seeds to plant for the next season. Only this time around, the lives on the line and the money involved are thousands of times greater. Considering this is an international effort, I’m surprised the entire future is being overlooked just for the sake of some quick money.

Oh, wait, no I’m not.

Quote of the day

17 01 2008

Quotes“If you break one hand today, you won’t break both tomorrow.” -The Fourth Side

I would not suggest trying this, no matter how comforting the knowledge that you will not be breaking both hands tomorrow may be. However, I will try to come to some conclusion about how optimism like this could be used.

While most normal people use optimism to cheer people up, there is always the possibility that it will not work. This is because the recipient of the optimism may realize the ploy of the optimizer (used here to define the person who offers optimism), and resultantly assume that the opposite must be true. One might say this is a fault of humanity. We assume that others would only be kind to us if there was something so terribly wrong that they had to soften the truth. On the other hand, this is often the case.

The classic example includes the patient in a hospital who is dying of an incurable disease. Unfortunately, the patient does not know this yet and some doctor or nurse must take the responsibility of telling the patient (unless of course they opt to tell the patient’s family first and suggest that a family member break the news; this is more commonly known as the “chickening out”). The doctor comes into the room and makes himself comfortable before making some completely random side-note to lighten the mood, usually something along the lines of “It’s such a beautiful day outside. Did you look out your window?” or “You know your parents love you more than anything in the world.” Almost immediately, the patient replies, “I’m going to die, aren’t I?” Afterward, it can be agreed that everything would have turned out better had the doctor just chickened out.

The best way to negate the possibility of being discovered is to make it impossible for the recipient of the optimism to tell if you are serious or not. They will be too busy trying to figure out your point to think about whatever might be wrong. There is also the chance that the absurdity itself will be funny, in which case simple optimism can’t even compete.

Considering the sense of looking to tomorrow for a day better than today, I think that humans are cruel to themselves as when assuming that others must be lying. We say tomorrow will be better, but by the time tomorrow comes, we have already forgotten that we were hoping for a better day the day before. As a result, we spend most of the time hoping that tomorrow will be better than today and not enough time deciding if today actually was better than yesterday. Simply noticing that you have not broken both hands today after breaking one yesterday offers a limitless geyser of delight, whether it is because today actually is better than yesterday or because you considered the possibility of something impossible actually happening.

Concerning telling a dying patient that, if the patient dies once today, the patient won’t die twice tomorrow, I can’t be certain of the outcome. Seriously, that takes the issue to a whole new level. Unlike the quote, it neither makes sense nor offers any really consolation about tomorrow. I have to admit that it’s still a pretty funny thought.