Tuesday, September 24, 2013

experts

The Los Angeles Times reported today that a computer glitch has resulted in 80,000 people in California currently collecting unemployment to have not received their checks since September 1.

That's indeed a serious problem and as you might expect, many are angry about this.  A state senator had this to say about it:
Some are angry and upset. Some simply need the checks so they can pay the bills.  If this is prolonged, then it will cause ripple effects for people who can't pay their living expenses.
An economist at Cal State Channel Islands added this bit of wisdom:
It's a serious and critical situation.  Many people receiving benefits, they live check to check. If it's delayed even a day, it could mean that they can't eat.
Now, in no way am I downplaying the serious nature of this situation.  I hope this can be rectified quickly. But the purpose of this blog post is to ask, just exactly what is so rocket science that these quotes had to be obtained?  Isn't what they said merely common sense?  I mean, any fool would know this without having to have some politician tell you the first thing and some "expert" tell you the second.

Now had they responded with something like, 
The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.  Oh joy, rapture!  I've got a brain!
Then that would be real wisdom, eh? 

Okay, sarcasm aside, so often there is "expert commentary" that is added to things that really are nothing more than common sense, or observations that any ordinary person of reasonable, average intelligence could surmise. That goes for sports commentary, political commentary, or these quotes from newspapers.

Yet it seems we all need it. Just like how people like to leave the lights on in a room even if they aren't in it, or they leave the television on even if they aren't watching it.  We seem to want the comfort and security of noise.

Just think what life would be like if all the unnecessary stuff went unsaid instead of said. I guess there would be too much uncomfortable silence. You wouldn't have my blog to read either, I suppose.

Monday, September 23, 2013

global constant temp

There's an article in today's Los Angeles Times about how scientists are puzzled as to why the earth's average surface temperature hasn't increased over the past few years.  The Global Warming theory would call for rising temperatures, and this hasn't happened since just before the start of this century.

Those who believe Global Warming is a myth point to this lack of temperature rise as supporting their contention.

Meanwhile, scientists who believe Global Warming is a truth, albeit an inconvenient one, are scrambling to provide possible explanations as to why the temperature hasn't increased as would be expected under their theory.

Personally, I believe the reason the temperature hasn't increased is because Global Warming is a myth. That's not to say we should not take better care of our earth's resources and treat our environment better, but that all too often people take whatever scientists have to say as fact.  When in fact, as in the case of the theory of evolution, it is far from fact. 

So many people have declared to me that evolution is a "proven fact."  When I state my belief that God created the universe, I am told that I am close minded and on top of that, evolution is a proven fact. Just like there are people out there who will tell you Global Warming is a proven fact.  They aren't facts.

One thing to remember is that people have agendas.  Scientists are not like they are pictured in science fiction movies, or like the Professor on Gilligan's Island - they are not people who know everything and who are always objective and Mr. Spock-like unemotional about everything as they calmly and rationally present their findings.  They are all humans and they all have various motives for what they do.  Spin exists within the scientific community, same as it does anywhere else.

Now they are scrambling about trying to find an explanation as to why their theory doesn't seem to be working as it should. Maybe Global Warming is real and maybe it isn't, but regardless, when someone says, "Just the facts, ma'am," don't assume that scientists are any better qualified at presenting them than anyone else in this world.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

validation

I'll admit it, I've been nosy. I've been looking up high school yearbook pictures of people I know, over at Classmates.com.  It's interesting mentally morphing the yearbook pictures to the persons as they now are.

Some time ago in this very blog, five years ago this month to be a little more precise, I wrote about my obsession or infatuation with someone with whom I worked in the student store at UCLA.  At the time I thought she was the best-looking girl I'd ever known.

The thing is, as the years passed (and it's been quite a while since my college days), I couldn't even remember what she looked like.  I had no pictures of her, either.  I always wondered if she was indeed as good-looking as what I thought back then.  A few years ago I did find her on Facebook.  I never sent her a friend request since that was so long ago and heck, maybe she wouldn't even remember me, but it was useful just to see what she looked like in the present day. 

Present-day she was nice-looking, but not at all my idea of  the "best." But that was present day and my "best" notion was based on years ago. 

The other day I found a few pictures of her in her high school yearbook, courtesy of Classmates. Granted, this was high school and not college, but it was only a little more than a two-year difference in time so she couldn't have changed that much. 

It was validation time.

I looked at her high school graduation and other senior pictures and honestly, if I didn't know it was her by the name, I wouldn't have recognized her.  It had all faded too far from my memory.

So how did she look?  Was she the best?  Would she have been the best back then?

Well, same as present day, she was nice looking but I guess I was really infatuated back in the student store. I could see why I'd like her, especially when she smiled, and we got along very well having plenty to talk about (when I suppose we should have been working). In the upper percentiles, but not the "best."

What I thought was funny was how I didn't even recognize her in the pictures.  So much for my memory. But one thing was very satisfying, and that was having the opportunity for validation.