From Trump to Extinction
One of the benefits of living on an ocean sailboat is that you have time to investigate in books and on the Internet a wide range of subjects in great detail. For example, I’ve been reading lately Gandhi’s Autobiography and the most recent biography of Einstein by former Managing Editor of Time magazine, Walter Isaacson.
Gandhi’s own words of his life, allegedly a search for “truth,” I actually found to be boring reading. In his time, many of the findings of science were as yet undiscovered; and he, coming from the ultra conservative Hindu faith, would not even consider investigating the evidence-based possibility for the non-existence of any god.
Einstein holds his own sometimes startling personal surprises, but his intensely keen brain speaks to truth in straightforward words, understandable by anyone willing to read them closely and think about them a few minutes.
My favorite Einstein-ism is his often repeated declaration that, “Blind respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” With Mr. Trump at the helm of our ship of state, that one really hits home today.
The most interesting reading I’ve been doing , however, is on Scientific America’s website about that ago-old bugaboo “Extinction,” its history, causes, and future probability for all species, including us overly self-confident humans.
Were you aware that 99.9% of all species have gone extinct? Now, other species haven’t had our big brains, but they also never invented nuclear bombs and a host of other peculiarly dangerous potential killers, many easily disregarded but as lethal as undetectable gases or poisonous snake venum.
Biologists apparently get worried beyond nuclear concerns about such things as a Flu Virus that could adapt itself to suddenly annihilating the entire human race. That’s a cheery thought if you wake up some day with deep sniffles and a non- ending running nose.
What really caught my eye is the concept of, “Dynamical Systems.” That is the phenomenon of really slowly-developing invisible physical changes occurring while we’re all focused on outguessing the stock, commodity, and real estate markets. Changes that overnight reach a tipping point and smack us all flat like cockroaches under a spatula slap.
These changes live in subjects we don’t usually pay much attention to: Indian Monsoons, Melting Sea Ice, Drying Amazon Rain Forests leading to worldwide fires, warm El Nino and La Nina Pacific ocean flows increasing the severity of the Amazon Rain Forest issue, and the scariest of all, a simple Domino affect where a whole bunch of dire possibilities get together and just cause us all to automatically go bust.
See what you’re missing if you happen to be part of the generation that still spends five hours a day watching TV with a snack and a cool drink? I gotta tell you: buy a sailboat and start living. It’s the only way to go, I guarantee you. Beats golf, bridge, chess, or coffee at Starbucks.
It’s a whole new style of life. Turn you into an instant Philosopher.