For the last few weeks, I've seen a lot of road maintenance happeningaround Squirrel Hill, with the top torn off of a number of roads, andconstruction crews all over the place. The maintenance has made it tomy street -- I was woken this morning by the sound and smell of one ofthese beasts working in front of my apartment. I normally like sleepingwith the windows open.. I guess I'll need to give that up for a few days.
I finished reading Trotsky's book yesterday evening. It was a very goodread, giving me some better ideas about how Trotsky would've done thingsdifferently. A few thoughts.. I'm not sure if the revolution, as portrayedby Trotsky, is so much betrayed as bungled -- much of his criticismis simply noting where Stalin's policies were failing, but not necessarilydeliberate. Further, while the bureaucracy did a lot of the"everything is fine" type of announcement, this is no stranger, sadly, tomodern government. Today, we live in an age where we see similar thingsregularly from our politicians, capitalist or socialist. It's rare thatwe hear politicians saying "I don't know", much less any finer gradations,and for similar reasons, it was shocking when Colin Powell, a few months ago,stated that the invasion of Iraq was based on faulty data (well, both thestatement and that said statement was made were shocking, the second much morethan the first to people like me). One thing I wonder about -- is theresomething about the masses that encourages this behavior? Do we have a love of heroes that forces our politicians to attempt to always be sure? Do we watchso many movies that have simple plots that we expect our politicians to benavigating a similar world? Perhaps... We also can think of an outcome ofhuman interaction and power structure that distorts honest thinking. Simply,the presence of factions and arguments between them might cause people toact with more macho (and thus less sense) by forcing them to become partisianand avoiding the "I told you so" kind of moments. To make this more concrete,imagine a potential hydropower dam, and the debates being held to constructit. Initially, people might make a judgement as to the negative and positiveaspects of the dam (unless they're bribed by cooporation with other bills orare dependant on a political party that has a strong opinion), but once thedebate starts, if it lasts awhile people will make alliances and personalconnections based on their position, and even if new data comes along thatinitially would've caused them to decide differently, or their values change,it becomes risky for them to switch because they look less wise than peoplewho had their new position the whole time, the other alliance might not trustthem not to flip-flop, and would otherwise not place them in an equal positionof power as they may have earned initially.. And in fact to avoid cognitivedissonance, they might not be able, even in private, to admit that they nolonger hold the position they're staking in the political sphere. Because thisproblem is part of human interaction, a solution to it would be very difficultto find.
Ahh, to briefly touch on a subject that's going .. strangely.. in my life,romance.. I just got an email from a personals site inviting me to live chat.I looked at their profile -- they live many hours away, and are apparentlychristian to boot. What I want to know is, did they not read my profile at all?I made it pretty clear that I am not looking for a long-distance relationship(and am in fact pretty sure that I never will have one -- I am a cuddly sort),and while it remains an open question as to if I could date a christian, theonly circumstances that could lead me to try such a thing would be anear-perfect match in other areas. In any case, I'm not even sure if I'm lookingvery hard right now, given circumstances I'm not going to discuss.
Oh, I don't know if I've provided a pointer to this yet, but take a lookat how BLOGgers killed a political career. w00t.