Thursday, March 22, 2018

I Wish I Lived In The 1870s

... well, sometimes I do. Pretty rarely, actually. Those times coincide with my watching of daytime TV.

Mom is staying with us while her broken neck heals. She's a Fox News girl, but has never watched daytime TV in her life. With not much else to do, she dialed it in yesterday and we watched a panel of nincompoops yell at each other over trivial issues. A few years back, when my son was healing from a broken neck, he would watch ESPN daytime which featured panels of nincompoops yelling at each other over trivial sports issues.

Both news and sports yelling sessions typically devolve into racial and gender issues pretty quickly. Horrible. Simply horrible.

The thing that jumped out at me was how unimportant the discussions were. I feel the same way about the Sunday news programs I don't watch and the rubbish on CNN and MSNBC. It's all pointless. I need to find a way to get the time to finish my MGB. I could care less whether or not Donald Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin. For some reason, that's what they think I want to see.

I wondered what it would be like if the panel consisted of farmers, mechanics and commercial fishermen discussing what they do for a living. I'd love it, but there wouldn't be all that yelling. Working men don't talk like that when they discuss their jobs.

Then I thought of what it would be like if we lived in the 1870s. All of those discussions would have been inaudible as well as irrelevant. Almost everyone lived days away from the nimrods in politics. There were limited mechanisms for interference in our lives. When we got together, we'd discuss guns, horses, beer, farming, food, clothes, kids and the opposite sex. Useful things, necessary things, important things.

We sure wouldn't be discussing Rutherford B. Hayes' tweets.

Here, Wells Fargo delivers boxes full of 280-character messages from President Hayes, William Wheeler and Samuel Randall. People can't wait to read them!


Ohioan@Heart said...

I have to admit that your point about no one caring about tweets from Pres Hayes got me thinking. Today we are swamped by information. At least ‘information’ in the Claude Shannon definition. The question is are we swamped with useful/meaningful information? I think not. Most of the ‘information’ out there is like a specific random stream of 1’s and 0’s. Full of ‘information’, but not terribly worthwhile in our day to day lives. In fact, I suspect that the flood of nearly meaningless information is drowning out the important information to which we should be paying attention. How can we reverse this? I am going to have to ponder this a bit. Thanks for making me think...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's just me, but I keep thinking you spend considerable time on precisely these types of issues. Lindsey Vonn speaking out about politics, oh tempora!! Football players kneeling, oh mores!!!

I also think you overestimate the pastoral tranquility of the 1870s. Riots, massacres, radical reconstruction, the first KKK, Jim Crow laws, it was almost constant turmoil.

K T Cat said...

Guilty as charged. Blogging about politics is an easy way to shoot out a post on busy days. Plus, I spend a lot of thought time wondering how we resolve the inherent contradictions between reality and political blathering. Or maybe it's the integration of philosophy and politics. What fascinates me is our mental and cultural models of the world.

As for the 1870s, read the first paragraph again.

K T Cat said...

Ohioan, bingo! That's why I would have loved to have seen a panel of carpenters, professional fishermen and electricians or something of the sort. They would have given me meaningful information.

To anon's point, that information isn't the daily sort. That is, once you've discussed Dewalt vs. Makita, nothing has changed sufficiently to discuss it again tomorrow. Politics is practically meaningless, but it's ever-changing meaninglessness.


Foxfier said...

Nah, people have been people-- the [strike]gossip[/strike] discussion would've been stuff where it was hard to get new information, rather than there being the information out there.

Not that it stops everyone-- there was an officer involved shooting in Sacramento.

The police department put out an initial statement, an updated statement, a youtube video list of the body cams and helo video and such, and put all of this on their home page and facebook page.

The Washington post... mined the video for snippets and used to to make an emotionally manipulative lie titled "Police shot at a man 20 times in his own yard, thinking he had a gun. It was an iPhone.."

1) wasn't his yard, was his grandparents, and they had no way to know because
2) he had just jumped the fence after smashing in the back window of the neighbors house to try to enter the (occupied) residence, then
3) he was strolling forward, ran into the cops, turned, ran to the back of the house, turned around again and got something out of his pocket so when the two cops came around the corner he was advancing on them with something in his hand. Maybe ten feet from them.
4) They jump back around the corner, he keeps advancing, they shoot him.

And this is just from one video-- the uncut helo video which the reporter had to have seen, because he gave details about the shots being super bright on it, but he made it sound like the guy was just hanging out in his back yard. (I can't watch the body cam video, too much jumping around.)

Nope. The cops were there because of someone busting out windows to get into cars, and a suspect dressed, as best video can show, just like the B&E guy; it's possible there are two people busting in windows in the neighborhood, and that a really dumb burglar decided to get to work with a helocopter overhead, but....