12.19.2020 – what we learn next week

what we learn next week
helps understand yesterday
look to the future

Carpe Diem so it says now on coffee mugs and T-shirts.

Seize the day.

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero!

Seize the day, and put very little trust in the future!

Or as Scarlett O’hara says, “Tomorrow is another day.”

My training is in the field of history.

My wife’s training is in market research.

My wife takes today and projects it 6 months into the future.

I cannot comment on today until tomorrow at the earliest and am more comfortable waiting six months.

We get along famously.

Lots of sparks along the road.

But it struck me today how much the past depends on the future.

The old debate on facts and truth.

I love this quote from today’s reading, “postmodernism was a response to Marxism, not an embrace of it, and in fact has been described as the “cultural logic of late capitalism”. In many ways, the defining condition of post-modernity is neoliberalism, so there is no reason for Conservatives not to embrace it. But for politicians, “postmodernism” has become one of those zombie ideas that cannot be killed by facts, no matter how many times academics explain that it does not in fact mean what they say it does.”


For the me the keys phrase was “zombie ideas that cannot be killed by facts.”

I can easily apply that to today but what about any day.

And what are the facts?

What we know we don’t know that is to be known?

Where do we go for the facts?

All can agree that there is only one past and one present and one future.

But why did the one that happened happen.

What could have happened that may have made what did happen different.

Maybe this is all too early on a Saturday morning.

I remember an odd little story from the first atom bomb test in the desert in 1945.

There was much anxiety that after spending $2 Billion Dollars, it wouldn’t work.

According to records, physicist Enrico Fermi said maybe they had just spent $2 Billion dollars proving mankind could not make an atom bomb.

Fermi thought the money would have been well spent.

Each morning, each day, each incoming sweep of the tide (yep, live near the beach now) is a new start.

A new start to understanding what happened yesterday.

I spent the last 20 years of my life the TV news business.

Today I can barely watch it.

Much like the feller who worked in a sausage shop for 20 years and after moving on, refused to eat sausage.

The news lives on the blocks on WHO WHAT WHEN WHY and HOW.

But it runs on GET IT FIRST, GET IT FAST and BE ACCURATE (yes this comes last too often).

The first rough draft of history which is credited to The Washington Post’s owner. Phil Graham.

First into print those stories have a way of lingering around.

Look to tomorrow to understand yestarday.

How much will the narrative be changed?

I am reminded of a profile written by James Thurber of a man named Norman Kuehner, newspaper editor of the Columbus Dispatch and Thurber’s boss for several years.

It was Kuehner who taught Thurber to start his story with a wonderful, wordy introduction and a wonderful wordy conclusion.

Then take a pair of scissors and cut out the introduction and conclusion and you would have “A helluva good story.”

Thurber recounted how once he and Kuehner had an argument over a story.

Kuehner disputed the the story as Thurber wrote it and told to Thurber how he felt it happened and how the story should be written.

Thurber asked what if the competing paper, the Ohio State Journal and their version of the story proved to be true?

Thurber supported this version of the story.

“That,” said Mr. Kuehner, “would make it a Journal re-write.”

“I would give it a paragraph on page thirty.”

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