21 May 2016

May Be Too Late For a Lot of Things


Might Be Just the Right Time, But in All Probability Not

Hard to Say, Really

It is difficult to know with certainty the exact correct moment to do anything, very hard to tell when it is too early, too late, or just right.  Given the number of moments contained within any given moment, it seems highly improbable that the precise moment in which any particular action is taken would be the correct one.  Mathematically speaking, it appears we are almost constantly doing almost everything we do at the wrong moments, or at least at moments less than optimal for the doing of whatever in particular it is we were doing, or trying to do, and so on and so forth; readers who can’t take any more of this may skip immediately to the next paragraph.

Perhaps we need not think in terms of moments but of windows, for in many cases one might suppose it matters neither jot nor tittle the exact moment at which you, say, take another bite from your handsnack, as long as you take the bite within the parameters of the window of opportunity for performing said action.

True enough it is that in the world of high-finance investing, the exact moment almost certainly matters, as a difference of milliseconds may mean millions [and a difference of billiseconds bay bean billions].  But for the purposes of most decisions, e.g. when exactly to change the channel during your channelsurfing, what time of day to plant your gardenias, the margins of error are sufficiently wide as to make worrying about precise moments not worth the trouble it’s printed on.

So too in matters of general concern to society.  For example, it may be too late to Stop Global Warming, though this is of course difficult to verify, since the answer is only truly knowable in retrospect, and even then the same facts may elicit the full spectrum of interpretations, nearly all of which will find adherents ready to defend them to conversational death. 

Is it the exact correct moment to institute some reasonable limits on the manufacture and sale of certain classes of firearms?  In all probability, we must admit, it is not.

It may also be too late to discover the meaning of life.  The solution may depend on clues that were revealed in earlier episodes which we missed and don’t have on tape, you know, the unrecorded wisdom of long-forgotten epochs.  Of the facts and information available to us, some of what is considered obviously relevant could in fact be McGuffins, designed to distract our attention from what really mattered.  But oh so difficult to tell the difference in real life, in real time.  So we don’t even know if we already missed any key clues or if we will be able to figure out the answer based solely on the episodes we have access to.  We are far from sure that in the end we will ever find a coherent answer, probably it will be like Lost where it appears vaguely tied together from some angles but the closer you look the less sense it makes.

But getting back to global warming, how can we even begin to attempt to commence getting started on our pre-preparatory work, when we don't know for sure if we are too late or too early?  Nor am I saying that we should simply sit on our hands, for sitting on hands is no way to sit, it is bad for the circulation and hands were not made to be sat upon.  We must arise, get our butts up off of our hands and put our whole selves up on to our collective feet and stand up tall and flex our hips firmly and walk proud boldly marching forward to attend a six-month series of bi-weekly 3-hour committee meetings to divide up the tasks of how we will begin deciding on the procedure we will use to determine how we will determine what course of action ultimately must be taken to get our country back on course, get the ship righted and back on track to the port of call of our future, our destiny … or the next nearest thing.

Timing is everything, and I would like to take this opportunity – seize this moment, if you will – to go on record here as predicting that it will continue to be very important for as long as time continues to flow, at least. 

I will have more to say on this subject in "future" posts.