I’ve been thinking about the urge to speed to reach conclusions that occurs in the present day, and perhaps is part of the media subculture at present. Again, there is a depressing book worth reading on this called “Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday. But for a new better thing to be born, sometimes the old thing has to be broken; both are part of the cycle of progression.
Let’s take a few examples. We discussed the arrest of the Burn Boss a few weeks ago, during which The Hotshot Wakeup Person urged us to “take a deep breath” and wait until the facts surface. For many fire reviews, we wait months to get the After Action Report. There’s an old quote “truth is the friend of time.”
I was suggesting this to a person on Twitter, and they responded “what, and hold it (my breath), until Election Day?”. Which I thought was funny.
And here we are, it’s Election Day. Our President is worried (or says he is, who knows?) about democracy. I’m not.
“Academic experts” are trying to predict the future to a degree of detail.. (more than 2?) that sounds pretty specific.
According to the most recent Bright Line Watch survey, American Democracy on the Eve of the 2022 Midterms, academic experts see a roughly 75 percent chance that more than two high-profile Republican candidates, running for national or statewide offices in the midterm elections, may refuse to concede an election loss.
They did a survey of experts in October to predict what will happen in November. Again, what’s the hurry? What’s the argument for attempting to predict versus waiting and seeing?
Here’s my view. No matter what happens, the great machinery of elections and our system of governance will muddle through with all its inefficiencies and unnecessary drama- not new, as we know or unique to the 21st century. If R’s take over, they are likely to waste time in unnecessary finger pointing exercises, but what party should be casting stones here? There will be lots of hearings and lots of witnesses and occasionally a good thing will get through (e.g. GAOA, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill).
We can all check in with our predictions in two years.
The Secretary General of the UN said yesterday:
And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.
If tipping points didn’t exist, they would have to be invented. Unpredictable bad things can happen with climate, for sure. But not-predicted (or predicted by less-important in currently less-preferred disciplines) bad things can also happen outside of climate, including worldwide pandemics and wars among countries with nuclear capabilities- which, of course, have impacts on climate.
Here are my observations:
- People will trust their own observations over any level of rhetoric.
- If you want to win over people, don’t tell them that they are stupid, malevolent, or ignorant, or that their own experiences are unimportant.
- People who speak or act histrionically perhaps think that they are mobilizing people to act.
- In reality, they are triggering hatred, fear, depression and anxiety in people who believe them.
- And mistrust from people who don’t, who either ignore them or react.
- And if the people who don’t believe them react, they are targeted by more rhetoric, and so a negative cycle continues.
But it can’t continue forever, as “the end of democracy” and “the end of the world” is pretty much.. well… the end.
So I propose that those with access to major media take a step back, take a deep breath, and tone it down. Because you might be making things worse instead of better. About the very things you say you care about.
For the rest of us:
What are your predictions?
Happy Election Day, everyone!