Following Up and Following Down: August 2018

Nine-month Old Cub Curious About the Boat

Nine-month Old Cub Curious About the Boat

It’s time for one of WC’s irregular nods to journalism and diligence. While the Magpie Principle usually rules around here, sometimes foggy memories of WC’s one journalism class emerge and you get a post like this. So here are some follow-ups, nods and quibbles on stuff WC has written about earlier.

No less venerable an institution than Scientific American noticed and commented has on Alaska’s bi-polar attitude towards anthropogenic climate change. It’s a subject WC has railed about for years: man-made climate change is hitting the arctic and Alaska first and hardest, yet Alaska continues to be focused on producing as much crude oil as possible. It’s like treating a burn with a flamethrower. What, the burn is worse? Apply more flamethrower!

Juniper management remains highly controversial. A career Forest Service worker had an opinion piece in the Idaho State Journal noting the primary motive seems to be to “increase grass for cows.” Sarah Jane Johnson notes a large number of benefits to an intact juniper biome that WC didn’t address in his recent blog post. Her piece is worth a read.

WC is a big fan of the late Albert Einstein. The late director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, wasn’t. Einstein’s file at the FBI ran to thousands of pages. One gem:

“Proof” that Einstein was a fraud and that relativity was a Soviet plot to make Americans feel stupid. Or something.

“Proof” that Einstein was a fraud and that relativity was a Soviet plot to make Americans feel stupid. Or something.

Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity has been proven and confirmed dozens of times over and is a cornerstone of modern physics. His face and his theory are among the best known subjects in Western culture. Professors Foor, Jefferson and Killer? No so much.

While reading a book on a completely unrelated matters, WC came across a reference to Jacob Riis. Almost forgotten today, Jacob Riis was a pioneer at the use of photojournalism to try to effect social reform. His series on the Children of the Dump remains powerful, shocking and emotionally heart-wrenching. Stop WC if you have already heard this, but his critics called his photojournalism “fake news.” When asked how he could press so hard for seemingly impossible, unattainable goals, Riis said:

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

Riis died in 1914, but his words are relevant today. Keep hammering away. Eventually, the stone will break.


One thought on “Following Up and Following Down: August 2018

  1. Food for thought indeed . Re final item – I not only want the stone to crack , I want it to crumble. But – as of today , I do think we see a few cracks – on all sides !

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