A View From the Edge

Spinoffs from society

The computer age is enabling workers to mask deficiencies (like spelling) and odd work times behind productivity and work-load achievements. Sitting at home, an over-65er who can’t sleep anyway and tomorrow’s young work force can both catch up on paperwork, statistics, sales, whatever, and transmit the results over the internet. Up to today, the measure of the output of a worker (productivity) was set against piecework standards or office overhead. Soon pay will be linked to company profit. 

Lies pretending to be truth are common

In the United States, we have a two-party system. No, we don’t. We have Libertarians, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Peace & Freedom, Independence, Tea Party, Socialist, Christian Liberty, Citizens Party, Communist, Constitution, and another 40 or so. It is generally accepted that Congress is a two-party governing body, but tell that to the Tea Party or the Freedom Caucus.  The system may be two-party, but the individual members are clearly not in any sort of agreement or moral positions.

What is really happening?

Drug ’em and keep ’em that way

In the national drug abuse debate, fueled by the mind-boggling death toll numbers, we are told that the opioid crisis grew out of over-prescription of legal drugs which led to illegal (cheaper) drugs. True, but that seems, to me, to be trying to momentarily treat the sick patient instead of looking at the cause for the illness in the first place.

Preserving Nature by discarding a straight line

Only humans choose the shortest path. No other living creature makes a straight line. Straight lines do not appear in Nature. The first straight lines to appear were made by wetting a piece of leather, folding it and creasing the fold with a rock. When the leather was opened, there was a straight line across the tan surface. This was the beginning of writing, keeping records, making maps, and engineering.

The Domino Theory applied to airliner trade

‘We won’t do business with a company that is trying to sue us,” said Justin Trudeau, Canadian prime minister, threatening to cancel orders for all Boeing F/A-18 fighters. 

Why? Because Boeing has asked this U.S. administration — which has agreed — to levy a 220 percent import tax on 75 Canadian Bombardier airliners that Delta has ordered. 

The same old dance

What is the news? According to Bill Paley, the founder of CBS, you need a balance in broadcasting: one side as entertainment, like Frank Sinatra, and the other as news, like Edward R. Murrow. 

Fred Friendly, the ex-head of CBS News, once said, “Television makes so much [money] at its worst that it can’t afford to do its best.” That’s certainly proving to be the case these past weeks.

A nation indivisible?

What do the words “country” and “nation” mean? Here we are, living in North America. How do we know? Because someone, a long time ago, drew lines on a map and gave physical names to places. This is New York, that’s Connecticut, over there is Virginia, and so on. We’re all (after a war or two) in the United States of America. 

History rewritten

In these times of gloom and disasters, let’s have some fun and look at amazing underwater discoveries. 

We’ll start with the Baltic Sea, surrounded by Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Germany. The water there is so brackish and cold that a little wood-eating worm called Terredo navalis dies without warmth and oxygen. And the result? Throw a piece of wood into that sea and, once it gets down to the bottom, it stays there, mostly intact, lifeless, preserved.