July 13, 2004

Today was a day of heat and dust and road construction, and just not getting anywhere quickly. The beating humidity part of it might break soon, though: as I write this I am framed on three sides by a particularly vicious system of tornadoes which will pass through my own area in a few hours, yet these systems have a history of weakening as they approach, and I probably will not be among those to have lost house and more this day. If I lose electricity only, I will count myself fortunate.

Is it something predestined, or some gaiasphere side effect, or simply random chance that has brought about the effect of tornadoes being far less likely to form over sharp and sudden variations in height ... such as those found in a large, modern city? Something about the changes in elevation below seems to disrupt the descending column of air in precisely those areas where it would have caused the most harm to those least mobile, making it far less likely that a strong tornado could ever form over a densely populated area. Then again, the obvious counter would be the question of why destructive weather effects have to form at all: although a part of that I could answer for myself at least, since I see dissolution, de-construction, as a necessary part of cycling. Once, in a different forum, I wrote of a Princeton study which suggested that random chance seemed to be influenced by what would be favourable to life. The discrepencies there were at the edge of scientific measurable probability - yet they were consistent across every trial. A butterfly beats its wings.

I write in my thoughts, sometimes, as I walk, or read, or increasingly of late wait for traffic to clear. This is the season when we play the "is the bridge open this day?" game. The bus lost. Besides the traffic congestion, it additionally had to resort to some very difficult backward maneouvring to escape into the new detour. By the time I had once again on foot passed the same bus three kilometres after it had passed me: I must have had at least a dozen blog entries written in my mind. On the bus I might have scribbled some or most of it onto the backs of whatever pieces of paper were accessible, but I was walking, and the thoughts were coming and flowing over me along with the bare suggestion of breeze created by my own movement.

Come I finally to the computer with access, and I can remember none of it.

So I leave this entry with the question that came new into my mind even as I sat down and logged on and pulled out the essay I had read and needed to reread (for there, too, I could remember nothing of what I had been notating two weeks previously):

Is it possible truly to learn and speak a new language, a new way of theorising, without accepting its inherent premises, beginning to see all things through the new framework - even oneself becoming not only its new convert, but its most ardent disciple?

Smile of the day:

A Swiss, seeking directions in an unfamiliar canton, happens to pull up at the bus stop where only two Brits are waiting. (Or you can substitute Americans if you like, the joke works just as well.) "Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?" he asks.

The two Brits just stare at him, uncomprehending.

So he tries again: "Excusez-moi, parlez vous français?" The two continue to stare, without response. "Parlare italiano?" No response. "Hablan ustedes español?" Still nothing. Extremely frustrated, he drives off.

The first Brit turns to the second: "Do you think maybe we should learn a foreign language?"

"Why? That chap knew four languages, and it didn't do him any good."

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