January 20, 2009

I have the feeling that most reading this blog expect me to comment in some way on Barack Obama's inauguration this day. Yet I have nothing to say. I have already written on how I feel about the historical aspect and its spin, I have already written on campaign dynamics. Beyond that I have nothing to say until I see substance, not rhetoric; and even then there will be nothing that is mine to say about domestic policy. Words are cheap, no matter who says them.

About myself, I have learned that apparently I have acquired an immunity to charisma. I don't know when, or how, or why.

So I end here by reposting the link to Wired's take on the Large Hadron Collider, to which I have added what might or might not be a last comment, on the off-chance that anyone is still reading that comment thread with an open mind.

In all that long, long thread of comments, the basic polarity has not changed in the slightest: maybe 50% blind, evangelical faith in science, maybe 40% equally blind, evangelical faith in the Bible (usually set in opposition), neither side willing to test its core assumptions, each side condemning the other as having no clue what they are talking about ... and the remaining 10% having nothing inherently against either science or religion, but wondering why any risk toward this end is necessary.

Although, just maybe, I might finally have an answer to that. We are sentient beings, capable of learning about our world, capable also of determining how to interact with our world. In the course of our learning, we are presented with a series of choices, many of which involve different levels of risk, all of which set foundations and precedents for further choices. At any point we can choose to proceed on our current path, or we can choose to set different priorities.

The sum of how we choose is also the sum of who we are as a species. In every way we have chosen our own identity -- as we will have chosen our own future, whatever it should turn out to be. Let none speak of not having known, or of powerlessness. In this day and age, ignorance is willful ignorance; and powerlessness equally willful.

What we end up with, we deserve.

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