Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Making Beds and Falling Dominoes

Anybody who knows me at all knows that of course I am not happy about the result (to say the least). But it is what it is. We made our own beds.

Mainly, right now I'm scared. And I think I am not welcome here, though I know I need to stand in line on that one. (Atheists and scientists/intellectuals and social liberals weren't singled out, as other have been lately, but we probably will be.) Maybe I'll apply to my old job in Oxford, though I'll give myself some time to process things first. Selfishly, it's good news for me that California is in many ways its own world.

What else? I am, emphatically, a 'citizen of the world' before I am an American. (Theresa May, eat your heart out.) And good luck to all of us.

On a positive note, I did see some hope today — e.g., the scene at Susan B. Anthony's grave was incredible, by the way, and the video from my peeps at the Sante Fe Institute was fantastic — and sometimes we have to get through a wake-up call. (It is easy to understand why people are angry. And people didn't pay enough attention.) Despite proverbial echo chambers and majority illusion — what, did you think I wouldn't get network analysis in here somewhere? — I have quite a few friends who hold significantly more conservative views than I do, but they are my friends, they are well-spoken, they are civil, and they often make very good points. We disagree (sometimes very strongly), but it's proper and productive discourse, and I learn from them. And I am very happy to have them as part of my network.

There is a nice quote from Star Wars that I think is relevant now, so I'd like to share it:

"Remember, the Force will be with you always."

We'll (hopefully) all get through this. I am sure it will be rough and it will take time, though. And as long as we don't all nuke each other before we work things out (proverbial falling dominoes, etc.), we'll make it through.

Thank you for listening.

Now does anybody want to talk about math? (Or games or D & D or ... ?)

Update: Not that I need a link to the actual event for this post, but here is one anyway. Clinton has now conceded to Trump. We live in interesting times. Here is what The Guardian had to say about the America's new populism.


Douglas Araujo said...

Dear Mason,
The result was far from ideal, after a campaign that stained a part of the goodwill that Americans have towards other 'citizens of the world'. However, I learned to be optimistic/less pessimistic about it, and there are some important signs (emphasis on "signs") of moderation from previous rhetorics.

If we look at it with the eyes of history, there have been far more contentious times where everything could go up the air. The world is relatively quiet now, and the major debate seems to be about globalization, rather than the outright invasion of countries.

Of course, the largest room in his policy proposals is the room to improve, particularly on his practice of singling out groups based on stereotypes. A good thing, though, is that USA is a democracy - and a good one at that, even with all its problems. Power will rotate. Fortuna velut luna, statu variabile.

So don't worry in the long term, focus on your great math work, and let's live on.

Mason said...

I'm very concerned with what will help on the international theatre. I feel like we've probably become one of the major bad guys (though some people viewed us that way already, but now it seems like it's really true, and I feel like there is a major risk of World War III).

As for living on, what choice do we have? We do the best we can, and as is obvious I am very upset about this.

Thank you for the comment. As with everyone else, we'll see what happens. We live in interesting times.

Mason said...

"What will help" -> "What will happen"

(Sorry, I am very tired, I didn't get much sleep last night.)

Douglas Araujo said...

Don't bother about World War III. Inspite of his divisive rhetoric, he is still a businessman after all - and war is always bad for business. I think he is aware that people (including foreign allies) were scared with the result, and he signaled some sort of white flag in his victory speech.

Now, the choice we have for living on is the same as before: organizing, making pressure etc. Trump won because he changed the Republican party from within: he discarded some of its core beliefs, overhauled its communication, etc. Maybe liberals can do the same with the Democratic party: zero in in a smaller set of core beliefs would be a start.

In any case, good luck to us all. I know it's easy to be scared. But the world is not going to end. Americans are too flexible (in the long-run) and hard-working to allow that.

Mason said...

He's also a psychopath.

Though I now feel a bit better because my home state has issued a very nice letter of defiance.

So at least I am living in a state that values what I do, even if the country by and large values very different things.