The Meaning of Existence (and all that)

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Part Two Point One of my series, “Broodings on the End of the World.”

Nuclear Spectators

Start: See the photo? This is from May of 1957: a group of NATO observers are witnessing the Boltzmann “event” (nuclear weapon detonation) of Operation Plumbbob. The device had a yield that was equivalent of twelve thousand tons of TNT, three thousand tons less than the the weapon dropped on Hiroshima twelve years before. Certainly, there American military brass present, as well as high-level politicians and representatives of the weapon contractor.

When I stumbled over this image on Wikimedia Commons, I couldn’t help but stare at it with feelings that touched on subdued horror. As I continued to reflect on it, I wondered what I would feel if I were in their position.

I am aware that in the late 1950s and early 1960s that it was common for the general public in southern Nevada to throw “Nuclear Picnics” to watch from high ground many miles away the “shoots” that were publicly announced. Some kind of mystique had grown up around the subject and had made anything atomic cool … daddy-oh.

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Broodings on Possible Extinction

This is the first installment of a short series I’m calling Broodings on the End of the World.

Start: My wife is taking a nap, and I am at my computer in the relative quiet and I’m hearing the the whining of the wind in the eaves of the roof. We have reached triple digits (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or over 38 degrees for you Celsius folks) and between the wind and the heat, I’m flashing on imagery of being isolated and forgotten like some lone miner on a remote desert planet. It’s the kind of bleak moment that captures the forebodings of a grim future that have been nagging at me for about a year and a half now.

The Politics of Racial Suicide

As with my last post, it is not my intent to make this a political one, though there is probably no avoiding that side of it. I am not interested in discussion on who would have been a better president, because usually that sort of dialogue devolves into name-calling and trollery. Because of the bitter election race for the presidency, the revelations coming from outside sources about the inner workings of the Democratic party, the callous disregard for the rights of the impacted Native Americans literally trampled at Standing Rock over the Dakota Access Pipe Line (by both this Administration and the last one), and now the current Administration’s characterization of anthropogenic global warming as The Chinese Lie and gutting of the American bureaus that are best able to measure and help us understand it … given all these things, and that our fine president seems to insist on amusing himself with a game of nuclear chicken against the lunatic dictator of North Korea, it has been a challenge (at best) to see any hope in the future.

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