Monday, November 14, 2016

Bad conscience

Yesterday in the rec room I made time to work on a chore that I had been putting off for a month or so, so I turned on the TV in the hopes that there might be a soccer game on.  There wasn't. Instead, there was coverage of communities digging out from the continuing effects of Hurricane Matthew, and another show with some attorneys talking about what people with flood damage needed to do to assure they got paid by their flood insurance.

This brought a couple of things to mind. First and foremost, that while many of us are focused on the fallout from the election, there are others who are digging out from even more immediate things.

Secondly, on a different level, I thought that while those who were first responders to Hurricane Matthew were perhaps more likely to have voted for Trump, that it is Democrats who are committed to working on one of the key long-term causes of the tragedy, to wit, global warming.

A Trump voter on Facebook challenged me on my removal from the lives of those most devastated by the new economy, saying that I lived in a bubble, which is a charge that has been levelled at many Democrats living in highly educated areas on the coasts and in population centers, and I and we have to admit that there is a lot of truth to this. But, at the same time, it must be owned that this is part of the nature of a global supply chain. That doesn't just mean that widgets are made in Dongzhu and screens in Taipei and garments in Lahore and complex engines in Spartanburg. It means that climate change scientists, neurophysiologists, and product and project managers are found in Cambridge, Copenhagen and Chapel Hill, and that to get and keep those jobs they have to focus and work their asses off. They don't just hand those jobs out. A listening tour of Youngstown doesn't help them solve the problems they need to address to stay employed.

Overall, lets be honest: the global elite works its ass off. Yes, their lives look glamorous and sounds exciting: flying here and there, eating dinners, taking meetings in tall buildings in capitals. But it is stressful as fuck and people are away from their families, they stay up late at night and work on weekends. It is not as fancy or stable as it looks on Facebook. Hotels suck, airports suck -- and getting up at 4 in the morning to get to them sucks even worse, being away from your family sucks.

Sure, people do it for their families and it's nice to have the validation that comes from earning money and competing at a high level, and there is a sense of achievement and challenge, but it ain't all fun by any stretch of the imagination.

I know I know, cry me a river. Blech.  I thought this post was going to integrate better to a bigger theme. I guess my point was is that everyone is occupying fine niches within a global supply chain of ideas, with a goal of producing more and better stuff and services for everyone, and/or addressing big issues that impact people globally. And then resting and trying to see their kids.

Good thing this is just a blog.

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