Tonight's lessons at the FBI Academy were pretty interesting. One of them is that one must keep a sense of humor when dealing with maniacs, because the world is full of them. The second is that the world is no more full of them than it ever was.
One of my friends quoted the Atlantic Magazine today whose article asked the question of whether or not the West is slip sliding away. Well, let's presume that's the bet. Where will the rich and powerful end up if the West tanks? Where do the rich and powerful go now? East? South? Somehow I get the feeling that if we lost America, Dubai would not suffice. A subtitle of my barbell theory is that Stoics party with Epicureans, at least this one does, sometimes like its 1999.
I think I get it. People are always all the same. Throughout history are those who hustle because they can, and those who hustle because they must. But their desires are in a small arc, power, fear, glory. I'm going to read Thomas Aquinas and tell you what I get out of it. I'm going to reconcile it with Henry Kissinger's idealism. I sense a new rebirth in me a couple years down the road. This is the first inkling. That there is nothing left but to do good and expect triumph. And perhaps I will stop being lazy and expecting to be grandfathered into something. Or maybe not, who knows? The point is that history should teach us that there are a simple finite number of human experiences. Context may matter to get some precision in understanding, but the motivations are all the same. The ethics are all the same. The big questions are all the same.
The only thing that's different is how many people think they know, and how many people are actually on the planet. I'm sure there are some interesting consequences in all that, but all the intrigues are similar.
The other thing I think I remember, specifically, was that for all of the mass shootings between 2000 and 2013 there were about 460 dead. Now I might be wrong, that might be the one for just this year. Hold on, I can find out real quick. OK the correct number is 486 killed over 13 years in 160 incidents. Let us keep in mind that annually there are 15000 murders in the US. And so now people who think they are political activists are now motivated to think they can change the law for 300 million people. It's not going to happen unless it's in the interests of some powerful class of people running the show. Not going to happen. So I stop worrying.