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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Football, Fall & the Loss of Science


      The start of football, Sunday afternoon with professional NFL play, combined with a temperate day, not too hot, not too cool. I have the windows open, creating a gentle flowing breeze, allowing the condo to breath fresh air. Summer in Texas is brutal, every day is too hot with the occasional risk of heat stroke. For the very old and the very young the only safety is to hide inside a small confined box with the air conditioning cranked to maximum, this constricted life style wears on the mind. For months I have hid from the unbearable heat, I rush from condo to car, from car to store, I dream of escape from the air conditioner, I long for a cool summer day in New England. Finally the first sign of autumn, the football games have started. Last week I watched the Harvest Moon rise with great anticipation of that particular climatic feature we collectively call Fall. Today, mother Gaia has delivered on her promise. The windows are open and it feels terrific, I can watch broadcast football and pretend that I am connected to nature. I am free, no longer locked in isolation from my environment, no longer forced to breathe mechanically reprocessed air.

      The opportunity to maintain my fictitious rationalization of being Mr. Nature boy is short, in just a few weeks I will be forced back into the artificial constraints to escape the cold. The prefect weather of autumn passes so quickly, the memory will be buried in ice. All that is for tomorrow, today is to be enjoyed.

      The northern hemisphere is enjoying autumn while the southern hemisphere is enjoying spring, the whole world rejoices. The passage from hot to cold, or cold to hot, creates a short opening of perfection for modern man. If we lose our science and forget how to build air conditioners, if we are forced back into drafty buildings, complete with rats and plagues, the survivors would struggle to adapt. Out of 7.2 billion souls the greatest loss would be in the advanced nations, the inhabitants of third world nations would not even notice the loss of science. A modern advanced civilization cannot exist without modern advanced science.

      Rush Limbaugh, one of the intellectual leaders of the Republican Party, has declared “Science is the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party”. That a little less than half of the American population has proclaimed science as invalid and destructive of society is troubling. Not only would we lose air conditioning, we would lose medical science. No more airplanes or automobiles or computers, how do you build a skyscraper without science? The leading thinkers of the Republican Party claim that education is socialist propaganda, that the internet and the corporations that dominate the internet, such as Google and Facebook, are controlled by the communist party. I have to wonder, did Walmart have a sale on tin foil hats?

      This ideology is not a secret, the Republicans will tell you that the secret is the international conspiracy of scientist. Rick Perry, the republican governor of Texas has proclaimed his intention to “fix” the University of Texas. The Texas State board of Education, under Republican leadership, have rewritten the public school history books to reflect how Moses created America’s democracy, the religious beliefs of Creationist is now considered science.

      I do not understand how an advanced technical society can intentionally abandon science. What happens when we can no longer design and build the world’s most advanced jet fighter? My greatest fear is that we will no longer have instant replay for questionable football plays, even worse, what if I find myself on the perfect autumn afternoon and there is no sports broadcast?

      Enough of my rambling return to blogging for now, the noon game is over and I have to change channels for the 3 o’clock game.

1 comment:

Shirley said...

It is funny how you can connect science to football. What an imagination. I just learned something, about how people live in their environments, shaping their mindsets.