Eddying Information

I get my news through a funnel; I suspect most of us do, one way or another. There are a semi-infinite number of things going on and somehow they have to get through the narrow spot created by what can be assimilated by a human brain. When a bunch of stuff tries to get down a small hole it creates an eddy, a small whirlpool.

In the stress (mechanical, strength of materials type of stress) world one test for cracks is the eddy current. It costs a bit more than dye, but can be accurately read in hard to reach locations.

I get my news from a few carefully chosen sources: the city newspaper (The Seattle Times) gives me a bit of the world, national and local news, the Economist gives a more global perspective (I use their Espresso app and the print edition), and blogs (A Lot From Lydia is an example of one that often addresses current events in the US, but I frequently become aware something has happened from others that come up on my reader). I don’t watch TV or listen to radio news. They give me a headache.

Beyond the WordPress blogs I follow, I have given up on social media for now, less from high minded principles than from the time it takes away from walking the dogs, cleaning my toilet, vacuuming up pet hair and other tasks I was neglecting in order to keep up with cute videos of pets, outraged Russian trolls, and other Facebook treasures.

The furor over the newly published book, Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff, was so great that I got it and have been working on reading it. I decided that I needed to read the book for myself and draw my own conclusions, instead of reading what others concluded.

If it had been a novel I would probably have finished it by now. Instead I’m, according to my kindle, at 42%. I keep having to stop and let the eddy of information and emotion subside.

So far what I have found most disturbing is the quotes of the president of the USA. Not made up, the things on the record.

I could do a better job of public speaking. I don’t claim to be especially bad, or good, at it, but someone whose job is, for the most part, communication, paid $400,000 base salary plus $100,000  “travel allowance” and $18,000 “entertainment”, and a couple of other biggish items that I’ve never had as part of a job, should be able to string two or three cogent sentences together that are appropriate for the audience…Or at least read them well after they are prepared by a competent speech writer. I don’t want to seem conceited, but I have given better (more cogent and uplifting to the people who contributed) speeches to the congregation about a church rummage sale than the Difficult Toddler gave to the CIA  on January 21, 2017*.

I realize that many people had already known about these speeches, but I find the Difficult Toddler so repulsive that if his picture is on the article I flip to the next page (if in print) or scroll to where I can’t see it on the computer. I figure enough gets through my funnel without having to endure the details.

I am trying to read the words, really. But I can only take in so much at a time.


*If the Difficult Toddler is looking for tips: I jot down a few key ideas in large print that I can read at a glance to keep myself on task. It is really important to stop when you have communicated your points. A little touch of class: I always wore a fascinator with a pheasant feather, along with the church apron, and never mentioned how tired my feet were, how many hours I had spent, or what I donated.


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