I Am Thoroughly Confused…

I live life in what some of you might consider a random fashion. Winging it and turning on a dime might be considered some of my DNA. Yet the last year has been a challenge. Like every other homo sapiens I look for a little certainty where there is none. 

For Kathy and me, this year started off in the South Pacific where we cruised, making Australia as our final destination. We toasted our 49th wedding anniversary overlooking the Sydney Opera House. All was good until all hell broke loose. It’s ironic that Wuhan was light years away and yet it would soon affect every human being on the planet. 

We can argue about response time and safety measures but I think this virus caught everyone, including some very smart scientists by surprise. Yes they had talked of some sort of super virus that would spread because of our global connections, but to this extent? We were all quickly assured we were smart enough to figure out a way around it. How naive and probably incredibly stupid. 

I respect this pandemic but I don’t live in fear. I will take adequate protections but if somehow it sneaks through my bubble then it is probably the luck of the draw. That’s just me. But it galls and yes confuses me why people don’t wear masks? They are available and stupidly easy to put on, so it defies logic that we don’t all do so. I do not look at it as a threat to my virility or Superman status. It is simply a mark of respect for my common man and woman. 

We have just concluded a presidential election. For months we have been lectured to by the cognoscenti. Pundits and pollsters have flooded the airwaves with their version of the way things are or will be. Raw news and facts are now sandwiched with editorial comment. 

Op Eds aren’t just one but every page of the paper. The “latest” polls proved terribly wrong. The Blue Wave fizzled and 71 million Americans thought he other guy was right. How could they?

The Dems outfoxed the GOP. They pushed mail in voting while the Republicans excoriated it and held big rallies and get out the vote campaigns. They did a fabulous job on Election Day but unfortunately the public wanted to mail in. They failed to realize the subtle impact of COVID on the voting process. I guess they were confused.

But beneath the rubble there was another number that stood out to me…the number of non voters. There are in the US 233 million people of voting age. Only 145 million voted. Imagine if you had figured out a way to get some of that other almost 90 million out to cast their ballot? Confusing isn’t it?

The stock market is not easy to figure out. Yesterday we had a ginormous rally over the possibility of a vaccine. Today we are wondering how to distribute it, so perhaps we will have a pullback. A month ago oil was at almost $0 per barrel. Today it is at $40. Once again every financial guru has his day but can anyone get it right? It leaves the public guessing which may be the way they like it. 

Add into this maelstrom the, NFL and college football, weather forecasts, protests for and against, crime and my golf game and poor old TTG has run amok. No matter what little tidbit of sagacity I try to hold onto, there are nine counters saying I am an idiot. (Please don’t comment on my last). You can say these are just alternate opinions but I do have to question just how really smart they all are?

I abhor the term genius. I think I have told you Mark Twain’s maxim that everyone is perfect, just at different things. In times like this we crave some stability, some light to lead us out of the darkness. We watch Dr Phil and Dr Oz on TV. We pick our news cast or channel by who seems the smartest. If we stepped back for a moment, we could probably punch holes in every argument both left and right. 

People are great but man are they opinionated with a dollop of superiority on top. Not so much social but intellectual. They know the perfect way to redo their house, buy golf clubs, go on vacation, pick out single malt scotch and fine wines and of course express themselves politically. They have it all figured out or do they?

I guess my point is that we are not as smart as we think we are and the other guy is not as dumb as he looks. The titans of industry, renowned scientists, columnists, pollsters and eloquent bartenders are all entitled to their opinion. And I am entitled to mine. But life isn’t as predictable as we think. There are aberrations and upheavals beyond our control every day of the week. 

As we look for answers we would do well to dig deep and form our own well thought out viewpoints. God forbid that may take some of our valuable time in our ultra busy world. Then we have to be able to adapt them to our ever changing diorama called life. As we accept things for what they are, we might actually feel less confused. I know I do. 

As always

Ted The Great 

Factoids:

Polls affect public perception of everything from voting to racism to God. If they are flawed it results in wrong conclusions by ordinary people and vast amounts of money spent going this rabbit hole or another. Polls actually cause us to think one way or another even if it turns out to be wrong.

“Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
Thomas A. Edison

Illusory superiority (also known as the above-average effect, superiority bias, leniency error, and the Lake Wobegon effect) is primarily a term used in social science which indicates an individual who has a belief that they are somehow inherently superior to others. They have the tendency to overestimate their own capabilities in relation to the abilities of others.  Legends in our own minds

HAPPY VETERANS DAY….Thank you for your service

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