Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.


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Ha ha, rickrolled gentle reader, sort of. I do have one great science story, which I will write about first. Then my evolving thoughts on the evolving situation in America. I’m trying to evolve my thinking with the times as well, the times are indeed evolving. Still, science does go on, in fact so far life goes on for most of us. Skip the science part if one wants to just go to Biden. The science part is about fossils, so yes, it does segue nicely into Biden.

Soft fossils. A quick recap. 20 odd years ago a graduate paleontologist found what looked like preserved soft tissue deep inside a dinosaur bone. Sounds impossible, right? She marshaled her evidence to a senior scientist, and being a good scientist he didn’t say “That’s impossible!” He said “Prove that it isn’t!” And she couldn’t, and decades of science followed. Turns out there was a lot of soft tissue preserved in fossils once scientists started looking for it. The science denying religious people claimed this discovery was proof that fossils weren’t that old. Um, no, the map is not the territory. That’s confirmation bias or motivated reasoning, not logic.

I digress, it’s a habit. Links at the end, but the mystery has finally been solved. Organic tissue shouldn’t last for millions of years, so what was going on with soft fossils? Well, turns out they aren’t the original soft organic tissue like blood vessels or skin, they are soft fossils of it. I’m sure somebody thought of it long ago, but turns out that under the right conditions fossils can be soft. The original organic matter long ago was replaced by stable compounds. Polymers in this case. The only reason we think of fossils as rocks, is because we never see any other kind.

So preserved soft dinosaur tissue is … just another type of fossil. This actually is a huge boost to understanding these fossils. Huge amounts of knowledge to be gained. We learn new stuff all the time about ancient life by studying fossils in rock, now we know fossils are sometimes soft. That’s how science and human knowledge advances. One study, but it’s a significant step forward.

Moving right along to fossilized politicians, my progressive friends are very upset that Biden won’t support “Medicare for all” or other progressive ideals, instead running on a corporatist “I’ll make no fundamental changes” platform. They see him as a sell out, and are angry that a candidate openly espousing liberal change was denied the nomination by hook and by crook. Probably, Biden, like Clinton, is the anointed one of the Washington corporatist establishment. Not denying that.

Progressives think Biden would stand a much better chance of winning if he went full Bernie. I’m not so sure at all. There may be a method to Biden’s madness. The important thing here is to win the election right? If Biden loses, all bets are off for the powers that be.  I wonder if Biden’s blandness is designed to get as many crossover votes in battleground states as possible. In a very real sense both Kerry and Clinton lost their presidential runs because they had essentially zero crossover appeal. Biden does not have the charisma and appeal of Kerry, let alone Obama, he has to win key battleground states to defeat Trump. Something Clinton didn’t understand until election night.

In fact thinking about this more, if Biden came out with progressive policies, what would happen? Huge numbers of progressive Democrats would come out and vote for Biden … and he’d win the blue states by a larger margin? That doesn’t help. Sure, it brings out more progressives in swing states, but what else does it do? It gives Trump HUGE ammo to wrap his socialist and liberal demonizing lies around. That aint gonna help either. If Trump gets a big turnout on battleground states, he wins. And there just aren’t that many Berners in battleground states.

Going with what Biden is doing, giving Trump all the rope he needs, and looking safe and reasonable might well be all it takes for the unengaged Trump voters, the guy next store that watches Fox News and votes GOP but does so out of social habit. I’m already hearing stories of same switching to Biden. This is how Biden will win or lose this election, he needs to soften Trump’s support in battleground states enough to carry the day in a few of them. It might even make mad sense for him to call for the protestors to stand down, or at least protest peacefully. The more he can get the message across that Trump is encouraging the violence, I mean, this is happening on Trump’s watch, the more Trump’s non-fanatic fan base will desert him.

People forget, the American South was pure blue until 1972, when Nixon’s southern strategy changed all that. Things can change with mass social opinion, and if Biden can appeal to the typical Trump supporter, we could see the GOP destroyed by blindly following Trump. Thinking aloud, anything is possible.

A few months to go until the election. I hope cooler heads prevail and we don’t see massive street violence out there. So far it’s been minor, God rest the souls of those who have died, let’s hope and pray that this current mess leads somewhere ultimately good. Stay safe everyone. #StaytheFHome #WearaDamnMask #UtMelioremPeiusAnteTempora

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Anonymous Facebook Meme. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. For those who have to know how it turned out: “That was awfully disturbing, but oddly satisfying at the same time.”

Written by unitedcats

August 30, 2020 at 7:04 pm

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