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sunday, october 28, 2012

On the Currency of Probabilities
As I inch through Sunday vaguely affected by the coming of Hurricane Sandy, water and canned goods, battery charger, battery operated radio, and some emergency cash on hand, I am amused to find that true to my belief I have only the time to blog here once a month, it is just two days short of thirty since my last entry. Further, except for some personal sense of a need to write, as usual, I have no up front notion as to what exactly it is I'll say.

My thought is that blogging serves on some level as akind ink blot assessment of current brain function and particularly so at this moment it interrupts the flow of things I should be attending: vacuuming before the electricity goes for four days; washing ones hair before the hot water goes. (Mine's still wet as I now that it is longer in length, I opt for air drying.)

One thing I feel compelled to mention is that I am cheating. This entry is almost identical to one I that just a few minutes ago I published at alvapressinc.com/robertamroy as it seems my personal life, my life as a publisher, and my interest in mass event response and survival, have all come together in it. So, worse yet, I think I shall also post it on alvapressinc.com/robertamroyonnuclearsurvival. Phew! I feel better.

However my original push had been the news that some scientists in Italy have been convicted of something akin to criminal negligence for failing to predict the severity of an earthquake there:

"The quake, which hit the town of L'Aquila in 2009, came after the geophysicists told city officials on a risk-assessment commission that they were unable to make a detailed prediction about whether ongoing tremors might indicate a coming disaster, so I will report on that. It seems the court considers the scientists inability to predict to be something akin to criminal negligence, which as many observers have pointed out fundamentally misunderstands how seismology works. One of the convicted scientists, 74-year-old physicist Claudio Evo, called the decision "medieval." http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/10/24/the-deeper-issues-behind-italys-conviction-of-earthquake-scientists/

News of the conviction of the scientists troubles me in particular at this time as for the past week or so I have working on an article for the ALVA the Indie Times about the impossibility of accurately predicting the future on the basis of what we have learned from the past. The problems with such efforts emerge first from the impossibility of knowing all the facts and variables involved in any past event. This then is complicate by human beings' innate inability to clearly observe events. And no, this is not a reference to our predilection for personal experience and attitudinally based bias. Rather it is due also to neurologically based biases. It is this that I'll talk about in this week's ALVA's weekly newsletter which I encourage you to sign up for on the home page of alvapressinc.com. (By the way, my hair is almost dry; my coffee cup is empty; time for a quick run to the kitchen.)

(Only about a quarter of a cup left. I drink it black and never worry about it being warm enough. It's cold.)

You probably by now have become acquainted with Chelsea. She is the young woman who helps me with ALVA PR. Well, she tells me she is probably leaving the area as the love of her life is soon to accept a position out it. Shucks! I will miss her! And then there is the newsletter and the question of whether or not its publication can be achieved with her in a new life style and miles away--where she can not as yet say as her love has received more than one job offer.

Ah, but on the up side. Helmy Kusuma has won the first ALVA Green Tomatoes Writers' Runoff with his enchanting story the Mementoes of Mai. It needs editing, formatting, and cover design but, hey, that's part of the package for any GTWR winner and ALVA's editor for this project, Joan Schweighardt, likes the manuscript's potential and we both like Kusuma.

According to Kusuma, his place of birth is Palembang, Indonesia, the 16th century capital of the Kingdom of Srivijaya. Although Kusuma does not believe he is of royal lineage, he does report spending his childhood "dreaming fantasy lands, exotic planets, and super cool spaceships instead of toiling on the lanHelmy Kusuma -- Mementoes of Maids and herding cattle like the rest of the family." As a young adult, he spent the next "decade mastering the art of piloting the Enterprise" and has been "travelling to faraway galaxies ever since." Between missions, Kusuma says that to avoid encounters with angry aliens and to write, much of the time he skulked inside his private quarters.

Mementoes of Mai is Kusuma's first novel.With it he invites the reader to follow him through some of the beautiful and defining moments in his life--over the rivers and within the coves of Viet Nam and across the sea to Bali and Jakarta.

Well, I warned you I did not know where this blog was going, however go it has. (A fire engine just went by--too early for the cause to be the storm--unless it is a car accident resulting from evacuation efforts.)

The wind has been steady since last night, taking with it the leaves from the taller trees, an encouraging harbinger in relation to the the possibility of a reduction in the number of trees likely to come down when Hurricane Sandy hits late tonight and threatens or effects the uplifting of tree branches with wind gusts--which again brings us back to the question of predicting and the question of what we know and do not know about the past.

Just think, had I not looked out the window this morning to check the large maple behind my house--which last night had worried me as so few of its leaves had fallen, I would not know it had been stripped by the wind in the night and as my bed is on just the other side of the wall from it, I surely would have been more concerned than now I will be when I do bed down tonight.

May Sandy treat you kindly wherever you are and if you are among its forced refugees may you find refuge in a town as kind and responsive as was Locklee in my award winning work of inspirational fiction, Jolt: a rural noir.

Roberta in Po-Town

2:20 pm edt          Comments

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