Untitled

The lure of statistics … If you’re on the net, idiot sightings, or the equivalent, are common, such as this one about stoplight buzzers.

The lure of statistics …

If you’re on the net, idiot sightings, or the equivalent, are common, such as this one about stoplight buzzers.

“I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, ‘What on earth are blind people doing driving?’”

Such anecdotes proliferating this Information Age suggest thinking is not as essential as it once was to survive. Karl Fisch, in a six-minute YouTube clip adds more mind boggling statistics in a presentation he called Shift Happens.

Our world is indeed shifting, according to his stats. For example, 25 per cent of the population in China with the highest IQs is greater than the total population of North America. In India it’s the top 28 per cent. Translation for teachers: they have more honours kids, than we have kids.”

“We are living in exponential times,” he continued. “There are 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.”

“The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet” … “there are about 540,000 words in the English language … about five times as many as during Shakespeare’s time. More than 3,000 new books are published daily” … “it is estimated that 1.5 exabytes (1.5 x 10 to the 18th) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That’s estimated to be more than in the previous 5,000 years.”

Exabytes are totally beyond my comprehension. A billion is in the same league, although our politicians toss billions of our dollars around like kids at a peanut scramble.

I mean, a billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was flourishing, so exabytes are unimaginable. “Exabytes” by the way, is being redlined by my spellchecker, suggesting … suggesting something, something cyberspaced … it’s time to invoke Georg C. Lichtenberg’s advice: “Doubt everything at least once, even the proposition that two times two equals four.”

Yes indeed, the Slow Food Movement has a lot going for it. Enjoying home-cooked food, and the good company you’ll find behind signs such as this one we stumbled on in Newfoundland.

 Maybe it was here we heard this sentiment for the first time: “The Yukon and Newfoundland are like the bookends of Canada. If you took them away, all the rest of them would tumble into a muddle in the middle as books tend to do, which is about the way they seem to be most of the time anyway.”

Such leg pulling could tickle the fancies of the R.O.C., although I suppose there’s a risk it could trigger phobias, such as politicophobia.

It’s self-explanatory, although they shouldn’t be feared, they should be questioned, often, and perhaps blessed occasionally, with arachibutyrophobia, especially during Question Period, the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of their mouths.

A tip of the hat to Newfoundlanders and Yukoners, who will, I suggest, never suffer from geliophobia. It’s like the lady said, “Those who laugh, last!”

 I sincerely hope too that someday medical science will discover a cure for chionophobia, which takes so many Yukoners from us every fall.

Enjoy that magnificent sunshine, and the shadows it plays with on the brilliant new playground the new snow has given us.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Yukon borders to reopen July 1, masks required at all Yukon airports

Yukon moves to Phase 2 of reopening on July 1

Runners race Reckless Raven

Nearly 60 Yukoners completed the fourth annual Reckless Raven 50-mile Ultra and… Continue reading

Local gardener asks for return of wagons

Alice Cyr grows vegetables for her condo, but has had two wagons stolen in the last two weeks

YukonU instructor pens letter urging immediate action to address systemic racism

A Yukon First Nations instructor at Yukon University has penned a letter… Continue reading

Liard First Nation elects new chief, council

Stephen Charlie beat out incumbent George Morgan by just six votes.

Diamond Tooth Gerties to reopen

The Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) announced in a press release on June… Continue reading

Newly-elected Liard First Nation chief accuses YG of interfering with election

Stephen Charlie says YG’s announcement days before election endorsed previous chief

COMMENTARY: Shifting the prevailing narrative of substance use

Blood Ties Four Directions Centre Special to the News Rarely does society… Continue reading

Alexco nearing production at Keno Hill mines

Alexco Resource Corp. is entering the final phase of development at its… Continue reading

Literacy award nomination deadline approaching

Nominations for the 2020 Council of the Federal Literacy Award will remain… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Today’s mailbox: Biases and the Yukon Spirit

Letters to the editor published June 26

Rezoning proposed for heavy industrial lot

Change would allow for office to be built

Most Read