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.