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I guess I am pissed off January 6, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in politics, science.
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You ever get pissed off, but not realize you were? You only realize it when you discover than you are taking it out on someone else? As a scientist I’ve been trained to approach every problem logically. So, logically, I should never take out my anger on one thing on someone that is not a fault. Right? Ops. Forgot I was a human!!

I met some friends in the 5-Star bar this evening. Lots of fun. While there I met a couple about 5 years older than me. Three kids, oldest is 16 (wow). The woman is a real-estate speculator, and still doing well because she got into it long before the bubble started. The guy is a lawyer here in downtown Chicago. Sounded pretty successful.

I’m not sure how it happened, but the politics thing came up. He made a huge series of jokes, each one ending with “but, I’m apolitical! I don’t have a political bone in my body!”.

All of a sudden, to my horror, I discovered I was lecturing him on how it does actually affect what you do and you should care. Let me make this clear: I’d known this guy about 5 minutes, in a bar, after about 3 beers. And I was lecturing him!

This was clearly my suppressed anger from the way politics seems to have messed with particle physics. While I’m sorry I lectured him (he was good natured – offered to buy me a drink), I’m not sorry I got angry; I just wish I could have yelled at the right people! So, the real question now is: where to direct that anger so it makes a difference!?

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1. Anonymous - January 7, 2008

By doing what you do best: analyze and discover new physics at ATLAS, and then when you get a press interview, bend their ear off about how the U.S. has sold out the discovery of the fundamental building blocks of our universe to Europe, to Japan, and to thin air, and how Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, et al would be turning over in their grave if they could see how the country has sold out the future of the human race, through its knowledge of nature, to send soldiers to a very unwelcome country to fight a war based largely on a president’s personal relationship with his dad, and to enrich murderous leaders of security firms, oil magnates, and their two-faced sheik friends. The country and its founding principles are essentially unrecognizable now. Here’s a quote from Franklin: “The progress of human knowledge will be rapid and discoveries made of which we at present have no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born so soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known a hundred years hence.” Would anyone _ever_ say that today? Perhaps we can dream that Obama or another candidate can rescue the U.S., but I think the hole is probably too big now. The faint beacons of light that remain appear to be stronger from other developed nations.

2. Directed Anger « Life as a Physicist - January 7, 2008

[…] January 7, 2008 Posted by gordonwatts in politics. trackback So, at the end of the last post I noted that it was stupid to get angry at some stranger in a bar over the science funding […]

3. gordonwatts - January 7, 2008

Well said. And, I will continue to do what I’m doing now. But I’d like to have a more direct impact as well. I’ve been pretty luck so far – good job, great family – there are perhaps some other ways I can influence things.


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