At Inauguration Time

Jan 20, 2017

There is a strand of cosmology theory that posits the existence of parallel universes. This is the many worlds theory. Not just idle myth but a solution to many of the paradoxes of quantum mechanics. A theory though, an extrapolation of actual science, speculation but informed speculation. The idea is that at any moment in time, the probability of what happens in the next moment is never 100% but is always comprised of a set of probabilities, an infinite but countable set. Many worlds. For most events, the alternate possibilities have such small probability as to quickly asymptote off towards zero. Some, however, comprise more than one alternate of high probability, a choice, a branching. This is what we call history. In the last 16 years of the 21st century, this country we call United States has seen four major historical moments or bifurcation points. These are: 9-11-2001, the start of the Iraq war in 2003, the financial crisis in 2008, and now the election of 2016. The day after the election I awoke thinking I was in a parallel universe, the wrong one. I needed distance from it all, distance to wash away the smell, to mourn and to contemplate. Now I need to speak.

Whether I am in a worse universe now could be debated, a Hillary win might have only postponed what was already rolling down the highway, with even more tragic results. In the late sixties we used to debate how fascism would come to America and what technology would enable it. And when and how it would happen. History has moments of choice but is a continuum, working backward things begin to make sense, including the choices made. Slave economy, real estate, settler vigilantism, darkness come back to haunt us.

“Shit, money, and the Word, the three American truths”

“But others had the money, others gave the orders–trying to superimpose their lusts and bickerings on something that had its own vitality, on a technologique they’d never begin to understand.”

Thomas Pynchon Gravity’s Rainbow

Stalin on the phone ordering executions, Hitler on the radio, the Rwandan genocide managed by radio. Now tweets are policy, to repress certain stocks or unleash troll hordes. the day of execution by tweet could be upon us. The current regime doesn’t look like a very competent bunch but each failure could lead to more fear and hate, more blame. A dangerous cascade. This is only the tip of what could be an iceberg, the deep cesspool of our new president’s mind. Today I am full of dread, but silent, not on your life.

I have more to say, this is a start.