Getting TINA (There-Is-No-Alternative) wrong

–An obstinate truth remains that the costs to society of confronting limitless disaster scenarios is set by the dangers of ignoring the cratering disasters easier to identify, assess and know (think 9.0 earthquakes and follow-ons).

–The painter Gérard Fromanger said a blank canvas is also ‘‘black with everything every painter has painted before me’’. If also, as the painter František Kupka felt, “to abstract is to eliminate,” then stripping away the layers of black-on-black is akin to abstracting blankness.

Yet how do far too many react when confronting the opaque canvasses of policy? Let’s sweep the table clear, make a clean slate, start over again, strip it all clear. Few see these for the dangerous abstractions they are.

–I can’t be the only one struck by the affinity between those 19th century novels whose plots were driven by coincidence after coincidence all the way to a happy ending and today’s crisis narratives where one mistake after another has led to certain disaster.

–“Do-something-now!” Said with the same urgency felt by a 19th century Yankee poet wanting to commemorate another Civil War battle? The point of a failed future is that it is not reliably good-enough.

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