About not saying

“Cannot say. Saying, I would know. Do not know, so cannot say.” – Zathras, Babylon 5.

Zathras was one of the many fascinating characters in the mid/late 1990’s science fiction series “Babylon 5.” A lot of the series revolved around the diplomatic/military relationships between various races and their star empires. Although like most series it has some slow episodes, the arc of the story and characters are interesting and worth the effort. In looking at several of the disasters facing humanity, an awful lot of people should take Zarthras’ advice and resort to “not saying.”

The first crisis is of course Ukraine. I haven’t posted a lot on it lately for a couple of reasons. First, it’s become almost impossible to have a rational discussion about it given the near unprecedented level of propaganda and emotion-laden narratives flooding the media. Second, while I think I’ve got a fairly good grasp of what is going on, it is a slowly evolving situation that just isn’t really conducive to rapid, day by day reporting. Truly, the Tao this is perceived is not the true Tao. For what it’s worth, I don’t have much to add to my post from April 3rd other than to say the time line is perhaps a bit slower than the original “90 day” plan. If by mid/late June major combat operations have not ended with Russia in control of “novorossiya” then we can start to talk about a failure of the operation. I suspect we are about to see a rapid shift in the situation in the coming 7-14 days (and not what you might think from the US media) but we shall see. There are lots of nuances and details over all this, and we are living in a time where the risk of civilization changing events are literally moments away, but the information space is so contaminated I think resorting to “not saying” is probably the smartest move at this point.

The pandemic is another of these slow moving disasters that isn’t really conducive to day by day, even week by week reporting. There is a lot of data about the new variants, and it seems that a combination of vaccination, decreased virulence (mortality) of the circulating virus, and sad to say the deaths of those most vulnerable to the virus and its secondary effects means we are likely reaching a stable situation where the virus will continue to circulate and like a predator attack those most vulnerable. With respect to the global response, there are a lot of lessons learned, and I’m working on an article on that I hope to post in a couple of weeks (waiting on the final data from the Omicron surge to settle down). China seems to be freaking out again, but may be relaxing the draconian lock downs in places like Shanghai. Was that justified? Time will tell (even if it doesn’t make the news).

Climate change is of course another background, slow moving crisis. Hurricane season is approaching, and we should have better seasonal forecasts as we move deeper into spring and the “spring barrier” is behind us. That’s another post coming up in the next week or so.

Time and patience are in short supply in our sound bite, tweet driven society, so here is one final bit of wisdom from Zathras: “Can not run out of time. There is infinite time. You are finite. Zathras is finite. — This is wrong tool. No. No. Not good. No. No. Never use this.

4 thoughts on “About not saying

  1. “Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other people’s needs. Zathras have sad life, probably have sad death, but at least there is symmetry.” – Zathras

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