Musing on the news, drama and powerplants

A friend, who had been a powerplant operator before retirement, has been in an ongoing email thread with me about the Siberian Dam Powerplant accident that happened recently. The conversation thread had reached to a point where he was commenting that I was pointing out info apparently not floating around among the local powerplant folks - hydroelectric dam operation is a big thing here in the Pacific Northwest. Ref He had commented that my reply was an interesting read and I ought to post it somewhere. So here it is:

Apparently one of the main ways I amuse myself in my retirement is to read over the front pages of several online newspapers each day, and the BBC one seems to have more news of interest to me than any of them. Especially re space activities, even more than our own online media does. Occasionally I stumble into something that might interest you, to help liven up your day. I know that stuff about hydroelectric dams is important to you. And I appreciate the feedback you have given in return, interesting stuff.

Of course, after any big news of some disaster, the first news is oh how awful look at that. Then of rescue teams that go try to help deal with the mess. Then third stage is pointing finger of blame, the whodunit mystery solving drama. This article was of the third stage. Rarely does the fourth stage, that of responsibly fixing it so it does not happen again, get into the news, not interesting to the drama-hungry readership. Unless, of course, it involves more drama of go beat em up who looks involved - like the Afghanistan and Iraq fiascos - lots of more oh how awful look at thats for the hungry audience, too tunnel-visioned to see their own part in making it happen - they somehow elected the folks that believed that government was only for waging war for mutual defense and all other functions are for private corporate predators to control as guided by maximizing profit or sheer power craving with no way to vote them out - guess what happens when they run the healthcare system, it is sick people that make them the most profit so guess what.

I have long hypothesized that most people crave to see drama - mostly in other's lives, not their own, of course - it seems to be a need, like food and water. Operas and stage plays have served that need for millennia. Sports of conflict like football and boxing put limits to similar drama, rules to follow in the fracas where the spectators get to yell and scream, therapeutic. Possibly the watching of others' drama serves to distract from one's own stress of the moment, of seeing worse mess than their own, making themselves look better.

If people were more interested in reducing the drama, they would be more interested in things like EFT. (EFT = Emotional Freedom Technique.) But the reality test results are that news of EFT falls on deaf ears almost universally, I have found. Similar to news of Laughter Yoga - learning how to laugh again as a happy child enjoying life's simple sensual delights of sight and sound and touch, enjoying laughter merely for the pleasant experience of feeling laughter - instead of the adult use of laughter to scorn the obviously inferior rivals. So instead for us adults it is ah delicious drama of conflict to nourish our day. Drama is better than doing it right the first time, it seems, and is much easier to figure out how to do and needs less cooperation from others.

That is why when I have gotten my fill of the daily news drama - and feel assured that probably no thunderbolt is headed my way for now - I go look at the many science and technology information websites, a much brighter world.

I hope the folks up at Grand Coulee Dam can learn something from the Siberian Dam happening. I don't have a life-raft sitting outside my door. And I like my electric lights.

Jim Cline

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