Monday, November 14, 2016

Some thoughts on hyperbole

Perhaps you've been deep in a cave for the last week or so, but just in case: A man with the lowest personal approval rating of probably any candidate for president of the US won election last Tuesday.  His approval rating was even lower than his opponent, who won the popular vote but wasn't able to carry enough state-by-state votes to win the thing outright.  It may be that she can still win the election, as the Electoral College is the final arbiter.  And, as many who voted for Hillary Clinton are aware, the Electoral College was invented to ensure the Presidency doesn't fall into the hands of the unfit.

The water's fine

Editor's Note: I wrote this back in March...

What defines a "tribe?"  In the old days it was defined anthropologically, as

a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.
"indigenous Indian tribes"  
At about the same time people in my neighborhood started going to Burning Man, when it was still just a group of artists and their families and friends getting together over the Labor Day weekend on a beach in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco to burn up some of the stuff they couldn't sell or didn't want to, the definition of "tribe" changed to something more like "affinity group."  One's "tribe" came to connote the people you wanted to hang out with, as opposed to say the ethnic group you might accidentally find yourself part of by birth.  San Francisco divided into tribes, as many of the people in Generation X made there way out from their homelands and migrated to different parts of their continents.  It was voluntary tribalhood, of course; the slacker image aside, very few of the people in Generation X chose their companions carelessly.  The definition of your local family or affinity group might have been as simple as "no needle drugs" but you'd surprised how meaningful and exclusive a club like that might be at various points in the '90s.