There’s a new test for significance and it’s not chi-squared
I’ve been walking around numb trying to avert my eyes the catastrophe
I absorbed the last soaking my eyes in print and pixel shedding tears and donating on line in a gesture that was
If less than noble If less than I could do then…
It was something at least a psychic bandage perhaps a wad of paper staunching the flow of a million sub-micron angels drifting out of my head, puffed out on clouds of pain, but a true impulse to help and a few clicks and I carry the numbers of my generosity on credit to this very day…so it’s not really paper it’s ones and zeroes and so I send them again and then I’m thanked by a screen…
In this media town this newshound ground zero one tries to use filters to see your day without seeing for the risk is great
A pause on a platform on a passing bus and the taxis now roll with marquis that scroll
A glance and by chance there is a pattern a picture a hook baited with just what you’ve been waiting to learn about lust after or laugh at since birth
And then time stops and you emerge three minutes three hours three years later a little bit better or worse off than before and carrying what you’ve seen forward like so many christmas ornaments on a tree, so many you’re lost in the hundreds and thousands of tiny jingly bells that sound like the ocean in swells and long pauses – is that next wave ever going to come in? – oh, there it is…
But not this time you try and surprised to find that it works, you are free in a sense but not alive, numb and wearing a wall between yourself and your fellow man but of course that’s just The City and The Irony and The Symphony of your own endless Self-Pity…capitalized for a gain of one on an investment of zero, not bad you might think but you’d only be deluding yourself.
Just as deluded as we all are and as you get older you realize you’re not so smart but neither are a lot of other people we’d like/want/hope to believe are and that is one of the small deaths we sweep under the mantle of maturity stuck on a rack somewhere…waiting to be picked up.
Who would wear that cape and a childhood spent dreaming of myths and archetypes the colorful and dramatically lit vessels for our cultural wish to fly, to be more than the sum of our pettiness…
And so the hard-nosed pragmatists give hard-nosed, pragmatic advice. And the finger-pointers point their fingers and, struck by grief which one hopes is genuine with a p-value < 0.05, hurl accusation and fury in a banshee wail for everything that wasn't done up til now until every missed opportunity and slight and perceived injustice or contempt they've worn on their sleeves is repaid with interest. And it might all be deserved, it's easy to feel angry, betrayed, lied to, and perhaps worst of all ignored. But the words and the pictures and "the lessons learned" and the "what can Americans expect from" and the long, painful roads winding between two cultures that have diverged so far, and are so utterly alien to one another, that it just isn't worth it to read what everyone with access to a television, a radio, a website, a newspaper column and a million-and-a-half readers has to say about the ones that suffered, the ones that died... Ones and zeroes ones and zeroes. We have arrived in a land of ones and zeroes...does the information age set us free, or build Babylon for the chosen ones, with education and the speed of light and instant directions to the cheapest gas and the best cellphone plan...and for the rest? Ones and zeroes ones and zeroes... Opinion opinion when asked I give my opinion but it is hollow and weightless because I cannot understand and is there anyone today who can synthesize this horror, this panic and fear and all that is seething under liberte, egalite, fraternite...into an opinion a plan a touchstone for our hearts and a framework for our minds to build upon? Ones and zeroes ones and zeroes. This is no indictment some ones will say apologist! Wrong is wrong! But the million tiny angels we let fly every day could stay, we could all do a million different tiny things a million different tiny ways each day to have a civilization and not a capitalization...and yes to redress the wrongs of our father's father's fathers and yes to visit acts and gifts of astounding generosity upon humans who might squander and abuse our trust... There is love in this world and there are people who will make things better, but they are not most of us, and most of us could do well to wake up a little and see... That there is a new test for significance, and it's not chi-squared.