One of the things that I encounter throughout the day now is the near-constant chatter about polls and what they all mean. Of course, this is entirely self-inflicted – if I stopped listening for actual news, I wouldn’t be exposed to all of the extraneous noise – but listening for news is a lot of what I do for the Red Cross.
There is one poll that matters – only one – and that’s the election. All of the rest is, in my opinion, just fortune tellers trying to read portents and omens, and it wastes bandwidth.
One question that does come to mind when I’m not successful in dismissing it is whether or not all of this chatter creates its own weather, so to speak, as fires sometimes do. Does all the speculation about what Hillary Clinton e-mails might be on Anthony Wiener’s electronic media in itself reinforce the effect intended by Clinton’s opposition? Then I scold myself because I have absolutely no control over how politics is covered in the media; and, since there’s little or no identifiable useful information in any of it in the first place, I need to put it out of my mind and get back to work.
Someone – I want to give them credit but didn’t catch who said it aloud – reminded me of Juvenal’s comment on “bread and circuses”:
…Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions – everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses. Juvenal, Satire 10.77-81
We expend so much of our time on Earth and our wealth to no discernable purpose whatever. I suspect it has always been so because who wouldn’t prefer play to work, but when there’s work to be done who is to do it.
Who sets out with no expectation or at least some hope that they’ll be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor someday. And then what’s the harm if we can do so with a bit more fruit from a bit less labor. I get that. We can’t all get away with that over the long term.
I have a lot of work to do, and I do sometimes wonder if it’s to any worthwhile purpose at this point. If I ever do develop any meaningful philosophical insights, what will that do for mankind? I suspect not much, The effort does keep me out of the honky tonks and bars, and my mind active, so there’s that.