Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bicyclo Decane

Having studied organic chemistry and recollecting bicyclic molecules, up to now resisted mentioning their nominal similarity to term “bicycle”, only in lame but long continuation of post names that rhyme with Bike&Chain. Yet, derived from methane, bridged ring molecules do smack of a frame combining a pair of hexagonal wheels. Bicyclists sometimes use alkane, aka paraffin, to lubricate chains. Other linear alkanes include familiar butane, ethane, octane, and propane, as well as over a dozen other hydrocarbon chain names and hundred of isomers that also rhyme but won’t be referenced. Cyclohexane makes nylon-6 for bike bags and jackets. The fact that brainy sapiens can whip molecules into meeting mankind’s needs is nothing short of amazing given general population’s usual incompetency, yet mistakes have been made because things that were possible weren’t simply let go. Remember chlorofluorocarbons? Nearly destroyed protective ozone layer.

Organizing humans to achieve a goal is fraught with misgiving. Emotion and intuition, not logic, drive most decision making. For math and science to make sense, society needs to make an enormous commitment to them, not just as a haven for antisocial nerds, semi-autistic geeks, and sociopathic philomaths. All this is beyond what the supposedly ruling majority understands. Not everyone is capable of comprehending complex idea systems or their practical applications, not even those who do grasp industrial, pharmaceutical, and transportational uses of bicyclo decane (structural skeleton shown). Labann has no clue, but respects those who do, as long as they properly label and store bottled gases, buckets of toxins, and slimy solids oozed out of decay.

America has yet again engaged in a presidential election cycle. George Washington, independent candidate and only unanimous electoral vote winner ever (twice), cautioned Americans not to replace a king with a tyrant when he declined a third term, thus establishing a precedent that’s now law. His oppressor, Mad King George III, called him “the greatest character of the age”. Current candidates for POTUS recycle cartoon characters. Having to pick among an Alaskan bimbo, billionaire buffoon, Bluto bully, conservative bigots, damaged celebrities, Doctor Evil bent on world domination, feces flinging simians, foreign interloper, goose-stepping nazis, immigrant despisers, Monopoly’s Rich Uncle Pennybags, Mussolini impersonator, older sibling, Olive Oil CEO, partisan stooge, Popeye populist, or Wimpy governors insults your intelligence. At least Bachmann and Romney wised up before wasting everybody’s time again. Congress creates policy, runs agencies, sets budgets, and writes laws. Chief executive serves as nothing more than a scapegoat for all of society’s ills. Really, who'd want the job except for a masochist or sociopath? Blame Dubya; ever since this dumb as a doorpost dolt snuck in on history’s slimmest margin, everyone thinks they can easily divide loyalties and grab power. Also blame GOP, who've ushered in this revulsion of governance by political gridlock and threats to close down agencies and entitlements. All debate so far excludes everything but name calling, pushing buttons, reveling in issues, and using unrest as a bully pulpit to secure privileges for the few. Cries against elitism merely betray their lack of discernment or leadership. But caucuses and primaries will thin herd from a dozen wannabes to a few possibilities that you’ll have to hold your nose over while voting.

Beyond cynical rhetoric lie innovative ways to resolve issues. Campaign process ought to address cures for real problems, such as drugs, guns, immigration, innovation, jobs, murders, shrinking middle class, unfunded liabilities, wacko enemies bent on apocalypse (al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS, and those who thrive on candidates' lies about Western weakness), and waste. Merely recognizing issues doesn't cut it. Candidates ought to plainly state where they stand on them, but then those stuck on splinter issues pick whoever supports theirs and remain blind to entire platform. Economy would be much better if politicians didn’t stuff pockets with tax revenue or write self-serving policies for entire planet through thoughtless endowments of your dollars. Sensible talk and statistical analyses draw big yawns and blank expressions. Citizens don’t much care how government is run as long as it is. They grant a license to steal, which is how America became an oligarchy despite elections. Chapter “Millennium Bug”, written 15 years ago, already suggested alternatives to recycling quadrennially the same names, ostensibly done to avoid corruption that typically accompanies long spells in office by old men. Note nation’s youngest president was its most innovative. After a decade of Congress countermanding your every initiative, anyone would lose hope and react in fear or out of spite, not in country’s best interests. But constant change can only be a mixed blessing at best. Wouldn’t a 5 year term, possibly doubled (decane), provide more time to force through good legislation? At only 4 years, senators just await an administration’s conclusion to get what they want, some newcomer to hoodwink or hose.

Directed at bicyclists, none who could make any difference would read this blog and restore balance. Still believe that notions must be incanted and made available lest they disappear or perish. If you don’t water plants, they die. Words water relationships. Maybe those clinging to outmoded ways can’t emotionally process or don’t want to face another winter of discontent that demands more. They can barely stand slogans that flatter, molify and pander. Any intelligent coalition consisting of 10% of population could apply its knowledge to form a new party and take over governance permanently. If theocrats can, why not progressives? Instead, people you perceive as really smart bicker among themselves instead of bridge cooperative rings. Aren’t elections about chemistry? Without question, those who produce hydrocarbons get a free ride: corporate welfare, tax breaks, and unprecedented profits all at the same time. You’ve got to vote for whoever Big Oil doesn’t support, though that doesn’t simplify choices, since almost everyone running kowtows to them, GOP unanimously. Where did you think their limitless campaign funds come from?

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