The Revenge of the Nerds – and the Geeks; and the Scientists!


I truly never ever thought it’d get to this.

How can you possibly piss of the vast majority of (the mostly) introvert, quiet, patient, good meaning scientist community?!?

What is it about this President that nerds and geeks felt there was no option but to march against his total disregard for facts, analysis, and deliberate decision making?!?

The embracement of pseudo-science, token appointments of a handful of doctors that have fringe views, and wacko statements by this President has met with a visceral response from the people that have provided decades – no, centuries! – of scientific research and clear unambiguous fact-based conclusions.

The signs at the March For Science yesterday – Earth Day, April 22, 2017 – spoke for themselves. Below is their text, purposely void of the pictures to better convey their meaning. (You can see the pictures here.)

  • Back off, man, I’m a scientist!
  • Science saves
  • Ideology is never more important than facts
  • Science matters
  • Don’t tread on me – Science NOT Silence
  • No science, No beer
  • Marching for her (Earth)
  • Science > Stupidity
  • I may not like this rain, but it is a scientific fact
  • There is no planet B
  • You know you fucked up when scientists are marching
  • We matter because science matters
  • Not bad, huh? For some immigrants (the Manhattan Project, GE, Google, Tesla, Yay-Z)
  • Science is not a liberal conspiracy
  • Valid data = Good policy
  • End data censorship!
  • Science – Because Tweets are not peer reviewed
  • Science – Because you can’t just make up shit
  • Only a dictator would censor science
  • Keep on drinking the snake oil! Trump’s presidential snake oil: From the pipelines to you, as seen on Fox

(Again, you can see the pictures here.)

This is madness. Well, #resist we will.


The White House Amateur Hour: It’d be funny if it wasn’t so serious

I just dont know weather to laugh or cry.

This President of ours is truly a handful.

His demeanor, his team, his whole Presidency is turning out to be quite a joke – if it wasn’t for the real damage being caused.

》Claiming Hitler did not use chemical weapons – during Passover, no less.

》Using up 49 Raytheon made Tomahawk missiles to punish Syria. The MOAB in Afghanistan. Raytheon stocks go up. Don’t know if Trump owns any; his taxes are still a secret.

》Exxon negotiating with Russia on behalf of the USA… I guess that’s ok, since corporations are people, right?

》Slashing the federal bureaucracy. A good thing, right? Except that draconian recommended personnel cuts would add up but to a tiny fraction of any meaningful budget reductions while causing massive disruptions in public good programs.

》Giving credence to pseudo science. Questioning efficiency of vaccines; questioning climate change science. May play well with the conservative base, but makes for horrible policies.

And that is just in the last week… on and on and on… with no end in sight.

(Oh, and how about NO White House Correspondant Dinner participation; NO March Madness Bracket; and, NO Easter Egg Hunt – oops. Correction. There will be a White House Easter Egg Hunt. Woohoo!)

> This is not being disruptive to establish a new order.
> This is not being strategic to set on a new path.
> This is not being strong through show of force.

This is being childish, unprofessional, impulse driven, amateurish. This is no way to run a country.

> The damage being done will not so easily be reversed.
> The trust being broken will not so easily be re-established.
> The hurt being caused will not so easily be healed.

Four more years of this crazyness is four years too many.

We – the people – may be able to divert some of this madness; stop some of the most agregious initiatives; protest our way to policy.

> But will it be too late?
> Will irreversibly damage be done?
> Will we reach the point of no return?

Surely we could revert back to our cocoon position of individual self preservation, caring only for that which impacts us personally…

But to too many of us that is not an option.

#resist we will.

Even if the results are not readily evident, personally gratifying, or immediately fulfilling.

#resist we must.

Of course, taking time to smell the roses, enjoying family, and rooting for our team…

And, of course, never ever losing our sense of humor and capacity to laugh even during these most serious times.

#resist always.


Danger, Danger!

Trump’s reactionary, bullying, simplistic, national narcissist approach to governing might have played well in the campaign trail but is proving to be right down dangerous – and possibly worse. Six examples:

[1] Emphasis on law and order policing rather than community policing will exasperate the built-up anti-police sentiments in disenfranchised black neighborhoods, leading to more crime.

[2] Insulting Latinos, yanking away undocumented parents of U.S. born children, and indiscriminate I.C.E. operations will convince many youth that the government is against them and they will begin to see gang membership as a real alternative.

[3] Branding a whole religion terrorist destroys decades of authentic efforts by American Muslims to become integral contributors to the American culture; and, will inevitably lead to increase in rare reactionary violence.

[4] Avoiding the plight of millions devastated by hunger and famine in Africa because it has to be ‘America First’ will only lead to more chaos and instability in that continent.

[5] Playing footsie in Syria and being cozy with Russia does nothing to alleviate the real human tragedy going on in that part of the world and instead de-stabilizes the region even more.

[6] Discarding diplomatic protocol and making willy-nilly comments/Tweets about the real dangerous nuclear North Korea does nothing to create peace through strength and rather may lead to the unthinkable.

Does he not get that governing is different from campaigning?

Does he not get that diplomacy is very different from real estate development?

Does he not get that reality is different from reality t.v.?

(Placating those that are with you no matter what may feel good. I guess he is counting on running the Country with 1/4 of the population fanatically with him and 1/4 tactically with him… I guess he is counting that the 1/2 against him will never tip the scale… After all, look at Maduro. He is still in power, is he not?)

This President’s decision making process seems to be the antithesis of what decades of common sense constructive governance has discovered. While far from perfect and very incomplete, we have seen over the last decades a movement towards sensible, inclusive, more democratic governance. We have seen that certain approaches to decision making leads to more sustainable, long term stability and security. Some key characteristics of these successful approaches include being:

  • Deliberate
  • Thoughtful
  • Discerning
  • Critical
  • Consultative
  • Scientific
  • Data driven

We’ve seen these approaches leading to actions that are:

  • Firm – and measured
  • Decisive – and respectful
  • Definitive – and explainable

And now we get Trump. An erratic, unstable, fanatical, ‘deal-maker’ that is putting us in a much more dangerous world internally – and internationally.

This is no longer political. It is increasingly becoming a matter of safety, security, and survival.

Not to be a doomsayer, but it is looking increasingly like by this hot summer we will be living in a much more dangerous world; a world in which we will see:

  • crime in black communities increase;
  • a resurgence of Latino gangs;
  • terrorist attacks by misguided Muslims;
  • more American troops in Syria;
  • Africa in more disarray; and,
  • a war in the Korean Peninsula.

(Oh, and did I mention a deteriorating environment?)

God, I hope and pray I am wrong.