Wonks and Trolls

Workout notes: weights only. rotator cuff, pull ups (15-15-10-10) (good), bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing, 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm. Goblet squats: 6 x 25, 30, 40, 50 (good depth..knees did not hurt), headstand, planks, crow, etc. Ah, forgot knee-stretches. Weight (after weights): 189.

Lots of gabbing today; this gave me more than the usual rest between sets.


I love Titania McGrath, the “fake woke” queen of Twitter.

Policy wonk politicians: beware. White papers don’t convince anyone. And..there is the fact that the current metrics might not reflect day-to-day reality. Example: employment can remain the same, but if the old higher paying jobs are replaced by low pay, low benefit service jobs, lives have gotten worse. Remember that metrics are a type of projection of reality onto numbers, and any projection loses information.

Democrats and Republicans: the rank and file don’t understand one another. Seriously. I have Republican and conservative friends, and often I am shocked at how much we agree on. One Republican friend of mine: is pro choice, pro science, supports gay rights, supports economic stimulus at certain times and is pro public investment…and is an atheist! On the other hand, she was shocked that I am a capitalist who is pro-personal responsibility. She accepts that environment can affect outcome, and I accept that personal agency matters also.

Here is what I think is going on:

Most of us are closer to each other than our politicians are to each other.

Walk and Think

Today: slept in late (6:30 am) after a play last night (based on the Hound of the Baskervilles) and did a very convoluted 12 mile course in West Peoria, St. Mary Cemetery, Moss/Bradley and Bradley Park. Pace: steady 15:45 ish, and I did stop to get drinks and coffee (needed to drink for this walk; it was a bit humid)

Along the way I thought about math (how to explain stuff to undergraduates) and about a social issue.

Two current events got me on this track:

1. Joe Biden and his talking about getting along with segregationists in the Senate in the 1970’s.

2. The move When They See Us. Yes, it appears that the “Central Park Five” were not guilty of the brutal assault and rape, but they were a part of a group of 30 who DID harass and assault others.

That lead me to think about some things.

One of my favorite boxers, Joe Frazier, used to steal cars (he admitted this in his book, which I enjoyed reading).

Jesse Helms, a bigot who served in the US Senate, adopted a disabled child.

William Jennings Bryan, who was so wrong about teaching evolution in public school, supported women’s suffrage.

Clarence Darrow, who was right about teaching of evolution, but grew disenchanted with women’s suffrage (due to its aligning with prohibition…note: Stone’s biography Clarence Darrow for the Defense had him ridiculing members of the suffrage movement, but it was a 1941 book)

In my own personal life: I’ve had relatives and in-laws express bigoted views from time to time…and yet give the shirts off of their backs. Personally: I was anti-gay as a young man; I lost it when I actually met some openly gay people..that is a story for another day.

My point: 1. No one is perfect; people have flaws AND are, in part, products of their environments. 2. People can change with time.

Sadly: it appears that on all sides, it is fashionable to focus only on the flaws AND to forget that sometimes people DO change for the better. And when we look at the past, we should think of context.