Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Deploying little gray brain cells

I want to write about "deploy".  It is a word I had never heard over decades of using American English.  Then, I heard that the Pentagon, our military headquarters, would "deploy" troops or ships or planes or supplies somewhere.  I could have look the word up and one of these days, I will, but I inferred from the context that it means "send" or "distribute" or "place" or "ship". The word might be a good example of language change, a process that goes on all the time and sometimes surprises people.  

I had planned to write and think more about "deploy" but I just read the Harvard Medical News newsletter and an item that caught my eye says that a tuberculosis vaccine seems to be doing a good job helping people with Type 1 diabetes with their problem.  I think that as humans get a worldwide food supply that is tasty and reliable, diabetes emerges as a danger. Type I, being born with a body that doesn't handle carbs well, is a very severe disease, I guess. Type II, growing older and less able to handle carbs, especially the concentrated energy of sugar, can result in blindness and amputations.  Progress in handling either disease matters very much.

I recently found out a little about who James Clapper is.  The man is 75 years old now and has been the head of US intelligence.  I have been interested in intelligence (spying and calculating important factors about a country's enemies and rivals) for years.  Clapper has a book called "Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence" and I am curious about it. But, I am curious about too much.  I can see that more in-depth knowledge about national intelligence or politics or cell biology or car mechanics or air conditioning has its limits. I will use the same strategy I have used before and wait.  I have some kind of knack for remembering what I should forget about and reminding myself periodically to buy the book or borrow it from one of our libraries.

Staying away from intricacies of politics or science or math or intelligence might be a good thing for me.  I am confident that my sense of wonder at the world gets refreshed very well every time I see a little kid. Digesting the probability of this or that, or the reliability of that group or this, can use energy and time that results in very little after a few years.  I admire those who help us all by juggling the ifs and maybes, but I may continue to focus on my corner of the world. In writing this post, I was searching for information that was hot and desired at one time but then faded from importance. Sometimes, last month's news or last week's weather report fit that description.  Since the World Cup tournament is being played now, I thought maybe some old scores from previous years would be an example of once-exciting news that has lost its relevance.

This Wikipedia description of jockeying and sport politics for the first World Cup in 1930 might once have been hot news but seems like a good example of backshelf info now:

In an attempt to gain some European participation, the Uruguayan Football Association sent a letter of invitation to The Football Association, even though the British Home Nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) had resigned from FIFA at the time. This was rejected by the FA Committee on 18 November 1929.[5] Two months before the start of the tournament, no team from Europe had officially entered.[6] FIFA president Jules Rimet intervened, and eventually four European teams made the trip by sea: Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The Romanians, managed by Constantin Rădulescu and coached by their captain Rudolf Wetzer and Octav Luchide, entered the competition following the intervention of newly crowned King Carol II.

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