Coffee Log, Day 176

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro, Extra Dark Roast, Trader Joe’s Brand

Met a teacher of twelve years who’s quitting the profession because it doesn’t pay as well as her summer gig bartending. She’s got an MA in Education but the state of North Carolina doesn’t compensate for that.

I talked to three different techs on a customer service line and each time they started asking me to solve the problem, like “What happens when you do this?”; “What do you think we should try?” A technical issue, we fixed it. Solidarity’s something, I guess.

There’s a technical issue at work that makes certain associates stay late; the higher-ups suggest ways to be productive after close, all of which rely on systems affected by the technical issue. When the point’s raised, it’s taken in stride, we all laugh about it, no better suggestions come to mind.

I took two courses on the Philosophy of Science. We talked about paradigm shifts and air pumps, but mostly we spent time trimming authority. Much of what we know (or think we know) as a society is secured by appreciation of scientific or technical expertise. We point to people who mastered a common dogma, who’ve run the right tests and passed with colors. ‘Experts:’ stuck on pedestals like cherubs in the clouds, but we seldom come to terms with the fact that we, the people, built those pedestals.

Which is sad, scary, and dangerous, because it’s fuel on the fires of ‘fake news’ and other evil exploitations of reasonable doubt. A tug-of-war, two sides taught, one believing everything and the other nothing. ‘Truth,’ instead, is gritty, changing, evolutionary; it’s somewhere in the mud.

So NC tells her best teachers to kick bricks with their fancy graduate degrees, bigwigs burned by too many flawed phone calls with their cable reps.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“My answer to him was, when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.” – Isaac Asimov

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