Random Thoughts and Tarsiers

FIRST PUBLISHED: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2020

 

In this post: Reasons for writing, non-political, shallow thoughts about random mayors, and some revelations (?) about economics and the incredible super powers of tarsiers. 

Many times, especially when things are stressfull, I want to write just to focus my mind and calm my thoughts. The topic doesn’t matter, the language doesn’t matter although my choices are limited to English and Spanish. What truly matters is the deep connection between me here and now and the universe of flashing thoughts inside my head. Writing for concentration works really well, is like lifting a thin curtain through which you saw the world all fuzzy and indistinct to see all the colors of the landscape in high definition. 

I said that the topic doesn’t matter except that sometimes it does; like right now. I am absolutely exhausted with the American elections, deliriously happy with the results but in despair of all the clean up that lays ahead. During the last two or three weeks I’ve been consuming news almost non-stop and thinking about all the ins and outs of this election over and over again. But I don’t do politics—or not as a main topic—in this blog, and so, I’m ready to nudge my mind in another direction. I don’t know what to write about, though. Humn. Let’s just do random things. I am going to go through my recent hand-written notes and pick up stuff and write it and maybe I will run into something interesting. 

Random thought number one: Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, took office on May 20, 2019. A black woman whom, while speaking on TV apropos of the marches against racial injustice, looked tired but also firm. My heart went out to her. 

I used to live in Chicagoland a few years ago and I never really paid attention to who was the mayor. For that matter, I also had to look up who is the major of Paris right now: another woman, Anne Hidalgo. Hidalgo is a Spanish last name. I think Carmen Yulín is still mayor in San Juan, although I guess that from 2021 there would be somebody else. 

I’m pretty sure that we don’t have mayors in Qatar, at least not in the sense that we understand it in the US.

Random thought number two: At some point I was also watching Christiane Amanpour’s show in CNN. She was interviewing Mariana Mazzucato, a professor of Economics and Innovation at University College, London. Mazzucato explained what was a K-shape economic recovery: it means that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. More or less that; I suspect that the matter might be a little bit more complicated. A simple explanation however, is more than satisfying at this point in time when some many pundits keep on punditing without really helping the general public understand what are they punditing about. But Prof. Mazzucato didn’t mention what happens to the middle class under this kind of recovery. I was disappointed; other than the short explanation above, she seemed to speak a long time in general terms and not going beyond the surface on anything that she said. The good news is that she wrote a book, The Value of Everything; I don’t think it is about K-shape recovery but maybe it does mention the middle class? I’ve been hoping for somebody to finally explain clearly where does all the money goes and where did it come from in the first place. No explanation that I have heard or read so far is satisfactory. Don’t mistake me, I know where small or even moderate amounts of money come from—the ATM, duh (!) What I don’t really understand is the origin and migration habits of billions and trillions of dollars. One would think that such scandalously huge amounts of money would shake the ground as they move; they happen to be unexplainably secretive, at least for the likes of me.  

Random thought number three: I was watching Nat Geo Wild and I learned something extraordinary about tarsier anatomy: they can turn their heads 180 degrees in each direction. Of course, this might not sound so extraordinary to those who might be already familiar with tarsiers, but I was impressed and entertained.—Imagine what I could do if I could rotate my neck like that? Maybe I could even see the money moving!—I made a note to look-up more information about tarsier anatomy; down in the references you will find an interesting link and a really fun video from youtube. 

Some people will allege that tarsiers look kind of like Yoda. Please, Yoda looks like a tarsier that cannot rotate his neck as he should; get over it.

Random thought number four: I had watched too much television lately. Mainly because as I tried very, very hard to avoid freaking out about the US election I still did freaked out and did not succeed in driving my husband crazy with my anxiety; I needed company for my misery. And what better company than other people been paid to loose their cool on national TV? As things calm down, however, I realize that it’s much better for me, for my husband, and for my cat if I write more—even if it is just a collection of random thoughts—and watch less TV.

Links and references:
  1. Lori Lightfoot sworn in as Chicago’s first black woman mayor https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-met-lori-lightfoot-chicago-mayor-inauguration-20190519-story.html
  2. About Lori Lightfoot  https://lightfootforchicago.com/about-lori/
  3. Lori Lightfoot inauguration  
  4. Mariana Mazzucato in Amanpour(https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/10/15/mariana-mazzucato-amanpour-covid-restrictions-economy-poverty.cnn)
  5. Tarsiershttps://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/395084-farthest-head-rotation-by-a-mammal
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jz0JcQYtqo&list=LL&index=4