On Thursday, Mitzi and I went to Jacksonville University to hear Dr. Helen Czerski speak at an event where she received the Jacksonville University Marine Science Pioneer Award. (You can read about that here. Ignore the privacy warning from Safari, you'll have to click through two warnings.)

I follow her Mastodon account (@helenczerski@fediscience.org) and saw a toot that she would be in town on November 2nd, speaking at an event sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. I knew Mitzi had signed us up for something like this, and thought this might be one of those events. So I asked her, and it wasn't.

But she wanted to go see it anyway, so we did.

Loved it. She's a young, energetic and inspiring speaker. She received two standing ovations from the audience. One for her talk, the other for her award.

Dr. Czerski's talk was about the old chestnut that we know more about the moon than we do about the ocean. We do know plenty about the ocean. As a retired naval officer, who was educated as an ocean engineer, and whose career was spent, to a significant degree, understanding oceanography in order to find submarines (alternatively, to hide from them), I appreciate how much we know.

In any event, this post is about the "strange loops" that seem to go on in my head. A gyre is a feature in oceanography that describes large rotational currents. I installed the TED app on our AppleTV last night, specifically to look for Dr. Czerski on TED. You can find her here, great talk, btw.

That reminded me of two other talks I'd read about, or someone had mentioned to me, but I hadn't seen them yet. I had to do a little searching. The first was the one about the "first sustainable generation," which I posted earlier today. The second was about "unconventional thinking," which is also posted below.

I enjoyed Hannah Ritchie's talk about sustainability, but it left me uneasy. I subscribe to a Florida-focused climate RSS feed, The Invading Sea, and it often features posts from young Republicans advocating "market-based solutions," which are appealing to young Republicans but otherwise inadequate. Ms. Ritchie's talk felt very much in the same vein.

I also subscribe to an RSS feed from Resilience, which is where the link to Cheap Grace came from, which is in the same post as Ms. Ritchie's TED talk.

Resilience doesn't offer full-text feeds, so I have to click through and open them in Safari, and I often don't visit the page immediately, just leave the tab open until I get around to going through my tabs. It's not a great system, but it's how I roll.

I'd opened the Cheap Grace post yesterday, but hadn't read it until this morning, which, together with watching Nyad, is what prompted this morning's first post.

So, saw Dr. Czerski on Thursday. Watched the last half of Nyad on Friday afternoon. Installed TED on AppleTV to look for Dr. Czerski on Friday evening. Watched Hannah Ritchie because I recalled something about a TED talk by her and I'd just installed the app. Then watched David McWilliams because I also recalled something about "unconventional thinking." Then read the Cheap Grace post this morning.

And here we are. Four posts that somehow were connected, or related, at least in my mind. Contingent though they may be, "free will" being something of a misunderstanding.

Anyway, all these things happened in close proximity to one another, and the route by which they all came to my attention resembles, in my mind, a gyre. That image was brought to my mind by David McWilliams' reference to Yeats, and its meaning in oceanography, which brings us back to Dr. Czerski, and Diana Nyad, and sustainability, which is all about "closing the loop," eliminating externalities.

Anyway, I seem to recall that someone once had a blog called "I thought these might be clues." That also comes to mind.

There's more here than meets the eye.

Which I suppose is a bit of "unconventional thinking" itself. And a small bit of comfort too.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 09:13 Saturday, 4 November 2023