#2: Abutments For Our Communication Bridge From the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Zealotry

This morning's emails included an interesting one from an actual engineer. He was amused by my project. He mentioned a few important things i'd overlooked. Apparently the most important foundations for any bridge are its abutments. These structures connect the bridge deck to the ground where it lands and protects the bridge's overall integrity.

He also mentioned that yesterday's simplistic outline of bridge engineering had over looked some very important concepts not the least of which is flexibility. Every bridge is constantly in motion and just as the ancients long ago figured out that a bridge's abutments are its most important and long enduring foundations they also figured out that a rigid structure didn't last very long. In addition to the forces of wind, rain and tides that i mentioned yesterday i overlooked the constant small seismic movements, the occasional large tectonic movements as well as the movement of whatever is passing over the bridge, but most important is the daily and seasonal thermal expansion and contraction of the bridge's components that constantly change how and where the loads are carried.

The engineer wished me luck and said he'd be checking the blog from time to time to see how the bridge was coming along. Yikes...he mentioned some other stuff too, but for now including just these few 'constructive' ideas is daunting enough.

So the first foundations we'll build for our metaphorical bridge will be its abutments, its connections to the Greenville and Growthton sides of the philosophic abyss we're attempting to span. Two sides, two abutments. They each may need to be constructed a bit differently because of the different terrain on the two sides, but they will be doing the same job of protecting our communication bridge's long term integrity.

IMO the most important foundational connection to establish on both sides and the most important thing presently missing is: MUTUAL RESPECT. Yesterday's post said we'd begin by pouring concrete and burying, mafia style, some of the name calling both sides presently use both to tar their opponents and to rally their supporters. The Yale University Forum on Climate Change and the Media does a pretty good, even-handed job [IMO] in its article ‘Denier,’ ‘Alarmist,’ ‘Warmist,’ 'Contrarian', 'Confusionist', 'Believer'...The List Goes On ... and On ... and On of defining the loaded names we'll try to bury. And this blog post at the Discover Magazine asks some interesting questions about the use of  'loaded labels' that elicit some thought provoking answers by famous journalists and scientists.

Tomorrow, load willin and the engineers don't intervene, construction will begin with the building of two mutual respect abutments, to protect our communication bridge from the slings and arrows of outrageous zealotry.