State of thought, 3/11/17

This is a quick write. I’m currently looking at the time, and it’s 10:37 pm. I’m going to make this an article about thoughts I’ve had this week. (Essentially, I’m going to cop out on thinking of a complete and coherent topic tonight, or, for the Yahtzee fans out there, I’m writing this off as a “chance” score.) This might get a little annoying, or it might just get a little weird. I promise I have ideas lined up for the next few days, but I’m tired and I don’t want to screw them up. Here we go.

Obviously, I’ve been thinking a bit about politics and the implications of the current administration in the White House and Congress. It’s been disorienting in the last month and a half. If someone had asked me last August what issues we’d be facing this year, this would have not come to mind. I was expecting a Republican Congress and (another) President Clinton arguing over emails and public policy, but this scenario is somehow even more hectic and disorganized. (Admittedly, my prediction did win the popular vote, but that’s not how we do things here, for better or worse, I guess.) It’s strange to see so much gridlock and dysfunction in a term that should have near-complete political unity. If you’re wondering why people interested in politics (especially people as liberal as me, or, at least, in the same ballpark) are so confused right now, well, now you do.

On to things that make sense: I’ve been thinking about scientific progress left and right, from NASA’s discovery of another set of habitable planets and the boom in private development of space travel to the formulation of “super steel” after human bone for more domestic purposes. (Side note: I don’t really see the benefit of private meddling with outer space, but I can appreciate what SpaceX has done over the past year.) On the flip side, I am excited for what’s to be discovered. There’s a lot to be found over the next few decades, especially big things, like the reason(s) for gravitational attraction, or just what on Earth dark matter is, or the cure for currently incurable diseases. There’s a clear goal here, unlike what we’re seeing in politics today, and I’m excited to join the vibrant and generally awesome field that STEM is within the next few years.

I’m not trying to diss politics by any means. I like this stuff. I’m majoring in this stuff, too. It’s just hard to understand sometimes, especially in times like today. I’ll always wish, vote, serve, strive for better for my region, state, country, and planet, and I’m sure many of the rest of us will, too. We’re all in this together; it’s just that we have a funny way of showing it when it comes to matters that are inherently political. So be it. It’s just that, with our very modern way of doing things, where politicians can talk to their constituents instantly and everything is connected, everything becomes political. Science, technology, the economy, the coffee you drink in the morning — it’s all getting there. Everything is up for discussion, and it’s important to take part in that discussion, which is why the United States’s recent voter turnout numbers drive me up a wall. In this day and age, we’re surrounded by the same media that our elected officials use on the daily, and I believe that it’s unacceptable not to take part in government if you have the right. (Cliché point: not every country is a shining example of a democracy.)

I chose to major in electrical engineering because I have a fascination with circuitry and its uses literally everywhere in this connected world. I chose to major in political science because I have a strong desire to become a better citizen and learn the laws of the lands and how to improve them; whether this means I become the resident lawyer at an engineering firm, develop alternative energy for the benefit of the entire country, or run for Congress or the President… well, I really don’t know yet. In the past two weeks, I’ve established clear directions for my future, and, while I’m not sure how I want to use the skills I’ll learn in college quite yet, I know that this is the path I want to take. Politics is a science and science is political.

This is shaping up to be my longest blog post yet, and I see no problem with it, but I’m tired and I need sleep, especially considering the hot mess called daylight saving time that begins tomorrow. I’ll end soon, but I feel that it’s important to establish what I want to write about in the next few weeks or so. Topics are as follows:

  • American politics. I’m sorry. It’s going to happen eventually. It might even happen in multiple parts. I’ll discuss the candidates, the parties, the system, the demographics, the maps, everything.
  • Space travel. I’ve used this topic once already, and I’m poised to beat this horse to death in the coming weeks. I’ll discuss NASA, SpaceX, the discoveries, the past, the present, and the future.
  • Photography. I’m not the best at it, but I want to talk about what good photos are made of, according to professionals and people with opinions. This one’s less likely to come to fruition, but it’s something to watch for.
  • Social media and its impacts. This one’s a special topic, and, considering my millennial status and 15,712 tweets on Twitter, I think I know a thing or two about a thing or two.
  • Cool things we can learn from the Internet. Languages (programming and spoken), cooking, DIY projects, life-improving organizational skills (the line’s drawn short of that feng shui stuff that was cool like ten years ago but turned out to be relatively useless), and the like.
  • College. I’ll talk about stuff that happens here on campus and maybe post pictures and stuff. Also, I’m preparing a super long and elaborate guide for the incoming class of 2021 at the University of Arkansas, and I’ll have that ready soon enough. Campus maps and guides have nothing on me.
  • The news. I’ll write about things I know about and stay away from things I don’t know about until I have time to do research.

I’m not out of ideas. I promise. After writing more than 1,000 words, I think I’m ready to call it quits. I’ll be back tomorrow (after waking up ridiculously late and sleeping through breakfast).

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