Perspective: Of Pelicans And Molecules

Jan 4, 2019

If you’re like me, you run across a lot of stuff you don’t understand. I’ve been reading about quantum physics for years and still don’t get how subatomic particles can be particles and waves at the same time.

I try to read economics, too. Yet I don’t understand the economic doctrine that says, if the country goes into recession, I should help by boosting my own spending, even if I go bankrupt. Won’t my bankruptcy make the recession worse, not to mention making me worse?

I also don’t get why they think stuff from jellyfish is good for our brains when jellyfish don’t even have brains.

Nonetheless, I still recommend reading stuff you don’t understand. It’s good for head muscles. Not long ago I read about a young woman, now a Ph.D., who had nothing in her house to read but Jehovah’s Witness pamphlets on theology. So, she read them. She didn’t understand them, but it was good exercise. Now she’s a college professor.

If you get frustrated by your incomprehension, you can comfort yourself by concluding that either you are a bit dim (I admit that I am) or that the world is just stranger than you can imagine. My mantra is a poem by Ogden Nash:

What a bird is a pelican.

Its beak can hold more than its belly can.

And I don’t see how the Hell it can.

This is Tom McBride, and that’s my perplexed Perspective.