Daily Bread for 10.11.22: Identifying Types and Spotting Issues

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will see afternoon showers with a high of 74. Sunrise is 7:04 AM and sunset 6:18 PM for 11h 13m 32s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 96.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater will have a Finance Committee meeting at 4:30 PM, a Referendum Information Session (Fire & EMS) at 5 PM, and a Public Works meeting at 6 PM.

On this day in 1968, NASA launches Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission.

A badger, of course. Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

Critical to any analysis is an accurate understanding both the whole and also the elements into which one divides it. So, if someone is studying badgers, he’s not supposed to mistake them for skunks, and he’s supposed to understanding something of a badger’s anatomy. He cannot credibly, for example, confuse a badger’s foot with its ear.

This needn’t require a degree in badgerology, but at least someone shouldn’t make basic mistakes of identification.

And yet, and yet, in these overwrought times, mistakes of identification and issues are common.

Mistakes of identification: not knowing one species from another. Skunks, badgers, stoats: getting them all mixed up. 

In Whitewater, this would be ignorance about how many political orientations there are in this small city, or failing to discern the size of each. For political groups and their respective sizes in town see FREE WHITEWATER’s category Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021.

Whitewater does not have, for example, a leftist/communist/socialist/globalist cabal. YMBFKM. Whitewater has a tiny number of progressives who are too few in number to shape policy in this city. One doesn’t have to be a progressive (as I am not) to be able to count their numbers accurately. 

We don’t eat people. Really.
Photo by Satyabratasm on Unsplash

Whitewater does not have, for example, a powerful trade union. It doesn’t matter whether Whitewater should or shouldn’t have a powerful trade union — the city doesn’t have one.  Those holding up the local teachers’ union as a powerful trade moment have no idea what the concept of power means. Our local unions, of whatever kind, are politically inconsequential in this city. (Someone might believe, even insist, that rabbits eat people, but as it turns out they don’t.) 

Mistakes of issue spotting: failing to determine which concerns reasonably arise from a given action. If there’s a badger attack, for example, a relevant and material issue would be treating animal bites. A badger attack would not, however, suggest a concern over whether badgers might be anabaptists.  (They’re not.)

In Whitewater, failing to issue spot correctly often involves seeing too much or too little in a policy choice. For some professions, especially law, failing to issue spot is a fatal career liability. From a given set of facts, a lawyer must be able to identify the relevant and significant legal issues that arise. (This skill is so fundamental to the profession that someone who cannot issue spot accurately should not be graduated from law school. There are other careers, enjoyable and fulfilling, for would-be attorneys who lack this ability; the law would not be among them.) 

As there is a torrent of ideological discussion in America, it’s too easy, deceptively so, to apply national types and topics to Whitewater. Our local problems, and we have them, are not identical to a common set of national problems, either in nature or number. (In Whitewater, it would be a risible error to think, for example, that defunding the police was truly a possibility. It never was, and never will be.) 

There are problems in town, and risks waiting in the shadows, but so far we have escaped the worst ideological struggles that grip other parts of the nation. Keeping local conditions that way — and avoiding worse political conditions — is a social obligation.

Avoiding worse for Whitewater, however, begins with seeing the city with clear and dry eyes.

Fundamental to this task: identifying types and spotting issues. 

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