Daily Bread for 7.7.23: Prioritization in a Small Town

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 78. Sunrise is 5:24 AM and sunset 8:35 PM for 15h 11m 03s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 76.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1832, during the Black Hawk War, General Atkinson leads his entire militia, which includes future presidents Abraham Lincoln and Zachary Taylor, to a camp just south of Palmyra.

This libertarian blogger’s list of general topics is plain, but even then priorities are necessary. See What Ails, What Heals

Commentary, or any participation in civic life, should be principled, methodical, and prioritized.

It’s this last requirement — a balance between addressing harms and promoting better outcomes, and a priority ordering within each — that’s often missing. See Heals & Ails, General & Particular, Public & Private:

In a community requiring extraordinary care, a critique must be devoted principally to what ails over what heals (to staunch the worst injuries in the community), to the general over the specific (as precepts themselves will be unclear), and to public over private action (as government action will have  grown excessive or distorted). In a healthy society, more time can be devoted to what heals over what ails, the specific over the general, and private over public action.

Some attention must be given across categories, but a person’s primary attention should be focused as if a triage. 

From a conceptual list of maladies and treatments a person can make his or her way to specifics, and through a list one can establish priorities that respect the boundaries between public and private, acknowledging the importance of the later over the former. 

There’s a tendency in Whitewater for people to flit from issue to issue, supposed crisis to crisis. For example, is there a need to address the substantive quality of a Whitewater public education, an athletic field, or a pool? Is there a need for housing, to address poverty, or to improve the lakes, etc.? These and other matters are important, but which matters more, and in which order should they be addressed?

Everything Everywhere All at Once is a film, not a public policy program. 

One would prefer to focus on what heals, so much as one can, yet cannot overlook what ails. It is not true, however, that every ailment is the same, or needs the same attention.

This applies to commentary, too: some matters require only a limited number of posts, but others require a long campaign, to be addressed again and again, either to attrit what is harmful or encourage what it helpful.

A reader recently reminded me that, in effect, one could not wait to address only a single major topic: they come along plentifully, of varying intensities. 

Triage is not inaction, but prioritized action.

And so, and so, one has to choose: what negatives must be addressed in what order, and what positives should be promoted in what order? 

The Incredible School For Adaptive Surfers:

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