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Scattered Thoughts on the Boston Marathon Explosions

I don’t know what to say or do about the Boston Marathon thing. But I’m feeling a pointless urge to say or do something. Here are a few scattered thoughts.

Boston Red Cross is reporting that they have enough blood for now. If you’re not in the Boston area, donate blood anyway. It helps the entire nation’s blood supply. If you are in Boston, donate in a week or two.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (@MassEMA) tweets: If you are trying to reach friends or family and can’t get through via phone, try texing instead (less bandwidth).

@MassEMA also tweets: RedCross Safe and Well is active. Individuals can register themselvs as safe or search for loved ones at redcross.org/safeandwell

And this, from me:

I am trying extremely hard to not jump to conclusions about who did this and why, based on my pre-existing beliefs and prejudices. Many people leaped to conclusions about who was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, and most of those conclusions were dead wrong. For the record, my pre-existing beliefs and prejudices are probably somewhat different from those held by most Americans… but I’m not going to pat myself on the back for being differently prejudiced. I am doing my best to be a good skeptic, and recognize my cognitive biases and my tendency to jump to conclusions and rationalize them afterwards, and I am trying to hold off on any guessing about who did this and why, or any commentary based on my uneducated guesses, and wait until we have actual information. I’d like to suggest that everyone reading this do the same.

If you’re suddenly feeling like life is very fragile and very precious right now, and these feelings are motivating you to take action… tell someone you love that you love them. Be kind to a stranger. Donate money to a cause you care about.

And finally, because I think we may need it right now, here are some cute pictures of cats.

Comet and Houdini on my lap

Comet and Talisker on bed

Talisker and Houdini on bed

If you have pets, pet them extra today.

Comments

  1. Lofty says

    So horrible, I hope the perp is caught and turns out to be some minor nutjob, no need for another damn war. :-(
    And today my kitties are due for a vet checkup. :-( :-( I’ll treat them extra well when they’re back home.

  2. says

    I work at an animal shelter. I see the best and worst in humanity every day. I’ve come to work in the morning to find a cat in a cage outside the door. In Minnesota. In March. Poor thing was so cold and scared. We got her warm and fed, and later, she was adopted by a wonderful family and bonded instantly with their autistic child. I helped shave 10 lbs. of of matted and dirty fur off a tiny dog who had obviously never seen a brush in his life. It took nearly two hours, and he was a trooper for his bath afterwards. He was adopted the first day he was available.

    People ask me how I can do my job. How I can see all the crap I see and the horrible situations that some animals come from. I do it because I see many more good people come through our doors than bad. The volunteers who dedicate untold hours playing with, grooming, socializing, and caring for the animals. The people who bring us donations and gifts, sometimes more than we can use. The people who foster and adopt. The good people vastly outnumber the bad, and that’s what keeps all of us going.

    Same here. The number bad people were nothing compared to the number of good people. Yes, bad people can do a lot of damage and cause a lot of pain, but they are dwarfed by the good people willing to step up and do the right thing. It’s like the Mr. Rodger’s quote that is going around FB: look for the helpers. The helpers will always be there in huge numbers.

    That’s what keeps me going. Especially on days like today.

  3. georgelocke says

    Let’s all remember that terrorism is a tiny, tiny threat compared to, say, the flu. Lightning is about twice as likely to kill you as terrorism.

    The huge policy changes curtailing the freedom of all Americans based on incredibly rare events have got to stop.

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