Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit: "Bit of a dog's dinner, innit?"

I was glued to the computer last night, watching the BBC's streaming special on the Brexit vote, seeing reactions unfold in real time as the scope of the UK's reckless flying leap into the unknown unfolded. One of my favorite reactions was from a phlegmatic Brit who uttered the immortal words, "Bit of a dog's dinner, innit?"
On this side of the pond, I liked my FB friend Greg Fallis's use of a science fiction metaphor to describe the way the world we thought we knew seems suddenly to be turning upside down and backwards. Wait till you get to the giant underground insects waking up after a sleep of centuries...
There's much to be said for giant underground insects, but I prefer to blame sunspots. The Russian biologist Aleksandr Leonidovich Chizhevsky hypothesized years ago that massive, intense disruptions in normal human behavior such as wars, revolutions and sudden cultural changes were caused by solar maximums, those periods of intense solar activity and the proliferation of sunspots that take place about every 11 years.
This is usually dismissed as crackpot science, but could Chizhevsky be right? Hard to tell. The trouble is that sunspot cycles are roughly periodic, but the periods vary, and historical data is spotty until we get to modern times. So it's easy to fit the solar peaks to just about any series of events you want to explain. And, as we all know, correlation doesn't prove causation in any event.
Maybe it's just that the human species has a deep-seated, genetic predisposition to really shake things up now and then and start all over again -- especially when many people are miserable and think their leaders don't understand them and don't give a damn about them.
It's a real wakeup call to elites everywhere.