Psychology is the art of applying thermodynamics to the making of head cheese, to paraphrase some wit, where “head cheese” is clearly code for “whatever is in the crucible” (the alchemists’ microwave oven, wherein new beliefs get baked, and symbolized by the skulletarium).
“Do you run hot or cold?” That should be a sensible question to just about anyone, inkblot that it is.
“Too hot, or too cold?” (adding a hint of pathology); now Goldilocks cares, as the homeostatic tendency is to hover around “just right”. Choose the middle bear. Moderation in all things. More Tao of Pooh.
A lot of what goes on in politics is Group A trying to slide graphite rods into Group B’s atomic pile, again using figurative language. For those new to the planet, graphite plays the role of neutron suppressant, wherein a chain reaction is like going viral with no anti-particles, just neutrons galore, causing nuclei to give it up (unpack). Lots of energy gets packed into matter (Einstein).
A completely exponential reaction is what’s called a bomb (or explosion), and stands for something unleashed and uncontrolled, whereas controlled fission merely heats water to steam, while creating smoldering waste in the process (aye, there’s the rub). Controlling fission is a full time job for Homer Simpson.
When Russia retook Crimea, in ways the EU could not accept, a lot of Americans, far from the feuding, were like “hey guys, don’t get so heated” as if eldering fans at a football game who might at any moment turn hoodlum (go berserk). Dr. Jekyll goes Mr. Hyde. How very English.
What we learned from our own Joint Chiefs, is that long range thinking about the consequences of nuclear war happens elsewhere, given their unanimous vote to push JFK into pushing the button.
He could see a better way out, given his fancy Ivy League education, and in general presidents are like that; their bias is towards civilian lifestyles for the majority of humankind, for the foreseeable future.
My source for this “unanimous vote” story is Daniel Sheehan, the Jesuit professor. He doesn’t believe in “two Oswalds” apparently, but that’s a footnote (a wrinkle) in time. I consider him a serious-minded investigator with sources rivaling Sy Hersh’s.
He tells a dramatic story wherein the Kennedy brothers keep uncovering new aspects of Nixon’s long-running anti-Castro campaign. Remember Nixon was vice for eight years. Howard Hughes was paying the Santo Trafficante network in Tampa, while keeping the White House out of it (Nixon later had the DNC burglarized, just to make sure this secret had been kept). The money to pay the secret team went to Switzerland, and then Mexico. Fidel was in their crosshairs.
We all know Nixon liked hanging out with Mafiosi (Bebe Rebozo in particular), who seemed like Ronald Reagan good guys and dolls, driven to the dark side by Prohibition (not their fault).
Evil atheistic communism had stomped on their Havana haven, their supply of opiates, and reduced them to a Las Vegas ghetto. Kennedy was expected to (A) lose or (B) go along if he won (as Joe’s boy, he knew the score). They weren’t prepared for Bobby, nor for the Civil Rights movement (let alone #metoo). The “deep state” became enraged. Future shock was too much.
The question is what does prose like this do to your blood temperature? Do you find yourself getting heated as you prepare to defend your view that one Oswald, acting alone, was the lone gunman? I wasn’t actually planning to go any deeper into it here, as that literature is easily accessible by this time, in whatever order, and as told by whichever authorities.
I keep going in with different guides. I was only four or five at the time and have no memory of what I was doing, although I did watch the funeral with some Catholic friends. I remember the black and white TV and their living room.
Now I’d like to backpedal and acknowledge “temperature” is not the only parameter that matters. Indeed, my whole criticism of the “climate change” debate is that “climate” is a dumbing down of “biosphere” and the latter has clearly changed, greatly, and is continuing to change, thanks to human affairs, such as cities and fishing ships… agriculture.
Once temperature and gas mix go away, as the only measures we care about, the question of human agency disappears in a flash of smoke — if “agency” means anything (which, in some grammars / philosophies, it may not, I acknowledge).
“Cool headed” is usually better in world game diplomacy. The hot heads gravitate to war game fantasy plotting, and these can go viral, whenever graphene is in short supply, if you know my meaning (nod nod wink wink).
Head-exploding fantasies are less likely to do damage in the presence of sufficient coolant.
Diplomats were working overtime to solve the Cuban Missile Crisis. Reducing the key players to a very few helps simplify the story, but without a backdrop of citizen diplomacy, the Kennedy brothers would have felt too isolated to stand up to the red hot far right, some enraged to be so cut off from their Havana haven (heaven), some emboldened to have the most nukes.
Today, in the age of Truckers without Borders (truck cab = PWS), all AI connected and analyzed (ML + DS), it’s more than likely that Cyberia has a cooling effect.
We worry about the Terminator Scenario, wherein our machines start the war without consulting us, against us. But what if the more likely scenario is the computers refuse to overheat?
Google’s servers don’t suffer a meltdown.
No one panics about some “closing window”.
Then where would we be?
War requires rage and fear of a specific flavor, which must be cultivated. What if all those global silicon circuits don’t encourage recklessness, as their net effect?
Not because AI is smarter than we are, but because we got smarter, by using AI.