--Oliver Wendell Jones, Bloom County
It's always been easy for me to brush off augury and divination, coming from a small town with more than its fair share of colorful, devout, and thoroughly disreputable New Agers. I've told you already of the little old grandma who has singlehandedly made the town a magnet for Zionist conspiracy freaks and Arizonan tourists wondering which mountain the three-mile-wide Chrysanthemum Crystal is under ("Just go south up Curry Street. Can't miss it.") that allows her to talk with Commander Hatonn. ("Yes, he's seven feet tall and bald, I hear. No, I haven't seen him personally.")
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Trouble is, it's either getting to be noon six times a day or the loonies are getting uncomfortably good at tossing the runes. Before the entire election debacle, a housewife went on public record (documented in News of the Weird) saying that her dogs told her telepathically that Bush would win by 200 votes. One night, a week before the 6.2 hit Tacoma, I listened to Art Bell's AM radio show just long enough to hear a distraught caller tell Art that a sizable earthquake would strike the Seattle area within the next month.
Do these good calls justify a belief in augury ? Probably not in and of themselves; their track record is about as good as that of economists, and I don't impute any mystical insight into the actions of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. In fact, economics strikes me as another field where one can be considered an expert while never having been right one's entire professional career. I've tried to cull my entire philosophy down to five terse statements, and one of those five covers this particular field (and most others!) pretty well:
Sturgeon's Law.Tell me it's not so.
90% of everything is crap.