Monday, February 04, 2008

Watershed Week 2008

Watershed Week is a term used in Michael Crichton's 1972 novel The Terminal Man, which I read in one sitting shortly after it came out. The "Watershed" described in the book is a week in 1969 when the theoretical storage and processing capacity of all of the world's computers exceeded the same theoretical capacity of all human brains. This from a work of fiction that has been praised as prophetic in its' depiction of the role of computers in our lives, and particularly in medicine.

I'm unable to find a citation online regarding this other than the novel itself, but there is a definition that fits its' usage in the novel, and the context with which I refer to this week:
An event marking a unique or important historical change of course or one on which important developments depend.
This week's potential events have been preceded by both local and national events that provide an interesting prelude. The Super Bowl was certainly a testament to the adage "that's why they play the games". The Giants played dominant defense, and as a Pittsburgh native I fully understand and agree with another adage, that being "defense wins championships". Those who make a living from analyzing these kind of events ad nauseum were having a field day today.

On the local end, the extensive coverage provided by the Sentinel in their Sunday edition regarding the effects of growth also served as a prelude to a critical meeting of City Council this evening. I get the feeling that the information, assertions, and decisions made tonight will play a large role in what the Grand Valley will look like in the years to come, not in terms of any actual law or code, but how much our elected leaders really listen to the citizens that make up their constituency, and even more how those elected officials work together with each other to make sure that we as one county can sustain a community we can all be proud of. If I can get a glimpse at Channel 12 tonight, I will. It should make for riveting television.

On the national side of things, tomorrow is Super Tuesday, and those who make a living analyzing these things ad nauseum are working overtime trying to predict outcomes and get the pulse of the electorate in advance of the primaries and caucuses that may largely establish who will be running for President from here on into November.

I personally don't have an expert take on what might happen, and as you can probably tell I don't place a great deal of stock in professional analysis and prognostication, whether it be ESPN or the Gallup Poll. I stayed an unaffiliated voter, so I'm not participating in the caucuses here tomorrow. Some may say that is irresponsible of me, but I don't feel that way. I'll take the time to get behind a candidate once I get a handle on what they are standing for, but I'm much more interested in what the legislative branch is doing.

Invariably, my perspective on all of this is largely shaped by how much of my life is influenced by God's presence. I fear that it isn't enough. Kirk Yamaguchi at Canyon View Vineyard Church brought that point home this past weekend with an excellent sermon that referenced several key points in scripture, one of which is highly pertinent to me as I mull over the events in what could be a watershed week for our region and our country.
Mark 4:18-19

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Enjoy the rest of your week.

1 comment:

Cellectric said...

Interesting that your blog came up during my search for Watershed Week. I'm just flooring thru the same book.
Greetings from Germany.
Ulrich
www.ulrichmaiss.de