To NPR on Rainwater: On Why Good Ideas Have No Effect

Is it not a bit stupid, Flint, to let the rainwater go through the contaminated ground and then through the lead pipes and then try to filter it and drink it? Water comes from the sky, from precipitation, yes, and eggs from chickens, hens in fact. My proposal is that we collect the water before it goes into the contaminated ground and pipes, rather than after. This single idea will not solve all our problems, but will immediately take 20-50% of the pressure off the bottled water donation and delivery system in Flint. It will also prepare us for the future, because our problems in Flint are only the beginning.

Yesterday, for about the tenth time, I called the newsroom at NPR here in Michigan, and was directed to Stateside, their program handling the Flint water crisis. After going through my usual schpiel: Yes, I have six or seven methods of collecting rainwater, published for free on the internet, etc, for about five of my 250 monthly phone minutes, the woman journalist answered with a hint of incredulity: “So, you want people to drink rainwater?”

Why yes, and eat the eggs that come out of chicken’s bottom sides. Sounds incredible, does it not?

Or rather she said, “So, you want us to do a story on Rainwater”? Why yes, and to do all you can to keep lead out f the people of Flint, even if it involves a little listening and thinking. It is like there is an assumption there one would first have to clear away ahead of time? Is it that all my words go in one ear and out the other, and all she can do is record ideas for them to use for their own purposes like a machine? Why can one say, in bold letters PEOPLE ARE DYING UNNECESSARILY AND IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO SOMETHING IF WE CAN!! And they blink. And it is my fault. And I have to go away, because others have all the power and the money. One is again reminded of Polemarchus at the opening of the Republic, “What if we do not listen,” when he playfully seizes and compels Socrates.

Perhaps it is that I mistake journalists for people who think about the news, when actually they are just reflectors, so I am like one expecting the paper of a book to understand the words, or the telephone itself to understand English.

After hearing a program from the BBC on homelessness, on people with unique and true ideas that have actually helped to end homelessness, I realize that part of my problem is that I expect to be able to simply say a good idea and have the community see it so that things will be improved. That is not what happened in the homelessness issue. Rich people did not hear a good idea and go do it. They did not call NPR with the brilliant idea of housing first, to get around the problem with the shelters, which is first that they are not safe and second that the “compassionate” ones, the government, want first to take over the souls of the homeless, to require that they get “treatment” for “addiction” or “mental illness” or what have you (never for criminality), and only then will they give the people a house. The Housing First guy took people off the streets and put them into apartments without trying to govern their souls and taking over their lives, not to mention while placing them in a circumstance where their security could not be secured.

So, yeah, I want people to drink rainwater, collecting it in a simple and clean system, and to rediscover the rain barrel to collect water for washing and bathing that there is no investment for the simplest, most obvious inventions, so that I do not even try to go on Kickstarter, for example, where one is supposed ton get relatives to pledge the first thirty percent so that the crowd will rush over to see. I would not fleece my relatives for the ten percent of the thirty percent. What works on Kickstarter are video games and fashionable opinion things: I could present it as an invention to keep lead out of the bodies of transgender black women who do not smoke cigarettes. Nor can I believe, first that they do not think of these things themselves, second that hearing them they neither understand nor inquire, and third The Flint crisis has demonstrated that even when pressed by necessity, people will not be able to think of these things for themselves, and will even die of thirst before they can listen to and understand the simplest idea. And I have tried to write an essay on Psychology! Telling them they need not take so many prescription drugs!

Of course it does not help that WordPress is blocking my internet access while awaiting extortion fees that I will never be able to pay them if I would, since they have destroyed my e-book self publishing business and I have no lawyers.  But this is just another idea or perception that no one else is going to see and understand.

Last night, despite the wing, I collected three and one half gallons of rainwater which is pristine and clear. Most of this has gone through the coffee filter atop the Absopure bottle, and I will filter the gallon or so that is in the trough, just to get out the big stuff.

Thinkers must be joined to doers, to some of the rich and some of the lawyers who care and know that there are good ideas they did not think of themselves, and who do not seek profit with every breath into their graves. One is reminded of the scene in Measure for Measure where Isabella almost gives up trying to save her brother Claudio by persuading Angelo, until that fellow Lucio re-encourages her and shows her how to do it, which leaves her vulnerable to rape, but indeed saves her brother’s life in the end, but only because that play has a Duke Vincentio. It is the old problem, too, of Philosophy and Kingship being two entirely different things, two different lives that must be somehow joined, though there is nothing in the natures of either that inclines them that way. The nature is in our souls and in political life, where Sophia and Phroneis, the work that aims toward theoretical and practical wisdom, can be joined.

I have tried many methods of getting a small company started so that one project might “kick start” another, and have relatives who will die with millions of dollars, but have so far been blocked at every turn. I have written two or three books, published 60 pages on Hamlet in the leading journal of political philosophy, but cannot get the simplest idea into effect to keep some of the lead out of some of the people in Flint, which I know with certainty that my methods could help do. I live in the shed, at the whim of an irrational person for even bathroom privileges, and work from morning till night just to care for certain minimal conditions for both this person and myself. But I have electricity, an indescribable luxury, and can sneak in to write here on wordpress.

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