Saturday, August 2, 2014

[DONDEQUIERA] Are we really that different?

A brief examination of Puerto Rico's uniqueness.

This past season, Neil deGrasse Tyson brought us the remake of Carl Sagan's Cosmos.  I watched the whole season and I am now more resolute than ever.  While our socio-economic problems in Puerto Rico are incredibly complex, the only way forward is through the application of science and the scientific method.

Many in the community believe that Puerto Rico is an anomaly.  They are quick to dismiss scientific fact and excuse our aberrant behavior as justification for our uniqueness.  Fundamentally, they submit that Puerto Rico is different, and because it is different, then we are not able to learn anything from anywhere else that can help us grow our economy or improve our condition.

Just how different?

Let's assume for a moment, that Puerto Rico is different.  Then I ask, just how different are we?   Are we so different, that we are completely different?  If we are not completely different, then what do we share and with whom?  I think it's only human nature to believe that everything about our condition is unique.  But if we accept that, then it only follows that we share our humanity with the rest of the inhabitants of planet Earth.  Sure there are pockets of variation, our environments are different, our languages maybe different, but they are not wholly unique.

How are we the same?

Accepting that we are more alike the rest of the world, does not dismiss that Puerto Rico is a special place and that its' inhabitants are special as well. These are not mutually exclusive conclusions.  However, if we are to be honest, then we must admit the following:
  • We are Homo Sapiens
  • We live on Earth
  • We have Taino, Spanish, African, and American origins
  • We were a colony of Spain for nearly 400 years
  • We speak Spanish
  • We are an economic colony of the United States
  • Et cetera, Et cetera, Et cetera...
As we enumerate all of the ways that we are the same, then we have to also accept the scientific implications of our similarities.  The scientific method shows us, that once something has been proven to be true,  it is no longer open to interpretation.  This is something we have Tyson to thank, for reminding us on Cosmos of the unwavering persistence of science.

Advancing Puerto Rico

As we struggle to break out of our economic down turn and reverse our condition, I continue to be confused by our resistance to use science to make improvements.  I reject the opinion that we accept the status quo; I reject that we actually prefer things the way they are.  Few parents want their children to live in a world worse off than the one they grew up in.  With a large portion of the population living below the poverty line, I reject that they want to remain there.

I can only hope that we can bring science to bear on our plight.  If we can find all the ways we share our situation with others, then we should be able to apply the rigors of science to show us what to do next.  If others are able to progress, then we must learn how to apply the same patterns they used, to force change.  We must not shrink from the difficult task of investigation.  We must continue to work to find the patterns that hide within our fear,s and expose them to the sunlight of scientific fact.

Publicado por Blogger en DONDEQUIERA el 8/02/2014 12:52:00 p. m.


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