Of crows and cable

The Comcast repairman was here again today. It was the third visit in as many months and though they all go away thinking it is fixed, I alone know the truth. It's not. In the two years I have had a TV I have gone through three cable boxes and at least four visits, plus online troubleshooting. It's good that I only use cable to watch the news, and better that news is also available on my iPad. Still, it's paid for in my condo fees and it should work. But I digress.

While Comcast was working away in the backroom I looked for something to do between conversations and fell back on Twitter—it's easily interruptible. The first tweet I saw took me to a short movie called The Overview Effect, astronauts talking about how their views of Earth and life changed after seeing our planet from space. I concluded that all humanity should do this.

That was immediately followed by The Atlantic magazine offering an article awkwardly titled Scientists are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition. It's also referenced as "What the Crow Knows" and begins with a discussion of the Jainism belief that animals as well as humans should be protected from injury and violence.

Of course I like that idea and I thought briefly about becoming a Jainist but then I read that, among other things, they avoid cars because of possible damage to life and they avoid puddles because walking through one may hurt the microbes living there. While I heartedly subscribe to protecting all nature's creatures, becoming a Jainist doesn't feel practical—at least not in this life.

Finding these two pieces reminded me again how much I love and enjoy the natural world, and that we are perilously close to losing it. And the fact that my cable TV isn't working is pretty small potatoes.

It has been a year since Ray died (February 2) and I still miss him terribly. If he were alive today he would be on the condo board working to reduce the too bright outdoor lighting. I'm sure he'd also have opinions about Jainism, smart crows, and Comcast, but since he's unavailable I can't report them. But I am sure of one thing: he would say I watch too much news.