20 November 2012

Warren E. Pollock

For those who have inquired, Warren Pollock is as well as can be expected for someone who is caught up in the devastation that Hurricane Sandy has wreaked on his area of the south shore of New York City and Long Island, not to mention the Jersey shore and wide areas inland.

Being without power, and gasoline, and reliable sources of heat in the raw cold of a late northeastern autumn is no fun. And far too many people are still homeless and living a somewhat nomadic existence, as they have described it to me.

He has taken down his blog, Inflection Points, his videos and his twitter feed, voluntarily.

Apparently the negative comments and skepticism, heckling might also be fair to say, and the apathy of the crowd, which he received in reponse to his last few videos was a bit too much for him to bear under the circumstances of his personal situation. Tragedies bring out both the heroic, and the ugly. Anyone who has lived a full life knows this.

There are minority of people who have chosen to believe in an alternative reality, and cannot bear to hear anything that conflicts with their view of the world. You are free to believe whatever it is they wish to tell you to believe. And if you do not, they react with anger and even hysteria. One has to accept that this is just a facet of the human condition, cherish the good who are many, and ignore the rest.

I have been generally impressed with the way in which the governors of NJ and NY have responded to this, and Obama's support for them as well. As usually happens, the well-connected and well to do receive the quickest and most attention. And there have been some serious blunders. At one point in my corporate career I had a large scope of responsibility that included dealing with disasters, and have some understanding of it.

A sound management will learn from mistakes, and continue to improve their processes. A good manager also knows where to apply correction amongst their organization, and at select times a size 11 shoe. And where they do not, it is the duty of their constituents to remind them in the appropriate ways. Under stress, people can forget to be human.

And as always, there have been many heroic acts of selflessness and courage, amongst those government workers who act as first responders.

It is relatively easy for an area to act privately when only a small portion of the people are affected. But when the problem is wider spread, it takes a more united force of government to respond.

And the scope of the damage in this case is vast. This is the largest storm ever to hit one of the most populated sections of the US, and the damage is widespread and deep, particularly in the areas closest to the shore. There are some hour long documentaries about Sandy generally including the word Megastorm in the title, and they are well worth watching. Thank God the low lying areas were spared the heavy rains that were expected.

Warren may choose to begin publishing again at some point in the future, and I wish he would, because I often enjoy hearing what he has to say. I was also keenly interested in hearing about the less fortunate areas of New York City, which seem to be in the news, and then are so often forgotten. Why waste one's beautiful mind on the suffering of others.