Signals ahead

I quote these mostly because of their timely juxtaposition — and because timely juxtapositions are sometimes at the very heart of our existence.

Jack Baruth writes today in The Truth About Cars:

The notion of the crossroads as a sacred place is older than Robert Johnson, older than the blues, older than the automobile or the Romans who laid the first large-scale transportation network. The crossroads contains possibilities, changes, choices. It is where the gods live and the demons dwell.

And Sprocket writes in today’s “Help! My Heart is Full of Pony!” at DHN:

Regardless of whether or not you believe in fate, we all stumble into crossroads in our lives every now and again, and every now and again, there are moments in history when we, as an entire species, hit similar moments of truth. That’s when opportunities come along to make a difference in a big big way. If you read up on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, you’ll find dozens of stories of everyday people who tipped the balance of a very delicate situation and almost caused a nuclear war, and dozens of other stories of everyday people who just barely tipped it back. We are all alive, here on this planet, enjoying My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic right now because of those who succeeded.

Now Baruth is talking about something concrete, or at least something set in concrete: the controllers for future “driverless” vehicles. Sprocket is talking about something abstract: the choices that face us, and the factors we must take into account. But both, ultimately, deal with the same problem: making decisions on the basis of the information we have, whether or not we have all of it.

I have several intersections to cross as my life begins to wind down. I hope to be carrying the proper tools to guide me, whether they’re somewhere on the ground or somewhere in the sky.

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