Thursday, January 9, 2020

The weight of small numbers

Stories and News No. 1184
 
Once we called it the law of large numbers.
Today, it is the slavery of exaggerations.
It is a consequence, after all. One of the most uncomfortable contraindications of the unbridled rush to approximation of our lies.
Because many of us live on lies, today. Often venial, sometimes more serious, but that’s Internet, we’re on a social media, then I could delete, right? Indeed, that’s something better: I may write another one! And so on. Moved by the illusion of really going away.
And yet, at the dawn of the new year, I still like to see it as a story.
The fable of small numbers, of course.
Which hardly get the front page of the news and it is understandable. There are many examples: to make noise we need to be many, to be truly

successful, a prize is not enough, but a lot, and to attract the gaze of the average reader you need at least thousands of pixels, otherwise he doesn’t even believe the truth.
Give me the biggest number you have, that is the question and the answer comes, without sources, without heart and restraint.
Like more than 180 arsonists invented to deny climate change in Australia.
Or at least 80 dead soldiers bragged to prove that the war has being waged at least in two, and not a single planet against itself.
Nothing out of the ordinary, it's been the rule so far and maybe we got used to that too, I think.
I refer to the number of people protesting that night basing on the retouched photo, rather than the usual confirmations from the police headquarters.
I am talking about of how much he or she earns, it doesn't matter who, it doesn't matter why, as long as we can follow them on Instagram or Twitter and get into the light that emanates from those perfect creatures, as the ancient Greeks did with the gods of Olympus.
Of course, how not to mention the amount of followers and likes.
The number of bytes of memory on the new processor inside the new cellphone that does the same things as the old one, but more quickly, can you believe it?
The speed of the new city car from the new car maker, fusion of the usual old two houses, which does the same things as your first car, but more quickly, can you see it?
The figures on prime time ratings, even if traditional TV becomes every day more a household appliance of the last century.
However, there are also striking quantities that are consciously ignored.
It is the theory of relativity of consciousness, where the only reference system that matters does not cross the boundary of our apartment.
How many refugees died drowned last year trying to touch the shore closest to their illusions, rather than their hopes?
How many people suffer from hunger and thirst between one solidarity marathon and another?
How many lives are torn from the world like leaves by the wind in non-marketable attacks and how many more are there, now, on the edge of the ravine, between the end and one of the many, possible continuations on the path of a fragile survival?
Well, I said at the beginning, it's true. The risk of becoming accustomed to the common doing is high, because this comes from the overload of connection between our virtual versions.
Nevertheless, sometimes, we can still make our own independent choices.
I dare say ancient, but I don't want to seem older than I am.
To dwell on the one, instead of the many, or even all of them.
Like a boy getting on a plane in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa.
To sit down, so to speak, on the only place guaranteed to those like him, small and negligible numbers.
His latest class, more than first, second or even third: the undercarriage.
He leaves, but he will never arrived in Paris. Not him, not what could have been and nothing of what he would have written with his life that we will never read.
Close your eyes now, open your hands to the sky and imagine with me that boy in your arms.
If you feel the weight, all the incalculable weight, despite the noise of the vast and abundant rest, well, I would be inclined to believe that maybe there is still some hope for humanity...


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