My most recent Obama moment

An acquaintance who is a Hilton Platinum member was able to give an unworthy person Hilton Gold status and she selected me. At the time, I said “Now I know how Barack Obama felt when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Here’s a more recent example of unearned status/credit:

Dear Philip,

I am seeking permission to use your quote from a Schinn article as an epigraph in my upcoming book, [title regarding children, climate change, and their tender feelings]

Thank you in advance for all you do,


“Children can be frightened if they don’t know there are adults who care about climate change and are trying to fix problems. It can help battle the sense of helplessness and powerlessness.” -Philip Greenspun (Shinn, 2020)

Regular readers of this blog know how important I think it is when a frenetically consuming American speaks sincerely about his/her/zir/their pure intention to “fix problems” and heal our beloved planet. The best way to raise critical awareness is to apply a climate change bumper sticker on a 6,000 lb. pavement-melting SUV.

The quote seems to originate in “Your Guide to Talking With Kids of All Ages About Climate Change”:

Wendy Greenspun, a New York–based clinical psychologist engaged in climate issues. … Children can be frightened if they don’t know there are adults who care about climate change and are trying to fix problems,” notes Greenspun. “It can help battle the sense of helplessness and powerlessness.” Let them know that there are, in fact, millions of adults who are working to protect kids, to answer our own questions about climate change, and to figure out the steps we will take to get to where we need to be, together.

Millions of adults working to protect kids and billions of adults working to burn fossil fuels as fast as time and budget permit!

I thought that readers would appreciate my moment of Climate Sensitivity Glory!

6 thoughts on “My most recent Obama moment

  1. Philip, don’t be so humble. This can be a great zir moment and your key to universal acceptance and promotion.

  2. Dang! For a second, I thought the Shinn quote actually was yours — a twist on two of my other favorite Greenspunisms:

    From “Economy Recovery Plan” –

    “The United States is facing a depression. Just as Hoover and Roosevelt did in the early 1930s, the government changes its strategy for assisting recovery every few months. Congress and the Treasury Department will try something. If it doesn’t work, a month or two later they try something else. This gives them the appearance of being clueless or helpless or both.”

    From: “Sites That Are Really Programs” (Chapter 9, “Database-backed Web Sites):

    “If you aren’t in a refereed journal or conference, you aren’t going to get tenure. You can’t expect to achieve quality without peer review. And peer review isn’t just a positive feedback mechanism to enshrine mediocrity. It keeps uninteresting papers from distracting serious thinkers at important conferences. For example, there was this guy in a physics lab in Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee. And he wrote a paper about distributing hypertext documents over the Internet. Something he called the Web. Fortunately for the integrity of academia, this paper was rejected from conferences where people were discussing truly serious hypertext systems.”

    If you want to keep the readers of this blog appropriately enraptured, you’ve got to stop pulling back the curtain like this! Pretty soon we’ll start thinking that academic computer scientists aren’t the smartest people in the world!

  3. On Obama and climate: literally no one in the world should have been able to get better information about climate and sea level rise, yet Obama bought a pretty nice house on Martha’s Vineyard. Either he’s so rich he can afford a 10 million dollar disposable play-house, or he’s betting that sea level and storms aren’t going to be catastrophic to barrier islands, right?

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