Random Insight

I promise – this will be the last un-understandable post.

So you know about the theory of “survival of the fittest”?

I thought about that in the context of supercells in a strong bulk shear environment. You tip over and kill off weak, disruptive updrafts upon storm initiation. Only the strongest updraft wins, destined to become a monster.

If you look at radar loops from 5/4/07 (Greensburg) and 5/25/08 (Parkersburg) you’d see this happening. A multicellular cluster forms, but over time one updraft dominates. That then explodes and becomes a beast, feeding off unlimited inflow. In strong shear-strong forcing setups the result is even more spectacular – a string of pearls upon initiation, only to see 3 or 4 cells pull out of the rat race and rotate like crazy. See 5/4/03, 3/12/06, 5/8/03, among others.

On the other hand, if you’re given a unidirectional or small-hodograph shear profile, storms form and then either gust out or clump together in an amorphous, boring storm cluster. No supercell, just a conglomeration of underperforming crap.

(Note that this is all assuming a sufficient thermodynamic profile, but follow me here.)

So, maybe more in terms of layman logic…

The economic analogue? Capitalism. Well, not 100% rly, but the basics – the foundations of a “free market” (i.e. a capped, non-contaminated warm sector) without external intervention, emphasis on availability of capital, labor, and entrepreneurial spirit (i.e. lift to initiate storms, instability to sustain them), must be present. Competition is the icing on the cake, the driving force of ingenuity, that like shear, can separate the strong from the weak, the rich from the poor, and single out the “alpha male” that is to do many things in its reign (think about all that Google or Costco has done in the past decade – they are the corporate equivalents of the Greensburg and Parkersburg supercells).

(Another parenthetical footnote: I shouldn’t be talking in terms of what I just wrote above after reading In Search of Respect and All Our Kin, but truly, the poor are fighting a losing battle in the face of class stratification and prejudice, inadequate government policies, worker exploitation, and even their own coping mechanisms – kinship swapping and drug dealing for example. Although I guess this is just again the same observation that other updrafts are dying, but also that “alternative updrafts” – those below the poverty line – in the flanking line will always TRY to catch some inflow that the mother updraft doesn’t chew up; poverty cannot be extinguished.)

Boom/bust cycles, well they’re just normal fluctuations in the storm-scale or mesoscale environment that may temporarily weaken the supercell. An outright Collapse of a capitalist country, however, to something like communism (*cough* RUSSIA *cough*) would signal an environment more geared towards multicellular storms – no competition there, just form a “classless” cold pool!

OMG way too off-topic there, I’m not even trying to write a masterpiece here anymore. Okay…

The biological analogue, obvious. Assuming that you believe in evolution, well lets just say we wouldn’t be here today if that meteorite didn’t come in and kill the dinosaurs.

Other analogues exist, but it’s 2:19 AM and my masterpiece here fell apart.

The upshot? Big, strong, powerful, Great things only come through significant refinement, and often, deletion. I guess one other analogue would be in the arena of photographic composition – the simplest, most focused composition stands out the most and captures the eye the strongest. No, I’m not going to reject Gracepoint’s philosophy of not running the world’s rat race – because as I learned from several persistent people, it is quite silly. But what I guess then is to be seen is that the number 1 may be powerful indeed, and in many ways, the world IS a meritocracy… the rat race IS evident in every step of life from college applications to job interviews… and the whole purpose, is to find that supercell, and see it dominate and perform.

Oh, and the second conclusion is that I have WAYYY too much of SDS (Supercell Deficiency Syndrome). May is only a month away… yay.

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