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I spend three days in DC, and it rains nine and a half inches. Much flooding, as you may have heard, prevented an investigation of any of the major museums. Will post a bit later on the craptastic World War II Memorial. Now I’m in New York, and it’s still raining, albeit with considerably less intensity.

While contemplating his flooded basement, PTJ had the following thoughts:

Talk about a disaster. Talk about a socially constructed disaster.
While endlessly bailing water I was thinking — because, honestly, there’s not much else to think about while trying desperately to keep water out of one’s basement — about the conceptual oddity of calling something, anything, a “natural disaster.” This strikes me as a curious locution indeed, as though “nature” were causally to blame for some set of observed outcomes. And that’s just weird, since “nature” isn’t a conscious being as far as I know, and isn’t really even a discrete entity at all; blaming “nature” is kind of like blaming “reality” or “existence.” Very odd, if you stop to think about it.

Read the whole thing.

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