(As seen on the TwitFace.)
But seriously, George, your snowflake comment here pretty much writes its own rejoinders.
Since you brought it up, then, here’s a few other “the thing”s about snowflakes:
- Snowflakes evaporate (or sublimate) and vanish completely with the simple application of hot air. (That is: they are utterly dependent upon utopian environmental conditions.)
- Snowflakes have no minds of their own; they simply drift and fall wherever the winds may blow them. (Note that it does not matter who may supply the wind.)
- Snowflakes are also completely unlike any living thing, in that they have no individual defenses of their own. (Not only are they not organic—they’re inorganic!)
- Snowflakes’ entire capacity for creativity and uniqueness is expended at the point of their creation. Yes, they are formed beautiful and unique, and truly the process of crystalline self-organization is remarkable—but once the process completes, the magic is gone; there is no life. (Nor the sentience for self-awareness, much less the sapience for self-direction.)
- Snowflakes can be artificially manufactured by machine, or deliberate cloud-seeding. (Note that whosoever does this, does so with inherent intent to create an exploitable mob.)
And I not only mean the overall irony, George, I mean the personal irony. It somehow seems very odd that you would make a reference such as “in large numbers become an unstoppable avalanche that will bury you”, given your own personal and family histories. I would think that you would understand, implicitly, “the thing” about “in large numbers” as it relates to human society, which is this: the relationship between empathy and “large numbers” is strongly inverse. Are you really suggesting that the only thing that matters in a societal discussion is “large numbers”? That the little guy should just suck it up lest he be bur[ied] in an avalanche? Really?
The late Aaron Zelman had a name for that sort of cognitive disconnect: bagel brain.