Editorial #58 The Drive Regain Normality, April 11, 2019
The desire to get things back to normal after our epic floods of March is natural. Situations in our life always center around the average with the never ending need to invest energy and resources to keep things as close to normal as possible. In physics there is a principle known as entropy where everything wants to naturally reach a state of randomness and disorder. This is a fact of life and the result of gravity where everything we do takes energy. It takes energy to do something as simple as standing. If there was no gravity nothing would fall down and things would not wear out.
Our roads and bridges are always in a stage of entropy and slowly wearing out as nothing lasts forever. There is a constant battle between fixing things to last and what is good enough. It is never ending and again, a part of life. The secret is to realize this and use the economic sense to know when enough is enough. These are the skills taught in business and engineering schools where past experiences are taught in order to know what can and what we should . The other realization is knowing decisions will always be questioned by those who want to violate these laws of physics and economics, demanding it be fixed now and for very little cost.
In natural disasters, there is little difference between addressing a disaster and fighting a war. The objective is to return to normal as quickly and efficiently as possible. In any war or disaster we will do whatever is necessary to minimize the loss of life and return back to some sense of normal. Nature uses the physical principle of entropy to inflict an amount of disorder and randomness that is inversely proportional to our amount of preparedness. When we are not prepared the most damage will occur.
In the process of fixing and rebuilding, the old contractor saying always applies: you can have the lowest price, the best quality or the fastest delivery….pick one!
In replacing the bridges we lost in the flood, these are the choices…..pick one. Alternatives ranging from using culvers covered with dirt, barges stitched together like pontoons to full foundation structures. All options will be considered, based on the situation. The expense to rebuild will always be less than the amount of commerce lost during the period of the interruption. Complete interstate overpasses were constructed in 3 weeks, after the LA earthquake, when the interruption was costing several millions a day in lost revenue. The cost of reconstruction was practically irrelevant in that situation.
This too will pass and things will gradually improve with the help of Nebraska Strong and Flood Relief 2019. Of course it is never fast enough. All we can do, individually, is help those affected to survive and then recover and it is important to know when that transition happens. This is why there is no place like Nebraska where we do not complain and wait for government to help. We get to work applying the golden rule and make the world a better place in the process.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.