We Never Learn

The Met Office weather forecast confidently said rain from 1300. The forecast for the rest of the week is fairly dire. (The rumour of summer is just that, a rumour.) I took the obvious chance and tried to get a decent length road ride in during the morning. At Knowl Hill, at about 1130, it started raining. It eased off a little, briefly, by the time I was going through Henley but it was tipping it down from there on.

It’s mild; I was heading home – it was no big deal and if we were all to make a fuss about every time a British weather forecast was wrong we wouldn’t have time to do much else.

Rain Clouds Gathering

It will get you, sooner or later

No, the only interesting thing about it is the continuing, obstinate, wholly stupid desire we have, to have a forecast. The media is clogged with economic forecasts. Economic results, whenever published, are littered with phrases such as ‘contrary to the forecast’. There are sports pundits galore who are merely giving opinions as valid or invalid as anyone else’s. There are weather forecasters, there’s old wives’ weather lore and there are astrologers. The degree to which they’re based on something other than wishful thinking, hunches, tea leaves and a desire to gull the public is a variable but it all boils down to one consistent reality – we want to know the future.

“How long have I got, doc” is a cliché for a reason; so is “they only gave me six months but here I am five years later”.

We know in our hearts that we can’t know what’s going to happen but we persist. We can’t let what happens happen. They say the happiest people are those that live in the moment but that’s pretty well contrary to human nature. We think ahead, predict, guess – and want others to do it for us too.

It’s nothing new, as ancient Greece’s soothsayers could doubtless have predicted I’d be saying in 2012. What’s depressing, as ever, is that we never learn.

For the technically inclined: this is the first time I’ve had a chain lube’d with Muc-Off ‘Wet’ get a thorough soaking and the oil has proved very resilient – far better than the Finish Line ‘Wet’ that I’ve used previously. (I tried the Muc-Off after one too many wet rides where the Finish Line left me with a chain with rust on it the next morning.)