Nov 8, 2010

We've been without power for over 10 hrs and now we have no water. We're told to prime the well pump but we don't know how. We've never had this problem before, or we can't remember when we did because it's been so long ago. Can anyone help?

Here's what to do. Get on your best and fastest horse and ride a hundred miles to the nearest Pete's coffee. Or Starbuck's, if you have to, and remember there you can wear a gun in the open. Both stores have wifi. Don't forget your i-pad. The pastry/drink specialist will give you a code at Pete's. At Starbuck's you can just open your browser.

When you get online, Google "priming a well pump." You'll get something like this, "Here's how to prime an electric pump." These are the directions:

— Half-fill a watering can (do not use a hosepipe as the pressure is too high!).
— Pour water down the pump outlet pipe, lifting the pipe so that the water goes all the way down to the pump. It will take about 2 litres (half a gallon) to prime the pump.
— Switch on the pump.
— Most pumps are "self-priming", i.e. you only have to do this once, afterwards it keeps the water itself and does not drop the water back into the well. The bottom of the collector pipe at the bottom of the well should have a non-return valve.

Now you have the knowledge. Get back on your best and fastest horse and return home, and on the way you might think about 'priming the pump' as a metaphor for an economic problem. Right away, if you have any education at all, you'll remember that this was exactly the strategy FDR used in 1933 to get the economy back on track — using increased government spending, lower interest rates and tax reductions.

That's very similar to the strategy economists have been recommending for the last two and a half years and it has nothing to do with socialism.

Then when your home is in sight, and your wife is standing on the veranda in her nighty and slippers, perhaps you'll think of the great power of metaphors in general and how telling it is that we don't remember this particular metaphor, much less how to prime a pump.

How could we be expected to? We've moved off the land to cities. We don't know anything about fixing pumps ourselves. That's part of the new esoteric knowledge.

Keep going with this thought and you realize that without well thought out metaphors, it's hard to explain to people complicated things that they might otherwise understand, and how easy it is for people to come under the spell of lies and misinformation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you hear about the lovely things that happened in the sahara or would you prefer 'western sahara'.
Can you just thank God for the place you're in if they don't like the guy who's into politics give them a snow white guy who's gonna make love to singles and kiss the poor and the sick and I'm sure the strategies won't be a lot different than obama's, you said it yourself. Write about something else I'm bored with your elections.