May. 9th, 2016

fengi: (Ms. Financial Analyst)
Over the last week Fort MacMurray, a major city on Canada associated with the tar sands, was partially destroyed by a wildfire which is still burning. It was one of the largest mass evacuations in Canadian history - but not the largest, which wasin 1979 when a chemical train derailed in Mississauga, Ontario forcing 218,000 people to flee (it's now called the Mississauga Miracle because no one died).

It was massive, spectacular connected to climate change and spreading smoke as far as Wisconsin, impacting the weather even further. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan had expressed regrets about not being able to help more due their own wildfires.

I'm up on much of this because part of my daily podcast listening are news break pods from Canada, but it's also been getting major coverage in Australia and Ireland. I suspect this is partially a commonwealth/former British thing, partially a sense of kinship in massive natural disasters that have increased in intensity in recent years (for Ireland floods, for Australia, flood and fire).

Yet despite fire being high on the list of atavistic fascinations for humans, conversation about this was light on my social feeds. I follow a lot of people, but that conversation involves enough factors (Canadian or paying attention to Canada, paying attention to the news, uses social media to discuss news and/or terrifying/depressing things, has thoughts about a specific event they consider interesting enough to post, posting at a moment when I'm watching feed) cohere into a venn diagram far more rarely than the confirmation bias machines in our heads expect. Instead the social media slot machine coughed up far more chatter on how long it took for the coalition in Ireland to select a Taoiseach. At my workplace, well, the conversation is limited most of the time. My in the flesh friends and family had little to say on this particular item out a million others save "WTF". So I had feels in every direction with no outlet and now the crisis appears to be passing without enough massive devastation to buzz in my circles at least. Which is about the least interesting aspect, but there you are. It's me on Livejournal.

To somewhat coalesce this set of tangents, the most recent news search I did while typing this post produced this comic yet appalling result.

No one died except my profit taking.

The algorithms decided the biggest trending aspect I'd be interested in was how less tragedy than expected was a bit of an economic loser. Capitalism everyone!