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I'm a consulting geologist for a small company in the Denver area. I study problems related to active tectonics, using geomorphology, structural geology and remote sensing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


wednesday brings another geomorph seminar and heaps of crap to do before the weekend. well, to be fair, i've had heaps of crap to do for weeks. reading through the last few blog entries here, i'm summarily unimpressed. my tone has been blunted and tired for a while, my accounts uninspiring... my single attempt at exposition left unfinished. the events at virginia tech making such writings seem unimportant. i didn't mean to actually write about this, but there's no reason to avoid it; it's certainly on everyone's mind. talking with friends and colleagues, reading news reports and blogs, it seems this shooting has literally been felt around the world. people wonder to themselves, 'would I have the courage to stand up, to fight, to survive?' i myself ran through the idea in my head... in each scenario the events play out like a movie but in the end the shooter lies incapacitated and i am standing. yeah right. before more students (and professors, i'm sure) waste their time on running through close-quarters combat scenarios in their heads, i suggest taking a step back.

i remember thinking on the day of the attack, 'why did it go so far? how did students and professors NOT manage to subdue Seung-Hui sooner?' more and more reports of bravery and thoughtful action continue to come out about that morning. professors barracading doors, students using belts and power-cords to fashion tourniquets stemming arterial flows. then there are the witnesses recounting Cho's expressionless, methodical and efficient manner by which so many lives ended. did he suffer from some form of psychopathy (as opposed to a more 'normal' type of depression)? were his writings any indication of real actions? was he careful and consistent with taking his medications? was Seung-Hui Cho in some sort of fugue-state, was he capable of controlling his actions? some reports make it sound like the shooter showed cold and brutal conviction, exacting death on all in his lines of sight. others describe him as tormented and confused, hesitating at first before committing wholly to oblivion.

some questions will never be answered, but i think it's clear that some important questions have been raised.


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