Aesop, two dozen centuries ago, allegedly wrote that you couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. (Or perhaps it was more recent and it was Bill Shakespeare and it was a velvet purse.) Modern science, either by evolution, revolution, or glorious accident, has proven that now it can be done. That transformation is exactly what our Island needs. Both Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury can be considered to be in the phase known as the sow’s ear.

Twenty years ago Woody Allen directed a nostalgic film called Radio Days about life in the 1940s, a time when living was simpler. The radio, a source of news and entertainment, was one of the more complex domestic devices of its era and was controlled by two knobs: one to turn it on and the other to change the station so that the whole world of airwaves could be accessed.


Thirteen point seven billion years, cosmologists now feel, is the time it took for our universe to get its act together and produce the primordial ooze from which intelligent beings eventually emerged.