Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Kip's Law - a demonstration

TJIC found a reference to a new 'law'
Kip’s Law: Every advocate of central planning always - always - envisions himself as the central planner.
And I myself found an example of that. Ronald Wright was supposed to deliver a keynote speech. You can read the text here but I can summarize it as "civilization - especially as practiced in the late 20th century by those evil twins Blair and Bush - is bad. We need to return to the trees"
Our greatest experiment — civilization itself — will succeed only if it can live on nature's terms, not Man's. To do this we must adopt principles in which the short term is trumped by the long; in which caution prevails over ingenuity; in which the absurd myth of endless growth is replaced by respect for natural limits; in which progress is steered by precautionary wisdom. This ideological shift is the most urgent task for science and society, for professors, politicians, priests, and writers.
What does Mr. Wright do a for a living? He's a writer.  But you knew that already.

Snark aside, I agree with this paragraph but disagree with the conclusion that it's time to pull in our horns and become homebodies.
But the world has grown too small to forgive us any more big mistakes. The species that has lately brought the Earth atomic war and nuclear waste, DDT, thalidomide, mad cow disease, Chernobyl, and the Bhopal chemical spill must recognize itself for what it is: clever but seldom wise. Put baldly, we are not as smart as we think we are. If Homo sapiens is to survive the accumulating consequences of its half-evolved intelligence, it must become aware of its habitual shortcomings, like drivers who keep their speed within their skill.
If we are not as smart as we are then it might follow the wise course of action would be to spread the species as far and as fast as possible so as to avoid that one mistake killing us all.

Just a thought.
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