Playing the "do nothing" card
Here's what I'm thinking about today 2/11/2019
The things we do to protect ourselves are very often the things that destroy us
When, without thinking carefully or planning long term, we pass laws and devise systems intended to make life easier and or safer, we can easily make things worse not better. We live in a massive ecosystem of stars, planets, mountains, plains, oceans, rivers, plants, animals, microbes, molecules, and atoms, and a strict set of physical and moral laws that govern all of them.
We tinker with these systems at our own peril especially when we forget two important facts: everything is interconnected, and everything belongs. A few examples follow.
We messed with the natural flow of the Mississippi river hoping to prevent flooding yet having the opposite effect.
From the Washington Post April 4th 2018 by Chris Mooney
"A new scientific study stoked a long-standing controversy Wednesday with the claim that human interventions, in the form of levees and other engineered structures, have made the Lower Mississippi River more likely to flood, as it has to damaging effect several times in the past decade."
In the 1970's we introduced the idea of merit into college admissions to break up the aristocracy system that prevailed at that time hoping to make society fairer.
Without going into great detail (as outlined in Steven Brill's book "Tailspin"), it has had the opposite effect. Meritocracy in college admission has lead to those who are smartest and hardest working to dominate the financial world in America which in turn has lead to the biggest bifurcation of wealth since the golden age of the 1920's. Snag a copy of Tailspin - it is riveting.
- The internet (originally the Arpanet) was devised for national security reasons in case of an catastrophic attack.
It's purpose was to protect sensitive government information. While it has brought many benefits, it has lead to destabilizing events like the Arab spring and the possible hacking of our electoral process by foreign governments. Once again an attempt to protect ourselves has had the opposite effect - the internet has undermined national security not made it better.
We need to teach the next generation about long term thinking, and meanwhile play the "do nothing" card more often.