Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Nature's Way Of Telling You Something's Wrong

There was a time when the phrase "Man’s Inhumanity To Man" evoked only sadness and anger in my thoughts, but these days I’ve felt a certain sense of irony added to the mix. After all, why should Man be exempt from all the damage he does to the Earth and it’s other inhabitants?

I also found comfort, when I was a child in fear of all those lions and tigers and bears out there, in the knowledge that Man is the most dangerous creature that the Earth has ever known. Ironically, Man’s danger derives not just from his intelligence, but also from his willingness to cast it aside and behave in a terrifyingly irrational manner. Dangerous indeed.

But the laws of God or Science (your choice) use volcanism and weather to maintain the Earth’s energy balance. They also use famine and disease to maintain the Earth’s wildlife population balance. And despite our apparent belief that mankind is above the law, those same forces provide the means to keep us in check as well.

It’s called War. It’s so eloquent and simple that it’s almost perfect, but what else would you expect from ’divine’ intervention? It’s like some great cosmic equation that I choose to call The War Ratio:

War Equals Stupidity Divided By Intelligence.

So long as intelligence outweighs stupidity, The War Ratio predicts a low likelihood of violent conflict. When the ratio achieves unity, war becomes all but certain. As the imbalance increases, so does the scale of warfare. Ultimately, when The War Ratio reaches critical mass, we blast ourselves into another Stone Age. Voila! Balance restored.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you aren’t stupid and that you don’t behave in a stupid manner. Well, I try very hard myself, but we are unfortunately part of a shrinking minority. And as the above equation proves, it all comes down to numbers. The fact that I write this blog and that you’re reading it demonstrates that we are at least trying to find and express some sort of rational view of things.

But in my admittedly small circle of family, friends, and acquaintances, there is almost no one who spends much time thinking about the sort of issues I write about. And while I hope that your circle stacks up a little better than mine, I’d be willing to bet that it doesn’t by much. Statistics and the daily news back me up.

1. We ignore the trouble on the horizon by giving precedence to the needs of the moment.

2. Instead of seeking education that will lead to actual solutions, we either fill our children’s heads with mystical beliefs or encourage them to choose careers based solely on potential income.

3. As a result, the world’s economy is in it’s worst shape since The Great Depression.

4. The other world powers are turning from looking to us for leadership to looking at us as the source of the problem. Rather than entering into rational discussions about where we have gone wrong and how to make corrections for actual improvement, we fall back to historic stances of blame and finger pointing.

5. The economic downturn is causing public uproar in countries like China, to whom we are greatly in debt, which will likely lead to a militaristic response in search of justification by means of a scapegoat.

As far as taking action to change the balance, all I can do is write and hope that my writing inspires others to use their talents to further the cause. I have to admit that, while I certainly have plenty to say, I can’t help feeling that it’s a lost cause sometimes. But when I start to think that way, I remember that judging this as a lost cause means passing that same judgment on mankind. I’m simply not ready to do that.

Now don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe in taking a ’live and let die’ attitude towards the stupid actions of other people. But since I have neither the desire nor the means to live on this planet alone, I absolutely need a civilization where the smart outnumber the stupid. Isn’t that what ’civilization’ is? Numbers don’t lie.

Finally, having borrowed the title of this article from a song. I think that it’s only apropos that I close with the lyrics from another. The song is entitled Two Suns In The Sunset, by Pink Floyd:

"In my rear view mirror the sun is going down,
Sinking behind bridges in the road.
I think of all the good things that we have left undone.
And I suffer premonitions. Confirm suspicions.
Of the holocaust to come.

The rusty wire, that holds the cork, that keeps the anger in
Gives way, and suddenly, it’s day again.
The sun is in the east even though the day is done
Two suns in the sunset.
Could be the human race is run.

Like the moment when the brakes lock,
And you slide towards the big truck.
You stretch the frozen moments with your fear.
And you’ll never hear their voices,
And you’ll never see their faces,
You’ll have no recourse to the law anymore.

As the windshield melts and my tears evaporate,
Leaving only charcoal to defend.
Finally I understand the feelings of the few.
Ashes and diamonds, foe and friend,
We were all equal in the end."

I want ice water.

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