Archive for the ‘Political stupidity’ Category

More on the ‘post-scarcity’ nonsense:

After years of economic stagnation due to the bursting of the bubble of cheap credit created by central banks holding interest rates artificially low, the G20 has decided that what we really need is economic growth:

G20 meeting targets an additional 2% economic growth

Now, if only they had any idea of how to actually create economic growth, rather than just printing money and handing it to bankers…

Please can we get some Global Warming up this way, soon?

How can you win a war when you can’t define what winning means?

I’ve been reading Losing Small Wars, and, recently, a thread on a web forum where people, many of them British military, were arguing about the British Army in Afghanistan and how they should stay there until they win, etc.

The problem is that no-one has ever been able to explain what ‘winning’ there would mean, in any sense that could actually be achieved.

In the Falklands, it was easy: throw out the Argentinian military and return the islands to British control. In the first Gulf War, throw the Iraqi forces out of Kuwait and return it to the Kuwaiti government.

Even the initial invasion of Afghanistan made sense: capture or kill bin Laden, and kick al Qaeda’s ass. But they let bin Laden get away, yet they still couldn’t manage to leave. Rather than withdraw most troops and send in Special Forces to hunt down the remnants of al Qaeda, they switched to ‘nation building’.

Every suggested definition of winning since seems to pretty much come down to turning Afghanistan into Surrey, which makes about as much sense as trying to turn Surrey into Afghanistan. Given the British government’s attempts over the last couple of decades to turn Britain into an Islamic state, the latter might actually happen, but first you’d have to get rid of those annoying British people in Surrey who don’t much like Sharia law. Similarly, turning Afghanistan into Surrey would be possible, but only by getting rid of those annoying Afghans who don’t want to be Western liberals. I guess the ideal solution would be to do a swap, with the Afghans moving to Surrey and the Surreyans moving to Afghanistan; then everyone could be happy.

So, the Peace Prize President is itching to bomb Syria.

At least there’ll be one good thing to say about his Presidency: no-one will ever be able to take a Nobel Peace Prize seriously again.

Best article I’ve read on the subject:

Fred On Everything

The great ‘wind turbine’ massacre continues:

Twitchers flocking to see rare bird saw it killed by wind turbine

They’re expensive, unreliable and massacre wildlife. When will these things finally be torn down?

Or something.

I was reading a funny thread on a web forum where one of the forum socialists was bemoaning the future of 3D printing and nanotechnology and how it would destroy jobs so the government would have provide jobs for the unemployed to do things no-one else thought worth doing.

I could only shake my head and wonder: why would anyone want a job if they produce anything they wanted in their garage?

Mass employment is a relatively recent invention as part of the industrial revolution. In the early era of human hunter-gatherer life, we would hunt or collect the things we needed at a good time to do so, and then relax the rest of the year. In the farming era, there would be jobs available for those who didn’t have their own land to farm at times where the farmers needed more hands than they had in their own family, but life-time jobs in the modern sense were rare. It was only with industrialisation that we needed millions of people to do the same boring, repetitive things all day, every day.

Jobs are bad. Many of us have jobs that we find inherently interesting, but that doesn’t mean we want to do them eight hours a day, five days a week forever. We should look forward to a future where few people have to work and we can leave the industrial anomaly behind us.

The problem is that socialism is inherently an industrial-era philosophy, so that would make them irrelevant. Socialism made no sense before the industrial revolution because there were few workers to own the means of production. Socialism makes no sense in a future of home 3D printing and nanotech assembly because everyone owns their means of production.

They should be celebrating. They’ve won. The fight between workers and employers is irrelevant in a world with no workers and no employers. But they’ve been ranting about the need for full employment for long that they simply can’t understand or accept that employment itself is going away; not to mention that such a world destroys an entire power base of people who have no desire to lose the power they have.

This is embarrassing:

Of course the most embarrassing part is that Americans had to wait for foreign media to point out what a disaster their President is.

Sadly, the potential Republican candidates don’t look any better. As with the Tories in the UK, when faced with the worst President or Prime Minister in decades, the opposition decide to offer someone even worse.

I wish I knew why Youtube embedding no longer works in WordPress when it worked fine a few months ago.

I’ve been reading about windmills killing birds and bats. Surely there’s a simple solution to this?

In keeping with similar government programs, governments could issue dispensations allowing a certain number of birds and bats to be killed each year, and over time reduce that number until all windmills were slaughter-free. Companies could then trade those dispensations so that the most murderous windmills cost more money. Perhaps someone like Al Gore could set up a market to do so.

We could call it, I don’t know, Cap and Slay?

There was an interesting thread on a web forum I frequent about the EU mess and how none of the politicians involved seem to know what to do or want to take charge to do anything about it.

This reminded me of a book I read some years ago, On the psychology of military incompetence, a study of incompetent military actions and the reasons behind them. The general theory was that in peace time the military promotes people who do as they’re told, and then when they reach the top levels and are expected to take command, they have no idea of what to do; most people capable of making independent decisions have been weeded out at much lower level. Only in war time does the need for effective action override the demand for obedience to higher ranks.

The same process would seem to apply to many professional politicians, who’ve spent all their lives doing what they’re told in order to progress up the party hierarchy to the point where they’re suddenly able to give orders. Then they don’t know what to do, and because giving orders means taking responsibility for them, they’re not even willing to try because failure gives their opponents ammunition to use against them. Putting off decisions or pushing them onto committees in order to pass the buck is far less risky.

Until they face a crisis where important decisions have to be made, and not making a decision becomes an important decision in its own right. The political system then works against promoting the very people who are required in such a crisis and they can’t be promoted as fast as military officers in war time.

Hence when we look around the world today we see a lot of political ‘leaders’ who’ve spent most of their life getting to that point yet most of them would prefer to play golf than actually lead. It’s no wonder we’re in such a mess.