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Thursday, October 8, 2015


Destruction, from Thomas Cole's The Course of Empire (1833-36)
Talking to Dennis at lunch yesterday and he's telling me about a Science Fiction story he read where there are a handful of competent people who are holding society together. The President is an incompetent buffoon, but the people love him, so he goes on TV and talks to the people. Whenever there is a real problem, one of the competent people is tapped to deal with it. It's like this everywhere. Most people can handle their regular day-to-day chores, but anytime there is a problem, they need a competent person to come and put their finger in the dike. Actually, it sounds more like a documentary about modern life.
       Somehow this put me in mind of a giant heap of stuff that is on the verge of collapse, and it would if their weren't a bunch of worker bees in there shoring things up. The system is so unstable that even with the dedicated efforts of the acolytes it could still collapse. It wouldn't take much to set it off. If some of the competent people decide it's not worth it and walk off the job our whole society could slide into chaos.
       Reminds me of the Walk Home Drunk game. You try to keep your balance. If you are especially attentive and really quick, you can get quite a ways, but eventually you are going to miss and you will fall.
     Perhaps all this balancing and propping up is only suppressing a bubble of chaos that is constantly growing, and regardless of how hard you try to keep things stable, eventually the chaos bubble gets too big and just bursts out and the whole thing collapses into a pile of rubble.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

The GOP presidential candidates ALL have their finger in the hole.
However, they are all standing on the wroong side of the dike ;-)