In preparation for writing the fourth book in the “Stuff of Life” tetralogy, I’ve been reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.” So far, I’ve read about Easter Island, Montana (at least the Bitterroot Valley), the Maya, Pitcairn Island, and the Anasazi. What I’ve taken from this is that those collapses are largely due to bad decisions made by people in power, usually decisions made to benefit those in power at the expense of the public. Certainly there were other factors, including (let me whisper these, lest I offend) climate change and people’s inability to restrict breeding (think Malthusian catastrophe).
An order from Amazon was scanned as being at the PTC Post Office at 4 AM yesterday morning and then scanned as Out for Delivery about 11 AM. Now the order is marked as "Carrier Delay" and neither Amazon nor I can find anything else.
A package for which I paid much money for Two Day Air, and which was marked Out For Delivery by UPS on Wednesday, then marked delayed until Thursday, then marked delayed until Friday, then marked for delivery by 4:30 PM Friday was finally delivered at 5:50 PM on Friday.
Peachtree City offices and I suspect most of the schools were closed for several days. All this due to perhaps an inch of snow.
Oh, yes, and the entire government was "shut down" because either (1) some people got the guts to stand up to a bellwether that is leading us to disaster, or (2) some sort of pecker contest among idiots on both sides of the aisle, or (3) the entire Congress overdosed on Imodium and is so tight and full of feces they can't do anything, or (4) lack of interest. Perhaps, all of the above.
How are these things related? I hypothesize that they are all symptoms of the civilization we have crafted being too fragile to be sustained and well into its inevitable decline.
For a long time, I thought it was Thomas Jefferson who said that the new Republic would exist only until the people discovered they could vote themselves largess from the public purse. Apparently, there is some debate about who said that. (For example, see the reference, below.)
Still, I cannot help but watch as the current administration and its allies vote themselves and their supporters largess in the form of tax breaks for multi-millionaires while pretending to offer crumbs to the middle class while also killing off the poor and people of color by restricting or denying reasonable medical treatment. I cannot help but be aghast at the lack of honesty and ethical behavior by the administration and the coterie of vultures with which it has surrounded itself.
(Final message to supporters of the current administration, only: Are you offended, yet? Good. Maybe, just maybe, that will cause you to think for a change.)
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.