24 May 2007

Various Current Events

Culled from my mail inbox, a newsletter, containing a set of topics for this day's Andrew Tallman show.

Typically, it takes me what seems like an eternity to compose posts here, as I end up researching link after link after link via search engines and aggregator sites. But for this exercise, I'm just going to quickly scrawl out some thoughts on the questions posed:

Scarcity, Children, and Overpopulation

Future predictions based on current trends are as reliable as flipping a coin or rolling a die. While I believe we are all charged with being responsible stewards of God's creation, it's a ridiculous assertion that couples should refrain from reproduction because of impending forecasts of doom, based on past data that could change in an instant. Even if one buys into the premise of an overpopulated Earth, resource taxing and straining our ability to sustain, the scope of the solution space is unimaginable, stretching from striking advances in technology that enable creating and harnessing needed resources for living all the way to unthinkable and undesired negative catastrophic events. Basically, God is in control here. Still, we should do our utmost to take care in the present, and manifest love to all our brothers and sisters around the globe.

What, if anything, should be done about gas prices?

Demand, meet supply. Gasoline, or the American mode of transportation ala the automobile and roads are already heavily subsidized. If we were to pay the true cost of a gallon of gasoline, it would be somewhere in the $9-20 per gallon range, or higher. Many experts have already pronounced that "peak oil" is in effect, and while that doesn't mean the grim meathook future is descending upon us, it confronts us with the reality of higher energy prices. Hopefully, that will spur activity and investment into alternative energy sources.

Is gossiping at work acceptable grounds for firing?

Is cracking your gum cause for dismissal? How about eating anchovies? Or eating locusts and wild honey in front of your coworkers? Here, perhaps there is a specific reference to a recent current event, but generally speaking, I'd say loose lips might make for someone who won't ever advance, but firing?

Can you improve society by paying poor people to behave properly?

A loaded and extremely slanted question, as it presupposes that "poor people" are poor because they do not "behave properly". Riches and success are due to luck in large part, as much or even exceeding ability and hard work. And while, yes, many poor people do engage in destructive behavior that prevents them from ever grasping opportunities for advancement, a broad sweeping generalization simply cannot be constructed here. Lots of folks play by the rules and work hard, yet are squashed by a boot of oppression. In fact, many success books and courses, even in the 21st century, still make a point that one should not get so mired at the "bottom", that there one is easily crushed and ground up, with nary a chance of escaping such bondage. But this is a timely topic and one that must be wrestled with as the nature of work changes — simply put, less and less workers are needed, yet those at the top of economic period are rewarded exponentially beyond belief. Soon, it may be mandatory that some sort of stipend or payment, set at the level of basic sustenance, be paid to all adults. So all can share in the success, and more essential, that the pool of those who will be inspired to create and improve further can be enlarged. Win win. We really need to move past victim politics.

Lybrel, Wyeth's new continuous contraceptive pill.

How is this different from other forms of contraception?

Is McCain's temper a good thing or a bad thing?

A bad thing. People should be expected to act as human beings, so a little tantrum here and there should not be cause for alarm, but McCain has displayed behavior that goes beyond that and calls into question his qualification for the position of chief executive of the United States. It might be alright for a technology CEO or boot camp drill sergeant, but not for an American president.

Should anyone care what a former President says?

Yes, it's significant when a former president calls out a current president, no matter the party in power. Typically, ex-presidents are restrained in their speech, hesitant to criticize or second guess the executive branch office holder. So, no matter if the words are merited or unmerited, it is indeed relevant and worthy of attention.