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Random Friday Thoughts

Like the label on the tin says. As they say on "Top Shot," let's get to it.

Random Thought #1 A bit of a rant, but I've noticed a rash of "obstructive oblivion" while driving around town. This is doing things like, when stopped at a light with a left-turn arrow, pulling out far enough into traffic to make it impossible for somebody to see around and go right on a red. Or, when at a stop sign and faced with a busy, multi-lane street that doesn't have to yield to you, attempt to go left across said multiple lanes of traffic. (A friend of mine calls that "dreaming the impossible dream.") Hello, people, think about something outside of your car.

Random Thought #2 I'm familiar with the work of fellow Rotarian Jim Elliott. He runs a charity called Diveheart, which helps disabled people learn how to scuba-dive. Jim also has about 15 other projects to help disabled people. At any rate, his charity was recently featured in a documentary. I suggest you follow that link and watch it.

Random Thought #3 A concept in science fiction is the "post-scarcity society." The Star Trek universe is actually a good if trivial example of that. It's the concept that all material needs are easily met, and the SF interest is then, what do people do if they don't have to work? Well, here's a novel concept - we already live in a post-scarcity society.

I mean, in terms of basic needs, we, at least in the developed world, have more than enough of everything. Nobody in America is hungry because the crops failed and we don't have enough food, or homeless because we can't build enough housing. No, there are hungry and homeless people, and they are hungry because our food distribution system doesn't work for free or homeless because of mental illness or lack of money. If we wanted too, we could feed and shelter everybody. Ponder that the next time somebody pontificates on a post-scarcity society.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
daveon
Apr. 13th, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
My local variant of #1 is at a junction with a left turning lane, not pulling into the junction and being prepared to 'scissor' with the person turning in the direction and, instead, sitting quietly behind the line until you can see there's enough room to do the turn. Oh, did we ALL miss the lights? Oh, never mind, I'm listening to some lovely Christian rock on my radio...

That and people NOT going in pairs at 4 way stops.
daveon
Apr. 13th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
#3 - I'm not adverse to a minimum income concept myself. Everybody gets $X to live on a year, it'll get you shelter, food and not much else. You get more stuff for working more.

If thinking that in a society where the very rich can have pretty much whatever they like - not quite to the level of toy genetically engineered giraffe's, but close to it, but the poor, mentally ill, or even most of the middle class, can't get access to food, medical services or shelter...

And worse, to think that worrying about that is some form of communism?

It feels like there's a piece of the human 'kit' missing there somewhere.
chris_gerrib
Apr. 13th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
So you saw the Comcast ad too? ;-)

missing kit = compassion and empathy.
daveon
Apr. 13th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I do wonder how much of that is actually down to reading either Rand at a young age, or Heinlein, and missing where RAH had his tongue most of the time (*)

That Robin Hood quote from Ayn Rand is often thrown at me, and I like to remind them that as Serfs were basically chattel with no rights, a good Objectivist ought to be on Hood's side.

(*) - firmly in his cheek.
bdunbar
Apr. 14th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
For a post-scarcity society we have a marked lack of wall-mounted voice-activated food replicators.

But you're right! Thanks for pointing that out.
livejournal
Apr. 15th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
When you automate crap you get very fast crap
User bdunbar referenced to your post from When you automate crap you get very fast crap saying: [...] as shitty as old-fashioned industrial-age Communism. Meanwhile, over here in reality Gerrib notes [...]
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

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