We All Scream For Ice Cream

h/t to HDW for passing along this article at Do The Math, a blog operated by Tom Murphy, an associate professer of physics at USCD, a site well worth checking out.

Whether or not you agree with the politics or imminence associated with Peak Oil, there are real-world implications to consider, not the least of which are likely to affect our day-to-day economics, prospects for growth, and geopolitical relationships.  For what it’s worth, this approach to this and other topics is fairly useful, as relied upon by the likes of Chris Martenson, who always considers “the math” of exponential growth scenarios.

Of course, the meliorists in our midst, will tend to believe that even flawed humans will muddle through such difficulties in the end, perhaps, I might tender, with the help of divine providence.  Still, where Newton and Zero Hedge are in agreement, there is such a thing as heat death.  And, for you and me, that means that “nobody gets out here alive”.

In the mean time, as Professor Murphy reminds us, “we all scream for ice cream“, which is the political equivalent of voters wanting to have their cake and eat it too.  We tend to vote for those who promise the impossible, in direct proportion, it seems, than we discount the raving warnings of non-meliorists. 

The problems we face today have more to do with our own individual willingness to stand on our own two feet without feeling entitled to some sort of additional support from someone else.    “My Disability” is not only bigger than “Your Disability”, it is conveniently sized at a scale comparable your wallet. 

Oh, sure, it’s just “human nature”.  Well, yeah, the nature of babies.  As Murphy appropriately warns, what we need is more grown-ups.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that we ought to bend over for every crackpot (and, typically, totalitarian) solution to either un-fixable or un-real problems (anthropogenic global climate change comes to mind). 

But, neither does it mean that we ought to ignore glaringly obvious “unsustainable” practices in our lives.  That might reasonable include more easily repaired issues of:  excess debt, poor diet, unproductive work, inadequate play, paralyzed relationships, self-centered or utopian world views, unrealistic political fantasies, and mirror-mirror-on-the-wall religious fictions.  

The truth is wherever you find it, but some truth are more true than others.  We see, as the bible reminds us, “through a glass darkly“, meaning that, now, we have only partial knowledge of what will be more obvious and fully known later.  Humility, which might temper even strongly held convictions, accepts the possibility of our present limitations.  But, this tends to apply with the greatest frequency in matters that directly affect our personal interests.

Where we can be surest of those convictions is when they are gained through loss or through sacrifice.  I, myself, am never more certain than when I’d rather the answer be something else, for I too “scream for ice cream”.  Or, at least part of me does and, perhaps, always will.  The math may be certain, but our choices, well, they are an open question, aren’t they?



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