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Susan on the Soapbox: What Happens to the Eloi When the Morlocks Leave Town: A Lesson for Jim Prentice from H.G. Wells

“History is a race between education and catastrophe.” — H G Wells

HG Wells may not have had a time machine, but he was certainly prescient.

In The Time Machine the narrator, known simply as the Traveller, invents a contraption that takes him to 802,701 AD. There he finds a world inhabited by waif-like Eloi who loll around doing nothing and ape-like Morlocks who eat them. The Traveller temporarily upsets the balance of this efficient economic system when he accidentally starts a forest fire.

Wells’ premise is simple. Humans without intelligence evolve into Eloi; those with intelligence evolve (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Emily Badger discusses how poverty affects people who are forced to use their physical and mental resources on bare survival: Human mental bandwidth is finite. You’ve probably experienced this before (though maybe not in those terms): When you’re lost in concentration trying to solve a problem like a broken computer, you’re more likely to neglect other tasks, things like remembering to take the dog for a walk, or picking your kid up from school. This is why people who use cell phones behind the wheel actually perform worse as drivers. It’s why air (Read more…)

Eclectic Lip: The witless wisdom of Shai Agassi

Dunning-Kruger effect graphed by AddAttack on DeviantArt.

LinkedIn has an “opinion leader” piece from Shai Agassi, founder of bankrupt car-battery-switcher Better Place, telling carmakers how they need to respond to Tesla’s success. Who better to give them advice than a guy who raised $850 million for an ignorant, impractical, impossible business model, then drove his company into the ground?

Inviting Agassi to share his clearly-witless wisdom about the auto sector, would have been like inviting André Maginot — architect of the not-so-great wall of France — onto the post-World War II lecture circuit to talk about the future of warfare.

(Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Friedman on What Being Pro-Life Should Really Mean

Still convalescing from food-poisoning, I realized today that my re-entry into regular blogging will likely be slower than I had anticipated. Nonetheless, as the situation has permitted, I have been spending some time getting caught up in my newspaper reading, and would like to recommend a fine piece by Thomas Friedman entitled, Why I Am Pro-Life.

In it, the new York Times columnist pillories the hypocrisy of the arch-conservatives who proclaim pro-life stances and reverence for ‘the sanctity of life’ while ignoring or actively opposing all those things that would, in fact, help guarantee quality and longevity of life outside

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Joan Bryden reports on the Cons’ latest abuses of majority government power, this time in allocating and shuffling around the few opposition days already available in Parliament for their own purposes. But it’s worth noting the difference between the responses of the affected parties.

On the one hand, Marc Garneau’s answer falls into the familiar trap of hoping that the public will rally around the Libs’ sense of grievance at being mistreated by the Cons: Liberals say government House leader Peter Van Loan told his Liberal counterpart, Marc Garneau, that the less-than-optimal timing

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

BigCityLib Strikes Back: The Tar Sands Are Making Us Stupid

So suggests Thomas Friedman, and it makes good sense to me.  When you have no resources, you become resourceful.