The Analytic Atavar

Idiosyncratic Musings of a Retrograde Technophile

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

Monday, August 25, 2008

What.Kind.of.Change???

"Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the tradional responses which they propose to replace. ... It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely; this is the trial heat which innovations must survive before being allowed to enter the human race." - Will and Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History
We find ourselves in another Presidential "silly season", where we are being asked to vote for "Change" and new ways of doing things. The goals are lofty, the promises grandiose, and any discussion of the means vague or missing entirely -- but at least we would be trying to do something about the problems, right? Perhaps, except for the stubborn fact that most of the current problems, i.e., Social Security, Medicare, failing schools, rampant illegal immigration, terrorism, high health care costs, energy problems, runaway government spending, &tc. are the result of past efforts by the "progressives" in our midst -- but we are now being asked to believe that the same attitudes and efforts which created them will now miraculously solve them. As the Durants point out, such "change for change's sake" is usually doomed to make the problems worse -- there are good reasons things are the way they are, because as imperfect as the world may seem, at least it works reasonalby well, and changes usually upset the social equilibrium of the past.

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