Ming the Mechanic:
The Size of the Bet

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Size of the Bet2003-02-04 23:59
picture by Flemming Funch

Jock Gill has a nice piece on Greater Democracy, which hits some things right on the head.
"Nature has worked well for billions of years by making vast numbers of very small bets. This minimizes the risk that a single bad outcome could inflict. For this reason, our conservative brethren are correct in asserting Big Government is a problem. To the extent that Big Government represents a bet too big that imposes unacceptable risks, it is a problem that demands our attention. The failure of the old Soviet Union comes to mind.

But the riskiness of big bets doesn’t apply just to Big Government. It also applies to Big Business. And that’s the big bet today’s conservatives ask us to make over and over. The conservatives of course don’t call it a big bet. They call it 'privatization' and 'consolidation'. But they can’t have it both ways. If they want bigger and bigger bets on business, then we need government to protect the long term good for all by restraining the worst excesses of unfettered market capitalism with its narrow focus and myopic time scales. If conservatives want smaller government, they will have to agree to smaller businesses."
Indeed. Big government and big business is the same kind of animal. Both tend to be counter-evolutionary forces, making us all collectively quite a bit dumber than we really are.

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6 Feb 2003 @ 12:39 by sevenlamb : Agreement
Your articles are excellent, inspiring, humorous and well-composed. Perhaps, in our modern moment, the term ally has 'evolved' into an oxymoron, in every possible domains. Our 'allies' are now machines. Inwardly, and ourwardly. With our unity thus broken, personally, biospherically, and socially, we are little more than globs of barely intelligent fat, wandering around in a slaughterhouse, wating to be converted into machine-maintenance devices...mind and body.

It is not people who are to blame, but powerfully entrenched ways of thinking about, knowing and interacting with ourselves. Machines, are thier champion, standing in every earthly and connective place, which we no longer may inhabit, or find rest in.  

6 Feb 2003 @ 15:48 by ming : Humanness
Time to rediscover who and what we are. I suppose we thought for a long time that we were machines of sorts. Our work was to do fairly mechanical activities. Farming fields, building houses. And when all of that is no longer as necessary, we develop an identity crisis. To maybe rediscover that we're here to be conscious, to think, feel, experience and create. To maybe become confortable being mysterious moving targets. Many living bets that you can't conveniently sum up as any universal label of what we are.  

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