Sunday, November 21, 2010


Avedon Carol:

Every time I hear someone saying it will take "a long time" or "years" or "a generation" to undo the mess we're in, I think, "Have you no understanding of history?" It was a miracle the Founders created what they did, and it took unique circumstances and thousands of years to get to that point. You think you're gonna come back from this? Unless something stops this train-wreck now - and I don't see anything like that happening - you can kiss it good-bye. Forever.

Sad but probably true.

I often think of the sheer improbability of human life... at all. I am by no means persuaded by the so-called Drake Equation (really not an equation but an expression) that intelligent life must be common in the multiverse. Indeed, the number of physical constants that have to have values very close to the ones we have in our little pocket universe within the presumed multiverse in order to create any kind of life is very large. Add intelligence to the requirement and you have an almost insuperable obstacle to Vulcans and Klingons "out there," let alone anywhere nearby. Given that we're here, and that we're probably rather unusual (religious folks will be overjoyed with that admission), how likely is it that intelligent beings anywhere else ever created anything as good (even with all its unspeakable flaws) as the republic our Founders crafted?

Our nation was a prototype. There are other, better representative governments in the world today. But as totalitarian governments... surely the majority of all governments... acquire the means to vaporize their imagined enemies, I think we can count on ending up "all suffused with an incandescent glow," as Tom Lehrer put it.

And if it goes, it ain't comin' back. Don't bother consoling yourself with the thought that it will.

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