Update on This Week’s Headlines

This week there were so many weird things happening that I have decided to give a quick overview of what’s going on in the world of human lack of intelligence. “Hardwired for Bullying Part III” next week. I’m sure you can wait seven more days to find out why bullying is like playing the piano. And it’s nothing to do with pounding the keys.

On Ashely Madison
This rapidly-becoming-tragic farce contains a combination of three ghastly aspects of human nature:
1. The willingness of some people to make money, no matter how abhorrent the method.
2. The stupidity of people who take inane risks for their own selfish gratification. The Internet has been around long enough; they should know better.
3. The tendency of the “holier-than-thou” to participate in vigilante behaviour. I’ll be interested to see how the suicides that are “possibly connected” to the situation pan out. I hope the perpetrators are feeling just a little bit “Oops, never thought of that,” by now.
And Last: An even worse denunciation of human nature: the extortionists threatening exposure and the scammers promising to take people’s names off the list (this isn’t number 4. It’s a continuation of number 1).

In the good old days when we were closer to nature, this sort of thing didn’t happen. If you were stupid enough to wander around in the dark, a sabre-tooth tiger would be happy to remove your genes from the pool. Nowadays people can wander around for years in the Internet jungle before a predator finds them. And then it’s their families that suffer, when the faulty genes have already been passed along. Waste of natural selection.

On Cosmetics and Cosmetic Advertising:
Simple Test of the week: if a substance really has the ability to change how your body acts, then it’s a drug, and it can’t be sold at the cosmetics counter. Oops. Multi-billion-dollar industry down the drain. Of course that’s where its products have been going for years.

On the Chinese Stock Meltdown:
The only thing worse than an unregulated stock market is one completely controlled by a government. The Chinese fiscal regulators encouraged a few million inexperienced middle class investors to buy in last spring, causing a marvellous bubble in their stock market, which has now burst. And guess what? They can’t fix it.
A point to remember: 12 out of 13 of these gamblers are not betting on a specific company. The participants in the Derivatives market are simply betting on whether the stock market will go up or down. So the whole program is driven by the emotional reactions of a bunch of problem gamblers. Fine system. Oughta run a world economy on it.
Joe Canadian Investor is asking, “Why should the value of my investments depend on something a stupid totalitarian government did half the world away?” Good question. Is there such a thing as giving a new stock exchange some kind of training wheels until they figure out how to ride the thing?

On Global Warming:
Maybe we should be looking at the oil price crash as a cloud with a silver lining. There are two ways to react:
1. Stay the course (sound familiar? You’ve only heard it on the TV news every hour, on the hour, every day for three weeks). Sooner or later the price of oil will go back up, and we can go on destroying the climate like before. Until a few years down the road when we are forced to make the changes. By that time the upheaval will be twice as bad, and the cost will be twice as much, because we’ll be in twice as much trouble by then.
2. Assume that we are at the beginning of a new reality. Make the changes now, while everything is depressed anyway. Stop depending on the high-cost, high-pollution energy sector, and get into wind, water, and solar power. When production in the Tar Sands drops, find the displaced workers jobs in the new industries.
In other words, buy into the future now, or cling to the past and pay more later. Make the right choice; your grandchildren will thank you. Or hate you.

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