Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Deprogramming Effort

There is a really dumb line of thought that may never die. It's been debunked to death, yet keeps coming back because it's irresistible mind candy for a certain kind of person. It's usually used to attack science programs (particularly, for some strange reason, space science). Most typically:
Why are we spending billions on another space telescope when we can't feed everyone down here on Earth?
This glue-sniffy sentiment may pleasantly tingle your amygdala if you don't think about it too hard. And explaining the illogic doesn't seem to "stick" for people, so I will attempt to immunize you via multiple exposures to the virus under controlled settings. Hopefully this will stoke some resistance.
Amid a deadly pandemic, with millions out of work, people blew $200 million on ping pong balls. [Source]

Nearly 2% of the Ethiopian population has gone needlessly blind while the rich world spends a billion dollars on Jell-O.[Source and Source]

1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read while we sink $7.4 billion per year into music.[Source and Source]

Why are we trying to cure Dutch elm disease, which affects only trees, when we have no cure for Pompe Disease, which cruelly strikes down people?

Why do we eat pizza while millions of Americans lack broadband Internet?

How can your children play video games while Uyghurs are persecuted?

Why are you reading silly blogs when 9 million people per year starve to death? [Source]?

People think they're living in a cartoon, operating on simple cartoon logic, imagining that if they ruled the world there'd be mercy and virtue and equity because they'd institute peace (by fiat or whatever), and feed every last soul. It just takes some ordinary human kindness and consideration, that's all. Once we've restored common sense and repaired our damaged sense of priority, a more equitable world will fall easily into place. So let's start by shutting down those goddamned ping pong ball factories...

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