Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Douglas Adams, Conservative

If someone was to ask me to sum up briefly why I am generally skeptical of government solutions to large social problems, I would be tempted to reply with this section from the original Hitchhikers Guide of the Galaxy radio plays:
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this, at a distance of roughly ninety million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet, whose ape descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. This planet has, or had, a problem, which was this. Most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small, green pieces of paper, which is odd, because on the whole, it wasn't the small, green pieces of paper which were unhappy.
If you haven't heard the original Hitchhikers, or if you did long ago but don't have them on MP3, you can find them here:
[Warning: Google says this is a known attack site using javascript vulnerabilities -- though I downloaded the MP3s from here some weeks ago without any problems.]


Jeff Miller said...

That site you referenced is a known attack site using javascript vulnerabilities.

Darwin said...

I've removed the hyperlink and included a warning. I'd downloaded the MP3s from there some weeks ago when JulieD linked to it without any problems -- but I use a Mac and FireFox for such things, so I'm less vulnerable than many.

Jeff Miller said...

I use a Mac and FireFox 3 also, but javascript vulnerabilities don't depend on the OS. Yeah we are pretty much immune from viruses, but the js hacks try to get things like banking information from another tab or other personal information to use. Most new vulnerabilities are not destructive, they seek info.

But I run noscript which is a great Firefox addon. You can set each site as to what you allow and it works very well.

Patrick said...

I don't think Mr. Adams limits that joke to government interventions; the free market is itself, after all, a proposed solution to unhappiness based on the movement of those green pieces of paper. (It achieves some things well, some poorly, and some not at all.)