The Real Luddites

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

David Harsanyi very nicely demonstrates why leftists should try looking in the mirror when they feel the urge to demonize their opponents as "Luddites." Harsanyi takes global warming hysteria as his starting point, looks at the disdain on the part of many Demorcrats for the efficiency that technology brings us akong the way, and ends with the "occupy" squatters:

Luddites on the streets of Manhattan can demonize big oil, big food and big pharma all day long. They can decry profit as if Satan himself invented the notion. Yet when the multinational firm GlaxoSmithKline announces, as it did last week, that it has come up with the first effective vaccine for malaria, you can bet that it would never have happened in the system they propose. And if the vaccine is successful, the company will have done more good for the world than a million marches about the evils of capitalism could ever hope to produce.

What irks Robinson, Matthews and others like them is not that people do not accept "science," but that they won’t accept the statist solutions tied to that science. Moreover, a Luddite opposes capitalism. A skeptic only asks questions.
I like the way he disposes of two leftist non-sequiturs in his last paragraph: The statist solutions don't follow from the science, and disagreements with leftist dicta do not equal a rejection of science or technology.

--- In Other News ---

Via HBL and Amit Ghate are two amusing looks at the "occupy" squatters getting exactly what they deserve. The headline in the second sums it all up pretty well: "The Organizers vs. the Organized." Anyone with even the most tenuous contact with reality ends up becoming "The Man" when he attempts to impose any kind of order, like cleaning up the camps or getting the idiot drummers to stop at night to avoid alienating the very people they're allegedly trying to sway.

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror writes a rather benevolent piece on parenthood. I like his idea that, in a sense, "Children give the first four years of your life back to you."

Here's a cautionary tale about hiring, "How to Hire an Idiot", that applies more broadly to any human relationship, and which I'd summarize in the words of an old boss: "You get what you inspect." "He was a friggin VP of business development for a $100 million company! He must know what he's saying, right?" Judging other people is hard enough without allowing mere credentials to stand in the way of easily-obtainable data.


Today: Minor edits. 

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