“A Fatal Imaginary Paradox”

Steven Goddard asks the rhetorical question: How do you get an organism to destroy itself?

Simple — convince it that something essential for its survival is making it sick. A great example of this is bulimia. If an individual believes that food is unhealthy, it eventually will self-destruct and die.

As far as I can tell, that is the fundamental purpose of the global warming movement. Civilization can not exist without an adequate energy supply, and greens are determined to make that impossible. They are determined to introduce a fatal imaginary paradox — which will lead western civilization to self-destruct.

Yes, we’ve been seeing a lot of this lately. Christians need to get-with-the-times, knock it off with those ancient hymns written by dead white guys, let the hippies lead the Sunday services with their tambourines and guitars. Men who are single and trying to find ways to attract women, should stop acting like men; shave the facial hair, speak in a higher voice, get into American Castrati mode. The Republican party, just lately spanked in this year’s elections, should stop acting like Republicans…turn a blind eye to that low-hanging fruit represented by the evangelicals and Tea Party people who couldn’t be bothered to pop a chad for Mitt Romney, and imagine these swelling throngs of butt-hurt hipsters who will surely vote GOP, in droves, with a bit of platform support for gay marriage, amnesty for illegal immigrants, exploding government largess, AND don’t forget the silly but creative new social programs.

And then there is technology. What does America have to do to recapture her competitive edge? More college grads, of course! Acres and acres of college grads, each one clutching a spiffy new roll of sheepskin, with a documented specialty in something absolutely useless that ends with the word “studies.” Pity the poor college student graduating just in time to compete for a limited number of jobs, with swelling throngs of classmates equally indoctrinated with equally smug heads packed full with equally silly things. How I pity them. Maybe if we grind enough of them down we can produce a few joules of energy after the coal & nuclear plants are shut down.

I suppose this is all just a byproduct of mass communication. Think back a century before now, which is just the blink of an eye in human evolution. What was communication? I’ll tell you what it was in 1912: You could have distance, you could have instant access to your audience, you could broadcast to multitudes — pick any two out of those three but you could not have all three. The one exception was a radio signal sent out randomly, like the Titanic’s shout-out for help, but that was nothing more than a scream converted to electronic form. Today, communication is one-way or two-way, we can choose one or the other of these at our leisure; you can broadcast, instantly, to whoever is interested, and you can pick up feedback whether the recipient wants you to or not. You can find out their time zone, their nearest major city, their GPS coordinates. You can get their IP address. You can find the time and date of their “page hit.” You can find out what Google query they used to find your page…and oh, is that not embarrassing and titillating at times. You can sell things across thousands of miles, with confidence, enjoying the benefits of highly advanced peer-reviewed digital signature algorithms. You can do practically anything. You can Facebook. You can open an entry on CraigsList. You can blog. You can tweet. And let’s not forget, of course you can “text.” You can send audio, video-still and video-motion. You can put out a live feed. You can make it look like Hitler is taking his own picture with an iPhone, or your pet “LolCat” is very sorry he made you a cookie and then eated it.

You can change the outcome of elections. Oh, yes, absolutely you can do that.

So I suppose we should not be surprised to see so many people seizing these instant-broadcast-communication technologies, and giving instructions to their enemies about how to, um, er, ah, survive. TO: N. BONAPARTE FROM: LORD WELLINGTON RE: WATERLOO. You really can’t blame them, can you? You can blame the enemies for accepting the advice, and then being surprised to learn it never was in their interests…that does seem pretty stupid. And it is. But the fact is, it works a good portion of the time. “Stick your head in this noose and then jump off the chair, you’ll be amazed at the results.” Derr, duh, um okay.

This is an ironclad rule: If it works, it doesn’t matter if it’s silly or tragic. You will be seeing a whole lot more of it, because hey, it worked. No exceptions. So yes, we have a lot of people talking their enemies into committing suicide, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see it.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Rotten Chestnuts.

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