Why do the nations so furiously rage together? Why do they imagine a vain thing?
(Or at least that's the version used by Handel.)
Those questions are easy. No need to ask. Money and status. Parkinson.
When you're seeking status and money, you want RELIABLE results, not ERRATIC results. Granting agencies and careerist social structures enforce RELIABLE results. The only way to get RELIABLE results is to imagine vain things. Carbon-caused warming, quantum quackery, quantitative easing, transsexuals, transubstantiation, evolution, economics, "social" "science".
When you operate in the realm of pure math and pure ideology and pure theology, you can always get the answer you need. You learn to avoid all connection with reality. Avoid physical experiments.
Even if you feel the need to approach physical reality, you can always make your work self-perpetuating by pursuing vain things.
In politics, make useless wars that can never achieve "victory" because "victory" is a totally null concept for a useless war. "Victory" is always just over the horizon, so you have to keep fighting harder and harder, pouring more and more money into military contractors.
In economics, make useless moves like QE and ZIRP that are guaranteed not to achieve the nominal goal, while reliably enriching the Chosen. Spending actually decreases in response to ZIRP, so it's a perfect addiction. More, more, more.
= = = = =
The hard question: On the RARE occasions when nations DON'T furiously rage together and DON'T imagine vain things, why do they violate all of Parkinson's Laws? How do leaders break out of the tight positive feedback loop of status and money?
When FDR decided to fuck economic theories and make the economy work for ordinary people, what drove him to leave status and money behind? When Ike decided to fuck the Wilsonian ideology and pull out of Korea, what drove him?
Even harder question: After a leader breaks the loop, how does he survive? Most don't. Nixon tried to break out of Vietnam and got kicked to the curb. In academia and business, nearly everyone who tries to break out of the status loop gets fired FAST. Two very recent exceptions: In medicine, Parkinson drives harsh diagnosis. Everything must be cancer so we can spend trillions treating it. But now important medical groups are removing some tumors and lesions from the cancer definition, conforming to reality and experiment. Some organizations in the area of diet and nutrition are finally admitting they were lethally and knowingly wrong about cholesterol for 50 years.
What's different about Ike and FDR? What's different about these loop-breakers on cancer and cholesterol? Why are they able to resist the temptations of grants and status without getting fired?
Labels: Carbon Cult