Days of Change

The Laws of Thermodynamics | July 10, 2016

“It should have worked.”

The lament of the engineer happens when something that should work on paper doesn’t and much more time and effort has to be expended to make it work. Sometimes the design is bad. Sometimes, the materials aren’t quite good enough. Sometimes, there’s a loose wire. Then there are the times that something on paper just can’t work in real life.

Keynesian economics uses the term “animal spirits” as an attempts to quantify the effect of human psychology. The smart investor buys low and sells high, for example. Most people, however, tend to buy as the price of a stock reaches it’s zenith and then holds on to it long after its value has cratered. People also hoard money in an economic downturn, which worsens it and spend money during a boom, potentially leading to a bust.

In physics, there are the laws of thermodynamics. One thing you learn there is that any system or machine can’t be 100% efficient. There’s heat loss and entropy. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold.

Social science, economics and mechanics all have to deal with variability. This is not about developing correction factors to make things work, either. Some things seem like they should work and they just don’t, no matter how much you want them to. My best example is socialism. It would be extremely efficient if all the needed resources were distributed evenly and all the labor was shared among the population. However, it doesn’t work. It never works and it never will work.

When we talk about the idea of an egalitarian police force of highly intelligent human beings who don’t make mistakes, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. It’s similar logic to disbanding police forces and relying on everyone’s personal morality to end crime. Personal ethics are the most variable. That’s why I believe in religion over the Atheist fairy tale of being a good person for its own sake. The ones who count themselves as proof are more likely using their own ego to keep them from making an ass of themselves by betraying their own rules.

Over and over, the left has set up the perfect as the enemy of the good. No matter how much better things are every generation, they find a way to make right now the most perilous time in history. Crimes where police are completely unjustified seem to fall by the wayside because White people think they are guilty. Only the murkiest circumstances get press attention, like violent offenders and guys with guns in their lap who get shot by police.

So, the grievance machine of the left may be the thing that works because it doesn’t work. Since life isn’t perfect, Utopia is always a little further away. I guess the only solution is to reject progressive dogma entirely and live in the blissful ignorance of a world that’s still working even if it’s not supposed to be.

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