Tag Archives: Question

Don’t Insult the Cook

28 Apr

adiaryofapandemicmaster-1

April 28, 2020

Day 38

First day of Alert Level 3 in New Zealand. The numbers for today are…

AApr28NZCov

3 New cases. 34 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to active cases is 82%. (18% to go.) 258 infected people remaining.

 

ALighthouse

 

Anyone reading this know how to make aspirin? A nail? Plastic? Could you build an internal combustion engine from scratch? Make antibiotics? A solid state transistor? A battery of any type? Paper? Glue? Ink? Could you build a printing press and publish a blog the old fashioned way? Do you know how to grow wheat? Harvest it? Grind the grain into flour? Build a windmill? Make candles? Dress a hog? Tan a hide? Breed horses? Break a horse? Ride a horse? Do any of you know why an airfoil generates lift and how?

One hundred years ago the era of the horse was coming to a close and the era of the automobile was just a quarter of a century old. Humans had been flying airplanes for 17 years and Robert Goddard, one of the fathers of modern rocketry, had just written a letter to the Smithsonian Institution in which he proposed photographing the moon and planets by using fly-by probes. Penicillin was 8 years from being invented and the Spanish Flu Pandemic, during which 675,000 Americans were killed, had been over for a year.

Ten years from now what will people say when they look back at everything that is happening this year? Will the Covid-19 Pandemic that led to the second Great Depression be the lead story? Or will it be the first test launches of SpaceX’s Starship rocket? Will there be a settlement on Mars? Will Taiwan exist as a nation or will it have be violently crushed and then silently absorbed in the greatest act of revisionist history ever undertaken by any nation in the world?

What does the rest of the year hold for us? A gradual return to the way we were? A readjustment of the blinders we grew used to in the previous two decades when we ceded manufacturing to China? Will the food chain of the world be broken? What conflicts will arise out of the chaos and shortages to come? Will the progressives of the world win out as the baby boomers die off? Will socialism rise to prominence until it runs out of other people’s money? Will you be speaking Chinese in a re-education camp?

In fifty years few people will remember witnessing the first landing of men on the moon. Those who do will not be able to say publicly that it wasn’t Chinese taikonauts, but American astronauts who took those first steps. Such behaviour will result in imprisonment, slave labor and ultimately, death, as transplantable organs will still be cheaper to harvest than to grow in labs.┬áThe future that I write of will be fact and the past I was part of will be erased. Right now 1,400,000,000 people on this planet are already part of that world. The rest of us are closer to it that we think. Don’t believe this? When you try to boycott China, you’re going to see the extent to which we’ve become reliant on them. They know this. Depend upon it. Their attitude at this juncture in history can best be summed up by an old saying of theirs that goes, ‘If you want your dinner, don’t insult the cook’. This is what we have to contend with now and it is what we will have to contend with should we attempt to reclaim our treasure from the Chinese dragon.

In his novel Time Enough for Love, Heinlein (Yes, Robert Anson again) says, “Human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

I contend that countries should be able to do the same. The tale of Covid-19 and surviving its aftermath without selling our souls has yet to be written, but if it was, I’m betting the moral of the story will be, for individuals as well as nations, to do their own cooking.

 

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