Tag: logic

Just like Helsinki

When Trump first trotted out his hypothesis that logging would have somehow saved the large swaths of construction from forest fires, I rolled my eyes and thought back to his campaign touted secret plan to defeat ISIL … which turned out to be consulting Generals. Which, as far as a military tactic goes is, worked about as well as all of the previous approaches (which, I suppose in his head, did not include this brilliant consulting step). Logging — which generally takes the big solid part of the tree (a.k.a. the trunk) and leaves behind all of the little bits (twigs, branches, leaves, underbrush) seems more apt to promote conflagrations — all of those little twigs, branches, leaves, and whatnot lay around, dry up … insta-kindling.

But yesterday’s proclamation that we’d be fine if we were only cleaning up the forest floor like Finland really bothers me. Not because of the obvious climate differences between a country averaging 27″ of rain (and I believe had an above average precipitation total last year) and an area that got, what, not quite 5″ in the last July-June season? Or the twenty or thirty degree temperature difference. But because of the absolute ignorance of international news. This is the sort of thing people at the White House get paid to keep track of. Finland had an unusual number of fires this last yearSweden too.

Unanticipated consequences

I was at a rally opposing privatization of social security investments – a reporter asked me to comment on my particular objection. Was I worried about affording retirement? Was I concerned about parents? Or someone else? No – my objection is that the raison d’être of social security was the massive crash in the stock market in the 30’s. Lots of people had their money in the stock market (sure, over-leveraged so more than their money) and then had nothing. The social safety net was to provide bare sustenance for people whose private retirement savings didn’t pan out. Why in the hell would you want to invest that money in the stock market?!

I think the net neutrality opponents are having the same lack of foresight. How is controlling network bandwidth allocation any different than censorship? How does it not prevent alternative ideas from being propagated? How does it not stifle innovation and harm small companies?