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[GreenYes] the magic machine phenomenon



I don't want to encourage Mr. Wheeler, who has already shown that
he's not respectful of this lists purposes.

But I think he is advocating a good example of something--the idea
that there is some magic Black Box technology out there that can
eliminate the need to plan and organize and educate for "zero
waste." The Black Box that can have the packer truck dumped into
one end and out the other will come Diesel oil, or natural gas, or
electricity, or bars of gold if we so choose. Or nothing at all,
because the garbage is being dematerialized, or beamed to Andromeda....

This sort of notion is floated over and over again--usually by
incinerator promoters, but also by people who are sincere. Are we
not seeming more of these schemes, playing on folks' anxiety about
fuel prices and general insecurity in a time of official madness? It
seems to be sort of a Cargo Cult in reverse. It has the same value
as the notion that nobody needs to worry about global warming because
God will take care of it in her own fashion. Or perpetual motion.
... But it taps into what seems to be a real human desire for the
easy out. A way around the rules our universe runs on.

If we look at the numbers of Americans who (supposedly) don't
"believe in evolution," or aren't literate beyond the most
rudimentary level, or who describe themselves as people of "faith,"
(as opposed to reason), I guess its understandable that they don't
measure ideas against basic principles of natural science. They just
don't have a developed mental filter by which to separate the
plausible from the implausible. The Magic Box promoters may know how
to reach this audience better than we do.

Alan


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