The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Que Sera, Sera

I am reading a book that is very depressing. It's called "The World Set Free" by H.G. Wells. Someone recommended it to me some time ago but I only recently came across it. It's available at Project Gutenberg, a site I have recommended many times and one I love. If you have an e-book reader of just about any type, you can find the format supported.

Anyway, the book is depressing. It is an example of belief in utopia. And utopia is just not possible in a world of humans. Of course, in the book, it is not only possible, it is realized. Wells predicts the advent of nuclear energy. Since this book was written in 1913, well before the atomic bomb, it is flawed in its depiction of the benefits and the drawbacks. That is to be expected.  No one can predict the future, especially in detail. I could not imagine the world of today back when I was young. And those that offered their ideas were wrong. Who could imagine phones that are computers? Who could have imagined Wi-Fi? I am talking 50 years ago.

I have mentioned that Star Trek: The Next Generation predicted e-readers and hand held computers (what did you think that Tricorder was?); they saw the advent of  touch screen interfaces, as well as voice controlled ones (that even predated The Next Generation since that interface was used in the first Star Trek series). Now we are starting to see TVs that respond to voice commands and we have Siri and whatever the Android phones are using. The talking cars haven't been all that successful, I guess we prefer bells and alarms to some disembodied computer voice telling us what is going wrong.

When I was 10 or younger, the energy people were pushing nuclear power plants. At that time they were predicting that electricity would be so cheap to produce that the meters would be removed and people would be charged a flat rate for usage. Unfortunately, that never happened. Or, maybe fortunately... if you distrust/dislike nuclear power plants. In addition to that prediction, the electric companies pushed what they called "Medallion Homes." These houses were highly dependent upon a steady supply of electricity. I soon learned the impracticality of that after my family moved to Florida. There appears to be no dependability to electrical power delivered to the home. That has been strongly (and repeatedly) reinforced by my experiences over the last 50+ years.

In the end, I have decided that the future, as the song says, is "not ours to see."

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