Wednesday, August 2, 2006


I like to see things in systems terms: it's less messy than ideology.

What we have right now is a system that's spiraling out of control.  When a system is in a "steady state", it counter-balances nicely between entropy (which leads to death) and excessive energy, which sooner or later causes it to bifurcate to a different level.  Physicists know that it's impossible to predict in advance what the new level will be: greater order and complexity or chaos.  It depends in part on the system's previous history.

Alas, political commentators prefer crystal balls to history.  They relentlessly ask interviewees whether they think that this or that is going to happen and, most absurdly, how long it's going to take, much like the child in the back seat of a car asking "Daddy are we there yet?".  At least daddy knows how many miles he has to travel, has a watch and a map.  Our drivers don't even know which direction they're facing, so why bother to ask them where or when they're going to arrive?

Resistance movements are never annihilated: they always live to fight another day: think about Solidarnosc if you're tired of thinking about Vietnam.  Our society has spawned a lot of rebels without a cause, but unlike what happens with dictators, societies that have a cause always win, sooner or later .  (People don't fight for a dictator's causes, which is why the Cuban Revolution has lasted almost fifty years.)  And when, as in the Middle East, the people's cause, anti-Americanism, jihad or just plain poverty, coincides with the latent or unresolved causes of their rulers, those who provoke them should not be too cock-sure.

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